Beasts from the East

Rugged, powerful and unique. I have always been fascinated by Soviet era military aircraft. These machines have flown in every major conflict since they first appeared over the vast Eastern Front of World War Two. There was the shock to the United Nations forces when silver MiG-15’s first screamed through the skies over Korea to the battles over the Middle East, Afghanistan and South East Asia. Throughout the Cold War the Soviet bear was ever prominent probing NATO defenses at any opportunity and later era jet fighters like the MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-27 Flanker became some of the best in the world. The Cold War is long gone but the tradition of aviation excellence in the East continues today

Antonov, Beriev, Ilyushin, Kamov, Mikoyan GurevichMil, Myasishchev, PolikarpovSukhoi, Tupolev, and Yakovlev are some of the most famous aircraft design bureaus from Russia and the former Soviet Union. Aero from the former Czechoslovakia produced excellent training aircraft used by the Warsaw Pact nations and in addition there is Chengdu, Harbin, Nanchang, Shenyang and Xian from China who originally built copies and modified variants of Soviet aircraft but today are developing state of the art aircraft in their own right.

In my travels around the world I have spent a lot of time visiting air museums and air show’s where I have seen many types of “Beasts from the East” including the jewel in the crown, Monino home to the Russian Air Force Museum. The following collection of some of my photos gives you an idea of the diversity of aircraft from the East.

EUROPE

Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Poland and Russia

Mikoyan Gurevich Mil Ilyushin Yakovlev
Clockwise left to right: Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik, Mil Mi-14 Haze, Yakovlev Yak-23 Flora, Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-27 Flogger & Sukhoi Su-22 Fitter, Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-23UM Flogger, Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-17 Fresco’s, Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-19 Farmers and Yakovlev Yak-9
Mikoyan Gurevich Ilyushin Antonov
Clockwise from left to right: Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbeds (Bulgaria), Ilyushin Il-2 & Il-10 Sturmovik (Poland), Petlyakov Pe-2 (Poland), Antonov An-24 Coke (Latvia), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-23 Flogger & MiG-25 Foxbat (Latvia), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed’s (Latvia), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum (Poland) & Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed (Poland)
Mil Kamov Mig Mikoyan Gurevich
Clockwise left to right: Kamov Ka-26 Hoodlum, Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15UTI, Mickoyan Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbeds, Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-23 Floggers & MiG-21UM Fishbed, Mikoyan Gurvich MiG-21 Fishbed (Finland), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-27 Flogger MiG-29 Fulcrum and Mil Mi-1 Hare & Mi-2 Hoplite, Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-25 Foxbat, Mil Mi-6 Hook (all aircraft in Latvia except the Finnish MiG-21)
MiG Mikoyan Gurevich Ilyushin Sukhoi Mil Beriev
Clockwise left to right: Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-23 Flogger (Germany), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum (Germany), Ilyushin Il-28 Beagle (Germany), Mil Mi-10 Harke (Russia); Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-29 & Mil Mi-12 Homer (Russia), Beriev Be-12 Mail & Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-23 Flogger (Russia), Mil Mi-24 Hind (Germany)and Sukhoi Su-22 Fitter (Germany)
Tupolev Ilyushin Kamov MiG Mikoyan Gurevich
Clockwise left to right: Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot & Tupolev Tu-144, Ilyushin Il-28 Beagle, Myasishchev M-50 Bounder, Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-17 Fresco, Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-19 Farmer, Mil Mi-24 Hind D and Sukhoi T-4 (all taken in Russia)
Tupolev Yakovlev Sukhoi
Clockwise left to right: Yakovlev Yak-38 Forger, Tupolev Tu-22 Blinder, Tupolev Tu-22M Backfire, Tupolev Tu-128 Fiddler, Sukhou Su-7 Fitter A & Tupolev Tu-144, Tupolev Tu-95 Bear, Tupolev Tu-16 Badger and Yakovlev Yak-141 Freestyle (all photos taken in Russia)
Sukhoi Tupolev Mil
Clockwise left to right: Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot, Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker, Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker (early variant), Mil Mi-6 Hook, Mil Mi-6 Hook (fire fighting variant – used at Chernobyl), Sukhoi Su-22 Fitter, Sukhoi Su-15 Flagon and Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer (all photos taken in Russia)
Mil MiG Mikoyan Gurevich
Clockwise left to right: Mil Mi-26 Halo, Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-23 Flogger, Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-27 Flogger, Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed, Mikoyan Gurevich Ye-152 (MiG-21 with an experimental engine), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-31 Foxhound, Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-25 Foxbat and Mil Mi-24 Hind D (all photos taken in Russia)
MiG Mikoyan Gurevich Antonov Aero
Clockwise left to right: Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum (Russia), Antonov An-2 Colt (Latvia), Antonov An-24 Coke (Latvia), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-23 Flogger (Latvia), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-23 Flogger (Latvia), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15UTI (Latvia), Aero L-29 Delfin (Latvia) and Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-29K Fulcrum (naval variant – Russia)
MiG Mikoyan Gurevich Sukhoi Yakovlev
Clockwise left to right: Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21UM Fishbed, Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-23 Flogger, Sukhoi Su-7 Fitter A, Mil Mi-24 Hind A, Sukhoi Su-7UM Fitter, Yakovlev Yak-28 Brewer,Tuplev Tu-22M Backfire and Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21UM Fishbed (all photos taken in Latvia)

