A look inside Harar Meda Airport, Ethiopia
Various cargo and VIP aircraft appear in a video taken on 11 Oct 2021 at the main Ethiopian Air Force base near Debre Zeit/Bishoftu.
A video publicly available online, taken on 11 Oct 2021 at Harar Meda Airport, the main air base of the Ethiopian Air Force (EtAF) near Debre Zeit/Bishoftu in Ethiopia, shows much of the EtAF’s current VIP and cargo transport capability.
This article describes what can be seen in the video. An overview has been added below. Because the Google Earth image was taken on 02 Feb 2021, the aircraft are on different locations at the time the video was made.
Airplanes and helicopters
At the very start of the video, and in the left in the image above, an Antonov An-12 (1) cargo aircraft registered 1503, which can also be seen in the tweet below, can be seen.
In front of her is what looks like a Beechcraft King Air (2) VIP aircraft. This model is known to be in service with the EtAF. For example, one was seen in Mekele on 19 Dec 20201. I suspect aircraft (2) was being prepared for flight, and may be registered ET-ASO (an Ethiopian civil registration). Further right is a second Beechcraft King Air (3) VIP aircraft.
The second part of the video shows only one aircraft, which can be identified as an Antonov An-32 (4) cargo aircraft.
The third and last part of the video shows more aircraft.
First of all, four helicopters of the Mil Mi-8/Mi-17 series can be seen. Three (9, 10, 11) are in a brown-green color scheme similar to a previous Mil Mi-17 that reportedly crashed in Somalia2. One of them, registered 2017, (9) features an auxiliary external fuel tank3 on the side. The fourth (6) has a different, lighter, tan-green color scheme.
Other aircraft in this part include various trainer aircraft (5) in the background and another Beechcraft King Air (8) VIP aircraft.
In the background, a radar vehicle can be seen on a nearby hilltop just northeast of the airport (around 8.732304, 39.006929).
If you know the exact model, please do let me know!
At the time of the video, no Ilyushin Il-76 cargo aircraft (visiting from the UAE4, Iran and China5) can be seen. Regular locations for these aircraft include behind (8) and (9) and just right of (11), such as seen in the tweet quoted below.
Gerjon | חריון @Gerjon_✈️Mode-S data 23-24 Jul 2021+today, 16 Aug 2021, show Iran-reg Ilyushin Il-76TD reg. 🇮🇷EP-PUS (hex: #7342B3) landed in 🇪🇹Ethiopia. Similar looking aircraft visible on 🛰️Sentinel-2 images at Harar Meda Airport this morning. Landings±: 23 Jul 2021 05:45 UTC 16 Aug 2021 05:00 UTC https://t.co/h05LNQGDn6 https://t.co/7t7z07V8sk
Finally, no C-130 or L-100-30 cargo aircraft can be seen. After one L-100-30 crashed earlier this year6, Ethiopia currently operates one of each of these two.
peterbelayneh @peterbelaynehBREAKING: #Ethiopia|n military helicopter carrying supplies for the ENDF troops is down in Hudur airport in #Somalia’s Bakool region. https://t.co/sAvVRqWxC4
Kindeya Gebrehiwot, PhD, Prof @ProfKindeyaWhen the C-130 Hercules #Ethiopia destined to Alula-abanega Int Airport #Mekelle was shot down by #TDF's anti-aircraft unit at Seharti district as part of the ongoing "operation Alula-abanega"! #TigrayGenocide #Tigrayisprevailing https://t.co/ZrI3bQWwMd