Ok just a quick post about the Central Air Force museum in Monino, just out side Moscow.
This was one of the things I was really looking forward to in Russia. During the Cold War different experimental design bureaus were fighting for government contracts to have their planes built. This resulted in all sorts of radical experimental and concept fighters, bombers and reconnaissance Aircraft. Some of which never came into production. The Cold War had both the soviets and the Americans pushing the boundaries of speed, range and stealth. This ingenuity and pioneering technology produced some truly amazing aircraft. The extent of madness that the Cold War created can be witnessed here with aircraft that are designed with one purpose in mind. To deliver a nuclear weapon deep into the opposing continent as stealth and quickly as possible. None of the planes actually had the range to return. It got to a point so crazy that they actually made an acronym M.A.D. Meaning mutually assured destruction. Quite fitting really.
We were allowed to do a free tour of the open exhibits luckily as it was a public holiday and the place was closed. We explained to the people who ran it that we had come all the way from Australia to view so they let us in.
They had some massive intercontinental supersonic bombers which I had never heard of before, mainly built during the 60’s when the envelope of supersonic flight was just beginning to be pushed. A gigantic prototype helicopter capable of lifting 40 tonnes, smashing all records. A large assortment of other attack and transport helicopters including the infamous Hind-D.
And an assortment of many different planes dating back to WWII, many of which are still involved in conflicts to this day. Very impressive, even Jess was enjoying the exhibits. Most are pretty well kept and also have some rough details in English about speed, weight, armament, purpose and any records they broke or conflicts they were involved in.
We were unable to see the inside exhibits as it was closed but we were more than happy with what we saw. Highly recommended to anyone who has even the slightest interest in aviation or military history.