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. Like this 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 and the best air museum in all of the ex-Soviet Union. Sorry, Riga Aviation Museum…
It’s collection features over 170 aircraft, including conventional planes, helicopters, gliders, and some unusual flying machines. Try counting the stars, you’ll be here all day…
The Central air force museum in Monino 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.
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 at the Central air force museum in Monino are still types that are in active service.
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
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.
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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!
Now you're all set and prepared to explore our big wide world, why not sort out everything else out all in one go? If necessary for your travel plans make sure you have brought proper travel insurance, protected your privacy by getting a secure VPN, compared all the top hotel booking sites to find just what you're after, reserved an unbeatable rental car price and - of course - booked the best flight deals!
Many budget travelers (including me) indulge in worldwide airport lounge access, so we can experience luxury while still slumming it in economy. Naturally, we would never leave home without a more general travel guide since we couldn’t possibly cover everything here!
Just add an adventurous attitude and plenty of smiles - they go a long way - and that about covers it all! Now go out, find your own path and don't forget to share your best inspiration stories with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram...I'd love to hear from you!