Each year on the 8th November, the Cyprus Air Force celebrates the feast of Archangel Micheal, their patron. As part of the celebrations the Cyprus Air Force open their doors, allowing members of the public and aircraft enthusiasts to visit Andreas Papandreou airbase, Paphos - something that is not normally possible. All the photos used in this article were taken with the kind permission of the Commanding Officer Cyprus Air Force and by the owners / operators.
The Cyprus Air Force is the air wing of the Cypriot National Guard, first formed in 1963 following independance from the United Kingdom. Following the Turkish invasion in 1974, the Cypriot government aquired three Bell 206L-3 Longranger and four Aerospatiale Gazelle SA 342L1 helicopters. This was followed in 2002 by the addition of twelve Mil MI-25P Hind attack helicopters.
Today the Cyprus Air Force comprises of three MEA (Mira Elikopteron Aeroskafon) squadrons:
449 MAE Anti tank Squadron based at Lakatamia. The Squadron is split into two Sminos (Flights) each equiped with two Aerospatiale SA 342L1 Gazelle and one Bell 206L-3 Longranger helicopters.
Aerospatiale SA 342L1 Gazelle
Bell 206L-3 Longranger
450 ME/P Helicopter squadron. The squadron is split into three Sminos (flights) each equiped with four Mil MI-25P Hind attack helicopters.
Mil MI-25P Hind
460 MED Search and Rescue Helicopter Squadron. Based at Andreas Papandreou airbase, Paphos equiped with three AgustaWestland AW139.
During the open day there were both ground displays and an air demonstration. Here is a selection of photographs taken during my visit to Andreas Papandreou airbase, Paphos:
Following the Archangel 2021 celebrations, a visit was made to the Ikaros Aviation center, where students are trained in aviation engineering:
5B-CGE Piper PA23-250 Aztec
64-18080 US Army Hughes TH-55A Osage
101/4X-JTB Israeli AF Beechcraft BE65-B80 Queenair
Cyprus also has a variety of wrecks and relics. Here is a selection of airframes taken at various locations across Cyprus:
OK-MDE Tupolev TU-104A
5B-DDD Fokker 100
N19CA Douglas DC6B
ZH808 BAe Sea Harrier FA2
5B-CGC Piper PA23-250 Aztec
5B-CGC Piper PA23-250 Aztec
5B-CJA Piper PA38 Tomahawk II
52-133 (52-128) Nord N-2501D Atlas
CR8/5BICR Piper PA22-108 Colt
5B-CII Piper PA38 Tomahawk II
5B-CDW Piper PA25-260 Pawnee
5210 Czech AF MiG21-MF
Cliff Ibell Images would like to thank Commanding Officer Cyprus Airforce and the owners/operators for allowing access during the visit to Cyprus. Thanks must also go to 9H Travel's Mark Zerafa. 9H Travel organised the visits to the various locations and also provided excellent accomodation, banter and tour guide services. The small group of five enthusiasts from three countries all enjoyed not only a great photographic trip, but also a great social experience with new friendships made.
For the full collection of high resolution photographs taken during this trip, follow this link Archangel Cyprus 2021 select Slideshow and Full Screen.