Celebration of the 56th Air Base and the 1st Aviation Brigade of the Land Forces - 7th Kuyavian Helicopter Picnic at the airport in Latków.
At the beginning of the article there is a photo report from the celebration of the 56th Air Base in Inowrocław.
Airports in Inowrocław.
At the outset, we must write that Inowrocław has two independent airports. The first airport is located at Szosa Toruńska, within the administrative borders of the City and is owned by Aeroclub Kujawski. EPIN code. The second airport is also located on Szosa Toruńska (National Road No. 25), but further, 5 km from the city center and is the Military Airport, 56th Air Base. Latkowo village.
Airport of the 56th Air Base. EPIR. 1952.
It is not known exactly when the Latkowo Airport near Inowrocław was established. It most likely happened during World War II, when it turned out that the existing airport had too short a landing field. Maximum 800 m. Since the first airport had good facilities and nearby barracks, the new take-off field was organized less than 3,000 m away, in Latkowo. This area has so far been used by artillery troops.
Shortly after the end of World War II, the first airport returned to the hands of civilians. The second airport remained in the hands of the Military Aviation.
The first official host of the airport in 1952 was the 48th Air Assault Regiment, which had just been established. The regiment was equipped with Il-10 piston attack aircraft.
The base for the staff and soldiers became the barracks at Jacewska Street. Barracks at Jacewska Street is one of two barracks complexes in Inowrocław. They were built in the period 1900-1903, by the Prussians, for the formation of field artillery. The barracks complex consisted of two large buildings and several smaller ones. Housed here; staff, guardhouse, barracks rooms, canteen, casino, kitchen, canteen, infirmary, warehouses, stables, armory, workshops. After the Great World War, in 1920, the barracks were occupied by the Polish Uprising Nadgoplański Cavalry Unit, and from 1925 by the 4th Light Artillery Regiment.
Already in the second half of the 50s, the 48th Air Assault Regiment had equipment problems. The Il-10 aircraft and their license versions of the AVIA B.33 no longer corresponded to the modern battlefield. Due to the lack of new constructions, PZL Lim-2 aircraft were introduced in Poland. However, these planes required rather concrete runways, which Latkowo did not have. Therefore, the Regiment was in danger of reforming or disbanding. In 1960, on the basis of the 48th PLSz (which was based not only in Inowrocław, but also in Bydgoszcz), the 20th Artillery Aviation Squadron was formed. The squadron was equipped with SM-1 and SM-2 helicopters and subordinated to the 8th Assault Aviation Division. Major pilot Stefan Różański was appointed the commander of the Squadron. At the end of 1960, the 48th PLSz, as one of the last two, ended the operation of piston-powered aircraft and completely switched to turbojet-powered aircraft. (The second Regiment is the 53rd PLSz.). The 48th PLSz was transferred entirely to Bydgoszcz. In 1967, as a result of the reorganization of the 48th PLM-Sz. was dismantled.
From 1963, Latkowo Airport became a base for military helicopters belonging to the 56th Helicopter Regiment.
Latkowo airport has coordinates; N 52 degrees 49 minutes 40 seconds, E 18 degrees 19 minutes 20 seconds. It lies at an altitude of 77 m above sea level. ICAO Airport Code - EPIR. radio frequencies; INFO 128.500 MHz, TWR 136.650 MHz. The total area of the airport is 192 hectares. For many years, the airport was equipped with a runway measuring 2,300 m x 60 m, with a ground surface, with an orientation of 05/23. Smaller RWY has been maintained for several years. However, currently (2019) there are no aircraft operating at the Airport. The touchdown and take-off plate for helicopters was located next to the runway. It has a concrete surface and dimensions of about 40 m x 40 m. In addition to it, there are two smaller helicopter touchdown pads on the take-off field. They are located closer to the main hangar. They also have a concrete surface and dimensions of about 20 m x 20 m. Taxiways and helicopter stands have a concrete surface. The total length of the taxiways is approximately 3,000 m. The airport has 48 basic stands grouped in three groups of 16 seats each. A third group was formed in recent years. At a considerable distance from the main airport facilities, there are 5 more stands. There are several other stands at the airport. The airport has no woodland, so there are no isolated staging areas. There are also no hangar shelters at the airport. They are redundant, because in a conflict situation, combat helicopters will be the first to go into battle.
In recent years, the 56th Base has undergone a major expansion. Several new facilities were built and the older ones were renovated. Three new steel hangars were erected, plus two light-type hangars. A new air traffic control tower with a pilot's cabin was built. A new airport fire station was built. The parking planes and taxiways were repaired, and new ones were built. A new fence has been erected.
56 The base is ready to accept new combat helicopters, for which a tender is currently underway in Poland. They will replace the Mil Mi-24 helicopters, which have not been equipped with guided missiles for several years.
Celebration of the 56th Air Base - 7th Kuyavian Helicopter Picnic at the airport in Latków.
On May 18, 2019, the celebration of the 56th Air Base in Inowrocław under the name of the 7th Kujawy Helicopter Picnic took place at Latkowo Airport. The first helicopter picnic took place in 2013. It is worth knowing that the 56th Air Base is the oldest helicopter unit in Poland. This year marks the 56th anniversary of the establishment of the helicopter unit in Latków. The branch's holiday falls on May 18 and refers to the date of the first organizational order of the commander of the 56th Helicopter Regiment on May 18, 1963. The holiday of the 56th Base is connected with the holiday of the 1st Land Forces Aviation Brigade.
