You could be forgiven to think that Zelenikovo, a small rural village with a population of less than 300, has little to offer to a tourist or passerby. But the small town in the heart of Bulgaria is home to a relic of the Soviet era: A wonderfully preserved jet fighter Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 sits on a pedestal at the side of the main road that crosses town north-to-south, tucked between the small houses.
The supersonic aircraft was designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. More than 18,000 of these planes were built, making it the most-produced supersonic jet aircraft in aviation history. It has been used by approximately 60 countries over four continents.
The jet fighter, board number 509 still visible on the fuselage, was once used in the Bulgarian Air Force. Since December 2015, Today, there are no more MiG-21 planes in service in Bulgaria. In December 2015, these aircraft were officially retired from the Bulgarian Air Force, and the last MiG-21 took off from Graf Ignatievo Air Base.
Know Before You Go
It is interesting to note that the jet fighter is on the way traveling from Plovdiv to places like Shipka and Buzludzha, and it might be worth taking a small detour if traveling from Sofia to similar destinations, to see it.