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East Timor Air Force: the PZL Centelhas

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Sparks of the Força Aérea Timoresa, the Centelhas.

 

 

When East Timor finally got his independence from Indonesia in 2002, the East Timor government with aproval from the United Nations, asked for help building his new military forces in order to have a force capable of keeping the hard earned peace. Several countries responded, some with light arms, others with APC and patrol vehicles and just one with some planes. 

 

Poland offered at least 14 refurbished TS-11 Iskras plus spares, enough to create a dual role training/fighter squadron. 

 

Dili authorities soon accepted the deal, but requested If possible to make the planes compatible with some kind of air to air missile. Poland wired the TS-11 to make them compatible with the R-60 missile, so the new "Centelhas" (portuguese for Spark) were able to act as a poor man interceptor. Polish air force also painted the planes in SEA style cammo very apropiatte for the Timorese jungle. 

 

Once in country the planes were based on the newly stablished military part of the Presidente Nicolau Lobato international airport and soon training began for the new pilots with the help of Polish advisors. The Centelhas proved a good plane, training the new generation of Timorese pilots and also keeping the border safe of drug dealer planes and smugglers from Indonesia, shooting down at least 4 of such low flying planes.

 

The hability of the Centelhas to carry some A-G ordinance was also used to pin down and help destroy the remnants of Indonesian baked militias and other terrorist groups.

 

The planes are kept operational with help of Polish and Indian ground crews, and Dili even recently purchased several just refurbished Indian Iskras to replace crashed planes and even form a second squadron based on Suai Air Force Base.

 

This is a kind of follow up of the Weaver article titled "Sparks in the Jungle Nicaragua's TS-11 Iskras", really liked this one, so here's my version. I would have liked a single seater variant, but Veltro lost the source files on a HD crash so I have to keep the trainer variant.

 

The plane for SF2 simulator is Veltro's work and PauloPanz skin, I made the template and cammo scheme based on the original Paulo polish metal skin. Is my first template ever, so is not the best job out there.

 

The markings come from this guy on Devianart.

 


 

Hope you like it.

 

Taking off from Dili, clrearly visible are the R60 missiles and the rocket pods.

 

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Flying low, searching for a Intruder.

 

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Found it!

 

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Patrolling the North Coast.

 

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R60 missiles are clearly visible. Together with rocket pods...

 

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...used with great effect against terrorist hideouts.

 

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Over Dili Harbour.

 

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On short final.

 

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On the ground. Visible are the S-24 rockets used for anti ship attack.

 

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that Iskra model is waaay stretched!!! Is is Veltro's? Real cockpit is much smaller (ie. room over one's head to the glass) than what it seems like based on the pictures -seems like the whole plane is scaled down by it's Y axis :dntknw: and then stretched upwards in Z axis

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that Iskra model is waaay stretched!!! Is is Veltro's? Real cockpit is much smaller (ie. room over one's head to the glass) than what it seems like based on the pictures -seems like the whole plane is scaled down by it's Y axis :dntknw: and then stretched upwards in Z axis

 

Is the only Iskra we have, at least the only one I know. So I had to use this one, and yes is Veltro's work, and I agree with you about model inacuracies.

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This one is great! Can you create a single seater variant too please?

 

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That Fretlin/Timor Leste insignia, is that a decal or part of the skin itself?

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That Fretlin/Timor Leste insignia, is that a decal or part of the skin itself?

 

On this case is part of the skin, but I have the decals too, courtesy of Valastur.

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