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  • Dictatorship of the Air » The Russian Air Force Museum at Monino (pt. 6)
    the Museum s main building Display One Development and Growth of Aeronautics and Aviation in Russian to 1917 Not surprisingly the first display area in the Museum s history of aviation exhibit is devoted to the dawn of Russian aviation Here visitors are introduced to scientists like the great Mikhail Lomonosov 1711 1765 who among other things conducted early experiments on atmospheric properties and Dmitrii Mendeleev 1834 1907 the inventor of the Periodic Table of Elements who took part in a hot air balloon ascent in 1887 More directly the Museum devotes considerable attention to the life and work of Nikolai Zhukovskii 1847 1921 the pioneering mathematician who founded the Russian study of aerodynamics Although the history of aeronautics is covered in sections devoted to the Russian military s use of observation balloons during the Russo Japanese War 1904 05 and the ensuing deployment of military dirigibles most of the coverage is given over to the development of Imperial Russian aviation Visitors are introduced to early constructors including Ia M Gakkel D P Grigorovich and A A Porokhovshchikov as well as early Russian airplane firms like Dux and the Russo Balt Carriage Factory While most Russian constructors relied heavily on the importation and licensing of engines from foreign companies like Nieuport and Wright the Museum devotes considerable space to the first Russian made motors Early sportsmen aviators including Mikhail Efimov and Nikolai Popov their airplanes and the air shows in which they participated are also described The first display room concludes with materials relating to Russian aviation during the Great War Particular attention is given of course to Sikorsky s giant airplanes Well worth noting is the section on Russia s most celebrated WWI aviator Captain Petr Nikolaevich Nesterov 1887 1914 In addition to being the first pilot in history to loop an airplane 1913 Nesterov was the first Russian pilot to down an enemy aircraft He accomplished this feat in early September 1914 when he rammed the unarmed Albatros he was flying into an Austrian reconnaissance plane Both he and the two fliers aboard the enemy aircraft were killed in the resulting crashes Display Two Continuing Development of Aviation to June 1941 The second room in the Museum s historical display contains materials relating to the development of Soviet aviation between 1917 1941 The exhibits here address subjects ranging from Civil War aviation and the founding the Society of Friends of the Air Fleet to the expansion of Soviet aircraft industry during the first Five year Plan 1928 1932 and the earliest years of Soviet civil aviation Particularly interesting are the materials relating to aerial propaganda missions like the 1925 Great Flight from Moscow to Peking and then Tokyo and the visit of the ANT 4 Land of the Soviets to the United States in 1929 Here too is where the Museum provides background information and some rare photographs relating to famous prestige airplanes such as the ANT 20 Maxim Gorky and the ANT 25 Stalin s Route There

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  • Dictatorship of the Air » The Russian Air Force Museum at Monino (pt. 5)
    and F 84 jet aircraft Only with the arrival en masse of the newer F 86 Sabre was the USAF able to maintain air superiority Before production of the MiG 15 was finally ended Soviet factories produced more than 12 000 of the planes in seventeen different versions including the MiG 15UTI a two seat trainer represented in the VVS Museum s collection An additional 6 000 or so MiG 15s were built under license elsewhere making the MiG 15 the most numerous jet airplane in history Beyond or behind the MiG group in a large field separated by a roadway from the rest of the Museum s planes is a sizable collection of Military Transport Aircraft Military Transport Aircraft Although this group of planes is set back away from the central quad it s impossible to miss Here the VVS Museum has on display some of the USSR s largest creations As I discuss at length in DotA the colossalist impulse in aircraft design is one of the distinguishing characteristics of Russian aviation culture From Igor Sikorsky s pre World War I multi engine giants the Russkii vitiaz and Il ia Muromets to the largest airplane in history the Antonov An 225 Mriya very big planes have been a constant feature of Russian aircraft design Civilian passenger planes make up a considerable portion of this sub collection One of the more important in this regard is the Museum s Tu 114 a passenger version of the Tupolev OKB s famed Tu 95 Bear strategic bomber The Tu 114 was massive by the day s standards It was just over 177 ft long and possessed a wingspan of 167 ft Towering nearly five stories it was at the time the tallest aircraft ever built The plane s four large contra rotating turboprop propellers were each capable of generating almost 15 000 hp They enabled the Tu 114 to