Wednesday 17 August 2005

  Lipetsk - 4th TsBPiPLS

The early hours of Wednesday morning. MiG-25 on display in the middle of the road in Elets. Our coach is in the background.

The war memorial outside the 4th TsBPiPLS HQ in Lipetsk town centre - a MiG-19.

On arrival at the base proper, we were treated to a static display of the Centre's aircraft - This is a Su-24M

The board in front of this machine said Su-27SM - one of the new upgraded variants. A closer study reveal it to be a 'standard' Su-27
with a fresh coat of paint. It lacks the offset IRST, RWR aerials on the slats and metal patches on the tailplanes of a 'proper' Su-27SM.

The display board in front of the 'dummy' Su-27SM.

Su-27, Su-24M & Su-25T on display.

A closer look at the Su-24M


MiG-31 - complete with whitewall tyres!


The start of the flying display. The famous Su-27 'Blue 08' with  the full shark taxies out.

'Proper' Su-27SM - note the offset IRST ball in front of the windscreen, RWR aerials on the slats - and no aerials on the intakes.
Compare with 'Blue 08' above.

Another new Su-27SM - Red 06

Su-27SM - Red 07 this photo provides a better look at the offset IRST, aerials on the slats - and none on the intakes.

Su-27SM - with an 'out-of-sequence' bort number - Red 80.

At the threshold winding up to full military power........

They were taxying out faster than I could  photograph them! - freshly painted Su-25UB makes its way to the runway.

This single-seat Su-25 has the Russian flag painted across the fin.

All-grey MiG-29 Fulcrum-C 9-13 variant with enlarged spine. Note the auxiliary intakes in the LERX that open when the main intake is
 blanked off by the anti-FOD doors.

Another 9-13 variant - this time with white stripes - presumably an exercise marking ?

Another single-seat Su-25 with the Russian flag on the fin.

Flanker four-ship flyby. Numbers 02 & 07 are upgraded Su-27SM's (note the dark patch on the tailplanes and tiny aerials on the leading-edge slats)
Blue 08 is the shark single-seater and Red 61 is a two-seat Su-27UB combat trainer.

The same formation banking away. Note the differing camo schemes - the Su-27SM's (top & bottom) are freshly painted.

Vapours trailing from the LERX on Blue 08. Note the chaff/flare dispensers on the tailboom between the engines.

Su-27UB landing back after the first display.

MiG-29 Fulcrum-C sneaking back in. Note the closed intakes and open slots in the LERX.

Along the flighline - Sukhoi fins galore!

And the band played on.........during a break in the flying.

Proud symbols of Russian Aviation - national flag on the left, Russian Air Force standard at right.

To start the afternoon's proceedings, this Mi-8 took off...................

.......and disgorged a bevy of parachutists. This one with the Russian flag......

........this one with the Linden Tree badge of Lipetsk...................

.....and this one with the Air Force flag.

After the paras, the pilots make their way to their mounts - ready for ANOTHER flying display!

Out goes Red 73 again, with a wave from the pilot. - for a solo display.

You can see why the Su-25 is nicknamed 'Comb' - from all the pylons sticking out.

The usual Russian display trick of banging off the flares.....

The Su-25 is quite agile for a 'Shturmovik'.

Time for the MiG-29's to show their stuff. Bort Red 29 sports the famous Lipetsk White/Blue/Red chevron.

Nice underside view....

Red 32 displaying with wheels down.

Red 29 landing........

......while Red 32 rolls with wheels down.

And finally returns to the ramp.

Meanwhile, back out goes Blue 08.................

........and Red 61......

......and joy-of-joys, the Su-24's !!!!

Holding at the 'last chance' point......

There were Fencers everywhere.......

All the Flankers in one 7-ship flypast - there are 4 Su-27SM's in this shot.

Off go the flares..........

....followed  by a singleton doing a forward tailslide whilst letting off flares...
he is actually dropping vertically at this point!

Awesome !!!!

Knife-edge pass - these guys are GOOD !!  Note all the open flare cassetes in the tailboom.

Fencers, Flankers & Fulcrums..............


Pull those G's....................again, note the empty flare tubes in the tailboom.

The Su-24 display was rather sedate - as befits a tactical bomber!

Coming home to roost...

....and being directed to his parking slot....

Health & Safety ?? what's that ???

Closeup of the badge on the Su-24's.

After the pilot's have had their fun - there's always someone who has to sweep up..............

 Photograph taken from the coach as we drove out - we counted approx 450 airframes in the 'reserve' area - but we were not allowed among them!

Another shot of the 'Reserve Collection' ..............