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On the south western edge of Europe, Portugal is a country with a long aviation history. The South Atlantic crossing by seaplane and the colonial wars in Africa were significant events in Portuguese aviation history.

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But let us start with this motivation booster for future Portuguese pilots at the air force Academy at Sintra, a T-38A displayed in spectacular fashion along the parade ground.

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Gilders are not often seen on display, but not less appreciated by the aviation enthusiast visiting the Air Force Academy at Sintra, this is a LET L-23 Super Blanik.

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The Alpha Jet was retired by the Portuguese air force in early 2018, and the air force academy recently got their splendid looking machine in the colours of the Asas de Portugal demonstration team.

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More Alpha Jets start to appear as monuments around the country. This one is displayed as such in Vila Nova da Rainha, the site of one of the first Portuguese military airfields, north of Lisbon.Two Aviagraphers' visits yielded two different shots!

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The Museo do Ar maintains a huge collection of retired military aircraft and displays part of it at three museums open to the public. This Alouette 2 is at Sintra, the main site.

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The second site is at Ovar, a military reserve base, which houses just over a dozen aircraft, including this Chipmunk Mk20.

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The main Portuguese shooting range is at Alcochete, and its entrance is guarded by this immaculate A-7P Corsair II.

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Corsairs are show cased elsewhere too. For example at Alverca, Museu do Ar's third location.

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Alverca also has this beautiful Sabre 5319. The F-86s were sourced from the USA and Norway. One was kept in airworthy condition into the eighties of last Century, although it only could taxi around a bit every now and then.

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Portugal used a dozen T-38 for advanced training before the Alpha Jets were obtained. Alverca owns this 2601.

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One of the approximately 250 Harvards used over the years sits inside the museum building, 1517 is a former South African Harvard Mk.III.

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Several former German Fiat G-91Rs found their way to the Portuguese air force, not all of them were put into use, like this example in Horta de Numao, which kept its German livery. Others got Portuguese colours although they were not all used, like 32+74 at Palhais masquerading as '5474'.

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The G91 is the most prolific relic in Portugal and they can be found in many places. These next two are 5408 at Viseu and '5470' at Vial Real, that is really 30+77, the last part of its German serial shining through.

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Don't you love the Gina, and the Portuguese country side, friendly people and excellent food too by the way?

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Far less numerous than the Ginas are the Beech 18s. Some are kept in storage at Alcochete, only a few of the 25 once operated are preserved like this D18S 2508 in a park in Leiria.

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Two Portuguese heroes of aviation, Gago Coutinho and Sacadura Cabral, were the first to cross the South Atlantic in an aircraft in 1922. They completed the 5,209 mile journey in this Fairey IIID with serial 17, named Santa Cruz, which can be found in the Museu da Marinha in Lisbon.

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Not too far from the museum, at Pedroucos, this T-33A-N 1953 is pole mounted in the grounds of the military academy.

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We can go on and on with the many preserved aircraft. We end with an aircraft captured around sunrise. Over a dozen of these T-37s have been preserved around the country, this 2410 sits at Braga airport in Asas de Portugal colour scheme.