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RetroRidAIR goes EAST along with GALOREs ..

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  • RetroRidAIR goes EAST along with GALOREs ..

    Hi all,

    Welcome back and thanks again for your visits and support. As a return, you are up to a galore of everything be it either a new country then in transition to renew itself or new entries, as only the first aircraft duplicated herself. Enjoy the trip.

    Background : a spotter trip to LED and MOW set up by London area based Alpha Mike Tours focusing in specialized journeys across the world.


    First day May 30th,
    which started very early with a couple of suburban train rides to link my locale with the airport

    TAT European Airlines, F-GIOV, Fokker 100, 11248

    IO 1122 IO was IATA two letter designator for “ TAT-Export “
    Paris/CDG 2- London/Gatwick
    205 miles
    07.30 / 07.30
    Captain Lamy
    Getting to aircraft parked on commuter apron amid a collection of ATR42s and Saab 340 was by bus transfer

    Boarding, collapsible stairs thru front exit 07.20
    Seat 06F
    Start Engines 07.28
    Push-back 07.29
    Depart 07.32
    Rotation 07.42
    Runway 28/10
    During the short hop, a light breakfast was served
    Descent 07.00
    Short Finals 07.15
    Landing 07.18
    Airborne 36 minutes
    At Stand 07.29

    After clearing the custom, it time to catch the coach connection linking LGW to LHR, a nice journey although it just gave glimpses of the famed English countryside. At terminal 2 basemant, I eventually met Alpha Mike Tour's rep and was introduced to my fellow travellers, most of whom were loyal and regular customers to AMT. So it sounded as a welcome to the Club instead of a common organized tour ...

    AEROFLOT, CCCP86060, Ilyushin IL.86, cn 03027, based LED & opb by local directorate

    30 May
    SU 638
    London/Heathrow Saint Petersburg/Pulkovo
    13.25 / 19.50


    Operated back and forth to Western Europe alongside quite a few sisterships and a fleet of Tupolev 134s and 154s, CCCP86060 was part of Aeroflot Pulkovo based flying unit, referred to as "Directorate" before eventually re-emerging as today's Pulkovo. Pending that, cn 03027 was parked at a remote stand and

    [photoid=577469] we got at her foot thx to a bus transfer and were up to be introduced with the real, soviet way to board an IL86.

    First we lined up in front of the collapsible stairs

    After staging through a compartment where cumbersome hand bags could be left, then came another flight of stairs heading UP to the cabin.
    Seat 08J, no safety card
    Cabin, Full Y, 9 abreast (3+3+3)
    Push-back 13.35
    Start Engines 13.36
    Depart 13.47

    taxying to runway past a SAA 747-444 on RoD
    Rotation 13.54
    En route, the lady was far from being full

    Descent 19.35
    Short Finals 19.42
    Landing 19.46
    Airborne 2 hours 52
    At Stand 19.52

    Welcome at LED, the international terminal ...
    Getting the luggage was a pretty interesting experience which was reminsicent of Pointe Noire/Congo. The baggage conveyor belt was due to be a thing of past until the major facelift was over. So, the pieces were unloaded and piled up on some remaining flat surface ...
    Clearing the baggage claim and custom of course required some time but finally our party met Rudi, a Hungarian fellow who came to USSR for studying and later switched to tourism representation !!!
    Reaching Hotel Pulkovskaya

    was by our specially appointed coach operated by a company called Sputnik.
    Providing some apetizing taste with transition under way, roads were not yet full of cars, but they were not so empty any more.

    The japanese made car was imported for sale on the used market straight from Japan with the right hand steering along.

    To be continued
    Last edited by uy707; 2006-07-26, 14:23.
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  • #2
    USSR was over, Russia and CIS/Commonwealth of Independant States started taking over. Atop the official building, yellow hammer & sickles in red field had left the ways to horizontal tricolors. On the aprons, transition was barely breaking in, a YL-registered Baltic TU134 at Pulkovo there and then .... but as far Aeroflot was still concerned, the airport resident operational unit referred as "Directorate"n and its allocated fleet still ruled supreme
    Pulkovo unit was issued with IL86s, TU154s and 134s serving domestic and international routes to Western Europe all radiating from PLK.
    Rzhevska was more typical and altogether more "soviet" as it catered to
    - regular air transport with a handful of AN24s and Yak 40s, which had replaced IL14s
    - utility and agricultural with
    the ubiquitous AN 2 as for the fixed wing stablemates and coming up in all liveries, ie, yellow overall, blue stripe regular standard livery introduced in 1975 and its red variation associated with Polar flyings.
    some Mil Mi 2s and MI 8s as for the rotaries.

