Belgrade sights

Museum of Aviation

This small but unique museum is located very close to the Nikola Tesla airport in Belgrade, about a 5-min walk from the airport’s main terminal. The building has a very unique, glass design and offers a number of interesting attractions and exhibits. Most notably, the museum owns a collection of aircrafts which were previously owned by the Yugoslav Air Force as well as wreckages of USA F-117 Nighthawk and F-16 Fighting Falcon which were shot down during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. Additionally the museum has a vast collection of reference books, documents, photographs, radars, missiles, miscellaneous aeronautical equipment and other items on display. It is an interesting location to visit, not only for aviation enthusiasts but for anyone interested in learning something new.

An interesting note is that the museum can track its origins back to its very first exhibition item which came off the wreck of one of the first airplanes that flew in Serbia in 1911. Only six months after Ivan Saric constructed and flew the very first airplane in the country’s history, the pilot Edward Rusjan took off above Belgrade’s Kalemegdan fort. However, the wind conditions that day were poor and the strong gusts caused the aircraft’s wing to break off, which led to a crash and the tragic death of the pilot. The event was being observed, among others, by students of Belgrade’s First high-school one of which was Strahinja-Bane Nusic (the son of the famous Serbian writer Branko Nusic). Young Nusic took a part of the fallen airplane’s wing – the “rib” – and carefully kept it safe his entire life, always claiming that it was going to be valuable some day. He was right about that, as the part is today one of the most interesting and prized exhibition pieces of the museum.


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