cruise at 470 mph and attain a top speed near 540 mph While the airplane typically accommodated up to 160 passengers it could be reconfigured to allow as many as 220 By comparison contemporary Boeing 707s had a maximum capacity of 179 passengers Continuing the longstanding Russian tradition of exploiting aviation accomplishments to score propaganda points Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev insisted on flying a Tu 114 from Moscow to Washington DC for his thirteen day visit to the United States in September 1959 Enamored with the plane s impressive size he was delighted to learn that the US didn t have a ramp tall enough to reach the door and keenly aware that the plane was the only one in the Soviet inventory that could reach America non stop the Communist Party chief was convinced that his arrival aboard the aircraft would serve as spectacular political theater The trouble was that the plane Khrushchev hoped to take had developed microscopic cracks in an engine following its maiden long distance flight in May To allay fears that the plane might not be

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  • Dictatorship of the Air » The Russian Air Force Museum at Monino (pt. 4)
    response to the development of the American F 15 Eagle and F 16 Fighting Falcon the Su 35 was intended to give the USSR a lightweight multi role fighter capable of matching the performance characteristics of US fourth generation aircraft Unlike the F 15 and F 16 which represented significant departures from preceding planes such as the F 111 and F 4 the Su 35 was a highly modified outgrowth of an earlier Sukhoi model the Su 27 In fact the plane was originally known as the Su 27M Even then the development of the Su 35 has taken considerably longer than might have been expected The prototype of the plane only took to the air in 1988 a full six years after F 15s and F 16s had decisively proven their combat worthiness in the hands of Israeli pilots over Lebanon s Bekaa Valley Subsequent modifications including the development of the Su 37 further delayed the plane s production A final production variant of the Su 35 is slated to debut at the MAKS 2007 Air Show later this summer Of less recent vintage though no less significance is the Su 25 that sits in front of the Tu 144 see above A heavily armed and armored subsonic aircraft the Su 25 is what the Russians call a штурмовик shturmovik an airplane designed to provide close air support to ground operations a role fulfilled in the US armed forces by the famed A 10 Warthog Ironically as Soviet officials had effectively abandoned frontal aviation in favor of developing strategic weapons such as ICBMs and intercontinental bombers from the late 1940s onward the Su 25 was the first shturmovik to emerge from a Soviet design bureau in nearly three decades when its prototype the T 8 1 debuted in February 1975 The aircraft first flew combat missions in April 1980 when two Su 25s were dispatched to assist in the USSR s unfolding Afghan operations The planes performed brilliantly Soon full squadrons of Su 25s began operating out of the Soviet airbases located at Bagram and Khandar Although the eventual arrival of American Stinger shoulder launched surface to air missiles seriously undermined the ability of the VVS to conduct aerial operations the Su 25 proved its worth According to official figures by the time Soviet armed forces withdrew from Afghanistan Su 25s had flown more than 60 000 combat missions with only 23 aircraft lost As you reach the end of the line for the Sukhoi aircraft the path turns to the right or clockwise around the main quad Immediately to the right as you round the corner is a small group of aircraft from the Lavochkin OKB Aircraft of the Lavochkin OKB First established in September 1938 the Lavochkin OKB was one of the USSR s leading suppliers of fighter aircraft during the Great Patriotic War This success may well have surprised those pilots who had been forced to fly the OKB s first airplane the LaGG 1 Introduced

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  • Dictatorship of the Air » Avia-Corner
    Accurate and detailed information regarding the Russian Air Force Museum its history contents and operations is rather hard to come by for English only speakers The VVS Museum s official web site contains quite a bit of useful material but all of it is in Russian Moreover it is dated The website appears not to have been revised since it went on line in 2001 In a similar fashion the smattering of unofficial personal websites that turn up when one Googles Monino Russian aviation museum aren t much more helpful All contain pictures of planes Few say much about the Museum itself Nearly all are grossly out of date some by more than a decade I took the day off from researching yesterday to travel to the VVS Museum It is located in the Moscow suburb of Monino about 25 miles due east of the capital What follows in this and one if not two subsequent post s is an effort to provide non Russian speakers with an idea of what it s like to visit the