Air shows of the Russian Air Force in East Germany

The Russians organised a number of air shows, roughly of the type that we know in the West. The list below shows the air shows I know of. I've listed the aircraft that could be seen, plus some additional details. Details of some shows are missing because of a lack of reports or visiting spotters.





3 March: Merseburg

1 May: Werneuchen

18 August: Finow

23 February: Altenburg

10 May: Finow

.. June: Oranienburg
(VW Beetle meeting)

25/26 July: Damgarten

15/16 August: Grossenhain

15 August: Mirow-Lärz

15 August: Parchim

19/20 September: Mahlwinkel

11 June: Oranienburg

12 March: Templin

15 March: Damgarten

19 March: Wittstock

15 April: Mahlwinkel

21 May: Oranienburg

Werneuchen 1 May 1991

This open house was almost unknown to spotters, and most likely only two attended. It was a small scale open house, with only a few aircraft on display. Children were given a ride in Mi 2 helicopters. At least one Mi 24 did some flying too.

At that point of time, very little was known about units and (for example) the construction numbers of the aircraft. To keep the report in style, information obtained later is in italics.

544440105/05 ye Mi 2 Hoplite
../28 ye Mi 2 Hoplite
514418095/47 ye Mi 2 Hoplite
542933053/57 ye Mi 2 Hoplite
0645V/23 ye Mi 6 Hook
737207V/25 ye Mi 6 Hook
97328194/21 ye Mi 8TB Hip-C
3532014711891/16 ye Mi 24 Hind-'H'
../17 ye Mi 24 Hind-'H'
3534624611762/14 ye Mi 24RCh Hind-G
235/58 re MiG 25RB Foxbat-D
CCCP-09303 An 22 Cock Aeroflot
35 re Yak 28 Brewer ex SovAF
(thanks to Michael van Roosmalen)

Finow 18 August 1991

In 1991, the first large-scale open house of the Russian air force was held at Finow. Most aircraft types were on display. There were no flying displays. 70,000 visitors were reported

The open house was quite a special occasion, since the days preceding this airshow saw the famous coup-attempt in Russia. On the day of the show, things were still in progress in Moscow. If the coup attempt of the communist hardliners had succeeded, to whole situation in East Germany could have changed drastically. Nevertheless, the air show took place in a very relaxed atmosphere.

Finow south side shelter area from a Mi 8. Photo by Berry Kluytmans

More Finow shelters. Photo by Berry Kluytmans

Great aerial view. Photo by Berry Kluytmans

One last view of the shelter area. Photo by Berry Kluytmans

Hey! These windows can be opened! The photographer photographed. Photo by Stefan Goossens

Altenburg 23 February 1992

A small scale open house was held at Altenburg. MiG 29 simulator rides were $5. The show also included a 'Kick the MiG' drag race between a MiG 29 and a race car. This site has some background information on the 'Kick the MiG' events.

Parking ticket as used at the show. Scan by Brian Fishpaugh

The entrance ticket for the show. It could also be from the Finow show. Scan by Brian Fishpaugh

Finow 10 May 1992

Finow housed for the second year the 'official' Russian Air Force open house. Apart from the static display there was a limited amount of demonstration flying by a MiG 29 and a Mi 24. Two Mi 8's took people for a ride. The airfield was already in the process of being evacuated. Big fuel tanks had been dug up, lots of stuff was packed in crates, and it was awaiting transportation home. One year and one day later the MiG 29's left for home.

static display:
9301/10 (re) An 26 226TR,RusAF of 16TR ?
14818/04 (ye/re?) Su 17M-4 20FBR,RusAF
10521/09 (re/wh) Su 25K 368FBR,RusAF (cn 25508110521)
091106/65 (re) MiG 23UM 787FR,RusAF UB of UM ?
07769/08 (wh/bl) MiG 29 Fulcr-C 787FR,RusAF
58160/30 (ye/wh) MiG 27M 19FBR,RusAF
1G9801/27 (re) An 2 ..,RusAF
SSSR-08834 An 22 Aeroflot/VTA
17172/03 (bl/wh) Mi 24V Templin,RusAF (cn 3532423117172)
95221/34 (bl/wh) Mi 8MTV Templin,RusAF
0603V/82 (re) Mi 6 Hook-A 33CHTR,RusAF unit checken

flying / on the flightline:
14630/73 (wh/bl) MiG 29 Fulcr-C 787FR,RusAF
14933/75 (wh/bl) MiG 29 Fulcr-C 787FR,RusAF
4259/41 (ye) Mi 8T 226CHTR,RusAF unit ?
95220/15 (bl/wh) Mi 8MTV Templin,RusAF
10097/24 (bl/wh) Mi 24V Templin,RusAF (cn 3532423810097)

joy rides:
4746/32 (ye) Mi 8T ..,RusAF 226CHTR ???
4779/36 (ye) Mi 8T ..,RusAF 226CHTR ???