NORTH AMERICA

Canada and the USA

Ilyushin Mikoyan Gurevich Polikarpov Aero
Clockwise left to right: Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik (WA), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15 Fagot (AZ), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-29UM Fulcrum (WA), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-17 Fresco (OR), Aero L-29 Delfin (OR), Polikarpov PO-2/U-2 (WA), MiG Row – MiG-17, MiG-17, MiG-21 & MiG-29 (AZ) and Polikarpov I-16 Type 24 Rata (WA)
Mikoyan Gurevich MiG Aero
Clockwise left to right: Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15 Fagot (OH), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-19 Farmer(OH), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed (OH), MiG Row – MiG-21, MiG-17 & MiG-15 (NY), Aero L-39 Albatros (KY), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum (OH), Aero L-39 Albatros (NY) and Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-17 Fresco (OH)
Mikoyan Gurevich MiG
Clockwise left to right: Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15UTI (AZ), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed (OR), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed (OR), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-17 Fresco (AZ), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-19 Farmer (AZ), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15 Fagot (WA), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15UTI (OR) and Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed (AZ)
Yakovlev MiG Mikoyan Gurevich
Clockwise left to right: Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum (OR), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-17 Fresco (OR), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-17 Fresco (WA), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed (WA), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed (FL), Yakovlev Yak-9 (WA), Yakovlev Yak-50 (OR) and Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum (AZ)
MiG Mikoyan Gurevich Yakovlev Nanchang Antonov
Clockwise left to right: Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15 Fagot (AL), Nanchang CJ-6 (WA), Nanchang CJ-6 (WA), Aero L-39 Albatros (BC – Canada), Antonov An-2 Colt (WA), Yakovlev Yak-55 & Yak-18T (WA), Yakovlev Yak-18T (BC – Canada) and Nanchang CJ-6 (WA)

ASIA

China, Laos, Vietnam and South Korea

Antonov Mil MiG Mikoyan Gurevich
Clockwise left to right: Antonov An-2 Colt (Laos), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed (Vietnam), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-17 Fresco (Vietnam), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-17 Fresco (Vietnam), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed (Vietnam), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbeds (Vietnam), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-17 Fresco & MiG-21 Fishbed(Vietnam) and Mil Mi-17 Hip C (Laos)
Shanyang Chengdu Xian
From bottom to top: Shenyang F-5 (MiG-17), Shenyang J-6 (MiG-19), Chengdu Jian J-7 (MiG-21) and Shenyang J-8 (a modified MiG-21 with an additional engine, later versions would have an enclosed radome nose and side air intake). Taken in Beijing, China
Mil MiG Mikoyan Gurevich Ho Chi Minh
Clockwise left to right: Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-19 Farmer (Vietnam), Mil Mi-4 Hound (Ho Chi Minh’s VIP helicopter – Vietnam), Mil Mi-6 Hook (Vietnam), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15UTI (captured from North Korea – South Korea), Yakovlev Yak-18 (captured from North Korea – South Korea), Mil Mi-24 Hind A (Vietnam), Kamov Ka-25 Hormone (Vietnam) and MiG Row – MiG-17, MiG-21 & MiG-19 (Vietnam)

AUSTRALASIA

Australia and New Zealand

Aero Yakovlev Nanchang Sukhoi
Clockwise left to right: Aero L-39 Albatros (VIC), Yakovlev Yak-52 (VIC), Yakovlev Yak-9 (VIC)), Nanchang CJ-6 (SA), Sukhoi Su-26 (VIC), Nanchang CJ-6 (NZ), Nanchang CJ-6’s (NZ) and Nanchang CJ-6 (VIC)
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3 thoughts on “Beasts from the East

  1. Nice photos Deano, the “Eastern Bloc” planes often look like they are stored off to the side of a field, must have been a lot of them lying around when financing flight became an issue!

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    1. I would have loved to have been around in Eastern Europe at the end of Communism when it was some what of a free for all in the chaos! At one stage the Ukraine simply claimed the Black Fleet and all Soviet airforces on their territory….needless to say Russia was not amused!

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