16 photos that will make you want to drop everything and go to China

Russian Central Air Force Museum at Monino

Russian Central Air Force Museum at Monino – Rusting Airpower of the USSR


If you’re in Moscow and looking for somewhere a bit different to spend the day, escape the crowds or just venture from the city centre then the Russian Central Air Force Museum at Monino is definitely worth a trip.

Or perhaps you’re more like me, somewhat of an aviation fanatic, where the opportunity to see these monolithic aircraft is an opportunity of a lifetime not to be missed.

Russian Central Air Force Museum at Monino

The imposing Tupolev Tu-95 ‘Bear’

The Russian Central Air Force Museum at Monino is about 40km east of Moscow. Also known as the Russian Federation Air Force Museum, it is the largest in Russia. It’s collection features over 170 aircraft, including conventional planes, helicopters, gliders and some unusual flying machines.

Russian Central Air Force Museum at Monino

Try counting the stars, you’ll be here all day

The museum consists of one main building where there is information on the history of Russian aviation (though mostly only in Russian) and an indoor hangar featuring a number of WW2 fighter aircraft. Outside however is an enormous open air area where hundreds of post WW2 aircraft are stored which have to be the museums main attraction.

Russian Central Air Force Museum at Monino

I think I’ll call him Snoopy

Many of the aircraft on display were top secret during and even after the Cold War.

Known only by their NATO code names, these aircraft were at the cutting edge of design and aeronautical experimentation of the time. A couple of aircraft on display are still types that are in active service.

Russian Central Air Force Museum at Monino

The Soviet’s Concord, the Tu-144 ‘Concordski’, still wearing the hammer & sickle

Along with military aircraft there is also a few civilian aircraft on display, one of particular note the Tupolev 144. Not many people realise that it was actually the Soviet’s who built & flew the world’s first first supersonic airliner….they snuck in 2 months ahead of the Concorde

Russian Central Air Force Museum at Monino

The Mil V-12, the largest helicopter ever built!

The museum not only houses planes but a large number of helicopters too.

From attack to transport they’re just as impressive. Greeting you at the gate you can’t miss the Mil V-12, it’s size is dwarfing and its longer than a Boeing 737. It’s almost unbelievable that this thing got of the ground with its strange design features, but it did and still holds records to this day.

Russian Central Air Force Museum at Monino

Birds of differing kinds

The museum is located next door to an active Air Force Base so you may be lucky enough to see some of the current inventory of the Russian airforce buzzing overhead. Fighter jets and transports leaving their dark streaks across the sky, on the day I was there there were probably 7 or more circling around every few minutes or so. Not many museums provide a free airshow along with the ticket!

Russian Central Air Force Museum at Monino

Almost like they’re waiting to head back to the skies

A place with a difference and plenty of history. The only place in the world you can see some of these machines. To visit the Russian Central Air Force Museum at Monino simply head to Moscow’s Yaroslavskaya railway station (Russian: Яросла́вский вокза́л, Yaroslavsky vokzal) and ask for a return ticket to Monino (Russian: Мо́нино). Its about 1.5 hours each way, leaving hourly and costs roughly $6 USD return. When you get off  the train  just follow the signs for the Russian Central Air Force Museum at Monino. The entry ticket is around $5 USD and if you need it the GPS is 55°49′58.05″N 38°11′02.41″E. Have fun!


  • Heather August 9, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Old plane museums are really interesting. This one looks to be no exception.

  • Chris August 10, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    This is my kind of place! I’ve always been a history nut, and the world wars (and Cold War) has always been high on the interest list.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Jordan Adkins - Inspired By Maps August 11, 2016 at 1:26 am

      Thats why I find Russia and Eastern Europe (and Asia to a certain extent) soooo interesting. An entirely different way of viewing history that we are not taught in New Zealand and alot of the Western world.

  • Mar Pages August 11, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Wow I know many people who would love this! I would’ve thought the The Mil V-12 was a plane, its so big.

  • Kevin Wagar August 12, 2016 at 4:28 am

    What a cool place! All those planes and jets would be awesome to experience up close!

    • Jordan Adkins - Inspired By Maps August 12, 2016 at 8:50 am

      Yea…And its not like Western museums. Security is almost non-existant so your free to walk up and touch / examine closer anything you like!

  • Love and Road (@LoveandRoad) August 12, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    This is so cool! I’m crazy about war planes 🙂 Had a great time visiting some museums in Vietnam but this one looks so much fun!

  • Vyjay Rao August 14, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Always fascinated by planes and aviation museums. Would love to visit this place. The post reminds me of a recent trip to Goa where we visited the Naval aviation museum. Shall come up with a post on that soon.

  • Valerie Perry August 15, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I love the open air aspect of this museum. Especially with the added bonus of the base next door and the airshow overhead! That helicopter looks crazy!

  • klipdrifters August 19, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    This is q rather unique muesuem. It’s great that you manage to get so close and you captured some awesome shots! Always interesting to learn the history behind these jets.

  • Guide to Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington DC August 21, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    […] your visit a little less stressful! If you have time I also recommend to check out my post on the Russian Central Air Force Museum at Monino – The rusting airpower of the USSR is quite a […]


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