|Sometimes it is worth to play with the "what-would-have-happened-if" and "what-it-would-be-now-if" ideas... In the following I invite you to
such a fun of thoughts, to obtain a meant-to-be funny foretaste of the status of the Hungarian Air Force of an alternate universe. My primary goal
is to depict the painting schemes, so neither the aircraft types nor the architecture of the air force have been detailed in this article. However, here is the chance for someone else to
evolve this part as well. Certainly someone can do this more seriously than I did :) |
I also have an other plan, to depict the Hungarian Air Force from 1945 to 2002 provided we get occupied by the Anglo-Saxons insted of the Russians. What aircrafts would we have? What happened if we stood neutral, what if we had joined NATO?
A few words about the translation: the article certainly exhibits, more or less requires a certain Hungarian sense of humour. Alföld (Lowland) is a large geographical section of Hungary, Balaton is a nice lake with a surface of some 600 km2. Duna and Tisza are two main rivers, Mecsek is a mountain, Búvár Kund (Diver Kund) is a historic Hungarian valiant from 1052, who swam below the ships of Henrik the Third and drilled holes in them to make them sink. Pacal, Pörkölt and Gulyás are special Hungarian meals. Fishermen's Bastion is a part of the Castle in Budapest, Chain Bridge is one of the city's seven bridges. Intriguingly HPA refers to Hungarian People's Army...
By 2010 the Hungarian Air Force will be based entirely on Gripen fighters. There are no trainer versions, since the new pilots are cloned from old ones and get trained on simulators. This will ease the procurement of flight suits too, since there will be need for only one size of it only. The first 10 cloned pilots (officially : HPA VGYKSz001-010) will be deployable in 2024.
(VGYKSz stands for Vári Gyula Clone Squadron. Major Gyula Vari is a double winner of RIAT in 1998 and 1999 with the Mig-29 fighter.)
The 24 Gripen-H's have been organized into four regiments by the Air Force. Balaton regiment operates from the Búvár Kund carrier. Its main task is to protect the north-southern part of the country. To fulfill the task of protecting Budapest, Budapest Regiment has been established, operating from Ferihegy Airport. After the bankruptcy of MALÉV in 2007 they don't have to share it with civilian airliners any more. The bankruptcy of MALÉV was induced by cattle-car airlines operating hydroplanes from the Danube, thus sparing even the airport tax. The eastern part of the country is supervised by the Alföld Regiment. They operate from 4 lanes of the M4 highway, which happened to be built with 8 lanes by mistake. The strong Pécs lobby managed to make it through the parliament to possess a fighter regiment, now that they are unapproachable neither by train, nor through water or by roadways. So from now on the Pogany Civil Airport is the home for Mecsek Regiment.
Regiments obtain their names according to their location. During their entitlement the effect on the country's image was also carefully considered. This way the planes which show up often abroad also act as cultural ambassadors. The gorgeous fishes of the lake Balaton are represented by three squadrons of the Balaton Regiment, the Harcsa (Catfish), Ponty (Carp) and the Keszeg (Chub) Squadrons. The ambassador of Hungarian gastronomy is the three Alföld Squadron, Pacal (Tripe), Pörkölt and Gulyás. The squadrons of the Mecsek Regiment call the attention to magnificent Hungarian inventions, the C-vitamin, the Rubik's cube and the H-bomb. The capital is popularized by the Fisher's Bastion, the Chain Bridge and the Blue Danube Squadrons.
The application with a total prize of 1 bn Hungarian Forints set for the design of regimental and squadron insignias withered after the company assigned to conduct it cluelessly disappeared, taking all the money with them. To save the day, the DoD announced a country-wide drawing competition for kindergarten children. The actual squadron and regiment insignias were selected from the best drawings by a jury consisting of retired pilots.
|Balaton Regiment. Stylized blob resembling Balaton.|
Chub Squadron. Stylized outline of a thin fish.
Carp Squadron. Stylized outline of a puffy fish.
Catfish Squadron. Stylized outline of a thin fish with moustache.
|Lowland Regiment. Grayish-beige blob with blue line of river Tisza, as the most typical guise of the Lowland in children's brains.|
Tripe Squadron. A shapeless red blob.
Pörkölt Squadron. A shapeless red blob.
Gulyás Squadron. A shapeless red blob.
Children could not differentiate between these meals!
|Budapest Regiment. A stylized small head with black hairlets, symbolizing the inbound roads and train lines. The hairs are already representing the highways not existing even in their plan state. The round contour of the head symbolizes the motorway ring existing only in the citizen's dreams. This one was very likely drawn by a parent in place of his child.|
Halászbástya Squadron. Stylized Fisherman's Bastion.
