Rising from the ashes is this Ukrainian Air Force Anotonov AN-26 in special paint scheme. Mothballed since 2005 the aircraft was put back into full-flight status on 30 August 2014 at Kyiv-Borispol International Airport (Kiev-Boryspil), thanks to financial support from outside donors.
During the course of five months the AN-26 with serial 05 was fully restored by volunteers of the public association Wings of the Phoenix, workers of the Ukrainian Aircraft Repair Facilities and military personnel of the 15th Transport Aviation Brigade at Borispol.
Applying the word Phoenix in English onto the fuselage is good for international PR, especially since Ukrainian Air Force AN-26 have had a rough time supporting the armed forces fighting pro-Russian separatists and regular Russian units in the eastern parts of Ukraine. Of the estimated five or six operational AN-26 this summer, at least two were shot out of the sky by rebel forces – one in June an one in July.
Ukraine still has about 15 AN-26 stored that could relatively easy be brought back to flight status in one to three months time per aircraft, but the military forces are very very low on cash with the necessary spending on the war in Eastern Ukraine not helping much in getting things better.
© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger