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Thread: Baghdad Historic Aircraft Parks - Photos

  1. #1
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    Baghdad Historic Aircraft Parks - Photos

    As promised, the photos of the air parks are attached below.

    This first lot are located near the Tomb of The Unknown Warrior (near the Air Force part of the Memorial). The area is getting overgrown now but the exhibits looked as if they were cared for until fairly recently. Unfortunately there are some panels missing which won't help things in the rainy season. If the photos taken on the ground look a bit 'cloak and dagger', it's because as I advanced through the scrub I realised I might be standing in a minefield. My mates in the van had the same thought! So I took photos from where I stood. The ones from the air were taken on a one-pass opportunity.
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  2. #2
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    The Other Place

    Further up the road (on about 290 by a few Kms) is this gem. Located on the southern side of a disused airfield (Saddam's private strip perhaps?) is this circular collection of historics. Interestingly the nearby buildings nearby appear to be still occupied. I am guessing that the main building was the indoor part of the museum. Thankfully, the old entrance appears to have been walled over so deterring looters. The Fury's canopy appears to be missing and there are obvious signs of wear on a number of types. Pity about the burnt out helo (Bell 47?). I've also attached a pic of the Tomb from the first batch - you can see the Air Park in the distance. Should be easy to see on GE.

    Sorry they're all so similar, but again, it was a one-pass photo opportunity (after much persuasion) with NO orbiting!
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    Last edited by Seafuryfan; 20th November 2006 at 18:08.

  3. #3
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    Looks like a Piston Provost in the last batch! Devotion beyond the call of duty for the forum! Cheers !

  4. #4
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    Good to have an 'Ops Normal' from you SFF!

    good work!
    J Atkins - A PPL once More!



    Are you an Aero-ist? Then fly with style at www.aero-ist.co.uk

  5. #5
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    This are simply amazing SFF! A great coup to find this collection. What did you take these from? It looks like there is guard standing there, so perhaps someone could get you escorted there to shoot each aircraft on the ground.
    Adrian

  6. #6
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    shoot each aircraft on the ground.
    There's quite enough of that malarkey already!

    Great shots, I'm off to GE for a shifty in the vertical.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALBERT ROSS
    This are simply amazing SFF! A great coup to find this collection. What did you take these from? It looks like there is guard standing there, so perhaps someone could get you escorted there to shoot each aircraft on the ground.
    Classic Wings Vol.6 No.3 (1999) has an article on the museum with close up ground taken photos. Looks like the Vampire is missing in the above shots?

    Dave

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    Re Iraqi preserved aircraft.

    An interesting thought - if these were discovered during the 1991 Gulf War, would they be regarded as being 'war booty' that could be liberated to the Coalition Forces' countries? The USA has several former Iraqi AF types and I wonder what has happened to all those MiGs they discovered buried in the sand, not to mention the Fury ISS on the roundabout and the Iraqi Twin Pioneer at Baghdad Airport? Nothing more has been heard of them, so have they just been 'dumped'? As the Coalition Forces are attempting to stabalise and rebuild the country, will these collections remain there to rot or be 'acquired' by more caring US and European museums?
    Adrian

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the replies, all. Hi Wessex Boy! I'll PM you mate.

    Albert, I'm really hoping that the situation in Iraq will stabilise enough to help save these aircraft in situ. Looking from above, although the city looks in one piece there are truly terrifying things happening on the ground there every day. Let's hope the country can get sorted out soon.

    Meanwhile I'm sure that the curators (if they're anything like us) will fight tooth and nail to protect what they've been passionate about for all these years. I was very unhappy when I saw a crated (by the Coalition Forces) Iraqi Fury a while ago, and personally believe that these aircraft belong to the Iraqis.

  10. #10
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    I don't know if the burnt out wreck is a Bell 47 There is not enough to see...and in one shot it looks like it has a multiple blade rotor head rather than the two blade Bell unit. Besides, I don't know what one would be doing there with Iraq's long history of UK and later Russian/Soviet Block equipment.
    Could it be a Skeeter or Sycamore?

    Also, that looks like a wingless Cessna Bird Dog...I don't know what one of those would be doing there either (unless a gift from someone...but they were rather rare in the mid-east).
    Last edited by J Boyle; 22nd November 2006 at 13:45.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Boyle
    I don't know if the burnt out wreck is a Bell 47 There is not enough to see...and in one shot it looks like it has a multiple blade rotor head rather than the two blade Bell unit. Besides, I don't know what one would be doing there with Iraq's long history of UK and later Russian/Soviet Block equipment.
    Could it be a Skeeter or Sycamore?