    Before actually entering a ramp, some checks were off course conducted and for practical reasons, we were all part of a party of British travellers. A quick and practical way to be naturalized

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    • #3
      First airport in our visit

      Was Rzheska/ULSS serving LED area along with Pulkovo. Transition had not yet started materializing as it did at Pulkovo. And this was good after all, as this offered a glimpse on how AFL on the regional and utility worked.

      ULSS was divided in two distinctive parts with the single runway in between.


      The most active part hosted the commercial traffic. Encroaching on the apron was the L-shaped building hosting the terminal at ground level and the Directorate's adminstrative offices on floors above. Flagships in use for serving points of call mostly regionwide and as far as Moscow/Bykovo were Yak 40s, this one enjoying some long (?) RoDs

      An24s, by far the most active

      and AN26s, which replaced Ilyushin IL14s. Visitors from other directorates were not very common, although a mighty IL18 ventured weekly from Domodedovo.

      Reaching the utility and scrapyards was by driving across. This area was divided into quite a few parts, in order of appearance
      - a helo scrapyard focusing on Mil Mi4s (USSR look alikes of the Sikorsky S55)
      - then, a pretty large collection of Antonov 2s
      which summerized all the liveries used to adorn those fantatistic radial powered [photoid=5771744] biplanes. Airframes in yellow overall made up of about 80 % of the fleet, although some in post 75 livery, either regular blue stripes [photoid=5771733] or red polar [photoid=5772602] showed up there and then. Many were nethertheless parked in some long term basis and came up with canvas laid on engine cowlings and even cockpit glassworks.
      Helos, predominently small 4-seater Mil Mi2s were next to fill the stage. Interestingly they came up in various liveries including this blue/red finish
      For those whose collecting focused on helos, this was a real boon, as standard colors were applied on an even much slower pace than the AN 2 !!!
      A proverb says the Best for the end, not this time as the tour came to a conclusion with the sad sight of IL14s being finished off on a dedicated scrapeyard [photoid=5770953]

      To be continued

      Last edited by uy707; 2006-07-20, 13:37.
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      • #4
        Time for a small ride around ULSS, and time to confess an omission, I forgot picturing the helo !!! So let the picture below coming in our rescue

        AEROFLOT, CCCP 15648, MIL MI-2, Y5


        Saint Petersburg/Rzhevska-Saint Petersburg/Rzhevska
        Boarding 11.20
        Seating Beside the pilot, instruments in metrics
        Start Engine 11.21
        Depart 11.24
        Rotation 11.27
        Power +/- 80%
        Altitude Hovering between 230 and 250 meters

        A power plant

        A cluster of social high rise housing

        some utility gardens allowing the nearby high rise building residents to self cater to their needs of vegetables ....

        Cruise Speed 100 km/h
        Life on board : Listening to Russian aircom through the headset handed over by the pilot

        Flying past the airport

        Descent 11.47
        Short Finals 11.49
        Landing 11.50
        Airborne 23 minutes
        At Stand 11.52

        The early afternoon was set to be spent on the commercial ramp and soon our brazilian made Marco-Polo motor coach dropped our party near this AN26 in red plolar finish


        We then enjoyed a nice walk along the apron to bring back some pics as far we three dedicated photographers out of 26 travellers were concerned.

        Summerizing with the local operational unit's flag ships

        a YaK 40 [photoid=5777269]
        an Antonov 24 [photoid=5777323] and
        an Antonov 26 [photoid=5777316]

        The small number of residents and visitors alike helped Andy March to keep with his straight schedule and soon we were on our ways to Pulkovo.
        Things were set, an average of two airports a day with lots of miles across the Russian urban landscape and countryside and some kind of confrontation between the photographers and the notepad fillers when on aprons !

        Reaching PLK required some time as first we drove across the city before "hooking" on the roadlink to its gateway.

