Tag Archives: Russian Knights

Russian Victory Day Rehearsal Flyover In Moscow Produces Spectacular Images

Flyover Cancelled on Parade Day Due to Weather, But Rehearsal was Interesting and Impressive.

May 9, 2017

A structural silence cloaks Red Square today. Cold humidity hangs over expansive rows of military formations under the weight of history.

You can hear air moving between the ranks of silent soldiers frozen at attention. The tanks, the missile launchers, the artillery cannons sit motionless. The quiet hangs for 60 seconds. A muted, dignified tribute to the millions lost. Then the great Spasskaya Tower clock bell tolls brightly through the grey. It is the hour of victory, the greatest military victory in the history of all mankind. A crack in the Russian grey sky reveals a shard of sunlight. Seventy-two years have passed since the Russians defeated Germany in WWII, the Great Patriotic War.

It is Victory Day today in Moscow and across all of Russia, a country so vast it spans 11 time zones, nearly half the globe. This is the largest military display and celebration anywhere in the world by a massive margin. The Victory Day parade in Moscow accompanies large military parades in 26 other large Russian cities to observe the solemn holiday.

The red banner, raised over the Reichstag in Berlin on this day in 1945 by Sgt. Mikhail Yegorov and Jr. Sgt. Meliton Kantaria is marched down Manezhnaya Street in Moscow today. This very same Red Banner, frayed but still vibrant in defiance, flew over the ruins of Hitler’s headquarters when Germany was reduced to ruble in 1945.

The Great War was a cataclysm that claimed a staggering 20 million Russian civilians and soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen. Twenty million lives…

“This was a tremendous tragedy” says Russian President Vladimir Putin in his remarks from the reviewing stand. Dignitaries flank President Putin along with aging Russian Heroes of the Russian Federation, their faces long and their lapels sagging under an unlikely volume of medals. During the Siege of Stalingrad Russian soldiers like these men lured German invaders into the ruins of bombed-out buildings and dropped concrete blocks on them to kill them. They had long since run out of ammunition. And food. Disease, frostbite, hypothermia and starvation claimed more casualties on both sides than battle did.

Private Aleksey Vakav carries that Red Banner today, goose-stepping in precise marshal cadence between saber-wielding guards of the 154th Independent Commandants Regiment. A descendant of a soldier who fought in the Great War, Private Vakav is one of 10,000 soldiers, 100 vehicles and 72 aircraft in the parade today.

The weather over Moscow today cancelled the sweeping flyovers of wave after wave of new Russian combat aircraft, but yesterday’s rehearsal produced an impressive procession of Russian air power. Everything from heavy bombers to tankers to the latest fighter aircraft flew in formation over Red Square yesterday in rehearsal before the weather cancelled the flying portion of today’s parade.

A combined formation of the Russian Knights in their SU-30’s and the Russian Swifts in the their MiG-29’s, each with new paint schemes (Strizhi.Ru)

Mr. Oleg Chernikov granted TheAviationist.com permission to share these outstanding photos taken by a number of his photographers around Moscow during the rehearsal day yesterday prior to Victory Day when the low overcast cancelled the flyovers.

One of the most conspicuous surprises on the rehearsal day flyovers was the new livery on the Russian Knights’ Sukhoi SU-30SMs. The aircraft featured a new solid blue vertical stabilizer with a Russian star insignia. The new livery is cleaner looking and photographs better in most sky conditions compared to the older, more complex tail graphics. The newly painted Russian Knights’ Su-30SMs flew in a beautiful formation with MiG-29 aircraft of the Russian Swifts aerobatic team. The MiG-29S of the Swifts also had some new tail markings for the 2017 demonstration season.

The older tail markings for the Russian Knights’ SU-30’s compared to the new, solid color tail debuted over Moscow. (image credit: RT)

Heavy bombers overflew Red Square on rehearsal day also including an Il-78 tanker with a huge Tu-160 in trail simulating aerial refueling.

An IL-78 Aerial Tanker simulates a midair refueling mission with a TU-160 “White Swan” heavy bomber. (Strikhi.ru)

Four MiG-31 long range heavy interceptors overflew the parade venue on rehearsal day, an especially exotic sighting since the large relative to the MiG-25 “Foxbat” was never imported outside Russia or Kazakhstan.

A formation of MiG-31 long range interceptors flew over on rehearsal day. (Strizhi.Ru)

While the cancellation of the flyovers was disappointing, the scale of the Victory Day parade never fails to impress. Perhaps the most refreshing thing about today’s version of the parade is that international media provided excellent real-time streaming coverage and tourists from around the world are free to visit Russia to see the parade in person, a worthy destination for any aviation enthusiast. The Victory Day parade in Moscow is an even greater showcase for the might of the Russian military but with the new openness since the Cold War era it is also a greater source of unity and historical reflection making the event even more valuable internationally.

Top image: A formation of heavy bombers including three Tu-22M “Backfire” bombers and a huge Tu-160 Blackjack (credit: Strizhi.ru).

The Russian Knights Look Exceptional in their New Su-30s. Let’s Have a Look at Their First Display at LIMA 17.

Russian Aerobatic Team Shows Precision and Performance in Brand New Su-30s.

The LIMA 17 air show in Malaysia on Mar. 21-25th is the largest air show of its kind in the Asia/Pacific region.

As already reported here, this year’s show included the first performance of the Russian Knights in their new Sukhoi Su-30SM (NATO: “Flanker-C”) aircraft.

The Russian Knights flew four Su-30SMs at LIMA 17, having just received the aircraft after last year’s show season. Before 2017 the team flew the Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-27UB aircraft, a prior generation version of the heavily upgraded new Su-30SM.

