Ukraine: building an air force rebel style

Rebels in the Luhansk area in eastern Ukraine are said to be building an air force of their own, using stored or even preserved aircraft. Their material however is outdated and Russian made, albeit that the L-29 Delfin in the YouTube clip below is actually Czech made. The trainer aircraft is apparently brought back to life for service with the Russian-backed Luhansk rebels. Fact is, it won’t last long against Ukraine air force fighters such as the MiG-29 and Su-27 Flanker.

The clip shows a Delfin being towed, started and taken or for what appears a taxi test. The footage also shows a prominently preserved MiG-29 Fulcrum, MiG-25 Foxbat and Il-76 Candid,  plus several stored Su-27 Flankers and Su-24 Fencers – which would be more of threat to the Ukrainian government in Kiev.

Quick research by shows the footage was taken at an airbase to the south east of Luhansk, which also houses an aviation museum. In its collection are a number of MiG-21’s, MiG-23’s and transport types.

The rebels claim they now also have a flyable Su-25 Frogfoot, plus a number of helicopters. Their is however no evidence of truth to that story. And the question whether the L-29 in the clip below is actually capable of flight, also remains uncertain. The guy in the cockpit is said to be a volunteer from Georgia, and the clip also mentions the L-29 ‘can be armed’.

© 2015 editor Elmer van Hest