How much is it?
This is the most frequent question asked by our visitors. They are interested in the prices of tanks and aircraft. Below, you can find the answer and some additional information.
Planes are made of light alloys, i.e. of nonferrous metals. If owners of such aircraft want to get rid of them, they sell them for the price of this raw material. This is usually the case of former monuments or aircraft repair shops. From the total weight of the aircraft, the weight of iron (steel) parts is subtracted, for example, the weight of landing-gear legs and armor. In addition, scrapyards deduct the price for cutting up aircraft into pieces suitable for melting and the price for the disposal of iron, rubber, upholstery, etc. So, if you’d like to buy a MIG-21 from a guy who is planning to scrap it, you would pay around CZK 80 thousand (the price is about CZK 20 per a kilogram and the aircraft weight is roughly four tonnes without the engine). Everyone interested in buying a plane could take this opportunity six years ago.
In short, what you only pay for here is the raw material. This means that in this case, the price of four-tonne aircraft made of nonferrous metals is the same as the price of four tonnes of aircraft fragments. In both these cases, the price is eighty thousand. Still, there are visitors to our museum who consider this price too high. Our reply is: Well, give us CZK 1000 and we will give you CZK 600 or 650 in return! Do you understand?
Tanks are made of iron, so the scrap metal price is between CZK 4 and 5 per a kilogram. Just the tank turret weighs about eight tonnes, so in a scrapyard, you would get CZK 40 thousand for it (at the scrap metal price of CZK 5). However, if you are interested in purchasing this tank from a scrapyard, you will pay between CZK 11 and 12 per a kilogram. We are happy to pay this scrap selling price, i.e. about CZK 90 thousand, whatever the difference is. A much bigger problem than the price is the question where to get the tank. Our advice is: buy a metal detector, walk around forests and mountains and maybe you will be lucky. Finding a buried tank is more probable than winning a lottery.
How do you get new acquisitions to your museum exhibits?
The answer is quite easy. Those who collect tractors look for tractors in farms, those who collect ships look for ships in seaports. We collect aircraft, therefore we search for them in airports, former monuments and aircraft repair shops. Part of our collection was originally in museums or was owned by other aircraft collectors.
When will visitors be allowed to get on big planes?
Again, the answer is easy. Visitors could be allowed to get on big planes if they protected the exhibits by observing the museum rules. Unfortunately, so far the reality has been different. Some visitors’ irresponsible behavior results in the need for a lot of repairs, for example, glazing cracked windows, washing dirty equipment and mounting new cockpit indicators to replace the stolen ones. For the 25 years of the existence of our museum, there have only been two visitors that came back to help us with these repairs. And even those two visitors only spent one day helping us. Maybe you are asking why visitors should help us repair our planes. But we do not consider the planes to be just ours; we consider them to be a great creation, a product of human work that deserves to be respected. We hold this creation in high regard; in fact, we often saved the planes from scrapping. And those fans of aviation technology who share the same attitude are cordially invited to help us in our efforts.
Why is the admittance fee to the Special Zone higher?
You can figure this out by yourself: in the Special Zone, you can see exhibits according to your wish including expert commentary. Instead of hiring a guide, we show the visitors round the exhibits in this zone personally. This means that by accepting the higher fee, you also pay for the commentary reflecting our perfect knowledge of all the exhibits (their history, price and transportation to our museum) as well as for the time we spend with you. We are happy to see that most visitors appreciate our efforts. The positive feedback fills us with energy and enthusiasm needed for further improvements of our museum.
(Answers provided by Karel Tarantík, based on his 25-year experience with the aviation museum operation).