Browsing Tag: Yakovlev

This lovely Yak-40 on the ramp of UMMS belongs to Motor Sich – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Since 1907, it has been home to various instances of the same engine manufacturing concern over varying countries and names. Today, Zaporozhye is the headquarters of Motor Sich; the largest producer of Soviet-era and Russian aerospace turbine engines by quantity. While they are best known for the Ivechenko-Progress D36/4D36 series engines, they also manufacture the famed D-18 engine attached to the ANs 124 and 225. To top that off, they also manufacture the most important gas turbines of all: the kind you put in helicopters. That’s awesome. But you probably don’t need to know much more about that part of Motor Sich.

Of course, this is the former Soviet Union. For reasons hard to explain, they founded a corporate shuttle service in 1984. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Motor Sich did not die, in fact it expanded its scope to general passenger operations.

This is Motor Sich Airlines.

Now that’s a profile! Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

They have Yak-40s. If you have a Yak-40, I will fly you.

My contacts within the Belarusian travel scene had arranged with Motor Sich to swap one of their An-24s out of their flights from Zaporozhye to Minsk in exchange for a Yak-40. Then they were to have it stick around for an hour or two for a bunch of us Soviet metal hungry tragics to do a basic instrument training flight on as passengers.

There's a reason for the way the shot is so lame. Read on. Either way, enjoy the Yak-42D - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

A Gazprom Yak-42D – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Many people used to call Southwest Airlines an “oil company with wings.” Well, what if you could find an oil company that ran an airline on the side? I did.

Gazprom is the world’s largest extractor of natural gas. Not only that, they have also extracted tens of millions of barrels of crude oil. They are one of the largest companies in Russia. One interesting thing is that around 2,800 of Gazprom’s 393,000 employees work in their aviation division.

Is this a private employee shuttle? Not always. At first glance, one would assume their fleet of Superjets, Yak-42Ds, Tu-154Ms, and even 737-700s (as well as over one hundred helicopters) ply the vast Siberian and Arctic skies from oilfield to oilfield. Nope — they also provide scheduled passenger service. One would think this would be an easy way to catch a ride on a Yakovlev Yak-42 . This is Russia; there’s always a catch!