White and Red Sparks.
The traditions of aerobatic flights in the Polish Army date back to the second half of the 20th century, when experienced pilots performed joint acrobatics in air regiments. However, the best known was the Krakow Aerobatic Triangle, with pilot-officers: Jerzy Bajan, Karol Pniak and Stanisław Macek, who also flew PWS-A fighters.
The first aerobatic groups.
After the Second World War, there was a stagnation of several years in the Polish Army. It wasn't until the wave of transformations initiated by the Poznań Uprising that fighter pilots began performing team acrobatics. The first pilot group was formed by pilots from the 1st Fighter Regiment from Mińsk Mazowiecki. The group was led, among others, by major pilot Lucjan Kałkus. The group gave shows at the Rakowice-Czyżyny airport in Kraków or Poznań-Ławica, among others. Also in 1956, groups were formed in the 62nd Fighter Regiment in Krzesiny (lieutenant pilot Czesław Bil, captain pilot Józef Sobieraj), the 41st Fighter Regiment in Malbork (lieutenant pilot Edward Nachman) and the 29th Fighter Regiment in Orneta (captain pilot Franciszek Walenty ). In 1958, a group called "Romb" was created at the Wroclaw-Strachowice airport. The group was headed by major pilot Władysław Hermaszewski. The group gave shows until 1963. At that time, pilots flew mainly on PZL Lim-2 and PZL Lim-5 aircraft.
The PZL Lim-2 Smugacz (Tracer).
It is worth paying attention to the variation of the PZL Lim-2 aircraft called "Smugacz". To increase the attractiveness of air shows, it was decided to use the smoke behind the plane. Initially, smoke candles were used. But the smoke candles worked for a short while, and the candle once used was an unnecessary element. A device had to be developed that would produce smoke exactly when the pilot wanted it.
This device was developed by Lt. Col. MSc. Zenon Klimkowski. The fuel installation of the PZL Lim-2 aircraft was deprived of rear fuel tanks in the fuselage. Two pressure tanks were inserted here. The first was filled with oil and used to obtain white smoke, the second was filled with red emulsion and used to obtain red smoke. Liquids passed through the hoses to the injectors located behind the engine turbine. The liquid supply was enough to produce colored smoke for about 5 minutes, which was sufficient.
The history of the band "Biało-Czerwone Iskry".
In 1964, the first PZL TS-11 Iskra serial aircraft was given to the OSL school in Dęblin. More planes went to school air regiments. The main purpose of the aircraft was and is the initial training of pilots on jet aircraft, training before flights on combat aircraft as well as learning and training in full acrobatics. In 1969, in the 60th Air School Regiment in Radom, a team was formed flying PZL TS-11 Iskra planes. The band received the name "Rombik" because they flew on 4 planes creating a diamond.
The first pilots of the group were: Capt. pil. Janusz Łodziński (leader), Capt. pil. Edmund Wujec (right run), Capt. pil. Kazimierz Kuźniar (left led) and Capt. pil. Jan Karpinski (closing).
In 1991, the band adopted the official name "Spark Aerobatic Team". Also in 1991, PZL TS-11 Iskra planes were modernized, equipped with a world-class radio-navigation system, transponder, ILS and VOR receivers, and painted in national colors according to the design of Lt. Col. pil. Ireneusz Fibinger. The aircraft have the necessary equipment and installation of a smoke generator, which allows you to generate streaks in two colors - red and white. In the place of the dismantled plot, a tank containing 70 liters of smoke-generating liquid was built. Due to the modernization, an additional reduction in the weight of the aircraft was obtained, which results in increased maneuverability. The PZL TS-11 Iskra aircraft (except No. 1, which has a weaker engine) have a more powerful engine: SO-3W with 1,100 KG. The aircraft's fuel system allows a reverse flight of 40 seconds.
The team was developing and by the end of the 90s it was already flying in formation of 9 aircraft.
In March 2000, the team was transferred to Dęblin to the 1st Aviation Training Center, which is an integral part of the Air Force Officers' College.
At that time, the band's name changed to "Biało-Czerwone Iskry". A new logo was also designed, whose graphics refer to national colors.
In 2007, the PZL TS-11 Iskra aircraft No. 1H 0730, in team nb 1, which was piloted by the team commander, ended its service and was transferred by the army to the Polish Aviation Museum in Krakow.
From 2011-01-01, the team "Biało-Czerwone Iskry" is organizationally subject to 42nd School Aviation Base Capt. pil. Franciszek Żwirka and eng. Stanisław Wigura. In 2011, 41 School Aviation Base had 41 PZL TS-11 Iskra aircraft. During this time, 8 aircraft ended their service because they had 35 years of service. The last planes will end their service in 2025. In 2009, the cost of propellants and lubricants for PZL TS-11 Iskra per flight hour (2009) was PLN 1,397.5. Total cost of operation (service, instructor, insurance, depreciation, etc.) per flight hour: PLN 2,740.12.
Composition of the team "Biało-Czerwone Iskry" in 2011: Host major Maj. Pil. Jacek Jaworek, Righteous Major Maj. Pil. Mariusz Szymla, Lewy led Capt. pil. Tomasz Łukaszczuk, Second right run captain Pin. Tomasz Czerwiński, Second left run capt. Mirosław Kopeć, Closing Major Maj. Dariusz Karwowski, Closing officer and individual piloting Capt. Pin. Maciej Kopiel. Commentator of Capt. pil. Paweł Wichowicz.
During this time, the team performs in six, seven or four PZL TS-11 Iskra aircraft. Since 2016, the team of "White-Red Sparks" occurs in a system of six aircraft.
The team, organizational and quantitative composition changed over the years of the team's operation. All team pilots are experienced pilot instructors. Pilots have the highest qualifications and extensive aviation experience. They perform very difficult and dangerous evolutions at trainings and during shows.
The team "Biało-Czerwone Iskry" in the season gives over twenty shows in Poland and abroad. In 2017, the band was in Grace. Previously, there were European countries from the UK to Turkey. These are aerobatic flights and demonstrations. One of the most popular systems is the "Flag", which is performed during flights. The show includes: passing places, departures, mirror flight, reverse run, "heart".
There is no comfort in Poland that the aerobatic team deals only with demonstrations and training their successors. Polish pilots must treat the work in the team "Biało-Czerwone Iskry" as a passion and devote their free time. Therefore, it is difficult to find successors, because local pilots know what is behind it, and pilots from other units have nothing to encourage to work in a team. That is why we surround these pilots with respect and prayer. They are the patrons of the Republic of Poland. The "Biało-Czerwone Iskry" Aerobatic Team is not only pilots, but also service technicians who prepare planes for take-offs. It is thanks to their hard work on the ground that pilots can safely make figures in the air.
In 2019, the composition of the team was as follows: Team Leader Capt. Maciej Kopiel, Left led Major Jacek Jaworek, Right led Capt. Krzysztof Kłaczyński, Second left led Lieutenant Mateusz Kubiak, Second right led and Soloist Lieutenant Marcin Kossakowski, Closing Lieutenant Sylwester Sobótka.
Address: Biało-Czerwone Iskry
41 Baza Lotnictwa Szkolnego ul. Brygady Pościgowej 5 08-521 Dęblin POLAND e-mail: email@example.com
Written by Karol Placha Hetman