runway: 09/27 - 2500x80m - concrete
Milovice airfield (czech: letiště Milovice , also known as letiště Milovice-Mladá, Flugplatz Milowit and letiště Boží Dar, ICAO: xxxx) was an airfield 30 kilometers northeast of Prague.
I could not trace when the airfield was built, but a German airfield existed on the long time military exercise grounds in 1945. After the war it became the first airfield in Czechoslovakia with a hardened runway.
Czech units stationed at the airfield between 1950 and 1968 were:
5th Fighter Regiment, from June 1951 - May 1952.
8th Fighter Regiment, from June 1951 - May 1952.
1st Fighter Regiment, from July 1951 - May 1952.
11th Fighter Regiment, from October 1951 - December 1951.
9th Fighter Regiment, from June 1952 - August 1952.
51th Fighter Regiment, from August 1952 - August 1953.
7th Fighter Regiment, from October 1953 - October 1954.
2nd Fighter Regiment, from August 1953 - October 1954.
6th Fighter Regiment, from October 1953 - October 1954.
47th Air Reconnaissance Regiment, from October 1954 - September 1968.
17th Fighter Regiment, from November 1954 - October 1955.
29th Bomber Regiment, from October 1955 - August 1958.
1960s plan of the airfield, showing a runway of 2500x80 meters (valka.cz).
On the evening of 20 August 1968 the airfield saw two Soviet An-22 arriving. Twenty five civilians descended from the aircraft and had a long talk with the Czechoslovak base commander. Two more An-22 arrived just after midnight, this time carrying armed soldiers who began to secure the airfield. Aircraft flying from the airfield on a night training mission were ordered to land immediately. At 1:20 the Czechoslovak men at the airfield heard the thundering sounds of Il-18, An-12 and MiG-21 fighters heading for Prague.
Czechoslovakian soldiers reacted with tears in their eyes; they were witnessing the invasion and occupation by what were supposed to be their allies. An hour later they heard aircraft circling the airfield, but as they were ordered not to cooperate in any way, they left the landing lights off and the airfield remained blacked out. Around dawn the first Soviet tanks appeared at the edge of the airfield, and by 7 AM the Soviet forces had arrived in numbers.
The Czechoslovak soldiers knew they were outclassed: while their allies in the German Democratic Republic had been given first line weaponry and aircraft, the Czech had for years only been provided with second line equipment: old MiG-15s and -19s. Soviet MiG-21 'Fishbeds' soon began landing at the airfield.
A funny incident happened during the invasion: A Tu-114 with the Soviet General staff that landed at the airport could not be serviced. The aircraft was too large for any of the available stairs and ultimately one had to be improvised with a truck and two ladders. Surely the generals had anticipated a more dignified way of getting on the platform.
After the Prague Spring of 1968 Czechoslovakia became effectively occupied by the Soviets. In September 1968 the Czechoslovak Air Force was ordered off Boží Dar (meaning 'God's Gift' in Czech) airfield. The Soviet Armed Forces took control of the airfield and the surrounding military area and modernised it. They also stationed a Regiment of fighters at the airfield. Over time the airfield was used by MiG-21 'Fishbeds' and later MiG-23M and -UB 'Floggers'. By 1990 the airfield was operating MiG-29A and -UB 'Fulcrums' of the 114th Talinn Guard Fighter Aviation Regiment.
After the Velvet Revolution and the end of the Cold War the Soviets withdrew from the airfield on 21 January 1991.
Soviet MiG-23 pilots discussing a mission near their aircraft at Milovice in 1982 (fortifikace.net).
MiG-29 'Fulcrum' Red01 and Red03 of 114 IAP at Milovice in 1989. Conversion to the MiG-29 had started in the late 1980s, and was not yet completed by the time the Soviets left in 1991 (Sovetskij Soldat, via valka.cz).
A MiG-23 departing Milovice for the Soviet Union in 1990 (www.milovky.estranky.cz)
Milovice control tower ca. 1990 (www.milovky.estranky.cz).
Milovice air base in August 1991 (fortifikace.net).
For a while the Skoda car factory used the airfield as a storage area for unsold cars. In 1995 the military area was stricken, making the entire area open for the public. Over the last decade it has been used for motorsport events and rock concerts. In 2008 a plan was launched for the reopening of the airfield as a transport hub. The European economic crisis has so far prevented the implementation of such plans. In 2009 the airfield was used for the filming of the Lucasfilm movie "Red Tails".
The abandoned airfield in 2004 (Google Earth).
The airfield was the stage for a car tuning event in 2008 (raja.blog.cz).
The abandoned tower of Milovice in 2009
Photos and short flying videos taken during the filming of "Red Tails" at Milovice airfield in 2009.
In December 2015 photos were shot at the airfield that show Hardened Aircraft Shelters being demolished (Aeternitas Photography)
Same visit in December 2015 (Aeternitas Photography)