Another day of aviation fun with Air Koryo!

by Simon Wentzel

Another beautiful day of aviation fun in the DPRK! Today we would fly on the Ilyushin IL18 and Antonov AN24 of Air Koryo. The first one has become really rare and is more like a flying museum piece, while the second one is still quite common in eastern countries as a regional plane. 



The Air Koryo Ilyushin IL-18D

As of today, Air Koryo is the only airline still operating this type. The plane was built in 1969, so it is almost 50 years old! We had the unique opportunity to fly on it to Wonsan and back with a quick photo stop at the Airport of Wonsan. 

Unfortunately the weather was really bad in Wonsan, good to have a rain jacket with me! 



Our stop at Kalma Airport Wonsan was a bit short and some of us even stayed on the plane while it was raining outside. But the rain also offered some unique photo opportunities with water reflections on the ground, but unfortunately some really bad light for photos.



Back to Pyongyang

Back to Sunan Airport in Pyongyang we took our chance to have some more pictures in sunny conditions. Even though the ground staff of Sunan Airport was not pleased we were allowed a few quick shots while getting off the plane and back to the terminal. 



The Antonov AN24 RV

The AN24 is the smallest member of Air Koryo fleet and often in use for domestic flights, while the Tupolev 204 do the flights to Beijing and other international destinations. I really love this plane, it is really fun to fly. We did a 45 min. round flight over Pyongyang. Sad the crew did not allow any pictures taken on the plane, so I can only provide some exterior shots. 



The end of the day was marked by a fancy Mil Mi-8 helicopter ride. At least for some of us. I passed on this one even if it must have been a lot of fun I would miss!



Our afternoon in Pyongyang

After the last helicopter flight of the day we were taken back to Pyongyang and could spend some time shopping at the Foreign Language Book Store and around Kim Il-sung Square. It is the central square of Pyongyang and the place where all the famous military parades and celebrations are held. More about Pyongyang will follow in another article in a few days!


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