Chainbridge Squadron. Stylized Chainbridge.
Blue Danube Squadron. A brown stripe with black lines as bridges. Children could not be pursuaded that the Danube is blue.
|Mecsek Regiment. A pine tree.|
C-vitamin Squadron. Small pink medicine with a letter C.
Rubik's Cube Squadron. A square divided into 9 parts.
Hydrogen-Bomb Squadron. A mushroom cloud.
In 2010 our planes fly with a so-called anti-NATO painting. These are totally different from the colours used by NATO.
The aircrafts of Chub Squadron have Balaton-green painting. This consists of two special colours, which perfectly conform to the greenish-yellow colour of the Balaton (at least according to the manufacturer of the paints). Their official nomenclature is Balaton-Yellow 001 and Balaton-Yellow 002. The colours imitate the shades of the shallow water and the ooze roused by the tripper boats. The Regiment insignia does not appear on the planes. The squadron badge is on the vertical stabilizer. Insignia on all Gripens – contrary to the practice used worldwide – are on the upper right and lower left part of the wings, and on the air intakes on both sides in smaller size. Numbering of the planes is K1 and K2. The register numbers appear in gray colour on the top of the stabilizer and on the top of the left wing.
(Would left be called left instead of port and right called right instread of starboard in a country with no sea, nobody would have make it a mistake every now and again...)
|The two planes of Carp Squadron flies in Balaton deep-blue colour. Deep blue refers to the water level of Balaton, not to the colour of the water. The pattern is similar to that of employed with the Chub Squadron, with only one colour on the surfaces underneath, which is the most characteristic over the lake, factory denominated High Season Blue 0715 (i.e. the most characteristic sky blue on the 15th of July). The colours, Balaton Deep-Blue 420 (that is the blue colour of 420cm deep Balaton) and Balaton Shallow-Blue 10 (that is the colour of 10cm shallow Balaton, it is actually brown). Insignia, like in the case of Chub Squadron. Numbering of planes is Po1 and Po2.|
|The two aircrafts of Catfish Squadron have been painted catfish-gray. The HPA will offer these planes to NATO in case there would be deployment over dark waters. Colours are Catfish Dark Grey (FS36118), Catfish Light Grey (FS 36375), and in an uncommon fashion on the underside a darker colour than the upper camouflaging colour, Catfish Blue (FS 35237). The pattern is quite uncommon too. The insignia badges appear in the usual way, on the upper side of the left and the lower side of the right wings. Numbering of the planes are H1967 and H1968, which is to suggest that we have at least a thousand of such planes, but for real they refer to the year of Gyula Vári's birth and to the year of his first birthday. This is a way the HPA salutes the veteran pilot.|
Tripe Squadron. Acquiescently to its employment territory, the planes of Tripe Squadron were given a desert painting. Despite a lot of protestation remarking that the Lowland is not sandy in colour, moreover it is outright green, the experts of the DoD could not be influenced. The planes received a pale grayish beige colour all over them, and then onto the upper surfaces light green patches have been applied. The colours came with the pastellisation of the standard colours of the eighties-nineties, this way opening the door to using up the ageing green and brown paint stocks. Officially the colours are StB90 and StZ90, these refer to standard brown and standard green. 90 implies to the amount of mixed-in white, which is 90%. Pa1 and Pa2 denominations were applied to the airframes. Squadron insignia were applied on the usual way, onto the vertical stabilizer.
|Pörkölt Squadron. The two aircrafts of the Pörkölt Squadron received nearly the same painting as that of the Tripe Squadron, with the difference that the underside surfaces have been painted light blue. Numbering of the planes is Pö1 and Pö2. Denomination of the blue colour is StK90. In 2009 on one plane a special Highway camouflage painting was tried, imitating the black road by a wide gray stripe with a dashed white line in the middle.|
|Gulyas Squadron. Gulyas Squadron is the aggressor squadron. The aircrafts are repainted on a yearly basis, corresponding to the actual possible enemy. Since Hungary does not have any enemies, these planes become painted in non-existent patterns of non-existent countries and are decorated with insignias not having similarities with any existing ones. In 2007 the foe was FairyLand, so the planes were painted into blue-pink. In 2008 the actual adversary was SantaClausLand, so these planes flew in white-red colour. In 2009 it was the Devil's Empire's turn, so the aircrafts flaunted in black. From 2010 the adversaries became chosen from the animal kingdom. First came ViperaLand, the planes flew with snake pattern painting. Colours were mingled in local shops, so it is impossible to give official colour codes. Numbering of planes are red 1 and 2. There is no distinct insignia for the aggressor Squadron. An Hrrrrr caption on the nose conveys the really brusque nature of these planes.|
Fishermen's Bastion Squadron. Since these planes are meant to protect Budapest, they were camouflaged to adapt the actual terrain, Budapest city. The aircrafts of Fishermen's Bastion Squadron fly with an upper side that features a light gray base with gray and dark-gray patches. Denomination of the painting: Smoggy city showing through patches of clouds. Colours are Cloudgray FSz1, Dark Smoggray SSzSz, and Light Smoggray VSzSz. Ha1 and Ha2 registers have been applied to the aircrafts. Squadron insignia has been painted onto the nose.
