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Romanian Air Force - Forţele Aeriene Române
Bacău Air Base
(Baza Aeriană 95)
July 2006
Romania's Aviation Training Centre was formed in 1920 at Tecuci. By 1945 and after further reorganisation the centre was split between Medias, Tecuci and Buzau, but was later disbanded in 1953. However in 1968 the Air Training Centre was set up again this time at Bacău. From this time student pilots were trained on flying and navigation on the MiG-21. Following further reorganisation Bacău  on August 25, 1995 became the 95th Air Base and the home of the 95th Fighter Group. Aerostar who were responsible for the upgrading and flight testing of some of Romania's fleet of MiG-21s known as the LanceR were also located here. Between May 1, 2001 and July 1, 2004 the 95th Supersonic Jet Training Center (Centrul 95 Trecere pe Avione Supersonice) operated from Bacău for LanceR training (205 Escadrila). Since 2004 Bacău has been known as the 95th Air Base (Baza Aeriană 95). The base is currently responsible for defending an assigned airspace and for the training of MiG-21 LanceR pilots for Close Air Support (CAS) missions. Instructors and pilots are also trained for day, night and all weather flying. Additionally a squadron of IAR-330s are based for MEDEVAC, SAR, transport  and reconnaissance missions.

95th Air Base (Baza Aeriană 95) is currently the home of;
951 Squadron (951 Escadrila) with the MiG-21 LanceR-A, B and C,
205 Squadron (205 Escadrila) with the MiG-21 LanceR-A and B,
952 Squadron (952 Escadrila) with the IAR.330L Puma.
Stored MiG-21 LanceR-As (907 in foreground).
Left to right: Active MiG-21 LanceR-As (8107,  811, 5911 and 9613) in the maintenance area.
MiG-21 LanceR-As in open storage.
Left to right: MiG-21 LanceR-As (806 x2 and 803 x2).
Left to right: MiG-21 LanceR-As (6693 x2, 711 and 9809). 9809 was the first prototype MiG-21 LanceR-A flown on August 22, 1995.
Left to right: MiG-21 LanceR-As (8103, 714 x3). 714 was the prototype MiG-21 LanceR, and was displayed at SBAC Farnborough in 1996.
Left to right: MiG-21 LanceR-As (301, 810, 305 x2).
Left to right: MiG-21 LanceR-As (907 and 9613), Aero L-39ZA Albatros (140) and IAR-330L (75) inscribed Forţele Aeriene Române, Search and Rescue, Medevac and is from 952 Squadron (952 Escadrila). 

Bacău - Wrecks and Relics
With so many aircraft in outside storage here, it is hard to differentiate between those aircraft that may be returned to service with those that will never fly again. Some of the MiG-21s are being used as a source for spares, most will eventually be scrapped. Some may be made ready for flight perhaps even for private owners.
The four withdrawn Harbin/Hong H-5s which are Chinese reverse engineered Iluyshin IL-28s.
The Chinese company Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation (HAMC) was formed in 1952. It started to produce a number of aircraft, initially under license from Russia, later they reverse engineered their own copies of Russian aircraft from 1966. One of these was the Harbin H-5 which was based on the Ilyushin Il-28 'Beagle' a light bomber. The Romanian Air Force received at least 23 of these aircraft from 1971, naming their examples Hong-5s. The RoAF had operated a few original IL-28s from the middle 1950s. The Hong-5s were in service with 38 Reconnaissance Squadron (Escadrila 38 Reconuastere) from Air Base 86 at Borcea-Fetesti from 2000. With just three aircraft operational the type was retired, the last flight was on August 26, 2001 when flying with the renumbered Escadrila 862 Reconuastere. The HJ-5 variant was a two-seat training aircraft. It had a modified nose, the student was seated in the front cockpit. Towards the end of their operations some were modified for target towing duties. Major overhauls were carried out by Aerostar at Bacău.
Left to right: Harbin/Hong HJ-5 (407).
Left to right: Harbin/Hong H-5 (703).
Left to right: Harbin/Hong H-5 (706).
Left to right: Harbin/Hong H-5 (708).
Left to right: Antonov An-2 (34) has obviously been here for some time, losing its fight against the elements and the vegetation. This aircraft was one of two that was based at Bacău until the unit was disbanded in 2003.
Left to right: MiG-21UM 'Mongol' (6956 c/n 516907056) was rumoured to have a potential buyer from the U.S. but was still in store with Aerostar in 2012. On display just inside the main gate at Bacău is a MiG-15 (253) and the sole LIA-88 Soimul (YR-LIA). This aircraft was built by the school at Bacău in 1983 and has not actually flown.
Photography Note: This was the second base on the Romanian Air Force press tour. Not so much of a guided tour but an opportunity to wander around the lines of mostly discarded MiG-21s. Some were pushed back off the hard standings on to the grass, while others were to be found deep in vegetation that has overgrown around revetments. For the resourceful a driver of an open-topped truck was encouraged to drive us along the line for more elevated shots of the weary looking MiGs. Other shots were taken from on top of revetments and observation towers.