    Also, that looks like a wingless Cessna Bird Dog...I don't know what one of those would be doing there either (unless a gift from someone...but they were rather rare in the mid-east).
    You are right first time, it's definately a Bell 47G. When you say' one shot looks like it has a multiple blade rotor', I think what you are seeing is the tail rotor of the Mil Mi-4 beside it. The only country I think it could have come from is South Yemen? Also, I would agree that your other query definately appears to be a wingless Cessna Bird Dog. This could have come from almost anywhere? Another one that puzzles me is the Piaggio P.166 in the foreground. Where did that come from, other that Italy?
    Last edited by ALBERT ROSS; 22nd November 2006 at 14:42.
    Adrian

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seafuryfan View Post
    Further up the road (on about 290 by a few Kms) is this gem. Located on the southern side of a disused airfield (Saddam's private strip perhaps?) is this circular collection of historics. Interestingly the nearby buildings nearby appear to be still occupied. I am guessing that the main building was the indoor part of the museum. Thankfully, the old entrance appears to have been walled over so deterring looters. The Fury's canopy appears to be missing and there are obvious signs of wear on a number of types. Pity about the burnt out helo (Bell 47?).
    These aircraft are shown in the "Classic Wings Downunder" magazine from 1999, in 7 ground photos but these were taken when these aircraft were at the Al Abied Racing Circuit. They were obviously moved to Muthenna Airfield at a later date. See Google Earth coordinates 33° 20' 01.41" N, 44° 21' 17.33" E. The runway is cratered and the airfield is disused. There is a berm or blast wall built across the Northern part of the runway too.

    Incidentally, The Hawker Fury was repainted in incorrect camouflage and a serial was not applied, in 1999 it did have a canopy but it was crazed and open, the MiG 21 has 706 nose ident. The missing Vampire is a rotting T.55 (unidentified) and there is a Venom FB.Mk.50 with the serial 370 and with tip tanks removed. There is an AN2 serial 522 and what looks like a MiG 17 with serial 457 and two other MiG 17's with 671 and 541. There are photos showing the Westland-Sikorsky WS-58 Wessex 52 and Mil Mi-4 with a Piaggio P.166DL2, a Cessna L-19 Bird Dog (with wings on) and Percival Piston Provost, none of which have, at least in the photos, visible serials.

    Unfortunately the photos do not show the serial of the Hunter,which is my area of interest.

    Is there anyone who knows what this is or has access to find out? A airframe serial would suffice but if the construction number could be read in the port wheel bay, that would definately be the icing on the cake.

    David Griffin
    Last edited by rafohunter; 3rd July 2007 at 00:13.

  13. #13
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    Hi David, sorry but I smiled grimly when reading your enquiry seeking access to the Hunter by someone. This collection is in the 'International Zone' i.e. outside the Green Zone.

    When I asked my host on the ground about lending him my camera so he could take photos of the collection for me, he just laughed. People are getting kidnapped and killed from inside the Green Zone so the International zone is unthinkable unless you are on an op.

    Sorry to sound so gloomy but the situation is even worse now than last last September.

    BTW, thanks for filling in with so much info

  14. #14
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    Thumbs up Top stuff

    Very interesting stuff there Seafuryf mate!

    Thank's just so much for bringin them to us all here.
    Cheer's all far and WIDE!! , Tally Ho from Phil in Oz!

    WHAT GOE'S UP MUST COME DOWN

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seafuryfan View Post
    Hi David, sorry but I smiled grimly when reading your enquiry seeking access to the Hunter by someone. This collection is in the 'International Zone' i.e. outside the Green Zone.

    When I asked my host on the ground about lending him my camera so he could take photos of the collection for me, he just laughed. People are getting kidnapped and killed from inside the Green Zone so the International zone is unthinkable unless you are on an op.

    Sorry to sound so gloomy but the situation is even worse now than last last September.

    BTW, thanks for filling in with so much info
    Thanks anyway. I'm hearing just how difficult things are over there, I spent 21 years with the military in the Theatre from '79 to '99 and again in '02-'03, but further back from the immediate area first in Oman and then Qatar. I am also in the Ft.Lewis area and see and hear the memorials on a monthly basis. Tragic.

