CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Belgrade Aviation Museum

Just a short walk from the capital's airport, the Belgrade Aviation Museum is housed in a massively cool building designed by Bosnian architect Ivan Straus.

For the full story behind this tour, check out From Yaks to MiGs: The fascinating Belgrade Aviation Museum.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
1
of 49

In the round

The main floor of the museum. Above, a shot-down Predator drone.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
2
of 49

Orao

One of the several Yugoslav-designed aircraft on display at the museum. This was the prototype Soko J-22 Orao, a type of aircraft still in use by the Serbian and Bosnian air forces.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
3
of 49

Second floor

The second floor of the museum was mostly exhibits on the history of flight in Serbia and Yugoslavia.

Normally I like to keep the photos going in a fairly linear fashion, but the unique design of this museum affords better views of the main planes, so I'll be bouncing back and forth a bit when the shot demands it.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
4
of 49

Early days

This is a Yugoslavian Zmaj Fizir FN, used as a trainer before WWII. Even though it was largely made of wood, it was used well into the '50s.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
5
of 49

109

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-2. Nearly every air museum has one of these. This one, however, is one of only two "G-2" variants left, and was used by the Yugoslav Air Force (YAF) until 1952.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
6
of 49

Hurricane

The Hawker Hurricane, but instead of being one of the famous heroes of the Battle of Britain, this one was flown by the YAF until 1952.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
7
of 49

Spitfire

Here's the Supermarine Spitfire, another staple of air museums. But yep, you guessed, this was also flown by the YAF.

Yep, you read that right: The YAF was flying Messerschmitts, Hurricanes, and Spitfires all at the same time.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
8
of 49

Hot rod

Small and light with a big engine, the Yak-3 was fast and maneuverable.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
9
of 49

Il-2

This is the Ilyushin Il-2. Though it looks to be the same size as the previous fighters, this ground attack plane is a lot larger. This one was flown by the YAF until 1955.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
10
of 49

M3

This was the M3 variant, which had a rear-firing gunner and swept-back wings.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
11
of 49

Ikarus

Along with aircraft from Britain, Germany and Russia, the Yugoslavs also had their own aircraft industry. This is an S-49C by the company Ikarus.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
12
of 49

S-49C

Developed after WWII, the S-49C had a French-made V-12. They were in use until the early '60s.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
13
of 49

522

Another Yugoslav aircraft, the Soko 522, was a trainer and intended for light attack roles.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
14
of 49

Vihor

The only surviving example of the Utva 213 Vihor, a Yugoslav trainer.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
15
of 49

F-80/T-33

Based on the F-80, this T-33 trainer was converted to a reconnaissance aircraft for use by the YAF.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
16
of 49

Thunderjet

Here's a Republic F-84 "Thunderjet." These joined the YAF in the early '50s, replacing the WWII-era propeller aircraft. This one was later converted to a reconnaissance plane.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
17
of 49

Sabre Dog

A North American F-86D "Sabre Dog," which only shared some parts and pieces with the F-86 on which it was based. Like the F-84, this was one of the early jets flown by the YAF.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
18
of 49

Rockets

No guns on the F-86D, just this retractable tray that shot 24 "Mighty Mouse" rockets.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
19
of 49

Sikorsky S-55

Though designed by Sikorsky (and called the H-19 by the USAF), this one and several others were built under licence by Soko in Yugoslavia.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
20
of 49

That will buff out

A near miss (or near hit) of a Stinger missile on the rear of a Soko G-4. The pilot landed safely.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
21
of 49

Gnat

The tiny, tiny, appropriately named Folland Gnat. Though sold in great numbers to other countries (including India), only two test examples came to Yugoslavia. One crashed. The YAF decided they were too expensive to manufacture and passed on a larger order.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
22
of 49

Drone

The remains of a Predator drone, shot down during the Yugoslav wars in the '90s.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
23
of 49

Stealth

The canopy of "Something Wicked," an F-117 shot down over Serbia.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
24
of 49