The celebration of the holiday began on May 17, 2019, when the Holy Mass was celebrated in the garrison church and a concert was held.
On May 18, 2019, at 09:00, the airport gates were opened for guests. Free entrance. Parking for private cars has been organized in two places of the take-off field. At 10:00 a.m. the solemn collection began. The appeal was led by the Commander of the 1st BLWL, Colonel pil. Slawomir Mąkosa. Promotions, medals, distinctions and awards were given to soldiers and civilian employees, thanking them for their service so far. The roll call ended with a parade of subunits.
A show in the air.
From 12:00 to 14:00 there were flying shows. There was a flight of a formation of helicopters: two PZL Mi-2 helicopters, two PZL W-3 Sokół and two Mil Mi-24 helicopters. There was a parachute jumper with the Polish Flag. The Tercel gyrocopter from the Pomeranian Aeroclub in Toruń was also in the air. The White Red Iskra team presented itself with six TS-11 Iskra aircraft. A demonstration of tactical operations was also prepared - a CSAR combat search and rescue mission performed by two W-3 PL "Głuszec" helicopters and two Mi-24 helicopters from 56 BLot Inowrocław. In the demonstration of tactical operations - air assault operations, we saw two W-3 and two Mi-8 helicopters. There was an individual show of Mil Mi-24. C-130 Hercules and PZL M-28 were in the flights. An important point of the show was the dynamic display of the Su-22 nb 8309 aircraft from Świdwin.
On the stand.
The static display was dominated by two USAF helicopters: a Black Hawk in a medical version and a Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. The same machines could be seen the day before in Powidz. The basic helicopter in the 56th Base is the PZL Mi-2, which is why many copies of these aircraft could be seen, mainly in the armed version.
PZL W-3 Głuszec, Mil Mi-24 and Mil Mi-17 helicopters were very popular. Especially the latter was a big attraction, because it is a copy of the so-called "Red", i.e. used in combat in Afghanistan. This helicopter has an M134 Minigun propulsion cannon mounted in the rear part of the cargo hold.
ROSOMAK armored personnel carriers, Rosomak version with a 30 mm cannon, BWP-1, AWD artillery command vehicle, WR-40 Langusta, M-120 K RAK self-propelled mortar, DANA 152 mm gun-howitzer, mine clearing partol with 2 pinz Inowrocław, and equipment United States Army.
1 Land Forces Aviation Brigade.
The 1st Aviation Brigade of the Land Forces was established pursuant to the Decision of the Minister of National Defense PF-68/Org./SSG/ZOiU-P1 on the implementation of projects enabling the formation of the 1st BLWL Command and is subordinated to the General Commander of the Armed Forces. The command and headquarters of the brigade are located in Inowrocław. The 1st BLWL includes: 49th Air Base in Pruszcz Gdański, 56th Air Base in Inowrocław, Central Group of Tactical Air Area Control Teams.
The commander of the 1st Aviation Brigade of the Land Forces is Col. pilot Sławomir Mąkosa. The equipment of the 1st BLWL includes, among others, Mil Mi-24 helicopters in W and D versions, PZL Mi-2 helicopters in various versions, and PZL W-3PL "Głuszec" helicopters.
The 1st Air Force Brigade of the Land Forces is intended to support tactical units and units (sub-units) on the battlefield, to secure command, carry out transport and liaison tasks, reconnaissance, correct artillery fire, secure the redeployment of long-range reconnaissance groups and special groups, and conduct combat search and rescue operations in all weather conditions day and night.
M134 Minigun Propulsion Rifle.
It is worth writing a few sentences about the M134 Minigun, which fires 7.62 x 51 mm NATO standard ammunition.
The General Electric M134 Minigun is a 6-barrel machine gun in the Gatling system, designed for the US Army during the Vietnam War in 1962. It was based on the M61 Vulcan cannon, which is used in combat aircraft. There are many versions that differ primarily in the rate of fire and drive (electric, hydraulic or pneumatic). It is used as an on-board machine gun mounted in the doors of such helicopters as the UH-1 Iroquois, UH-60 Black Hawk or Polish Mil Mi-17 combat helicopters. The maximum rate of fire is 6,000 rounds per minute. For comparison, the conventional PKM machine gun used by the Polish Army (7.62 x 54 ammunition) has a theoretical rate of fire of up to 650 rounds per minute. By default, the rifle is set at 2,000 or 4,000 rounds per minute. Effective fire up to 1,200 m. The weight of the rifle is about 19 kilograms. Length about 0.90 m. The weapon is equipped with a bundle of 6 barrels, the rotation of which provides cooling necessary for safe operation. Barrel durability up to 33,000 shots.
In 2013, the Polish Army received 10 General Electric M134 Minigun rifles in the G version. The rifles were mounted on Mil Mi-17 helicopters that fought in Afghanistan. The rifles were manufactured by Garwood Industries/Profense.
Written by Karol Placha Hetman