206 112 206

Official website of Aerobatic team RUSS Вяземского учебного авиационного центра ДОСААФ России

Today Aerobatic team “RUSS” is celebrating its twenty sixth birthday. We have been mastering the skill of formation flying for more than a quarter of a century already, to bring joy and happiness to the viewers.

In 1987 DOSAAF (Volunteer Society for Cooperation with the Army, Aviation, and Fleet) commanded that an aerobatic team on the basis of Vyazma avia-training centre should be created. The task set was perfectly clear, but extremely difficult to complete – to take part in a grand avia-athletic festival at the Tushino aerodrome. It was then that ten L-39 “albatros” made in Czechoslovakia were passed to the centre from Air Force.

Nine pilots were gathered, each having a wealth of experience of an instructor work and piloting at the course of flying training. Two masters of sports were included into the group: Valentin Selyavin and Nikolay Pogrebnyak. But making an aerobatic solo display is one thing, and flying in a team, when every pilot is responsible not only for his own life, but also for the life of the whole team, is quite another one. No one of the pilots had an experience in formation flying, not mentioning the performance of most difficult elements of group pilotage.

Hard work began, as it was only two months left before the parade. On the 3rd of July, 1987 a formation of 9 aircraft was built in the air for the first time during the group training, and this very day is accepted as the day of creating aerobatic team “RUSS”. On the 18th of August, the same 1987, the group took place in the Tushino parade, numbering ten aircraft (nine planes performed a group pilotage, one – a solo pilotage).


Nikolay Zhdanov’s (the first composition of the group) memories:

“The Moscow sky was cleared from clouds specially for us. I was full of pride, but pressed by responsibility. When after the dissolution I led the plane out of swooping above Strogino, my left knee began to twitch, so tough was the tension. In a year, before the next parade, general Maslov came to us and asked us at once: «Can you make a ”Loop”?». We answered listlessly “We should try”. The episode of coming into the loop was the most memorable one. We made swooping, military turns, and suddenly the voice of the announcer Yura Bykhov broke in: “Are we making a “loop”?”. The answer was silence. He reiterated: “Well, are we making a “loop”?”. Silence again. Then Sanya Pryadilshikov burst out: “We are!”. We gained height, then, swooping… The first “loop” was made absolutely correctly. Bychov asked us: “Are we making a second “loop”?”. Then we said all together: “Of course yes, why not?”

The first performance of the team was a success, the largest number of viewers on record came to the airdrome – about 800 thousand people and all the top management of the country. The team performed passages in formation gaining height, changes of formation, turns under the direction of the leader (The Center chief) Farid Akchurin. Nikolay Pogrebnyak performed with a solo program. An “air battle” of two aircraft was also shown.


Twenty six years have passed since then. Many difficulties were to be overcome, but one thing remained unchanged: the love for aviation and the desire to make you smile! Look at the sky more often, as even behind the lowering clouds it still stays clear!