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Russian Aircraft Relics in the Czech Republic

Czech Air Force Yak 40

Czech Air Force Yak 40 at Kunovice. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Mark Evans)

The Czech Republic is a relatively new country having been formed in 1993. Prior to this, the country was part of Czechoslovakia which was a communist state until 1989. Sanctions placed on the country by the West meant that Russian aircraft were operated throughout the country.

During the Communist Rule, CSA was the primary carrier in the country. At the end, it was operating a wholly Russian fleet which included Ilyushin 18, Ilyushin 62, Tupolev 134, Tupolev 154 and Yak40 aircraft. The Czech Government also operated all of these types at some point ending with the Tupolev 154 and Yak 40.

It was only once the Iron Curtain fell and communist rule ended in 1989 that Czechoslovakia and other Eastern Bloc countries could start to replace their fleets with western-built jets. Most of them were retired within the first decade. Fortunately, many have been preserved and over 30 years later a large number can be seen in various museums or other establishments.

 

OK-EFJ Tupolev 134

OK-EFJ (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Mark Evans)

Czech Aviation Training Centre:

At Prague, Czech Republic’s Václav Havel Airport, training is provided for aviation professionals including pilots and cabin crew. One of the CSA’s T134s has been partially preserved there. The cockpit section of OK-EFJ sits proudly inside inscribed with ‘20 years of service with CSA’.

Ilyushin 18

Ilyushin 18 at Kbely Airport (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Mark Evans)

Prague Kbely Airport:

This was previously Prague’s main airport but is now used by the Government and Military. It is home to Kbely Aviation Museum with many aircraft on show. Of particular note are:

OK-NAA IL18 – Operated for CSA from 1960 until being written off in 1977.

OK-BYG / 0723  Yak40 – Operated for Czech Government from 1972.

OK-BYJ /1257  Yak40 – Operated for Czech Government from 1978.

The collection also includes some Antonov 24s and Ilyushin 14s along with many fighter and helicopter types.

 

CSA Tupolev 104

CSA Tupolev 104 at Zruc Air Museum (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Mark Evans)

Zruc Air Museum:

Near the Town of Pilsen about 100km southwest of Prague sits an impressive private collection containing the following aircraft:

OK-NDF T104 – Operated for CSA from 1963 after starting life in 1959 with Aeroflot. CSA was the only other airline to operate the Tupolev 104 and became only the third airline to operate jet aircraft when the T104 entered service for them in 1957. It is displayed illustriously outside the museum in full vintage CSA colors. 

1003 T154 – Operated for Czech Government from 2000.

OK-AFA T134 – Operated for CSA from 1971 – Fuselage section only attached to the cockpit section of OK-DFI.

OK-DFI T134 – Operated for CSA from 1973 – Cockpit section only attached to the fuselage section of OK-AFA.

SP-LHE T134 – Operated for LOT Polish Airlines from 1976. Missing its tail.

OK-PAE IL18 – Operated for CSA from 1961.

Again the museum contains various other aircraft or sections including an Antonov 24 and Antonov 30. Ilyushin 14s and Let 410s along with various fighter jets and helicopters.

 

Various Tupolev 134s

Various Tupolev 134s at Zruc Air Museum (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Mark Evans)

Kunovice Aviation Museum:

Some three hours southwest of Prague near the Slovakian Border is another impressive museum where you can find the following:

OK-BYZ T154 – Operated for Czech Government from 1996.

OK-BYK / 0260 Yak40 – Operated for Czech Government from 1979.

Various other exhibits include several Let 410s, Let 610 and Ilyushin 14s.

 

Let 410s

Let 410s at Kunovice (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Mark Evans)

Other Aircraft:

OK-FBF IL62 – Operated for Czech Government from 1974 and then CSA from 1981. Preserved outside Excalibur City shopping centre painted in a very interesting color scheme with Jet Restaurant titles.

OK-WAJ IL18 – Operated for CSA from 1967. Now preserved as a cafe near Bakov Nad Jizerou with Buggyra Air titles.

OK-EEA Yak40 – Operated for CSA from 1974. Now belongs to Seko Aerospace in the town of Louny. Painted in a blue color scheme with Seko Airlines titles and Reg OK-TSE.

Mark Evans
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  • Mark Evans

    Mark has been interested in aviation since the age of eight when he first went plane spotting at Manchester Airport, England. Trips around various European airports in the following years and then to the USA as a teenager furthered his desire. This led to Mark wanting to work in the industry and at the age of twenty one was accepted to train as an Air Traffic Controller. After training and working for several years in England, Mark moved to Bahrain in the Middle East where he worked for six years. He then moved to Sydney, Australia where he resides today after twenty years in the profession. Mark's pursuit to see planes has seen him visit over 140 countries and territories, including places, like North Korea, Sudan and Iran. He has flown over 1,100 times, visited over 700 airports and can always be found researching his next trip.

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