Ferihegy (LHBP) is the international airport of Budapest, the capitol of Hungary. Until the 7th of May,1950 the airfield was used for military and experimental aviation causes, then it became Hungary's only international airport (before that Mátyásföld and Budaörs played this role). Of course Hungary was an "eastern bloc" country in those days so it wasn't a real window to the free world: the first "western" airline to run scheduled flights to Budapest was KLM in 1957. The rest followed, so soon the apron was used not just by soviet Ilyushin and Tupolev aircraft but Lockheed Electras, BOAC Comets, etc. By the late seventies Ferihegy felt too small, so expansion tasks were launched. A new runway, tower and terminal (Ferihegy 2) was built by mid-1985. 1998 saw further expansions with the opening of the new terminal Ferihegy 2B. Ferihegy 1 was turned into the General Aviation Terminal of Budapest.
Ferihegy doesn't have very large traffic but rather small-to-mid size machines (mostly B737) arriving and departing, with just a few Jumbos or bigger cargo planes weekly. But the airliners are not the only attraction that can be seen around here! Just a few hundred meters away from the main buildings of Ferihegy 2 there's a small outdoor exhibition with some of the types used in hungarian aviation after WW2.
or "Annie". Not used in civil passenger aviation but for sports and
chartering inside the country. To illustrate what a classic aircraft this
is: another An-2 with hungarian registration marks can be seen at the Frankfurt/Main
The cockpit of an An-2
Lisunov Li-2, the soviet version (based on a license, not stolen) of the Douglas DC-3. This piece is not in a very good shape, but fortunately there's another one in operational conditions in Hungary!
The Ilyushin Il-14 was the successor of the Li-2: bigger, stronger, better and not a taildragger anymore!
Unfortunately you cannot visit these old planes from the inside!
This Mil Mi-2 turbine-driven helicopter
was used by the Air Medical Services. There are many of them still flying.
The cockpit of a Mi-2
Yakovlev Yak-40, a small (cca. 30 passengers) soviet jet airliner. Though not the most modern construction, it is know to be quite reliable and robust.
The Ilyushin Il-18 was the most successful soviet 4-engine passenger turboprop. It's deep distinctive roar was one of the most exciting things in my childhood! I only regret that I never had a chance to fly with it...
This machine lived up to the standards of those days, and it's also one of the most wonderful planes as far as I'm concerned. Notice the stylish paintwork used my MALÉV (the hungarian airlines) in the sixties!
The plane from the front, with a tractor
from the eighties.
The cockpit of an Ilyushin 18
Tupolev Tu-134A. The first jet used in hungarian civil aviation, with its usual paintwork. The Tu-134 was a small but loud gremlin...
... with a glassed nose for the navigator, just like on the bombers of WW2. I always thought this was out-of-date even in the sixties, when this machines was designed, but the sight from there must have been fantastic! (that's me on the picture coming back from the navigator's workplace)
You can visit this machine from the inside
too! The passenger room is not really big with 2+2 seats...
The cockpit of the plane
Tupolev Tu-154B2. This was the flagship of MALÉV: an elegant and fast tri-jet. Good pilots could do fantastic things with this machine!
The paintwork on the picture was typical for the very late eigthies and the ninties. In 2001 these machines were taken out of service, which concluded a nice chapter in hungarian civil aviation.
The 3+3 seat arrangement with the typical
"eighties-look of the eastern bloc".
The cockpit of the plane