Review: The hottest day of the year and the new air museum at Szolnok
I'm sure, yesterday was the hottest day of this year here in Hungary so it seemed like to be a good idea to take a short trip to the newly established Reptár Air Museum (www.reptar.hu) in Szolnok (something like 100 kms from Budapest).I've been at the old air museum in the same city but it was closed some years ago and this new one was opened i think in last year's autumn. There was about 40+ celsiuses, so to get around the outdoor exhibition sometimes felt like take a trip down in the hell but I can say, it worthed every minute I spent there.
At first, this one is one of the friendliest places I've ever been. All the personnel were really helpful, the place is nice and clean and well equipped with everything you may need on a long museum excursion.
There is a long outdoor exhibition area, where one can find almost all the russian made jets which the Hungarian Air Force has ever used, a Mig-29A, various Mig-21 variations (for example the F13, MF, bis, PF, U400 versions), two Mig-23s (MF and UB), some Mig-15/17/19 jets (how tiny are these jets compared to the others in line...) and on the end of the row, a Su-22M3 attack jet (and that is the moment when you can really feel, how a huge bird is it, when you're standing in front of it). For the contrast there are two F-104 Starfighters opposite to the Migs, one from Turkey and one from Germany.
Of course there are some helicopters also from the Mil-Mi line, including two Mi-24s (one with the standard camouflage, the other is the world famous "Csőrike"), a Mi-9 moving command centre and a Mi-8.
The back traction of the outdoor exhibition is a real heaven for every rocket enthusiast, there one can find almost every SAM rocket systems ever used here.
The best thing about this exhibition (among with the huge selection of stuff) is that every showcased item has no cordons around. So you can have the closest walkaround you could ever imagine. I think I don't need suggest more, what kind of advance is it for us, modellers (you don't have access for the cockpits only, these are closed for understandable reasons). All the jets are in perfect condition, mostly with the original painting and camouflage schemes, so yeah, for example with proper colorcards you can identify every colours ever used.
There are several indoor exhibition spaces. The main hall contains more planes and helicopters to see, among with various engines, pods, rockets and all the fancy stuff for modellers. For example there is a Ka-26 coaxial helicopter, a Mi-4, an after the war built Me-108 replica, a crashed Il-2 Sturmovik from the Lake Balaton and a Mig-21UM two-seater which finally you can have access into its cockpit (yes, this is the point when every adult male turn into a super-excited child in a minute). On the smaller indoor halls there is an educational showcase with uniforms, guns and various small bits and so on, and so on.
Long story short, this museum is among the best I've ever been, so if any of you are in (or close to) Hungary, it's kind of a must have to see. I was told there are more planes to come so I'm going to go back later this year.
After we finished there, we took a small drive to the former old air museum, which is close now, but there you can see a real curiosity, an Il-28 Beagle bomber jet in a good condition! This is a rare gem and hard to find, i really hope it will find its way into the new exhibition place.
Of course I couldn't hold and I took many detail photos about my favourite jets. I won't post them here, there are more than a hundred, but I made them public, so if any of you need them as references for future builds, feel free to download them from this link (more than 500MB, in a .zip file):
30 additional images. Click to enlarge.