        Here the directorate operated a fleet of TU134s, 154s and IL86s on routes radiating to western Europe. Exercising the agreed ramp access proved off course more complicated than in ULSS as the ramp was much more active albeit most of the residents proved dormant. Anyway, we were finally first awarded some small perimeter opposite the old terminal which somewhat limited the number of clients including some agonizing 134s

        and 154s

        Late in the afternoon, we left, but we did not set our way back to the hotel.
        We instead indulged in a sightseeing enroute stop by TNT's enclosed truck parking and depot ! neatly parked and towering above the area otherwise normal resident was an IL18 the outer wings of which had been chopped !!! We stayed in the motor coach, as writers rushed on their notepads and binoculars to record the registration. The Sputnik travel's asset was off course quick to be noticed by the residing parking security who emerged from his company house in swimwear and gazed at the motorcoach as if wanting to know how many were inside ....

        Back at the hotel, we had dinner and some of the most adventurous including me were keen to make the most of the late setting sun by wenting for a small tour downtown along the famed canals, the expensive Hermitage building complex and the moored Aurora pre-WWI battle cruiser.

        Till the next

        Last edited by uy707; 2006-07-26, 15:13.
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        • #5
          01. JUNE 1992, second full day and a well filled one

          We raised pretty early and enjoyed our breakfast, soon, time rang for the transfer to distant Rzhevka and enjoy a last crossing of the city in the process.

          AEROFLOT, Antonov AN-24, CCCP 47353
          01 June
          SU 34288 (!) Special charter set up for Alpha-Mike Tours’
          Saint-Petersburg/Rshevska Moscow/Bykovo
          Boarding 10.12
          Seat 05D, view from associated window [photoid=5772648]

          Start Engines 10.17
          Depart 10.20

          Rotation 10.23 [photoid=5777330]
          At cruise level above the vast Russian countryside, note the two isolated antennas

          Descent 12.00

          Above some factories ...

          Short Finals 12.05

          Landing 12.09
          Airborne 1 hour 46 minutes
          At Stand 12.10, amid numerous other AN24s and Yak 42s, the local directorate's workhorses.
          Transfer to terminal by bus shared with a party from a scheduled flight including a Senegalese student.
          The terminal building ....

          and its somewhat unique layout, first a set of booth and security screening, then a kind of no man's land, then the terminal building ...
          It took some time before we could get the much prized access, first we had to meet our Sputnik Travel party and another Brazilian made Marco-Polo motor coach.
          In addition to house AN24s [photoid=5777348] operated for the fisheries patrols and Yak42s, the directorate run a maintenance shop for IL76s, in addition to some SU fleet members, the shop played host to a Syrianair (YK-AFA), a Lybian Arab in all white and titles minimalistic finish (5A-DNA) both resting on jacks and litterally assaulted by clutters... But the best came from
          [photoid=5778430] CCCP76474 which summerized what was going on. A model TD, this bird had just been repainted with still the SSSR-prefix, but was hence flying the Russian flag.
          Former Bykovo directorate's flagship fleetmember and Gate guardian IL14
          CCCP-91484, [photoid=5772610] concluded a somewhat short visit. The day was not over as a long but interesting bus ride to Domodedovo was in the pipeline.

          Thanks for visiting
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          • #6
            Uh Oh Alain.

            *System overloaded* Tooooo much information.

            Got this one bookmarked. Interesting. Will read it one more time.
            Inactive from May 1 2009.


            • #7
              ^thx John

              Let's resume ....
              We are at Bykovo, about 15 km southwest of Moscow and are up to a drive to Domodedovo, about 60 km away as our Marco Polo first trudged its long way west to Moscow in order to hook up on the then nascent ring road, before actually getting our wheels on the 40 km or so long portion leading to DVO.

              Tasked with linking the Russian Far East and Siberia, DVO's directorate had the privilege to operate the last mighty TU114s until 1975. Since then CCCP75464 poses as the gate guardian as a legacy

              At time of visit, IL62Ms, which actually replaced the TU114 as SU chief long hauler. were the locale directorate's flagships. Yet, a sizeable number of ubiquitous TU154s (so far, only Bykovo had not any !) made up for the fleet backbone. A handful of Yak 42s, IL76 freighters and IL86s acted as complements.

              As far we were concerned, we finally ended up on the parking areas adjacent to the side remote ramps sandwiching the terminal building .... The best lit one, and altogether the most cluttered offered some surprises of its own as to better tease us (or bug us...)

