IN LATE October, two exhibits were added to the exhibition on “presidential” aeroplanes in the Aviation Museum, which is a part of the Slovak Technical Museum (STM) in Košice, the SITA newswire wrote.
The first, a Saab Draken, was donated at the request of former Slovak president Rudolf Schuster, who attended an official handing-over ceremony with Austrian Ambassador Helmut Wessely and Eugen Labanič, head of the museum.
The plane has a wing span of 9.4 metres and is 15.35 metres long. Its maximum take-off weight is 12,500 kilograms and it can reach a maximum speed of 2,125 kilometres per hour.
The museum received the second plane, an Antonov AN-2, from Ukraine, which handed it over to consul Stanislav Obický. The Antonov has a wing span of 18.18 metres and is 12.74 metres long. Its maximum take-off weight is 5,500 kilograms. It can reach a maximum speed of 300 kilometres per hour and has a flying range of 900 kilometres.
“We had to wait a while for the planes, but we are happy that they will be enriching the collection,” Labanič said.
Former president Schuster revealed that the next planes to enlarge the collection will be from northern countries, as well as the former Yugoslavia and Great Britain.
“I would be happy if the British donated a Harrier, but this is too modern a plane, so we will probably not get it soon,” Schuster said.
He added that he had asked Queen Elisabeth II for assistance.
Schuster founded the Aviation Museum during his term in office.
Its collection includes 18 planes from heads of state and state representatives from countries such as the USA, China and Russia.
17. Nov 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Jana Liptáková from press reports