Museum The posts are part travelogue part informational service part commentary My purpose is to put together an up to date field guide that will acquaint non Russian speaking aviation enthusiasts with what is by any measure one of the world s greatest collections of military aircraft If you are considering visiting the Russian Air Force Museum I hope that what follows will help prepare you for your trip If you do not have the opportunity to travel there consider this a virtual tour of sorts Continue Reading Discussion 24 Global Warming A Communist Conspiracy June 21 2007 2 41 am Filed in Avia Corner Moscow Dispatches One of the things that I most enjoy about researching with old periodicals are those occasions when I stumble upon some otherwise long forgotten article that tells you as much about the present as the past I found one yesterday afternoon while thumbing through regional newspapers at the Russian State Library branch located in Khimki The article appeared on the front page of the 15 March 1964 issue of Stalingradskaia pravda Stalingrad Pravda under the title Климат и его современные изменения or The Climate and Its Contemporary Changes As far as the current public debate on global warming is concerned I am a devout agnostic Still I couldn t help but smile as I read through the Khrushchev era piece Here s a full if hastily composed translation of the article Continue Reading Discussion 0 Moscow s Metro June 19 2007 3 58 am Filed in Avia Corner General Moscow Dispatches Of all the major construction projects that graced the decade of the Triumph of Soviet Socialism none arguably was a greater success than the Moscow Metropolitan named for Lenin True the project was a mass of confusion that fell behind schedule and went over budget while squandering natural resources and human lives but what else would one expect from the Stalinist thirties Unlike the Palace

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  • Dictatorship of the Air » The Russian Air Force Museum at Monino (pt. 3)
    second noteworthy plane is the Tu 16 The Tupolev OKB s first jet bomber the Tu 16 debuted on 27 April 1952 The aircraft entered serial production in December of that same year By the time that production ended in 1963 1 509 had been built The Tu 16 proved to be a highly adaptable aircraft During the four decades that followed its maiden flight nearly fifty different modifications were made to the airplane The most significant of these was the transformation of the military bomber into the USSR s first jet passenger airplane the Tu 104 The majority of the aircraft in the VVS Museum s outdoor collection are parked within and around a large rectangular walkway or quad one short side of which runs more or less parallel with the row of planes from the Tupolev OKB As you turn away from the Tupolev planes and look down the long path you see a large group of aircraft situated in an L pattern along the lower right hand corner of the central quad These are Airplanes of the Great Patriotic War Airplanes of the Great Patriotic War Nazi Germany s surprise launch of Operation Barbarossa on 22 June 1941 was marked by the near complete destruction of the Soviet Air Force In the first two weeks of combat alone the USSR lost well over 4 000 aircraft as opposed to only 150 losses suffered by the Luftwaffe The ability of the VVS to weather the storm of the initial German offensive regroup rebuild and ultimately help repel the invading Nazi forces stands as the brightest chapter in the history of Russian aviation Not surprisingly the Museum possesses a wide array of combat aircraft from the Great Patriotic War Among these is one of the first fighter planes to emerge from the Mikoyan Gurevich OKB the MiG 3 Small nimble and fast the airplane represented a major step forward in Soviet aviation design when it was unveiled in the spring of 1940 During early high altitude test flights the I 200 as it was then officially known was reported to have reached a top speed of 404 mph 651 km hour making it according to Soviet officials the fastest fighter plane in existence However in actual combat conditions at lower altitudes the MiG 3 did not match the performance of Germany s frontline fighter the Messerschmitt Me 109 Still the airplane was one of the few bright spots for the VVS in the opening months of the war 3 500 MiG 3s left Soviet factories before production was halted in order to increase the output of other aircraft in November 1941 The Petliakov Pe 2 is one of the standouts in the Museum s collection of World War II era bomber aircraft First tested in May 1939 the Pe 2 was the quintessential example of the Soviet emphasis on frontal bombing operations in the years immediately preceding WWII The plane was designed to provide close air support and attack

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  • Dictatorship of the Air » The Russian Air Force Museum at Monino (pt. 2)