These planes sport a painting similar to their brother squadron, but since they are optimized for high-altitude intercept operations, their underside is painted to IndigoBlue IK, the upper surface being painted to Grayish Brown SzB and General Gray ÁSz. L1 and L2 have been painted with gray colour.
|Blue Danube (Kékduna) Squadron. Their primary task is to attack the enemy penetrating over the Danube, so their planes are painted General StreamingWater Blue ÁFVK and Polluted StreamingWater Brown SzFVB. Underside is Light Smoggray VSzSz. Numbering is KD1 and KD2. Squadron insignia is below the cabin.|
C-vitamin Squadron. What else could be the colour of the planes patrolling the skies over the evergreen forests of Mecsek than green? Uniform light green on the underside, medium green with dark green stripes on the upper side. Officially Sky Green ÉZ0, KZ01 and SZ01. On an uncommon way the planes have CV and VC markings. Squadron insignia is on the vertical stabilizer.
Rubik's Cube Squadron. The aircrafts of the Rubik's Cube Squadron flaunt in the colours of autumn. On the underside gray, on the upper side yellow with brown and green blobs. The green patches represent the evergreen pine trees of Mecsek. The paint pattern of the planes adequately hides them over the Baranya forests and meadows from spring till autumn. R1 and R2 markings have been applied. Squadron insignia is on the vertical stabilizer.
|Hydrogen-bomb Squadron. This squadron is optimized for strike missions, capable of taking up international duties. The two aircraft wears the stylish F-16 pattern. Colours are light green and dark green on both upper- and lower side, foolished with black and gray adornment. Paint colours are FS standard FS34151, FS34092, FS37038 and FS36440.|
On airshows pilots drive their planes thorough the runway with open cockpit, clapping a whip over their head. This stunt can be done with the help of a remote controller built into the crop. Of course in these cases they wear herdsman's costume over the flight suit.
|Búvár Kund Aircraft Carrier|
In 2006, on a NATO convention one of the Hungarian generals with scarce English knowledge said a loud yes when the talks were about the propositions of Hungarian units for NATO purposes. Unfortunately the yes was said when the leader of the talks was mentioning aircraft carriers. Regrettably it could not be revoked, so the HPA immediately begun to look for a suitably priced carrier vessel.
|And there they found it, on a Russian scrap yard. The Russians were more than happy to give it against their national debt towards Hungary, they even took on the delivery and installation. On 1st of May, 2007 the vessel was handed over on the Hungarian sea, and was named after Búvár Kund. It even solved the problem with Balatons's water level at one blow. Still, we did not have appropriate aircrafts for it. No problem, the deck has been lengthened to 4 kilometers. This lengthening structure stood on simple steel pillars, making the ship unable to move, not that it was able ever since it sunk into 4 meters deep into the silt yet during its assembly. From this carrier-whatsit Catfish, Carp and Chub Companies become operational in July 2007 with 2-2 Gripens each. The HPA named this weird machinery Permanently Anchored Waterborne Complex Suitable for Launching and Landing Aircraft. Its code is HPA PAWCSLLA 1/2007.|
(Due to the last years heavy drought the lake's water level sank to a really low level, and on account of the global warming the situation does not seem to improve by 2010 either. Hungary contributes to the global effort of reduction of CO2-emission with its humble fighter fleet though...)
In 2010 Hungary does not possess any tanker airplanes, we still can refuel our airborne fighters. This is done with the help of a magnificent invention. On the top of a 400 meters tall tower an arm with a length of 4 km's is attached. A refueling probe can be extended from the end of this arm. This can serve an airplane flying on a circled route. The refueling tower is approached from above in a narrowing spiral route. Getting closer and closer with every turn, upon acquiring the appropriate height and speed, the Gripen's autopilot complemented with the Hungarian-developed Carousel V1.002 software upgrade will be able to maintain required position.
Some help for the modellers:
By Papp Levente
Translation By Tóth Péter