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Yugoslav Air Force Acro Group Flying Stars

Yugoslav Air Force Acro Group Flying Stars

Precision Display Flying was very popular in Yugoslavia and aircraft shows were often used as a display of the power of the ruling communist party and had a very important propaganda role. Aircraft shows existed in Yugoslavia even prior to the Second World War, and the aircraft industry was very developed, producing original models of airplanes. First air shows in Yugoslavia happened in the early 1930s, and their further development was stopped by the war.


In the period following the Second World War, several aircraft display teams were formed, and they flew on different aircraft. Starting from the late 1940s, Yugoslav Air Force display pilots used Bücker Bü 133 Jungmeisters, YAK-3s, Ikarus S-49Cs , Mk 4 Sabers and F-84G Thunderjets. In July 1968, a group using the indigenous Soko G–2 Galeb was formed, but they were quickly replaced with J–1 Jastreb (Hawk) airplanes.


The golden era of Yugoslavian Precision Display Flying started in 1984, within the preparations for the ceremonial marking of the 40th anniversary of liberation from fascism. YPAs leadership has decided to form an acro group, with the purpose of performing at the Victory day meeting on the 9th of May 1985.  The team was named Flying Stars, and in the first five years, they flew on yellow-painted Jastreb light attack-reconnaissance aircraft, earning them the nickname - canary birds. The group has consisted of the group leader, five followers, and a synchro pair.  The team had the program based on the Italian and British Precision Display Flying team, which included acrobatics with planes arranged in different formations; Square, arrow, delta, mirror, etc. The program lasted between 20 and 25 minutes, depending on the weather conditions.


The Flying stars debuted with G-4  Super Galeb aircraft in 1989. The planes were painted in the colors of the Yugoslav flag,  in a combination of blue-white-red with a stylized five-pointed star on the lower part of the fuselage and wings.



Further activity of the group was stopped by the Yugoslav civil war in 1990. The group was reformed in 1996 and flew until the outbreak of the Kosovo war. 

All seven airplanes of the Flying stars team were destroyed in a NATO airstrike on the Golubovci airbase in Podgorica, Montenegro. In 2007, a civil Serbian display team was formed, flying G-2 Galeb jet trainers, which used almost the same color scheme as the "Flying Stars". This team was simply named the "Stars" and was formed by ex-"Flying Stars" pilots.