AIRVG2024 Zagreb International Airport "dr. Franjo Tuđman'' Croatia 


On 11th May 2024, the Croatian Air Force ( Hrvatsko ratno zrakoplovstvo ) and  the City of Velika Gorica was organizing the event AIRVG2024. The main reason for organizing this event was to promote military aviation in Croatia but another reason was to let see the modernization of the Croatian Air Force is undergoing.


On the 25th April the first six of the 12 ordered Dassault Rafale fighters landed at Pleso Air Base, so it was the chance to have a close look at these new (old) fighters. They are used French Air Force Rafales. The Croatian Air Force ordered 10 single-seater C F3-R and 2 two-seater B F3-R. The last six will arrive in 2025.

The aim of this event for me was to see the old but mighty MiG-21 before their retirement in a couple of months. I saw some different versions of the MiG-21.

MiG-21UM “Kockica” (165) special color painted in red and white fields, not airworthy, preserved.

MiG-21R (26112) known as “Rudijev MiG”  the Croatian pilot Rudolf Perešin defected from the Yugoslav Air Force to Klagenfurt, Austria on October 25, 1991 with this MiG. This MiG could be seen in the Austrian Air Force Museum at Zeltweg, Since 2019 this plane arrived back in Croatia.

MiG-21 bis D (133), was placed on another part of the apron, I was lucky to take pictures without people, some minutes later people were allowed to go inside the plane.

Other fixed wing aircraft of the Croatian Air Force placed in the static display were, a single seater Rafale F-3R (153), Pilatus PC-9M and a Zlin 242L.

Also some Helicopters could be seen in static display , The Mi-171sh (222) with KFOR markings, UH-60M “Black Hawk” (231), OH-58D “Kiowa Warrior” (329) and the Bell 206B “Jet Ranger” (604).

There was one international participant in the static display with the Slovenian Army AS-532AL Cougar, also two Orbiter 3b UAS could be seen.

The Flying Display started 15.00 with the Krila Oluje, a solo display of a Zlin Z 242L, a simulation of a CSAR operation that involved a Mi-171 that disembarked some troops and two supporting OH-58D Kiowa Warriors. Than it was time for the highlight of the day a Rafale (150) and a MiG-21bis (116).

The show ended with the display of the Bell 206 Jet Ranger.

Zagreb Airport remained open for civilian traffic during rehearsals and airshow, below you find an overview from arrivals and the civilian planes.

To conclude this small report i would thanks the Croatian Air Force for organizing this very nice event and I also want to thanks 4Aviation for organizing this very nice and relaxing trip to Croatia. Take a look at their website for more upcoming trips on Home - 4Aviation


Text and Photography: Dirk Geuns