451

Certainly one of the stranger aircraft I've ever seen, this is an Ikarus 451, part of a family of research aircraft. The pilot was in the prone position. This gave me a stiff neck just thinking about it.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
25
of 49

451M

A further development of the previous 451, this ditched the weird pilot orientation and added small turbojets.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
26
of 49

451MM

And a still further development, this is the 451MM, with more powerful engines, weapons, and a different landing-gear design. Intended to be the production version, only this prototype was built.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
27
of 49

J-20

A Yugoslav designed and built Soko J-20. Though a prop plane, it entered service in 1962 and flew until the '80s.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
28
of 49

Not a T-80

Though it looks like a T-80, this is actually a Soko G-2 "Galeb." This specific plane was in service for 20 years and had nearly 10,000 flights.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
29
of 49

Sikorsky-Westland

A Sikorsky-designed, Westland-built WS-51 helicopter, used by the YAF until 1974.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
30
of 49

MiG!

A MiG-21 used by the YAF from 1964 to 1981.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
31
of 49

That nose

This is the "F" variant. I love how so many jets of this era had massive air intakes in front. Gaping maws.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
32
of 49

Curvy

This shot and the previous one give you a better sense of how incredible the building is.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
33
of 49

Lonely Yak

As if flying German and British planes wasn't enough, the YAF also flew Russian aircraft. This is the only complete original Yak-3 left in the world.

Published:Caption:
34
of 49

Graveyard

This side of the grounds isn't the musuem's at all. It's storage for the Serbian Air Force.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
35
of 49

MiG?

While the far side of the museum is Serbian Air Force storage, the area behind is for the museum.

This looks to me like a wood-frame, full-size mock-up of a MiG-29, does it not?

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
36
of 49

Short!

This was unexpected. A Short Sealand, one of only three remaining in the world.

The Solent Sky museum has its big brother, the Sandringham.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
37
of 49

Fishbed

The MiG-21R "Fishbed." There wasn't any info with this one, but I believe it was one of the ones from the Yugoslav (and later Serbian) Air Force.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
38
of 49

Basement access

Part of the museum's basement is under the main entranceway. Wish I'd been able to explore more.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
39
of 49

Hound

A Mil Mi-4 "Hound" used by the YAF in the '60s but retired in 1977.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
40
of 49

Kamov

Coaxial rotor helicopter! I've never seen one of these in person -- fascinating. Kamov is one of the only companies to make this type of helicopter in large numbers. The rotor hub needs be super-complex in order to ditch the tail rotor of "traditional" helicopters. This is a Ka-25.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
41
of 49

Junkers

This JAT Airline Ju 52/3m was built in France, and after the BMW engines died, they got American Pratt and Whitney R 1340s.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
42
of 49

Il-14

An Ilyushin Il-14, but not just any Il-14. This plane was presented to Yugoslav President Tito by Nikita Khrushchev after the two countries patched up relations following Stalin's death.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
43
of 49

Ka-28PL

The other Kamov, this time the export version of the later Ka-27, the 28PL.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
44
of 49

Mini torpedo

Small, but rocket powered!

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
45
of 49

Cockpit

A look through dirt-caked windows at the cockpit of the Ka-28PL.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
46
of 49

Mil Mi-8

This Mi-8 served in the Yugoslav Air Force and flew itself here, landing at this spot to stay.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
47
of 49

Window washer

I'd thought the stairs and scaffolding was part of building, but when I looked closer I saw it was on rails. It's a window washer!

Also, a cameo by yours truely in the reflection.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
48
of 49

C-47

We end this tour with this well-worn C-47. There's a sad grace in the decay.

(It's another from my Instagram if you're curious).

For the full story behind this tour, check out From Yaks to Migs: The fascinating aircraft of the Belgrade Aviation Museum.

Published:Caption:Photo:Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
49
of 49
Up Next

Cameras that make great holiday gifts for 2018