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A Century of aviation in Serbia

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Aeronautical Technical Institute designed and aeronautical industry started manufacturing domestic jet planes. Prototype plane “Galeb-2” first flew in 1961, assault plane “Jastreb” in 1965, two-engine reconnaissance plane and fighter-bomber “Orao” in 1974, “Galeb-4” in 1978. In the factory “Utva”, a batch of planes for basic training “Utva-75” was manufactured. The culmination of the process of technological and technical modernization of the Air Force and Air Defense was the project of a domestic multi-purpose supersonic aircraft (YU - supersonic), which included implementation of the most sophisticated scientific and technical achievements and technologies. By this, the conditions for increasing technical and technological level of the country would be created, as well as employing production capacities and higher level of independence in providing equipment. It should have been the most complex final product of domestic science and industry and “a flying-wheel” of technical and technological development; with over 180 new technologies and materials, it would provide a generation boom in electronics, informatics, bioengineering and medical and biological sciences. However, economic and social crisis, as well as dismemberment of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, “pushed” that program “aside”.

In the early 90s, the Air Force and Air Defense was organized in a modern way and equipped with those elements which make a complex armed service, with air force commands, units, schools, “acro group”, scientific and research institutions, aeronautical institutions, its own paper and a positive image in the society. Some of the programs initiated by the aeronautical industry were revived in 1994, modifications of the plane super-galeb into G-4M were done and factory “Utva” started manufacturing ultra light aircraft, as well as continued to develop the program for piston plane “Lasta”. From 1992, the air force military schools, academies and institutes gradually expired or died, becoming an integral part of joint armed service military schools and institutions (Aeronautical Technical Institute, Aeronautical Medical Institute); finally, they stopped to exist as a separate air force institutions.

Yugoslavia had its own military air force and pilots’ schools and academies in which more than 10,000 airmen were trained. In its, almost eight decades long aeronautical tradition, among other things, more than 100 types of different planes have been experimentally and operationally developed, out of which 30 were operational, and more than 4,700 different planes, as well as a large quantity of different equipment and armament was produced.

Today, under new conditions, the Air Force and Air Defense of the Republic of Serbia, based upon its big tradition and strong roots set up a hundred and more years ago, owing to the skill, persistence and determination of its members, makes a lot of efforts in order to do its holy mission – to keep and defend the skies over our homeland Serbia. At the same time, it develops sports aviation, achieving great results. A commercial aviation boom is also underway in Serbia.

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