The Central Air Force Museum in Monino at the site of Monino Airfield 40 km east of Moscow, Russia, is one of the world's largest aviation museums, and the largest for Russian aircraft. 173 aircraft and 127 aircraft engines are on display, and the museum also features collections of weapons, instruments, uniforms (including captured U2 pilot Gary Powers' uniform), other Cold War-era US spy equipment, artwork, and other air-related items. A library containing books, films, and photos is also accessible to visitors. Tours are given by ex-pilots.
The museum opened its doors in 1958. Prior to 1999, the museum was closed to the public, because of the display of classified prototypes from the era of the former Soviet Union. The museum is located next to the Military Academy named after Yu. A. Gagarin.
The museum is open from 09:30 until 15:00 on weekdays (closed lunchtime 13:00-14:00) except Wednesday, and from 09:30 until 14:00 on Saturday (no lunchbreak). The Museum is closed on Sunday and Wednesday. Since the museum is situated on the territory of a military unit (Gagarin Air Force Academy), all visitors must pass the entrance gate to the military complex. As of summer 2006 special permission to visit is no longer required. As of March 2012 there are apparently only 5 full-time employees at the museum, and they open on what might be termed as an occasional basis. It is best to check that it is open before you go, although they are not great at answering the telephone.
The Museum guide offers this advice for visiting the museum:
- by minibus or bus no. 362 from Schelkovskay metro station/bus station to Monino.
- by bus no 322 (Moscow - Noginsk route) from the bus station near Partizanskaya station to "Academy VVS" stop (38 km).
- by train from Yaroslavsky railway station (Komsomolskaya metro station) to Monino.
There are lavatory facilities, but no shop nor other conveniences for food or beverages. There are two large hangars with well-displayed items and much material about the items, but all in Russian. Another hangar, as of March 2012 is under construction to house more exhibits that are to be moved from the field into the new hangar. A museum booklet is available, published in 2008, from the museum officials. Some 36 A4 pages long, approximately the first half are a description of the pictures of the aeroplanes in the latter half with an introduction.
There is also an Android application which contains a large number of pictures and information about the exhibits on display at the museum.
Examples on Display
Transport and Passenger Aircraft
- List of aerospace museums
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