Supercruise Aviation - Article
100 years of Russian Air Force

The Russian Air force celebrated it’s 100th anniversary with a big airshow at Zhukovsky airbase near Moscow from 10 to 12 august 2012. The show was open to the public on Sunday and a private show was held on Saturday for President Putin and other guests. On Friday they had the big rehearsal.

The Russians really wanted to show what they have in store. One of the elements was a flypast of most of the types in use. This flypast was cut into several peaces, bombers, transports, electronics, fighterbombers, fighters and helo’s. They flew almost every type in the inventory like, Bear, Backfire, Blackjack, Fulback, Fencer, Flanker, Fulcrum, Foxhound,Mainstay, Havoc, Hokum, Candid and a lot more. Furthermore they had 4 displayteams present, Swifts (Mig-29), Knights(Su-27), Golden Eagles (Mi-28) and the Albatrosteam. Even their new stealthfighterprototype T-50 flew. The display lasted for over 7 hours also hosting some famous teams from abroad like the Red Arrows and Frecci Tricolore.

Preparing for the show it was my guess that the best place to be would be outside the base on the southside close to the tower. Being on base would mean I was facing the sun in the afternoon and the airshowtimetabel showed most of the interesting stuff flying during the (late) afternoon.

Plans were made using google earth to determine were exactly to go. Since I was not familiar with Russia some uncertainties would be the securitysituation of base and of course the weather. Arriving at the scene on Fridaymorning the weather was perfect (it was supposed to be the best day of the weekend) and I noticed some Russian photographers already present. After 15 minutes or so a police landrover and personnelvehicle arrived halting in front of us. For a moment I thought I would be sent away or arrested but none of all this happened, they just got out and started patrolling the fence leaving everybody in peace.

Now everything was set for a perfect day starting of with a weatherflight of a Su-27 followed by a Tu-95.
I was standing in middle of the airshowdisplay with Sukois and Migs turning and burning around me.
The show was nicely orchestrated starting with the historical stuff followed by a mix of flypasts, displayteams and individual fighters which lasted until 7 PM.

For Saturday I was a little bit further away from base, just to make sure because of the visit of president Putin and to get some other angles on the planes from the flypast. It was a bit of a mess, they changed the program because of the presidents visit and the weather turned bad with a thunderstorm halting the show. Still managed to get some descent shots.

Sunday the base was open to the general public, some 200.000 people visited the show. I descided to make a quick visit on base to shoot the aircraft on staticdisplay and than somehow try to make my way to the other side. Again everything worked out but this time it was really busy. Nevertheless I found a great spot a couple of hundred feet from where I was Friday.
The weather was also much better than expected so I had the same thrilling experience all over again and I must say this was one of the best events I have ever been to.

By Hans Antonissen