    real live Russian to do this for you They re easy to find round these parts If you re staying at a nice hotel the concierge would be the one to ask The entry fee for foreigners visiting on their own is currently 350 rubles approx 14 Children under 15 get in for 200 rubles If you want to bring along a camera to take still photographs you must pay an additional 200 ruble fee about 8 There s yet another charge 250 rubles for using a video camera After settling up at the cashier s desk you ll receive a paper receipt Exit the door you entered go back through the gate and turn right Across the street you ll see a big blue metal fence behind which are a bunch of Russian airplanes Getting Acquainted Under normal operating conditions the Museum is divided into two separate sections The first is the Main Hall where tickets are purchased It houses the reception area cashier sundry administrative offices and a seven room display chronicling the of History of Russian Aviation to the present day The second section consists of the large aircraft collection parked in the big field across the street There you will find on display six dozen plus airplanes and a handful of helicopters dating from the Great Patriotic War to the present Two hangars located at the far side of the field opposite the entry gate contain respective displays devoted to Unique Flying Machines Уникальные летательные аппараты and Training Aircraft Sport Planes and Parachuting Учебные и спортивные самолеты Выставка парашютов Here s a map of the Museum grounds And now the bad news In 2005 a fire destroyed most of the Museum s Main Hall Little has been done since then to remedy the situation There appears to be no set schedule for beginning let alone completing the necessary repairs In order to ensure that the remainder of the Museum continues to function the History of Russian Aviation display has been closed to make room for the administrative offices Likewise the hangar which houses the display of Unique Flying Machines is currently closed while major repairs are being made to the hangar s roof When I inquired as to the date by which the repairs are supposed to be completed and the display re opened I was told that officially everything will be finished by August of this year When I asked for a date by which the display might realistically be expected to re open I received the expected reply Only God knows On the bright side there was actual work being done on the hangar the day I visited The qualifier to all of this is that most of the textual information contained in these displays is was in Russian So it s not as if non Russian speakers are going to miss out on that much anyway Later in this Field Guide I ll give you a detailed summary of the displays contents in

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  • Dictatorship of the Air » The Russian Air Force Museum at Monino (pt. 1)
    the coach you re in and begin addressing the passengers These people fall into four general categories Each wants something 1 Budding Russian capitalists distinguished by the broad and eclectic quantity of cheap consumer products that they are trying to hawk everything from ball point pens and notebooks to mosquito repellant plastic bags Russian romance novels and panty hose Odds are very good they have nothing you need 2 Beggars among the varieties you may encounter are invalids impoverished pensioners disabled Afghan war veterans young children and gypsies of all ages to name but a few 3 Performers including senior citizens singing off key Russian classics young gypsy children armed with accordions and Russian teenagers performing stand up comedy original poetry and or appalling bad rap songs All of these people are in fact beggars in disguise 4 Ice cream vendors clearly identified by the large insulated containers that they carry in their hands or wear around their neck Ignore everyone except the ice cream vendors Along with quality vodka Baltika beer and gob smackingly beautiful women ice cream is a Russian product that should be enjoyed at every opportunity Alert the vendor of your intent to make a purchase Hold up one or more fingers indicating the quantity you desire and pass him a 100 ruble note Note A typical Russian made стаканчик sta KAHN chik currently runs about 25 rubles 1 when bought from a train or street vendor After the elektrichka arrives at the Monino platform you still have to make your way to the Museum proper It s a bit of a haul but then again getting there on your own is half the fun Exit the train You will see a set of stairs descending into the area beneath the platform Take the stairs downward If when you began your descent you were facing the rear of the train on which you arrived turn left at the bottom of the stairs If you were facing the front of the train turn right Follow the underground passage to the end Turn right and ascend up the stairs On your left hand side you will see a long building containing a series of small shops and kiosks it s the grey one visible in the picture to the left To your right you will now see the platform area from which trains leave the Monino station Walk forward parallel to the shops and kiosks on your left and the train platforms on