    Should there ever be the opportunity you had previously with a flyby, I would love the information, but its not worth ANYONE taking a risk on it. It's a shame that Google Earth isn't High Definition; and I would love a few minutes access on the Military Satelite Recon. system!!!!

    Even the 1999 article states that the photographer wanted to remain anonymous!!!

    Take care over there, SFF and all of you! Good Luck.

    David

  16. #16
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    Baghdad Fury

    Quote Originally Posted by rafohunter View Post
    Incidentally, The Hawker Fury was repainted in incorrect camouflage and a serial was not applied, in 1999 it did have a canopy but it was crazed and open.......
    What makes you think the camouflage is incorrect? Just curious......

    Paul

  17. #17
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    Fury camouflage

    Quote Originally Posted by pstrany View Post
    What makes you think the camouflage is incorrect? Just curious......

    Paul
    Paul

    I'm no expert on the Fury, even if it is a Hawker product, but from what I see in photos and diagrams, the camouflage pattern isn't quite right for the aircraft.

    I am probably wrong but weren't the Furies painted in Sand / Stone / azure camouflage, not like this one in sand / light green / pale blue (almost a Soviet scheme) with royal blue spinner? No markings are visible, just the national insignia.

    Anyway, the magazine article in 'Classic Wings Downunder' stated that the camo was incorrect.

    The photo is from 'Classic Wings Downunder, Vol.6 No.3, June/July 1999' by 'Classic Wings Downunder Ltd. NZ. but the photographer wished to remain anonymous.

    David
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seafuryfan View Post
    Further up the road (on about 290 by a few Kms) is this gem. Located on the southern side of a disused airfield (Saddam's private strip perhaps?) is this circular collection of historics. Interestingly the nearby buildings nearby appear to be still occupied. I am guessing that the main building was the indoor part of the museum. Thankfully, the old entrance appears to have been walled over so deterring looters. Should be easy to see on GE.

    Sorry they're all so similar, but again, it was a one-pass photo opportunity (after much persuasion) with NO orbiting!
    SFF

    Going by GE, the fifth image of Muthanna shows that you were at about 125 feet altitude facing due East. That is some achievement to persuade a pilot to make a slow pass at that height over that area!

    The strip wasn't Saddams private strip, at least not recently in the past 15 years or so, despite its proximity to some state building complexes.

    David

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rafohunter View Post
    I'm no expert on the Fury, even if it is a Hawker product, but from what I see in photos and diagrams, the camouflage pattern isn't quite right for the aircraft.

    I am probably wrong but weren't the Furies painted in Sand / Stone / azure camouflage, not like this one in sand / light green / pale blue (almost a Soviet scheme) with royal blue spinner? No markings are visible, just the national insignia.
    Hi David;

    Not a flame, just my curiosity. I've read that the "Baghdad Furies" were in sand and stone, but I've also read from many sources that Egyptian Spitfires were sand and stone as well, but Egyptian sources mention them as being in Ocean Gray/Dark Green uppers, with medium sea gray undersurfaces. Given the high contrast of upper surface colors in B&W photos of the Spitfires, I would tend to think the Egyptian sources were correct (and would also explain the confusion between British, Israeli and Egyptian Spits in the '48 War.) This would also call into question the "Baghdad Furies" as well, though the contrast between upper surface colors is not as pronounced in period B&W photos, I can't help but wonder if there is a factual basis for the assertion that the upper surface colors were sand and stone, or if it is just an assumption made because the aircraft were shipped to the Middle East.
    I do agree that just because someone somewhere painted an aircraft a certain color at some point doesn't automatically follow that they knew what they were doing (and I doubt that paint is 40 years old) and those colors may well BE wrong, I am more interested in the basis for the assertion that the originals would be sand and stone, as opposed to gray/green or brown/green (as cited, the British didn't always deliver aircraft in an "appropriate" color scheme.....)

    Paul

  20. #20
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    Well Shut My Mouth......

    Hmmmm, sometimes I wish I read everything before I spoke. Toward the bottom of this thread, at least it would seem some saw service in sand and stone.......

    http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/sho...ght=malta+iraq



    Paul

  21. #21
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    Been folowing this interesting thread for a while now and finally dropped in on the co-ords via G/E of the Bagdad component and my comment is either someone is deftly airbrushing the A/C out of shot or they have been moved with only seven visible currently, anyone have an update on the current status of this collection at all??
    Perfection is a lot of little things done well.

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