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ACIG Special Reports
Hellenic Air Force Open Day 2004, Elefsina-Tatoi
By Nicholas Tselepidis and George Psarras
Aug 5, 2004, 06:41

In this years presentation of the Hellenic Air Force Open Day celebrations, ACIG visited Tatoi and Elefsis Air Bases. Between the usual aircraft displayed were some interesting debuts and also others that are rarely seen outside of Greece. Also an exclusive look inside the PA Museum workshop revealed some of the high quality work that is being undertaken by people who not only know and respect the aviation heritage of Greece, but also have developed the methods by which this can be restored to the best possible degree! Of special interest are the first public displays for the first 380 Mira EMB-154H AEW which had arrived in Greece barely a week before the open days, and also of the Hellenic Coast Guard AS365N-3 Aegean Dolphin, which along the Saar'4 patrol boats bring the "Limeniko Soma" (Port Corps which is the HCG name in Greek) to new roles and capabilities.

The main attraction of the display was the EMB-145H AEW "671", that has just arrived the previous week. The a/c wears a special paint and is seen inside the special hangar build for the Argus 100's.

AS.332C-1 Super Puma "2509" was one of the h/c displayed at Elesfina this year. Note the orange high viz colours.

A pretty rare site was this P-3B Update II which is based in Elefsis and flies for the Fleet HQ

"153424" was displayed carrying this Mk.55 Mine on the outboard pylon. Greek Orions are seldom seen in airshows, let alone armed.

One of the latest additions to the PA fleet is the AS. 532 Cougar "2620" configured for CSAR missions.

Another view of the Cougar which is painted in the colours of the Mirage 2000, unlike the Super Pumas which are seen in the "Aegean Blue" like colors.

A general view of the flightline at the apron in front of the 358 Mira hangar.

Here we see C-130B "948" originaly painted in the Europe 1 camouflage when it was delivered to the PA in 1992 and now wears the SEA "Vietnam" style scheme.

A better view of the Canadian water bomber CL-415 "2039", two of which are configured for SAR missions

Embraer ERJ-135L "484" is used for VIP transports, usually high ranking Goverment officials, and is part of the "Sminos Metaforas Ypsilon Prosopon" ( VIP Transport Flight).

A former Luftwaffe bird, Do28D-2 "4087" ( ex 58+12, FFSS) which previously wore the green-grey NATO scheme, now wears the 3 tone "Vietnam" style scheme.

Another part of the VIP Transport Flight is this AB.212 "31190" and among other missions carried the Olympic Flame during the Flame torch relay in last August, from the island of Aegina to Athens.

A view of the south side of the apron with 358 Mira Hangar in the right, and the 380 Mira hangar in the background behind the Orion, where the EMB-145H AEW was displayed.

The next 2 photographs should be useful to all you modelers out there who are looking for a realistic "weathered" look. AB.205 "4399" is shown in close ups and we can see the effect from use by PA crews in the paint of the helo. As the sayin goes: shining aircraft are for museums...

Here we see the yellow high visibility band, the paint of which in some places has been torn off... Greek Hueys still get stationed in Aegean islands for readiness duties regarding SAR missions, and have rescued at least 3 THK pilots during such "scrambles"!

At Tatoi situated in the apron between the Museum and the Tower we see 2 Coast guard planes with the TB 20 in the foreground, a PA T-41, another Coast Guard Reims F-406 and a PA CL-415.

On the Northern side a PZL M.18 Dromader ( the first WarPAc a/c to be bought by a NATO Air Force in the mid 80's), a Grumman AgCat and the newest addition in the Hellenic Coast Guard fleet: a AS365N-3 Aegean Dolphin.

AS365N-3 Aegean Dolphin "HC-35" in its first public display could be seen at Tatoi/Dekeleia AB.

Its been 65 years since Gloster Gladiators used Tatoi as a base and during the early post war years Tiger Moths were the last biplanes that flew until the Grumman AgCat was introduced for use in crop spraying.

And last but not least, inside the PA Museum Restoration Hangar, the Junkers Ju-52 that was shot down while carrying paratroopers of the Brandenburg Division during the Battle of Leros, and was raised from the bottom of the sea last year, is now well under way of being restored. Note the wing which is seen completely cleaned in natural metal colour, right next to the fuselage. Also several parts from inside the fuselage, like machine gun cartridges, guns etc, have also been cleaned and are looking like they just came out of the production line!

The Aunty-Ju's tail section can be seen here together with other 2 PA MUseum restoration projects, a T-6 Harvard and a TF-104G. Despite shortages in personel the PA Museum has accomplished extremely succesful results by using cutting edge scientific methods in cleaning and restoring such rare aircraft. A Ju-87D has been located near Rhodes and will probably be raised soon!

Special thanks to the Hellenic Air Force Museum personel for its hospitality, its professional expertise and its enthusiasm! Keep up the good work guys!

Photographs 1, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 17, 18, 21 by Nicholas Tselepidis

Photographs 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, 22 by George Psarras

Recommended link: http://hafcphotos.cs.net/

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