              Unsusual visitors included a couple of Red Polar liveried IL18s (CCCP74268 & 75462) and a post '75 blue striped Antonov 8 (CCCP55521,!) seeing one was an event as these heavy twin engined freighters seldom ventured outside the USSR and were close to the end of their service lives under SU banner. But sting of transition stroke us as a freshly painted Azerbaidjanese TU134 (the one far left) was filling a stand.

              Finally time came to drive up to Moscow and our hotel located pretty close to Arbat Prospekt, the city's top commercial throughoutfare. Next to dinner, we a small group of daredevils opted to experience the unique Subway, stations of which are real masterpieces and have a walk across Red Square by night .

              Till the next

              Last edited by uy707; 2006-07-31, 14:44.
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              • #8
                June 02nd, Sheremetievo and Tuschino

                According to a quickly set routine, breakfast went fast to meet our Marco-Polo motor coach, which soon trudged her 40 km + way to SVO/UUEE, the first call of a busy day.

                Getting there required quite a long time and clearing the gates to enter the ramp looked lasting the same amount of time but finally here we were starting with the School of Aeronautics, the extensive stock of instructional airframes was a real show case of Soviet airliners production over the preceding decades albeit in various states .... Interestingly, most were development airframes which were donated when the types went into mass production.
                The IL.18 had been reduced to her fuselage put at use as a tool storage hut

                More priviledged, the ineviatble TU154 proved to be popular with teachers and students as she almost always hosted undergoing sessions, the attendees of which came in for a chat, late Rudi was quickly pressed as the acting interpreter.

                Quite a few types were also represented including
                the IL 86 [photoid=5778467]
                the Yak 40 [photoid=5772618] in manufacturer's original c/s
                the AN 24 [photoid=5782696]
                and even a Tupolev TU22 BLinder mid-size/mid weight bomber !!! Sorry no pics, this one was really surrounded by an army of clutters ....

                The visit went on by moving into the typical and legendary long term parking areas, once recurrents in illustrating propaganda and advertising leaflets on AFL
                A first remote ramp hosting a solitary AN74 and quite a few IL76s

                A first surprise visitor was this AN.22 [photoid=5778472] as the Cargo department of SVO directorate was assignated with IL76s
                In charge of the international services to Western Countries and the Far East serving Moscow, the directorate was tasked to do the job with TU154s, IL86s and IL62Ms soldiering on the long hauls
                Resting on some remote ramp and keeping company to each other, a TU154 and IL62M

                Providing for the background and parked on the domestic terminal remote ramp was one of two TAAG-Angola's IL62M.
                next to a few shots we drove along the core maintenance ramp hosted by TU154s,

                and IL86s (photoid=5783301]

                The domestic apron offered some good surprises. First we had to freeze our drive as the South African Prime Minister and delegation members were setting on their long way home on board a SAA 747-244B. When the later has vacated the stand, our driver could resume the ride, across the tarmac which also hosted a Berline and an Aeroflot IL18s (photoid=5783277]. Sadly enough we were not allowed to leave the motor coach so some of the pictures were mad through the windows.

                Final stage was provided by the next ramp hosting the Academy O Sciences flying unit, also offering a real showcase of USSR's flying products which ranged from the single engined Yak 18T
                [photoid=5772592] to the still mighty IL62M [photoid=5783285] with AN12s including CCCP-11531 acting as a test bed and surveyor
                [photoid=5783234] and impressive Mil MI26 helo [photoid=5783303] in between. Other residents included the ubiquitous TU154M, a single MI 8 "Hip" in mundane orange/blue finish

                and a tiny MI 2 [photoid=5772599]
                We then drove across to opposite located Terminal 2, were a Balkan 737-500 was ready for push-back and then congregated at the 5th floor restaurant for a snack. Cameras were not left in the bag and between two crunches in the sandwiches
                [photoid=388764] with an incoming Tarom IL62M while AFL's CCCP-86520 was undergoing another RoD between two missions
                along with sister-ship CCCP-86518 [photoid=383493] sitting at another gate. Time was to drive however to Tuschino,next call.
                Starting the drive was by circling around on the perimeter road and going past the domestic terminal. But an IL62M on her way home was on short finals, and we minority of photographers extorted the favour to have our motor coach pulling along a dserted area and get this picture of CCCP-86534 [photoid=5783293]
                While driving to Tuschino AFB, the weather somewhat deteriorated and once there, it turned to be a little bit stormy.
                The part we were allowed to enter hosted no fewer than 12 classic AN2s, four of which were finsihed in AFL colours, a derelict Lisunov LI2, a decaying IL14, a couple of AN24s and this completely anonymous overpowered all grey AN32