DDR-SCH Tu 134 ex Interflug

Damgarten 25/26 July 1992

This air show was organised by the East German equivalent of the Hell's Angels. Their job was the organisation and the security, while the Russians provided the aircraft and were paid a very modest sum (some 10.000 DM we were told). A funny thing was that many Dutch spotters got a free helicopter (Mi 8) ride by just showing their student's public transportation card.

static display:
SSSR-09329 An 22 Aeroflot/VTA
15920/49 (ye/re) Su 17M-4 20FBR,RusAF
10521/09 (re/wh) Su 25 368FBR,RusAF
0515320/10 (wh) Su 24MR 11RR,RusAF
01052/80 (wh/bl) MiG 29UB 733FR,RusAF (cn 80003001052)
1010102/597 (wh) Su 27UB (?) ....
05561/09 (wh/bl) MiG 29 F-C 733FR,RusAF
61307/05 (ye/re) MiG 27D 19FBR,RusAF
75502/60 (wh) MiG 23UB 733FR,RusAF (cn 59075502)
19511/35 (re/wh) Mi 24P Parchim?,RusAF (cn 3532434319511)
0603V/82 (re) Mi 6 Hook-A 33CHTR,RusAF
93354/43 (re/wh) Mi 8MT Parchim?,RusAF
9301/10 (re) An 26 226 of 16TR,RusAF

*05 (re/wh) Mi 24V Parchim?,RusAF display
27 (wh/bl) MiG 29 F-C 733FR,RusAF display
4746/32 (ye) Mi 8TB ..,RusAF para dropping
5965/35 (ye) Mi 8S ..,RusAF joy rides
4259/41 (ye) Mi 8T ..,RusAF joy rides

How about this for a podium? But a Su 25 should be capable of taking this abuse. Photo by Berry Kluytmans

A mobile control tower. Photo by Berry Kluytmans

Grossenhain 15/16 August 1992

Details of this air show have faded a little, but it was another commercial show, with few aircraft of the home unit. You could pay to make a small trip in a Mi 8. The show report below is by Theo van den Boomen:

1G5929 03 red An 2 105ADIB
3532434216881 33 yellow Mi 24P ?
3532421319109 40 yellow Mi 24V ?
93351 63 yellow Mi 8MT ?
9303 15 red An 26 16TAP
1405 07 red An 26 16TAP
8684308V 61 red Mi 6 239GvOWP
6191253153 17 red MiG 27D 296APIB
04120 60 red MiG 23UB 296APIB
19005094 64 red MiG 23UB 296APIB
30200 (69 red) MiG 23UB 296APIB
+2x MiG 23UB 296APIB
28101 27 red MiG 29 Fulcrum-C 31GvIAP
28102 28 red MiG 29 Fulcrum-C 31GvIAP
28105 29 red MiG 29 Fulcrum-C 31GvIAP
0003427782 SSSR-86850 Il 76M
0515320 10 white Su 24 11ORAP
25508110506 14 red Su 25 368OShAP
14818 04 yellow Su 17M-4 20GvIBAP
01340310 SSSR-09326 An 22
4259 41 yellow Mi 8T 226OSAP
4746 32 yellow Mi 8T 226OSAP
5965 35 yellow Mi 8T 226OSAP
9732915 46 yellow Mi 8TV 226OSAP

Templin 12 March 1994

Less then four weeks before the Templin-based Su 17M-4 Fitters were withdrawn, a small scale open house was held. There were only very few units left, so the static display was very limited. A few transport aircraft from Russia were on display, and the main ramp housed quite a few Su 17's. Unfortunately the latter was not open for the public. An attempt by a large number of spotters to overwhelme the 'defence' of the ramp resulted in a Russian pulling his pistol and holding it against the head of the leader of the pack. This definitely stopped the rest. The leader was not scared easily however and shouted 'Foto! Foto! ('Photo! Photo!') to record this incident. I didn't see this request being fulfilled, but if so, the photo surely would have been added to the rich collection of weird and funny photos collected by Soesterberg spotters.

Wittstock 19 March 1994

Just before returning to Russia, Wittstock held an open house on Saterday 19 March. All remaining twenty-five MiG 29's stood on the flightline, ready for the departure. On 7 April they first flew to Damgarten (some 100 kilometers north), and from there on they flew to Sernograd on 11 April. The MiG 23UB's had departed earlier; at least two of them on board of Il 76's. During the open house the weather was stormy, and (if there was to be any) all flying was cancelled. The report and picturs shown below were made by Theo van den Boomen:

18084 01 wh/bl MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
18083 03 wh/bl MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
20145 06 wh/bl MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
18073 07 wh/bl MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
18074 08 wh/bl MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
18091 09 wh/bl MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
20149 10 wh/bl MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
18094 12 wh/bl MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
20568 21 bl/wh MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
18450 22 wh/bl MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
18454 23 wh/bl MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
20571 24 bl/wh MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
18458 26 bl/wh MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
18462 27 bl/wh MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
18463 28 bl/wh MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
18464 29 wh/bl MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
20572 30 wh/bl MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
18051 31 wh/bl MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
18473 33 wh/bl MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
20561 34 wh/bl MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
18751 36 wh/bl MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
18479 37 wh/bl MiG 29 Fulcrum-A 33IAP
05580 39 wh/bl MiG 29 Fulcrum-C 33IAP
N50903007603 55 wh/bl MiG 29UB 33IAP
N50903008094 64 bl MiG 29UB 33IAP
3341601 35 re An 12BP 16TAP
9303 15 re An 26 16TAP
94638 21 re Mi 8M nn
4746 32 ye Mi 8T 226SSAP
0083490706 RA-78789 IL 76MD Aeroflot mks.

No Russian open day without a parade! The strong winds made it tough for the guy with the flag though, and many participants had to go looking for their hats afterwards. Photo by Theo van den Boomen

A map of the airfield. If the yellow dots are shelters, there are no less than 70! Photo by Theo van den Boomen

A sign showing points of the MiG 29 that constitute fire risks. Photo by Theo van den Boomen

A sign showing the engine test procedure. On the vertical axis the engine thrust is plotted, the horizontal axis shows the different steps to be executed, and their duration. Photo by Theo van den Boomen

A real Russian air force Lada. Photo by Theo van den Boomen

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