|Aircraft Type||Total Del’d||Total Active||Still on Order||Role|
‘Vestnik VVS’ was the official newspaper of the Bulgarian Air Force, published commercially on behalf of the Headquarters of the Air Force of the Republic of Bulgaria. It contained news and features of interest to Air Force personnel. Curiously, some issues appear to be printed in colour, and others in black & white only.
First issue available in 1991. The publishing frequency appears a bit strange. Most issues appear to have monthly dates, but the issue numbers don’t correspond with that rate of production. Issue 69 was Year IV, Issue 19, October 1995 and issue 215 was year ХІV, 5, May 2009. Thirteen years as a monthly should give issue numbers around 160. It ceased publication some time after mid 2010.
The editor is unknown.
To be added.
No digital versions of back issues appear to be available.
No special issues were produced.
[No WorldCat entry]
Subtitled ‘National Edition for Aviation and Astronautics’. Initially entitled ‘Avioklub Krile’, but later shortened to ‘Klub Krile’. Monthly? Covers civil and military aviation in Bulgaria and around the world.
Further information: National Edition for Aviation and Astronautics, bul. “Tzarigradsko Shosse” 111, Sofia 1184 BULGARIA. Tel: (+359) 73-01-46, 7-43-41/381 Fax: (+359) 72-38-08.
This is a survey of Bulgarian aviation, defence and aircraft scale modelling magazines. All magazines are Bulgarian language and Cyrillic text only, unless otherwise stated.
|c 2500 BC||Thracian civilisation established in south east of Balkan peninsula.|
|c 600 BC||Thrace colonised by Greeks.|
|c 100 BC||Thrace becomes part of Roman Empire.|
|15 AD||Moesia (northern Bulgaria) becomes part of Roman Empire.|
|c 500 AD||Slavic tribes begin to settle Thrace and Moesia (modern Bulgaria).|
|c 600 AD||Nomadic Asiatic Bulgars invade and become ruling elite. They later absorb Slavic language and culture.|
|680 AD||First Bulgarian Empire under Khan Asparuhk stablished.|
|893||Empire reaches its zenith under Tsar Simeon – controlling Macedonia & Serbia.|
|969||Russians invade Bulgaria.|
|976||Byzantine Empire drives Russians from Bulgaria.|
|1018||Bulgaria becomes part of Byzantine Empire.|
|1185||Successful revolt against Byzantine rulers. Second Bulgarian Empire established.|
|1330||Bulgaria defeated by Serbs – made a tributary.|
|1389||Ottoman Turks invade.|
|1396||Bulgaria becomes part of Ottoman Empire.|
|1850s||Revolutionary movement for national independence grows.|
|1876||Revolt against Ottoman rule – 15,000 killed by Turks in reprisals.|
|1877||Russia invades Balkans to protect Bulgarian Christians. Start of Russo-Turkish War.|
|1878||Russo-Turkish War ends after several Turkish defeats. Russia occupies large parts of Ottoman territory.|
|3 March 1878||Treaty of San Stefano – Turks agree to independence for Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, autonomy for Bulgaria and to cede territory to Russia.|
|13 July 1878||Treaty of Berlin – European powers re-write Treaty of San Stefano to reduce Russian gains.|
|1878||Autonomous principalities of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia established within the Ottoman Empire.|
|6 September 1885||Eastern Rumelia (South Bulgaria) incorporated into the autonomous Bulgarian principality.|
|13 November 1885||Serbo-Bulgarian War begins when Serbia tries to oppose annexation of Rumelia. War ends 13 March 1886 after Serbia defeated.|
|5 October 1908||Independent Kingdom of Bulgaria established.|
|March 1912||Alliance beween Serbia and Bulgaria agreed.|
|June 1912||Alliance between Greece and Bulgaria agreed.|
|8 October 1912||Montenegro declares war on Ottoman Empire – starting First Balkan War.|
|18 October 1912||Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece join the First Balkan War. [5 Oct, Julian calendar]|
