This is the only, surviving, Lavochkin La-250. On display at the Central Air Force Museum of the VVS at Monino - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

This is the only surviving Lavochkin La-250. It’s on display at the Central Air Force Museum of the VVS at Monino – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

The Central Air Force Museum of the VVS at Monino is the most endangered museum you will ever find. I am not sure what I can accomplish with this article, but I feel the world of AvGeek-dom needs to be warned. Since the collapse of the USSR, the Central Aviation Museum of the Russian Air Force at the Monino Officer’s Academy has been severely underfunded. Worse so since the officer’s academy closed in 2010. Well, not technically closed. It has been moved to an area closer to Chkalovsky Air Base, merged with the old Zhukovsky school, and become the Zhukovsky-Gagarin Air Force Academy.

Either way, the VVS has now said that they want to close the museum and move it to the mega museum complex way out of Moscow at Kubinka Air Force base. They want to close down Monino in July, and this cannot happen! Why? Well….

One of only two Mil V-12s, and the only one that can be easily seen by the public is at Monino - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

One of only two Mil V-12s, and the only one that can be easily seen by the public, is at Monino – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

The persistent rumor is that if the move to Kubinka happens, the “big stuff” will not be coming along. Worse, the big stuff will be scrapped. Terrible on its own, of course, but most of these large aircraft have extreme historical value.

One of the first nine Tu-22Ms ever produced. You can only find this at Monino - Photo : Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

One of the first nine Tu-22Ms ever produced. You can only find this at Monino. – Photo : Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

It’s hard to really compare Monino to any other air museum, probably because it is so much better than the competition. Instead of parking their supersonic bomber right in the middle of a cramped hangar, making it impossible to photograph, there is no annoying roof forcing you to shoot at higher than appreciated ISO.

The only Sukhoi T-4 - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

The only Sukhoi T-4 – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Monino is the most complete collection of Soviet and Russian aviation history. I don’t think many westerners understand just how bad this museum disappearing would be for the world of aviation history. Just look at what the world would lose!

The more I interact with you, the more I realize most of you think all Russian planes look like this and are full of goats - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

There’s only one partial VVA-114. It’s already in disrepair, we can’t just let them scrap it! – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Like Ekranoplan sub hunters that could vertically take off and land!

There is only one Tu-114 left, it's also there! Photo - Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

There is only one Tu-114 left in the Moscow Oblast; it’s also there! – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Pretty much everything at Monino is either a one-off, a prototype, or the last of its kind. I have no idea how to save Monino, but maybe someone does. I am just getting the word out. This must not happen!

The Sukhoi T-10 led to the construction of the Su-27. Guess where it's on display? Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

The Sukhoi T-10 led to the construction of the Su-27. Guess where it’s displayed? – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Of course, if you read the Russian press things may not be hopeless. The town of Monino is annoyed at the VVS for threatening to take their tourist attraction, and the VVS itself seems to be backpedaling a bit on the whole “destroy Monino” thing. Who knows what this actually means.

My Russian friends and those who love aircraft like this; stop Morino from potential demise! Please share any ideas/thoughts in the comments!

Keeping blinders on regarding the Monino issue could very well lead to the destruction of this Tu-22K - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Keeping blinders on regarding the Monino issue could very well lead to the destruction of this Tu-22K – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

CONTRIBUTOR - SEATTLE, WA. Bernie has traveled around the world to learn about, experience, and photograph different types of planes. He will go anywhere to fly on anything. He spent four years in Australia learning about how to run an airline, while putting his learning into practice by mileage running around the world. You can usually find Bernie in his natural habitat: an airport. Email: [email protected].

http://www.airlinereporter.com
Flying in Qantas Business Suites — Domestically, Sydney-Melbourne
12 Comments
bigbenaugust

How much to ship the TU-144 to RDU for safe keeping?

bigbenaugust

Of course I meant the TU-114…

They have a Tu-144 there as well… Why not get both!?

Peter Spanagel

I agree, it would be a shame to see it closed. I was there in 2014, what an awesome museum.

bigbenaugust

I have a thing for the contrarotating props. I only want the 114. 🙂

(helps that I am already half-deaf– I hear they were noisy!)

I fly choppers, and love NK-12s. Want to also make a go at the Tu-95A they have? I can probably not hear just as well as you!

bigbenaugust

Yeah, let’s take the Tu-95 and the Tu-114. 🙂

Hello,

Can anyone pls. let me know if the museum will be closed this coming month(s) or not?
And are there really plans to scrap the largest aircraft? Oh no.
I gladly like to visit the museum asap.

Thanks,
Henk

It seems to be safe for now.

Either way, I’ll be there Friday afternoon so I should get a better idea of what’s going on.

any new on this museum ? is it already closed or is it still open ??

I previously visited the museum back in 2005 but having read this article I decided to visit the museum again, this time armed with a Canon 40D digital camera as on my last visit I was still shooting Kodachrome slide film. On Saturday, 10th of September I took a train out of Moscow to Monino and spent a few hours there soaking up the atmosphere and admiring the exhibits in weak but warm sunshine. I spoke to a guy who volunteers his spare time in the Restoration Hangar who told me that the museum was not under threat of closure. He also let me take a look inside the cockpit of one of the two Tupolev Tu-95 bears that are displayed there which was an unexpected bonus! It does appear that some exhibits have been moved or removed as there were a few empty spaces .
I also visited Kubinka two days prior to my visit to Monino. There isn’t a ‘mega museum complex’ there, just five aircraft (MiG-19, MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-29 and Su-30) displayed at the entrance to the base. If there is a plan to establish a large museum here from what I could see there didn’t appear to be any work in progress to build a new facility, however, there certainly is the ramp space as the active aircraft are parked at the far end of the airfield.

steve jaksic

Monino is on my bucket list. Hope it stays for a while longer so I can get there. It would be a terrible travesty for the Aviation minded if these aircraft were lost.

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