The flight demonstration began with some exceptionally well-practiced diamond formation flying by the Russian Knights. During the diamond maneuvers the team displayed excellent symmetry, especially during difficult rolling maneuvers when the outside and inside aircraft in the formation fly different profiles to maintain position. While the Russian Knights fly wider aircraft spacing than the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, their synchronization was impressive in the new Su-30SMs.

Weather conditions including broken, low overcast meant the Russian Knights flew a relatively low altitude demonstration routine mostly below the cloud cover. The high humidity in Malaysia made for spectacular vapor clouds under hard maneuvering by the Sukhois.

The team will eventually fly six of the aircraft, but only four demonstrated in Malaysia. At the end of the formation flying routine two of the Su-30SMs detached from the diamond to perform solo and opposing solo maneuvers. During this part of the show the first two aircraft landed and deployed their drag chutes, adding spectacle to the routine.

Landing with drag chute (credit: Suman Sharma, Chindits Defense)

At the end of the routine one aircraft demonstrated the vectored-thrust, super-maneuverable capability of the Su-30SM. This performance is unique to any flight demonstration team since it showcases the SU-30SM thrust-vectoring and canard wing capabilities. This included ultra-high angle of attack maneuvers and the impressive low-speed, pivoting turns combined with “cobra” style pitch-ups unique to the Sukhoi demo routines.

Russian Knights commander, air force Colonel Andrey Alekseev told media outlets in a press conference prior to the show, “It is the great honor for us to represent [the] Russian Air Force with the ‘best-in-the-world’ Su-30SM fighters here in Malaysia.”

In what seemed like major export marketing push for Sukhoi and UAC (United Aircraft Corporation) the Royal Malaysian Air Force also performed solo demonstration flights of their Su-30MKMs in subdued, tactical color schemes. One of the demo pilots identified as Royal Malaysian Air Force Colonel Gborg, gushed about the Su-30MKM, telling reporters, “This is the best fighter I have flown in my 20-year career!” Sukhoi/UAC supported the flight demonstrations with a marketing booth in the aviation industry exhibition hall throughout the show.

Two Pacific-Asian based aerobatic teams also flew at LIMA 17 making this a major show. The Tentera Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Udara’s Jupiter team flying the small, elegant KAI KT-1 Woongbi Korean-built single-engine turboprop, basic training aircraft and the South Korean Black Eagles jet team flying KAI-T50B advanced supersonic trainer flew along with the Russian Knights during the show.

Top Image credit: Sputnik News. Video by This Is Flight (@tif_live)

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Watch the first solo display training of the new Su-30SM of the Russian Knights aerobatic team at LIMA 17. At dusk.

Sunset Supermaneuverability: Mesmerizing footage.

The “Russian Knights” aerobatic team have brought their new Su-30SM jets at the LIMA 17 exhibition currently underway in Malaysia.

The participation in Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition represents the world premiere of the “Russian Knights” flying the new supermaneuverable multirole combat aircraft delivered in Fall 2016.

The Su-30SM is a multirole derivative of the Su-27 Flanker. It’s a special variant of the thrust-vectoring Su-30MKI fighters equipping by the Indian Air Force and the Su-30MKM fighters flown by the Royal Malaysian Air Force produced by the Irkut Corporation for the Russian Air Force that has also extensively used the aircraft in the air war over Syria.

The Su-30SM a 4+ Generation twin-engine, two seat supermaneuverable multi-role aircraft equipped with improved avionics, the Bars-R radar and a wide-angle HUD (Head Up Display).

The new aircraft’s supermaneuverability has allowed the team, that previously flew the Su-27 and Su-27UB aircraft, to develop a new flying demo.

The following footage by Miezan Bohor shows one of the four aircraft practicing the solo display over Langkawi at desk. The almost constant use of afterburners lets you observe the thrust vectoring exhaust nozzles at work in the darkness.

And here is the solo display rehearsals on Mar. 20:

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Su-27 Flanker of the Russian Knights aerobatic team crashes in Russia. Pilot killed.

It’s not a good period for military aerobatic teams.

A Su-27 Flanker belonging to the Russian Knights aerobatic team crashed on Jun. 9 in Russia, killing the pilot, TASS news agency reported.

According to the first reports, the jet crashed in a forest located about 2 km from the village of Muranovo, in western Russia, after taking part with the rest of the aerobatic team to a flyover of the nearby monument to aviators in Ashukino, a ceremony attended by Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force Viktor Bondarev.

One week ago, on Jun. 2, a Thunderbirds F-16 crashed near Colorado Springs after a flyover during the Air Force graduation ceremony attended by President Obama. The pilot managed to eject from the aircraft. On the same day a Blue Angels F/A-18C Hornet crashed during a display practice in Tennessee, killing the pilot: USMC Capt. Jeff Kuss.

Image credit: Dmitry A. Mottl / Wiki

Cool GoPro video brings you onboard “Kubinka Diamond” display team’s Su-27, Mig-29 fighter jets

The following video was filmed with a GoPro HD Hero2 camera installed on the tail of a Mig-29 and inside the cockpit of a Su-27 of the so-called “Kubinka Diamond”, the Russian Air Force display team made by five Flankers of the “Russian Knights” and four Fulcrums of the «Strizhi» (Swifts).

Both aerobatic teams are based at Kubinka airbase, near Moscow.

According to the author of the video, Artur Sarkisyan, the camera filmed the aerobatic maneuvers sustained g-forces up to 6 g at a speed of 1,000 km/h.

 

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