|16 December 1912||Armistice in First Balkan War agreed by Ottoman Empire. [3 Dec, Julian calendar]|
|3 February 1913||First Balkan War resumes after change of government in the Ottoman Empire. [21 Jan, Julian calendar]|
|26 March 1913||Ottoman fortress of Adrianople falls to Bulgarian forces. [13 Mar, Julian calendar]|
|19 April 1913||Armistice agreed following victory over the Ottoman Empire.|
|30 May 1913||Peace Treaty signed following First Balkan War.|
|1 July 1913||Start of Second Balkan War – led by the country allies from the First Balkan War (Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria) with the aim of ruling Macedonia. [16 June, Julian calendar]|
|30 July 1913||Armistice ends Second Balkan War.|
|10 August 1913||Peace treaty signed in Bucharest – the territory of Macedonia was partitioned into three parts among Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece.|
|24 August 1915||Bulgaria signs a military pact with Germany and Austro-Hungary.|
|14 October 1915||Bulgaria declares war on Serbia, entering the First World War on the side of Germany. [1 Oct, Julian calendar]|
|29 September 1918||Bulgaria surrenders to the Allies.|
|late 1918||Peasant led ‘Agrarian’ government takes control.|
|27 November 1919||Bulgaria signs humiliating peace treaty in Neuilly.|
|June 1923||Bloody military coup deposes Agrarian government.|
|1934||Government of ‘national regeneration’ installed by military coup.|
|1935||Czar Boris establishes quasi-fascist royal dictatorship.|
|15 September 1939||Bulgaria declares neutrality in World War Two.|
|7 September 1940||Craiova Agreement – Romania cedes South Dobrudja to Bulgaria.|
|21 September 1940||Bulgarian Army enters South Dobrudja.|
|1 March 1941||Bulgaria signs Axis Tripartite Pact.|
|6 April 1941||German forces invade Greece and Yugoslavia from Bulgarian bases.|
|24 April 1941||Bulgaria declares war on Greece and Yugoslavia.|
|late April 1941||Bulgarian military forces occupy Macedonia and Aegean Thrace.|
|13 December 1941||Bulgaria declares war on Britain and the USA.|
|26 August 1944||Bulgaria declares itself neutral in WW2 – not recognised by Allies.|
|30 August 1944||German troops withdraw from Bulgaria.|
|5 September 1944||USSR declares war on Bulgaria.|
|6 September 1944||Bulgaria declares war on Germany.|
|8 September 1944||Soviet troops enter Bulgaria unopposed.|
|9 September 1944||Armistice signed with USSR.|
|9 October 1944||Anti-German offensive in Yugoslavia launched.|
|28 October 1944||Armistice with Britain, USA and USSR signed.|
|2 December 1944||Anti-German advance into Southern Serbia and Macedonia concluded.|
|1945||Control of Macedonia transferred to Yugoslavia, of Thrace to Greece and of South Dobruja to Romania|
|October 1946||Communists ‘win’ government elections and take control.|
|15 September 1947||Formal peace treaty with USSR signed|
|1947||People’s Republic of Bulgaria established|
|10 November 1989||Communist Party leadership replaced by pro-democracy supporters.|
|February 1991||First non-Communist government elected in Bulgaria.|
|14 February 1994||Bulgaria joins the NATO Partnership for Peace programme.|
|mid 2001||Supporters of the former King Simeon of Bulgaria win government elections|
|November 2002||Bulgaria invited to join NATO.|
|2 April 2004||Bulgaria joins NATO|
Note: Bulgaria switched to the Gregorian calendar when 31 March 1916 was followed by 14 April 1916.
From 1396 Bulgaria was under Ottoman Turkish rule, but in 1878 the autonomous principality of Bulgaria was created, following pressure on the Ottoman Empire by the western powers. Eastern Rumelia (South Bulgaria) was added in 1885, but substantial populations of ethnic Bulgarians in Macedonia, Thrace and Dobrudja remained under foreign domination. Taking advantage of a leadership crisis in Constantinople, full independence was declared as the Kingdom of Bulgaria on 5 October 1908.
