Israel Aerobatic Team History

IAI Tzukit (CM.170 Fouga Magister), first blue-white paint scheme

The first formation flights in Israel began in 1950 with small numbers of Boeing Stearman trainers attempting aerobatics at the Flight Academy. The aircraft’s low engine power, however, did not provide much in the way of maneuverability while in formation.

Later unofficial demonstrations were also performed at air bases in Haifa and Ramat David with either Harvards, Spitfires or P-51 Mustangs in formation of either two, three or four planes. Then on August 18, 1954, three Mustangs took off for formation aerobatics from Ramat David. After just a few maneuvers, two of the aircraft collided, killing both pilots. Consequently, IAF decided to form an official aerobatic team flying under strict rules of practice and show performance. Three months later, the IAF aerobatic team from the Flight Academy at the Hatzerim air base made its debut flying with Harvards.

At the beginning of 1960's, this team was re-equipped with the newly-delivered CM170 Fouga Magister (Tzukit in Israeli service), manufactured under license from France by Israel Aircraft Industries. All of the team’s aircraft were initially painted in a blue and white color scheme. Later, the team’s planes received a new white and red paint scheme.

The Tzukit aircraft provided faithful service over the next five decades. The team then transitioned to the Beechcraft T-6A Efroni turbo-prop aircraft in June 2010.

Thanks to Dor Levin for additional information about this page!

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Aerobatic Teams

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