Hong-5 in Romania

The Fortele Aeriene Romane operated the Chinese built Hong-5 as a recce-, bomber- and targettowing-aircraft between 1971 and 2001. The loss of the two 'best' examples in the fleet in less than a year meant the end of one of the most impressive aircraft in the inventory of the Romanian Airforce. The people lucky enough to see them fly will never forget the sight and sound!

The Escadrile 38 Aviatie Cercetare has been based at 'aerodromul' Borcea-Fetesti since the late fifties. In 2000 the unit was reformed into the 862 squadron under the Grupul 86. The demise of the Hong-5 in FAR-service has led to the disbandment of this squadron. The remaining Hong-5s at Borcea will be transported to Craiova for storage. Hopefully all of them will be preserved at various locations throughout Romania instead of ending up as scrapmetal.

It is a pity these aircraft didn't make it into NATO-service with Romania's airforce.

Four H-5s were delivered in 1971 (numbers 307 - 310). These were followed by eight more around 1974 (numbers 701, 703, 704 and 706 - 710). The two HJ-5 traineraircraft were delivered in 1979 (numbers 407 & 408). The unit also had two original UIl-28 trainers until the late eighties. Four Hongs were lost in accidents; 710 crashed during an acceptance-flight from Bacau in 1985 while 701 crashed in May of 1991. On August 2, 2000 H-5 307 was lost during landing at Borcea-Fetesti. On July 21, 2001 aircraft 310, recently refurbished at Aerostar Bacau, was lost in a similar accident to that of #307.

Hong-5 pictures (three new ones added 2 June 2002):

307 308 309 310 701 703 704 706 707 708 709 710 407 408

Remaining questions:

-exact dates of delivery of the Hong-5 fleet?

-Chinese serialnumbers of these aircraft?

-crashinfo of 701 and 710 (exact date, location, cause, fate of crew etc etc)?

-other Hong-5 or IL-28 info (also relating to other airforces) welcomed at the e-mail address below!

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©Robin Polderman 2002/updated 2 June 2002