This is a photo trip report of the highly successful Ukraine Grand Aviation Tour which took place in late July 2018.
- Ramp tour at Antonov facility.
- Fly An-24 of MotorSich Airlines. (also An-140 for those departed to Minsk)
- 3 flights on Yak-40 special charter for our group.
- See ANT-7 - only one in the world.
- See TU-114 - one of three left in the world.
- Ramp tour of Motorsich aircrafts at Zaporizhia.
- Ramp tour of Shiroke Airfield - 60 Let L-29, 13 Antonov An-2, 9 Mil Mi-2
- Ramp tour of strategic bombers - Tu-160 White Swan (only one in the world in a museum) Tu-95MS, Tu-22M3
I arrived at Kiev the day prior to the tour and stayed at The Ukraine Hotel in the city, with an amazing view of the Maidan square.
I visited the monument of motherland briefly in late afternoon.
Kiev at night (View from my room)
Our group met in the lobby of Ukraine Hotel at 8am. The first stop was a coffee/tea stop at the yellow plane, which is a Yak-40 on stand.
Afterwards the group visited the Antonov facilities and were given a tour of their hangar and the production line. Due to some personal circumstances, I had not been to the Antonov plant. The pictures below were provided by another tour member who visited the plant.
The An-225 is on duty flights in South America but the group were shown the 2nd An-225 currently unfinished in the hangar.
We had lunch in the Antonov canteen, and then headed off for a quick tour of The Kiev Museum Aviation Training Institute and Hangar.
We saw the world's only Tupolev ANT-7 preserved in the hangar.
The hangar is literally a classroom, with many aircraft parts on display. There is: An-2, Yak-42, An-24, Let-410, Tu-154 and Mil-8 aircraft, all in pristine condition. A demo of flaps and gear up/down were shown to the group.
Afterwards we headed off to the Ukraine State Aviation Museum at the Kiev Zhulyany airport. I recommend spending at least 3 hours in this fantastic museum. There was so much on display to see, with many planes opened up to allow a visit to the interior too!
We had a quick dinner at a nearby restaurant and then were flown to Zaporizhia at 8pm by Motor Sich Airlines An-24.
Our hotel, Intourist Hotel, is 20 minutes away from the airport in the city of Zaporizhia. I was lucky enough to have been allocated a "retro" suite.
Day 2We departed hotel to Zaporizhia airport to fly on our chartered An-2 to Shiroke airfield.
After a 20 minute flight over The Dnipro River, we arrived at Shiroke airfield. We were allowed to visit 60 Let L-29, many Antonov An-2 and Mi-2 stored there. For more information about Shiroke Airfield, please visit here.
We flew back to Zaporizhia and had a tour of the Motor Sich airlines facility. We spotted An-2, An-12, An-24, An-74, Yak-40 and some IL-76 in the background. We were also allowed to visit inside of a VIP version of a Yak-40.
There were heavy thunderstorm and rain over the city in the evening; I took a few photos from my hotel room balcony. Zaporizhia is a typical Soviet industrial city and many buildings still display their Soviet heritage.
Today was a big day; our group flew on a specially chartered Yak-40 from Zaporizhia to Poltava then to Kryvyi Rih and back to Zaporizhia.
Upon landing at Poltava airport, we were given a great welcome by the local authorities. Local media were out filming our arrival as we were the first users of the newly renovated airport.More articles on our group in Poltava.
We then transferred to Museum of Long-Range and Strategic Aviation with a ramp tour of Tu-160 White Swan, Tu-95MS, Tu-22M3, Tu-22K, Tu-16, Tu-134UBL etc. We were even allowed to go inside of many of the aircraft on display!
The next stop was Kryvyi Rih, on our chartered Yak-40. Flight time from Poltava to Kryvyi Rih took 40 minutes. Kryvyi Rih, an industrial city with 600,000+ inhabitants, has a much older Soviet style terminal.
We visited Kryvyi Rih Aviation Museum which houses a Tu-114 and many other soviet built aircraft. They still have CCCP-xxxxx registration on the tail.
Everyone climbed the stairs to visit the interior of the giant Tu-114. We discovered there is a lower deck (galley) inside the massive Tu-114!
Day 4Our group flew back to Kiev by An-24 in the early morning. That was the end of a great tour! A few of us flew the Motor Sich Airlines An-140 to Minsk, in a bid to experience this unique turbo-prop. (the only one left in commercial service) See the separate report here.
I hope you enjoyed the tour through these images. We are planning on a new tour in May 2019. I will provide the tour update on this blog. See you in Ukraine!