Su-22 Reference Material
as recently mentioned in the iModeler newsletter, two new releases of the Sukhoi Su-17/22 rock the boat in 2017. One from Kittyhawk, as usually highly disputed, and one from Hobbyboss. Building this bird, the modeller has a huge variety of airforces to choose from: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jemen, Lybia, Peru, Poland, Syria, Czechoslovakia and Vietnam have all used it. However, there’s one nation thats affairs with the Su-22 are particularly interesting. Or shall we say two? I’m talking about East- and West-Germany.
48 aircraft plus trainer versions were given to the Nationale Volksarmee in the mid eighties. They were assigned to reconnaissance services, but the attack character of this aircraft is so obvious that it made the East German government believe it’s better to keep their existence secret to the people.
When the wall fell in 89, military operations on both sides were gradually reduced, ultimate flights of the Su-22 taking place in summer 90. With the day of the German reunion at 3rd October, 1990 the entire NVA fleet was put under the command of the West German Bundeswehr and one by one taken out of service.
If you travel through West Germany today, you will find little remains of the military airfields of the Cold War as they have either been transformed to airports of budget airlines or entirely closed down. In the East however, most of them are still existent though not in operation. At many of these airfields, passionate people with competence, commitment and energy have established museums. Without sufficient means to construct or maintain buildings, the aircraft are often left standing outside and are these aircraft a brilliant source of modelling references!
I’ve been travelling through Eastern Germany in the past days collecting material for the Su-22. Representing the turbulent times of 1989 and 1990, one of them still carries the NVA emblems, one already the ones of the Bundeswehr and one seems to be kind of in between with the NVA rhombus painted over and some hand-painted German flag on the fin. One eventually was marked as “for sale” and in fact, from time to time you can find a used-car dealer with a MIG or Sukhoi on the yard.
I have taken extensive picture material. Please drop me a line here on iModeler and I’m happy to share it with you.
13 additional images. Click to enlarge.