Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tupolev Tuesday - Russian Central Air Force Museum

There's a Bartini Beriev VVA-14 featured in a Jalopnik Gizmodo post today, an incredible and bizarre Cold War-era (deep breath...) VTOL amphibious groundeffect low-altitude/high-altitude long-distance nuclear sub destroyer.  It is everything that ever made Soviet technology fascinating and cool, distilled into one brutalist, off-the-charts WTF flying machine.

The sole remaining of two prototypes lives in Monino, about 25 miles outside of Moscow, at the Central Air Force Museum.  The CAFM's huge collection includes exhibits like the largest helicopter ever built, exotic supersonic bombers and airliners, weird experimental engines and my favorite of all, a Tupolev Bear, whose contra-rotating props have tip speeds exceeding the sound barrier, making it the loudest turboprop in the world.

Monino has to be one of the best air museums on earth, and is pretty much universally agreed to be the best in Russia.  It's a place high on my 'Geeky Shit I Must See Before I Die' list.

Image source - Official Russian language CAFM website

1 comment:

  1. The TU95 is just so cool and so very Russian, crude, large and effective. I like the idea of Tupolev Tuesdays, now that's an idea with legs!