In 1912 Bulgaria joined the Balkan League, an uneasy military alliance with Serbia, Greece and Montenegro to finally push the Ottoman Empire out of Europe and expand it’s own territory in the process. The First Balkan War, which began in October 1912, coincided with the Italy’s campaign to liberate Tripoli from the Ottomans. Bulgarian forces rapidly adanced towards Constantinople and also besieged the key fortress of Adrianople (Edirne). Bulgarian troops also drove the Ottomans out of Aegean Thrace and Eastern Macedonia. By the middle of December 1912 the Ottomans had asked for an armistice. Hostilities resumed in early 1913 and when Adrianople fell to Bulgarian and Serb forces in March 1913 the Ottomans finally capitulated. Under the Treaty of London in May 1913 Bulgaria formally regained Thrace but the disposition of Macedonia remained in dispute. Bulgaria asserted that Serbia had occupied more of Macedonia and Thessaloniki than it was allowed under the pre-war agreement.
In June 1913 Bulgaria attacked Serbian forces in Macedonia, starting the Second Balkan War, while another Bulgarian army advanced into Thessaloniki. Serbian and Greek forces halted this offensive and then in July pushed the invaders back into Bulgaria. Because most of the Bulgarian troops were on the Serbian frontier, Romanian troops were easily able to cross into Bulgaria and advance towards Sofia. At the same time the Ottomans took the opportunity to recapture Adrianople. Bulgaria quickly sued for peace. The Treaty of Bucharest in August 1913 allowed Bulgaria to retain only very small parts of Macedonia and Thrace while Greece and Serbia divided the rest. This humiliating defeat for Bulgaria cancelled any gains from the First Balkan War.
When the First World War broke out in August 1914, Bulgaria remained neutral. Both the Entente (Russia, France, Britain) and Central Powers (Austro-Hungary and Germany) courted Bulgaria because of its relatively strong army and strategic position, offering territorial gains and military support. By mid-1915 the Central Powers appeared to be winning the war and were offering the restoration of Greater Bulgaria when victory was secured. In the summer of 1915 Bulgaria made a secret treaty with Central Powers and on 14 October 1915 launched a surprise invasion of Serbia. Within weeks Bulgarian forces had pushed the Serbs out of Macedonia and into Albania, and had occupied part of Greek Macedonia. Further advances into Greece were stopped by the Germans to maintain Greek neutrality. In mid-1916 British, French and Serbian troops landed at Salonika in Greece to counter the presence of the Bulgarian Army. An attempted offensive by Entente forces along the Vardar River was effectively halted and then forced back over the Struma River. From late August 1916 the war then settled into a long and costly stalemate along the Vardar. This suited the Germans as it kept 500,000 Allied troops away from the fighting on the Western Front.
Romania entered the war on the Entente side on 27 August 1916, but it’s poorly prepared army was soon defeated and Bucharest was captured in December 1916. Bulgaria occupied the Southern Dobrudja region along the Black Sea coast, opening a new front with Russia in Moldavia but little fighting took place there.
Once the Bulgarian advance into Romania and Greece had been halted, conditions at the front deteriorated rapidly and political support for the war began to wane. Bulgaria had now achieved all it’s war aims, but was compelled to continue fighting in order to assist it’s Central Powers allies. With little man-power available for farming, serious food shortages affected both civilian and soldiers while rampant inflation damaged the economy. In 1917 food riots broke out and Bolshevik anti-war propaganda became widely circulated.
On 27 June 1917 Greece joined the war on the side of the Entente (having issued a declaration of war on 23 November 1916). In September 1918 Entente forces launched a two-pronged offensive into Bulgarian-occupied Macedonia at Doiran and Dobro Pole. Although the Bulgarian Army defeated British and Greek troops at Doiran, the battle with British and French troops at Dobro Pole brought defeat and in 10 days Entente forces entered Bulgaria. The defeat at Dobro Pole triggered a widespread soldiers revolt, with units en-masse withdrawing from the frontline and heading for Sofia to confront the government. By 25 September 1918 the rebels had reached Radomir, and on 29 September they reached Sofia. The disorganised revolt was then crushed by German troops and Bulgarian government loyalists, with fighting ending on 2 October. Meanwhile, on 29 September 1918 Bulgaria signed an armistice and officially left the war. Immediately after the war, a new peasant led ‘Agrarian’ government took control. In November 1919 the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine awarded Thrace to Greece, depriving Bulgaria of access to the Aegean Sea. The newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes took Macedonia and Southern Dobrudja went back to Romania. Severe limitations were placed on the size of the Bulgarian Army and enormous war reparations in goods and money were to paid to the Allies.
