RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day is delighted to announce the participation of two aircraft types from debuting nation Lithuania. The Baltic state’s air force will send an Aero L-39 Albatros jet trainer and a Mil Mi-8T utility helicopter for static display. Rarely seen at Western European events, they get Air Day’s international line-up off to the very best of starts.
The L-39 Albatros was a real success for Czech firm Aero Vodochody. During a 25-year production run, 2,900 were built and supplied to almost 50 militaries. Lithuania, plus around a dozen other nations, took delivery of the L-39ZA armed trainer/light attack variant. Its duties include surveying and defending Lithuanian airspace.
The remarkable Mil Mi-8 (NATO codenamed ‘Hip’) is the world’s most produced-helicopter: a staggering 17,000-plus examples of the Soviet-origin design having been manufactured. Lithuania only employs three Mi-8Ts (‘Hip-Cs’) in the troop transport and search and rescue roles.
As the Lithuanian Air Force continues with their modernisation programme these assets are a very welcome addition to the Royal Navy’s air show at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton on Saturday 7 July. Early bird tickets with no booking fees are now on sale for a limited period only at www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday.