Visiting Russia's aviation museum in Monino
Russia's Air Force museum at Monino is mainly about military aviation, well beyond the scope of this blog, nevertheless I felt the need to write about my recent visit, because it is, possibly, the best aviation museum that I have ever been to
The commercial aviation enthusiast will also find plenty to see and enjoy at Monino, as, amidst its truly astounding collection, there are also some amazing Soviet-era civilian aircraft.
The jewel of the crown is the Tupolev Tu-144, an old acquaintance of this blog, but, maybe because I had already seen the "Soviet Concorde" at the static display of the MAKS air show, I did not find it that amazed this time and found equally impraessive the old Aeroflot airliners rusting away on a corner of a field.
You will notice that the Aeroflot livery appears on a wide diversity of aircraft, from the supersonic Tu-144 airliner to the weird-looking V-12 heavy transport helicopter, this is because during Soviet times Aeroflot was not just an "airline" in the narrow sense of the word, but an air operator that took care of a broad range of tasks in support of the government of the Soviet Union. The static display at Monino reflects this fact.
For example, it also operated scientific research aircraft...
...and its large fleet of helicopters performed multitude of civilian functions throughout the Soviet Union.
By the way, if you are interested in visiting the Monino Air Force Museum, you have better hurry up, since there are some well fundamented rumors that it is going to be closed down this summer in order to move some of the pieces to a new large memorial park nearer to the center of Moscow.
You have been warned!