In June 1923 a very bloody military coup deposed the Agrarian government, and similarly dealt with an abortive communist insurrection. Amid economic depression, another military coup in 1934 established a government of ‘national regeneration’. In 1935 Czar Boris established a quasi-fascist royal dictatorship and subsequently drew steadily closer to Nazi Germany. On 1 March 1941 he signed the Axis Tripartite Pact. On 2 March 1941 German forces were allowed to use Bulgarian bases for the planned invasion of Greece. The territories of Macedonia, Thrace and South Dobrudja were annexed following the successful German attack. On 13 December 1941 Bulgaria declared war on Britain and the USA. Despite its alliance wih Germany, Bulgaria was not officially at war with the Soviet Union.
As the tide of war turned, the Soviet Army began to advance into the Balkans. On 26 August 1944, Bulgaria declared itself to be neutral in the Russo-German war. This position was not recognised by the Soviet Union, who threaten to invade Bulgaria. With the Soviet army about to invade, an armistice was quickly offered by Bulgaria and hostilities ceased on 9 September 1944. Captured territory was handed back in 1945.
Amid widespread intimidation, the communists ‘won’ the October 1946 elections and proceded to arrest members of the previous government. The Czarist monarchy was abolished in 1947 and a one party People’s Republic established.
After Stalin’s death in 1953, the previous leadership was gradually replaced by a less doctrinaire faction. However, economic failure and mounting discontent during the 1980’s led to widespread demonstrations which eventually provoked a coup within the communist party on 10 November 1989. The new leadership repudiated the old communist policies and legalised opposition parties. An ambitious programme of economic reform was launched by a non-communist government in February 1991, but this was short-lived due to the disintegration of the USSR and the 1990-91 Gulf War. Iraq had owed Bulgaria $2 billion. Economic and political reform has continued and Bulgaria became a member of NATO in 2004.
The Republic of Bulgaria is located in the eastern portion of the Balkan Peninsula in South Eastern Europe. It borders Romania to the north, the Black Sea to the east, Turkey to the south east, Greece to the south, Macedonia to the south west and Serbia to the west. The border with Romania is largely defined by the River Danube which flows through a fertile plain. Crossing the centre of the country east-west lie the Stara Planina mountains which drop steeply to the south into to broad river valley overlooking the broad Plain of Thrace. A range of even higher mountains in the south west reaches up to 2925 m (9600 ft).
Bulgaria occupies an area of 110,994 km2 (42,683 sq miles) and has a population of 8.4 million (2000 data) which comprises 85% Bulgarians, 9% Turkish, 3% Macedonian and 3% Romany. Some 84% of the people are Bulgarian Orthodox, 13% Muslim, 1% Roman Catholic, 1% Jewish and 1% other faiths. The capital city is Sofia.
Further National Information
Text to be added on the development of aviation in Bulgaria.
Civil Aircraft Registrations
An incomplete all-time Bulgarian civil aircraft register listing is here.
Military Air Arms
Historical military air arms-
Naval Aviation (1915-1918)
German Air Units Supporting Bulgaria in the First World War
German Air Units Supporting Bulgaria in the Second World War
Central Government Agencies
Agricultural Aviation Agency
Government Aviation (Bulgarian Government Aviation)
Military Sports Organisation – DOSO
Ministry of Fisheries
Public Service Aviation
Medical Aviation (Ministry of Health)
Police Aviation (Bulgarian Police Aviation Unit)
To be added
To be added
Aircraft Maintenance/Repair Depots
Civil Airports & Airfields
Sofia Airport (ICAO: LBSF)
Krumovo/Plovdiv Airport (ICAO: LBPD)
Burgas Airport (ICAO: LBBG)
Varna Airport (ICAO: LBWN)
Airports in Bulgaria
Military Air Bases & Airfields
Krumovo Air and Space Museum
Magazines Guide for Bulgaria
(Dedicated Bulgarian aviation website in Bulgarian with cyrillic text.)