The Vietnam War scene at Aviation Fair 2024

For many years, the combined show formula – when flying performances of historical aircraft are enhanced by simultaneous reenactment displays on the ground, related to era the aeroplane was in regular service – were the main attraction of Aviation Fair (Aviatická pouť) air show.

This year´s edition is going to be no exception. However, this time that display will be exceptionally rare, as the public gathered at Pardubice airfield will have a chance to see a large reenactment scene from the Vietnam War period. The performance will be prepared by military history clubs, led by Milan Vinš.

´It will be a scene from the last years of the Vietnam War, in which the American AH-1 Cobra helicopter will attack the positions of the Viet Cong,´ said Jan Rudzinskyj from the Aviation Fair organization committee. ´Certainly, members of the military history clubs will perform with authentic weapons and uniforms from the era. Acquiring the Viet Cong equipment is often a very difficult task, so there is no wonder that only a small number of reenactors focus on that period. Therefore, we are happy to have such a scene included in this year´s programme of the Aviation Fair,´ emphasized Rudzinskyj.

The Bell AH-1 Cobra is a single-engine attack helicopter, member of the iconic Huey family. The rotorcraft performed its maiden flight on 7th September 1965 and two years later entered active service with the US Army.

Bell AH-1S Cobra

Between 1967 and 1975, the AH-1 helicopters were being used in combat during the Vietnam War. In the following years, the Cobra rotorcraft participated in numerous conflicts all over the world, including Operation Just Cause, the Gulf War, Operation Restore Hope, the 1982 Lebanon War and the UN Operation in Somalia.

In the late 1990s, the AH-1 was succeeded by the AH-1W SuperCobra and then, in the 2020s, by the AH-1Z Viper.

An airworthy example of the Bell AH-1S Cobra is currently being owned by HeliCzech company, based in Hradec Králové. The rotorcraft is a quite frequent participant of Czech aviation events, being an undisputable highlight of any air show it appears at. And exactly this AH-1S will perform during the Vietnam War scene at the 32nd edition of the Aviation Fair.

The upcoming edition of Aviatická pouť air show will take place on 1st and 2nd June 2024, in Pardubice, the Czech Republic. According to the organizers, its flying programme will last over five hours. Please refer to our Aviaticka Pout tag for more information about participants, as well as static and dynamic displays of the show.

Bell AH-1S Cobra