June 19, 2021

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Aircraft graveyard in Poltava, Ukraine Travel blog in Ukraine

Aircraft Cemetery, Poltava, Ukraine, photo 1

Poltava Aircraft Cemetery is a former tactical military airport located about 8 km northwest of the city of Poltava. It is one of the two airstrips near Poltava, the other being Poltava airport.

The airstrip was once used to train Soviet pilots. Previously, this territory was the Pokryshkin Flight Training Center. It was one of the best flight schools, training fighter pilots for three air regiments based in Zaporozhye.

The decline of Zaporozhye military aviation began in 1990, when the fighter planes were relocated to Kazakhstan, leaving only a training school and aircraft repair facility here. In independent Ukraine, the flight training school had still been operating for several years, but in 1994 all flights stopped. In 2001, the air base was permanently closed due to lack of funds. Today one can only imagine the ancient grandeur of this place. It has been empty for more than ten years.

The aircraft graveyard appeared in Poltava following the dissolution in 2006 of the only heavy bomber aviation division in all of Ukraine armed with Tu-22M3 long-range bombers and Tu-134UBL long-range training aircraft. All the planes remaining in the city were to be destroyed. However, in May 2007, enthusiastic pilots approached local authorities with a proposal to create a company, the Long-Range Aviation Museum, to exhibit these aircraft.

Aircraft Cemetery, Poltava, Ukraine, photo 2

All the finds were in the open, but since the territory was manned it was impossible to approach and touch them. Only at the end of December 2016, the Long-Range Aviation Museum was reformed by decision of the Regional Council and its exhibition was moved to the Heavy Bomber Aviation Museum, a branch of the National Military History Museum of Ukraine .

Thanks to this, the planes could be restored and the territory was opened to visitors. Today you can come here for an excursion and not only see unique flight exhibits, but also sit in the cabins of some of them.

Aircraft Cemetery, Poltava, Ukraine, photo 3

One of the most valuable exhibits is the Tu-160, the most powerful aircraft on Earth and also the only museum exhibit in the world. You can also see the first Soviet Tu-22 supersonic bomber. Also on display is the Mi-2, a multipurpose helicopter developed in the early 1960s. Most of the territory is occupied by the training of the Czechoslovakian L-29s.

Here you can also see such aircraft are the Tupolev Tu-95 bomber, the Antonov AN-26 transport, the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 fighter, the Tupolev Tu-16 bomber, the Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft and many others. In addition, the open-air museum displays cruise missiles and bombs. You can learn the history of each of these aircraft and their purpose during a two-hour excursion.

Tag: city of Poltava

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