your right When you reach the end of the building you will come to a blue metal gate and vehicle check point manned by military personnel Walk through the pedestrian passage to the left of the checkpoint and proceed forward parallel with the road along the tree lined sidewalk immediately adjacent to the street After 15 minutes or so you will reach the main entrance of the Russian Military Air Academy Военно воздушная академия Voenno vozdushnaya akademiia Turn left Continue walking alongside the brick and wrought iron fence that surrounds the academy grounds until you have circled half way around the academy and reached an entrance directly opposite the Main Entrance that you initially encountered Turn left at this second rear entrance and walk down the road with the academy directly behind you A dirt path will veer off to the right in front of a red and blue marker decorated with two airplanes Follow the path until you reach the large blue sign Музей ВВС marking the entrance to the Museum Continue on until you see on the left a sign which reads Касса музея Turn left Make another left at the gate marked Касса The entrance to the museum is located in the small shanty immediately on your left after you have entered through the gate Congratulations you made it Next up the Museum and its grounds ScP For the next installment in this series of posts click here 2 24 Responses to The Russian Air Force Museum at Monino pt 1 1 Dictatorship of the Air The Russian Air Force Museum at Monino pt 2 Pinged With July 2 2007 7 55 am Note For the previous post in this series click here 1 2 Dictatorship of the Air The Russian Air Force Museum at Monino pt 3 Pinged With July 5 2007 3 17 am Note For previous posts in this series click here 1 2 3 Dictatorship of the Air The Russian Air Force Museum at Monino pt 4 Pinged With July 9 2007 10 47 pm Note For previous posts in this series click here 1 2 3 4 Dictatorship of the Air The Russian Air Force Museum at Monino pt 5 Pinged With July 15 2007 5 55 pm Note For previous post in this series click here 1 2 3 4 5 Dictatorship of the Air The Russian Air Force Museum at Monino pt 6 Pinged With August 2 2007 5 44 pm Note For previous posts in this series click here 1 2 3 4 5 6 Dictatorship of the Air The Air Force Museum at Monino A Reader s Report Pinged With June 22 2008 8 42 am We actually went to the museum The directions provided by your website were of indispensable help 7 Michael Doreian Said November 1 2008 7 47 pm I visited Monino in August and would never have found it without your fantastic instructions thankyou very very much Michael Doreian PS I saw all four types of the people you mentioned would appear on the train and I even bought an ice cream 8 Piet Luijken Said November 11 2008 5 29 am Just visited the museum in oct 2008 According the museum permission is needed for foreigners by fax at number 007 495 747 39 28 This has to be done two weeks in advance As we had no more time we decided to go the commercial way Permission was now arranged in five minutes 9 Earl Eldred Said

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  • Dictatorship of the Air » Global Warming: A Communist Conspiracy?
    of the article The Climate and Its Contemporary Changes Leningrad 14 March 1964 TASS After five days of work in the Central Geophysical Observatory named for A I Voikov a symposium on Global Atmospheric Processes has concluded Participating in the symposium were leading climatologists meteorologists and aerologists from Moscow Leningrad Alma Ata Tashkent Tblisi Rostov on Don and other cities of the USSR A report from E S Rubenshtein Doctor of Geography on current climate change attracted much interest Currently the main geophysical observatory is displaying maps which depict temperature changes in various regions around the globe The maps utilize the results of analytical data compiled over the course of the last two centuries They clearly reveal temperature changes beginning in the 1920s and 1930s of the current century It appears that the greatest level of warming has occurred in the Arctic However climactic change has also been observed in the temperate latitudes and the tropics Scientists had theorized that in the early 1940s the warming process had ended and cooling began The most recent data however do not support this theory It appears that while cooling may be taking place in some regions warming is continuing in others While the majority of researchers believe that climate change is the result of variations in solar activity a few link the warming of the climate to increased emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere brought about by human activity such as the growth of industry The temperature changes have lead to a number of interesting developments In regions of Eurasia located between the forest tundra to the far north for example climate changes over the last forty to fifty years have resulted in the migration of no fewer than forty types of birds and mammals Elk which in the 1920s were

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