8:00 - 19:00
Last entry at 18:30
4.4.2017. - 30.10.2017.
The Belgrade Aviation Museum
A treasury of aviation at Belgrade's Nikola Tesla Airport marks its 50th anniversary this year.
By Čedomir Janić
Photo by Branko Jovanović
Visitors approaching the Nikola Tesla Airport are invariably attracted by the large glass-encased round structure that looks like a strange mushroom from outer space that has sprouted in the middle of Srem's cultivated fields. Numerous military and civilian aircraft surround the mushroom - along with radars and other wonders of aviation technology - clearly indicating to visitors that they have arrived at an Aviation Museum, a museum that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Construction of the Museum building was not completed until 1988. This was also when the first permanent exhibition was set up and opened to the public on May 21, 1989.
That year, architect Ivan Štraus of Sarajevo received the prestigious "Yugoslav" award from the Borba daily newspaper for design of the Museum building and its surrounding complex. Since then, the Aviation Museum's permanent exhibition has attracted the attention of numerous domestic and foreign visitors, ranking it among the most popular and most-frequently visited sites in Serbia.
At the very entrance to the main exhibition level, visitors come across an antique aircraft that was built in 1909 and early 1910 by aviation pioneer and Subotica native Ivan Sarić.
All these aircraft played a key role in decisive battles across Europe, Africa and Asia, but they were also used in operations by and formed a part of the Yugoslav armed forces.
Continuing the tour of the exhibition, visitors can also see a number of aircraft and helicopters that are more familiar, as they were manufactured some time in the 1950-1980 period. Perhaps the most interesting part of the latter section of the exhibition are parts of the US F-117 Nighthawk Stealth fighter bomber and the F-16, as well as an assortment of pilotless drones -all of which were shot down over Serbia during the 1999 Nato bombing campaign.
The preserved and partially exhibited examples of domestically-manufactured aircraft and gliders are of particular significance in terms of national aviation history and the domestic aviation industry. In addition to the already mentioned aircraft of Ivan Sarić and the training plane Fizir, visitors also enjoy inspecting the Aero 2 training aircraft made by Ikarus in 1948, transition-model aircraft such as the "213" and the "522", the "C-49 C" fighter plane, the UTVA 65 (Agriculturist) as well as the experimental piston-engine and jet aircraft constructed by Col. Bešlin.
Although they were used primarily for glider pilot training, they have also set many domestic and world records in glider competitions.
The exhibited aircraft are supplemented with exhibitions depicting the development of various sections and periods in the history of domestic military and civil aviation. The Museum's storerooms and its library contain thousands of books, objects and documents about the expansion of aviation in our country and internationally. It is no wonder that many foreign experts who have had the opportunity to gain a better understanding of its valuable exhibits have declared that the Aviation Museum in Belgrade is a true treasury of aviation history.