WARSAW, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said at the opening of the Radom Air Show in central Poland on Saturday that the show "is a great event on an enormous scale, one of the greatest in Europe", Polish Press Agency reported.
"We Poles have something in our blood that we are thrilled by what can be called the art of aviation," Blaszczak said.
"Polish aviation today has good equipment at its disposal, I'm thinking here about the F-16 fighter jets, but we still possess post-Soviet equipment, so the process of modernizing Polish aviation will also involve exchanging post-Soviet equipment for modern hardware," the defense minister told a public TV station after opening the show.
He thanked all those who had contributed to the event's organization including Deputy Defense Minister Wojcich Skurkiewicz, who oversaw the preparations.
Commander General of the Polish Armed Forces General Jaroslaw Mika highlighted that this is the 16th time the Air Show has been held, which testifies to its success.
Its renown, he added, is also proved by the number of participants and observers. At this year's event more than 110 aircraft are being displayed from over 20 countries.
He also noted that this year marks not only 80 years of Polish independence but also 80 years of Polish military aviation.
Among the air shows attractions was a fly-by of the latest Boeing in national colors together with the Bialo-Czerwone Iskry (the White-and-Red Sparks) aerial acrobatics team.
A special surprise was in store for spectators in the form of the Orlik acrobatics team from the 42nd aviation training base in Radom. A team was prepared made up of three Orliks and two Harvards -- training planes from the Second World War produced in Canada between 1941 and 1953.
The Radom Air Show is the largest aerial display in Poland and one of the largest in Europe. On Saturday and Sunday, the event will host over 80 aero planes and helicopters from 22 countries as well as 11 air acrobatics teams.