                providing for the background was this VVF's IL14 1460010 facing a very uncertain future.
                The ramp tour could not be complete without a visit in the hangar acting as the winter lair of some beautifully liveried Sukkoi SU26 aerobatic aircarfts. Alas, the dim light prevented any picture. Some of the residents teasing the photographers
                24 - finsihed in dual purple and white
                27 - in the more mundane red and white, but pretty anyway
                33 - finished in dual green and yellow
                34 - finished in black and gold, my favourite ...
                35 - also purple and white
                37 - in blue and white.

                Another interesting day had been spent and it was time to make it back to the hotel

                Till the next

                Last edited by uy707; 2006-08-06, 21:03.
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                • #9
                  JUNE 03rd, Myachkovo and again to Domodedovo

                  Hi all and thanks again for your visits and comment.

                  (Pictured at Monino)

                  Once again, our faithful Marco-Polo motor-coach was waiting for us. This time, the day sortie was for Myachkovo and another visit to Domodedovo.

                  Somewhat distant and isolated enough, Myachkovo hosted a directored pretty much focused on somewhat elusive cargo, survey and some commuter services involving small size aircrafts and helos. To complete the missions, it was issued with quite a few ubiquitous AN2s showing all known livery variants sported by the Classic ladies,
                  supplemented by some more modern Czech built Let 410s [photoid=5787721]
                  While some remaining AN.8s undertook some cargo works [photoid=5782757] along with elusive AN32s
                  In terms of number allocated , the also rare Antonov AN30 was the local queen of the skies [photoid=5783198]. In addition to the usual standard liveried fleet members, some also came up with the Polar finish in red either in one piece [photoid=5783203]or undergoing some heavy maintenance ...

                  and dark blue (!) [photoid=5783210]
                  Making up for the rotaries were some Mil MI-8 in various liveries and shapes ....
                  Activity seemed dormant as virtually all the choppers in one piece had their glass work canvased.

                  Some stings of change.

                  The tour revealed this Antonov AN32 flying the locally based Aviatrans (now Atrans) tail logo. Reported as set up in 1942, Aviatrans was an all cargo airline which operated AN32s along with AN12s and IL76s from various locations.

                  Next surprise was provided by an IL14 ....

                  operated by another directorate which reformated as an airline, on behalf of the Russian government !

                  The deal of the day

                  Get 20 bucks less in your wallet and enrich your log with a timeless classic ....

                  here we go, since everybody wished sampling the Antonov AN2, the six seater set aside for us flew three joy rides.


                  AEROFLOT, CCCP-92959, Antonov AN2, Y6 + 2 pilots
                  June 3rd
                  Special Joy Ride # 3
                  Miles +/- 50
                  Boarding 11.55
                  Seat : cabin until cruise level
                  Start Engine 11.58
                  Depart 11.59
                  Rotation 12.02
                  Rotation roll +/- 160 meters
                  Rotation speed +/- 170 km/h
                  Transfer To First Officer’s seat by latter’s invitation
                  Instruments In metrics

                  Some First Officer's perspectives
                  over the "Office"
                  his panel before reaccomodating on his seat

                  over the yoke, and its affixed miniplate. In case of doubt as for the ship registration, one could just read the latter ...while breathing some air dispensated by the side apparent ventilator, another CIS/Russian/Soviet fixture.

                  over the wings

                  over a side airfield and its grass strip and well stocked with Yak 18Ts four seaters and two AN2s, including a Soviet Union AF soldier ...
                  glimpse of timeless Holy Russia from another ageless Lady

