A new aerobatic team is about to debut in Russia.
According to ITAR-TASS agency, a new Russian aerobatic team is to debut publicly for the first time on May 9, during the Victory day Parade, over the Red Square in Moscow.
Named Krilya Tavridi, the new team flies as a 4-ship formation of Yak-130 (NATO reporting name – Mitten) combat trainer, a two-seat jet developed by Yakovlev and intended for advanced pilot training and light attack. The Yak-130, which is a cousin-design of the Italian Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master Advance Jet Trainer, features performance that coupled with its avionics make it particularly effective for training future Russian pilots of 4+ and 5th Generation fighters.
Ultimately, 6 aircraft are to be used, 2 more will be added to the group’s inventory later on.
Some of the maneuvers that will be performed by the team include “Nesterov loop”, “Tulip”, “Barrel” and other aerobatic elements, as stated by Igor Klimov, the spokesperson of the Russian Air Force.
Klimov said that the pilots flying the Mittens have been trained in formation and individual aerobatics within the altitude range from 300 to 1,500 m. The training was carried out with help of the Yakovlev company test pilot team, and began back in Oct. 2013.
The name of the team is quite interesting: it obviously carries a political message, since Krilya stands for Wings, while Tavrida is a historical name used in Russia in order to refer to the Crimean peninsula – all that translates into English as Wings of Crimea.
Russia currently has 4 aerobatic teams: Russian Knights with Su-27P/UB Flankers out of Kubinka, Strizhi, who operate the MiG-29 Fulcrums from Kubinka, Sokoli Rossiyi (Falcons of Russia), who operate the Su-27 from Lipetsk, and Berkuts, that operate Mi-28N Havoc helicopters from Torzhok base.
Does an Air Force need five aerobatic display teams? Most probably, no.
Image credit: Wiki/Ronnie Macdonald