                  Descent 12.15

                  Short Finals 12.18
                  Landing 12.22
                  Airborne 20 minutes
                  At Stand 12.25
                  The two pilots needed a lift to reach the nearby suburb and became at their turns special guests by getting in the motor coach.
                  We left UUWM at about 1 pm, detoured somewhat across the timeless Russian countryside to drive our pilots to their respective destinations and set our long way to Domodedovo, where a very bad surprise waited for some of us.
                  During the previous time we were confined to the sides of the terminal building, we got a welcome party whose members led us to the restaurant and VIP waiting room adjacent to the apron. BUT CAMERAS WERE NOT ALLOWED WHEN ENTERING THE LATTER !!!!
                  On the apron, the nearby IL62Ms facing us looked to rejoice on our misfortune ....
                  So along with my three fellow photographers, we left our stuff on a low ride living room table and tried our best to convingly revert to pure and ageless British spotting by filling pages ...while enjoying the shade provided by a wing belonging to IL62M CCCP-86491

                  Till the next

                  Last edited by uy707; 2006-08-10, 16:42.
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                  • #10
                    June 04th, Monino and Technical Park ....

                    Within MOW extensive city limits ... Another morning and another opportunity in crisscrossing the countryside around Mother Russia's capital soon made up for the next items on the day's agenda. As distances were pretty long, we set our way early to reach Monino and its famed aerospace museum located close to the airport serving the City of the Stars which hosts the astronauts who train for their missions.

                    In due time, we were met by a welcome comitee staffed by one of the curators who took great pleasure to act as our guide and an interpreter.The tour started with the enclosed hangars lining on side of the open spaces.
                    Our first call was off course for the first ever flight made by a Russian built craft. According to the rule that every major nation claims a first ever flight completed before anybody else, there was no exception with the Soviet who traced theirs to 1898 at the latest !
                    Quite a few noteworthy items resided in the warm. They included a full size replica of the large sized single engined Tupolev Ant which completed the first visit ever made by a Soviet aircraft to the United States in 1937 by beating a distance record. After mapping out half of the empire and flying across the Pacific Ocean, the Tupolev landed at San Jacinto in California.
                    The knowledgeable guide had well studied his guests and we called by a room sheltering a WWII Yak-9 fighter, understood to be the Soviet equivalent of both the ME109 and the Spitfire. The curator managed to pull some drops from me by making a long evocation of the Free French Airforce's Normandie-Niemen squadron the mount of which were Yak 9s. Formed early in 1942 with Stalin's blessing, the Squadron started operating very quickly with 25 volunteers airlifted from Rayak/Syria, with more to come after gatherings at both Rayak and Brazzaville. Pilots were all (Free)French while ground ops were undertaken by Soviet mechanics and ancillary staffers on assignment. They took their part until final day and also paid an heavy toll as half did not live long enough ....
                    We ended the enclosed part with the reserves and as far civilian aircrafts were concerned, a Czech-built light twin engined/twin fin 6 seater Aero Moravia was tryin her best to pop up from the dimlight in FULL Aeroflot c/s.
                    Once the otherwise interesting tour of the hangar, we next reviewed the history of Soviet aviation on a full scale. Interestingly, the general arrangement of the outside residents was not made according to history but on either manufacturers or specializations instead. So we had a Mikoyan-Gurevitch/Mig alley, a Sukkhoi street, a utility and regional aircrafts lot which hosted the aptly named PZL-Mielec 15 "Belfegor" [photoid=5788410] which materialized an interesting experience in the quest for replacing the UNreplaceable classic Antonov AN2, the twice unlucky Beriev 32 [photoid=5788427]which lost the competition for the procurement of a 15 seater to Aeroflot over the Czech built Let 410 Turbolet. Decades later, Beriev relaunched the 32 with new engines and avionic and secured Moscow Airways as the (re)launch customer. Tooo bad, the airline went belly up soon after !!! Located close-by the chopper compound [photoid=5792187] had a surprise of its own in store .... in the shapes of a US-built Vertol 105 [photoid=5792828] !!! In 1959, Prime Secretary Nikiita Krutshev toured the US during an official visit during which he flew on board 707-153 (5)96970 on domestic legs and the Vertol. Possibly turned away should he have asked for the SevenO as an official present, he turned his attention to the Vertol he personally specified to President Ike Eisenhower, who was probably not motivated to contradict Mister Niet on this one ....
                    (Some) other interesting exebits
                    Myachichev 17 survey aircraft [photoid=5788405]
                    Two Lisunov 2s, one in Aeroflot early c/s [photoid=5788406]
                    another in Soviet AF olive drab with a long gone civilian rego [photoid=5788408], as for the latter, we avoided asking questions to altogether avoid earing the blueprints were borrowed by the Americans to come up with the DC.3....
                    A rare IL12 [photoid=5788412] and its development victimized by an arsony which occured just days before our visit [photoid=5790914]
                    The mighty TU114 [photoid=5787757], the rare Antonov AN10 "Ukraine" which went unlucky as the 80/110 seater procurement was finally set on the excellent IL18 [photoid=5790943], the much luckier AN12, in an early development with some unseen side cockpit windows [photoid=5790929] and the Beriev/Bartoli VVF14 hybrid [photoid=5792185] although reduced into a jigshaw
                    Lunch was throwed in at one of the facilities cafeterias, then set for the military. The latter had two rooms, one for the privates and low ranking non comissioned officer and the plush one coming along with linen clothed tables, plentiful portions and so on. Toilets were however shared and walking to them was through the privates' facility. Two guys sat at one of the tables, and even though they might have been taught that some are more equal than most, I felt some sympathy when very briefly looking at them making the most out of an otherwise small apportinated main course ...
                    Time was running us again and we were soon pulled from those or other thoughts associated with lunch. This time we experienced traffic across Moscow on a full scale and finally made it to the Achievement Park, once tasked to show the best of Soviet Union in terms of technology. To better represent the aerospace industry, the running Central Comitee had picked up a Vostok booster which dwarfed a Yak 42 and

                    a Tupolev TU154 [photoid=5790964], on this one, it might have been an achievement by itself to bring them here and put them together again in one piece .... We finally drove back to the hotel, where dinner was fixed as usual and had on mind to radiate on Arbat Prospekt and around. However, late Rudi Voller had a special treat of his own. Coming back to the hotel with his lady, he directed us to our trusty Marco Polo which hit the road again. We finally called at the Hungarian Embassy, where Rudi had arranged for a room and some nice beers from his native country.

                    Till the next

                    Last edited by uy707; 2006-08-24, 16:39.
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                    • #11
                      June 05th, the final day in Mother Russia

                      Started with a long excursion across Moscow heading to the southwest in order to reach Vnukovo.

                      Aeroflot's local directorate was tasked in providing services to Ukraine, the Black Sea and Central Asia with an assortment of IL86s [photoid=5792204], TU154s of all kinds ranging from original Kuznetsov powered Bs to newer Soloviev powered Ms [photoid=5793535] and TU134s [photoid=5782728]. Quite a few were filling the opposite remote ramp with parts missing.

                      Our allocated territory was however limited to the diminutive observation deck which was not exposed under the best light so far, so I limited picturing to a minimum. Yet, observing the scenery confirmed that change and transition were underway and one could think a future former Soviet Union was slowly but surely emerging. Still CCCP-prefixed and in mixed Aeroflot colors, Air Moldova showed it was taking over from Kishinev and back first with TU134 CCCP65050, too far to be pictured as she parked on the far side of the ramp dedicated to the 134s and then with TU154B2 CCCP85332 [photoid=5792201] which parked too close from our laird to allow a nice side-on picture. Also parked too far was IL86 CCCP86082 sporting Transaero titles.
                      The far right side from our platform was filled by Russian government fleet members. Among the latters were two IL62Ms (CCCP86554 & 712) and two TU154Ms (CCCP85656 & 666).
                      Some non-CIS visitors were also parked there and then, although only OK-BYA, a Czech government TU154Ms was a non-changing feature. There too, winds of change hinted they blowed in every directions ! North and South Yemen had been finally reunited and Yemenia was confirmed as the country's flag carrier. Victimized by this development, Alyemda's sole TU154M (7O-ACN) was sitting on a remote ramp. Mainland China was also in the midst of an aerial Great Leap Forward as CAAC's airline unit was being split up into several new airlines, namely Air China, based Beijing, China Northern (Harbin), China Eastern (Shanghai), China Southern (Canton/Gangzhu), China Southwest (Chengdu), China Yunnan (Kunming), China Xinjiang (Urumqi) and China Northwest (Xian). Illustrating the trend, CAAC TU154M B-4001 was providing the formerly Alyemda fleet member with company while sister ship B-4004 flew the colors of China Northwest.
                      At about noon, it was time to undertake the final ride to Sheremetievo, not before picturing the residing gate-guardian however [photoid=5793546]
                      Next to a last excursion though the western rim of Moscow's Ring Road, we reached SVO. There I parted with the party as the fellow members were heading back to London with British Airways' 767-300 service to LHR. When purshasing the trip, the latter's was sold to capacity and so I was accomodated on the day's following flight ubdertaken by Aeroflot 5 hours later. I did not mind and even agreed on this one as SU 582 was due with a mighty IL62M.

                      Cursing myself ....

                      Shortly after parting with my fellow travellers, I learned the hard way how things were going as far international departures are delt with at SVO. First, one had to clear the custom line, where the leaflet on which the Soviet visa used to be stamped was recovered and then one could proceed forward to the checking-in booths. In between were a batallion of battered sofas among which I ended up as the flight WAS NOT OPEN Next on the agenda was a forced three hour or so enroute stop in this dire noman's land ... At about 16.00 (4.00 pm), flight SU582 finally opened and I promptly headed to the allocated counters. Once the boarding pass in hands, I walked briskly to the waiting rooms. Large windows allowed seeing what was going on across on the apron. A Korean Air 744 (HL-747 had just docked. Also on locations were EC-EEK, an Iberia 747-200B following the soon to be referred Trans-Siberian route on her way back to Bajajas and N213JL, a JAL 747-346 also going this way to her destination in Western Europe. Adding to the list of non-CIS visitor, Lufthansa 737-330 D-ABEX was taxying to the runway, while SAS MD87 OY-KHI was heading to the gates and finally parked alongside CCCP-86467, an Aeroflot IL62M coming along with an Air Ukraine sticker.
                      With still some time before our flight was called, I headed for a nice cold beer at the Irish Pub to quench a long standing thirst and then strolled in the duty free shop area run by Dublin based Aer Rianta together with the pub and cocktail lounge. Then came time to make it to the gate where mighty CCCP-86518 waited for us [photoid=383493]

                      SU 582
                      19.50 / 20.45,
                      Miles 1 359
                      Boarding thru airbridge 19.35
                      Enter thru middle main exit
                      Seat 27A
                      Push-Back 19.54, safety demo
                      Spooling the engines 19.55
                      Depart 19.59
                      Rotation 20.07
                      Drink service Offerings on top of open trolley
                      Dinner Average with entrée, main course & dessert
                      Descent 19.53
                      Short Finals 20.19
                      Landing 20.27, textbook kiss landing
                      Airborne 3 hrs 20
                      At Stand 20.36,
                      Getting to terminal 2 Stairs + bus transfer

                      Although not dedicated to spotting, another nice week-end in London unfolded afterwards until the following Sunday evening

                      June 07th
                      IO 1139
                      London/Gatwick-Paris/CDG 2
                      Miles 205
                      20.15 / 22.15
                      Captain Vaucelles
                      Boarding 20.09
                      Seat 19A
                      Push-Back & Spooling first engine 20.13
                      Depart 20.15
                      Rotation 20.22
                      Inflight service Snack and drink
                      Overflew Brighton, Dieppe
                      Descent 21.45
                      Short finals 22.03
                      Landing 22.05
                      Airborne 41 minutes
                      At regional airlines stand 22.09

                      Conclusion, it was a very interesting trip which I willingly dedicate to late Plum Berilev, probably my best "tutor" in becoming a plane crazy and air transport afficionado. Son of a 1917 Russian exile who moved to France, Plum married Jeanine, a french woman and I met them first in Douala/Cameroon when I was 7. A buddy of my (late) father, Plum was working as a supervisor with the local aviation authority and held an apatrid passport issued in Cameroon as he never went along with the idea of not being a Russian anymore BUT WAS SECOND TO NONE IN AIRCRAFT IDENTIFICATION. PLUM WHEREVER YOU ARE THIS TRIP REPORT IS FOR YOU . SPACIBA.

                      I would also like to extend my special thanks to Andy March for his idea in pioneering the areas while running Alpha-Mike Tours and late Rudi Voller, the ever efficient Hungarian fixer who probably shares some good time with Plum in the heavens ....

                      The end

                      Hope you liked it, your comments welcome.

                      Next to come : FIRSttIME-air
                      Thanks for visiting
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