Another refueling for a fighter during its non-stop flight


The route ran its course all across Russia to Udd Island in Kamchatka where the legendary Valery Chkalov landed his aircraft seventy years ago. MOSCOW, September 8th, 2006, RIA Novosti. The RF Air Force Long Range Aviation aircrafts have successfully carried out in-flight refuelling of a Su-30 within the framework of its non-stop flight from Moscow to Kamchatka and back again following the itinerary of Valery Chkalov, the legendary soviet pilot.

According to RF Air Force Long Range Aviation press-service, the last refueling occurred near Irkutsk at 12:39 afternoon by Moscow time.

“All Il-78s have effectuated the four in-flight refuelings as planned and are now returning to base in the Ryazan Oblast,” the source confirmed.

The final stage of the flight is scheduled for Friday afternoon at Zhukovsky Airfield. The Chkalov tribute flight to Chkalov Island (formerly, Udd Island) and back again was carried out by aircraft commander Anatoly Kvochur, Hero of Russia, Honorary Test Pilot of the USSR; and second pilot Sergei Korostiev, a distinguished test pilot and bearer of the Order of Courage.

The Su-30 took off from Zhukovsky Airfield last night. As reported earlier by Colonel Aleksandr Drobyshevsky, Assistant to the Chief of the RF Air Force, the fifteen-hour Su-30 non-stop flight was assisted by military Il-78 refuelers.

The route ran its course all across Russia to Udd Island at Kamchatka where the legendary Valery Chkalov landed his aircraft seventy years ago. According to the flight plan, the Su-30 takes off from Zhukovsky Airfield whereas an Il-78 takes off from Vorkuta Airfield. After the first refueling near the town of Igarka, the aircrafts continue the flight together to effectuate a second refueling near Yakutsk.

Thereafter, the Su-30 will bank twice in the airspace of Chkalov Island in the Amur River estuary above the monument to the legendary pilot. Neryunga (the Sakha Republic) witnesses the third refueling; thereafter the Il-78 lands in Irkutsk Oblast while the Su-30 resumes its course back to Moscow. Another Il-78 rises into the air from Dyagilevo Airbase in Ryazan Oblast to meet the fighter, refuel it near Tomsk, and return back to base while the Su-30 struggles on to eventually land at Zhukovsky Airfield in Moscow Oblast.

BBC reports that the flight distance would be 12 417 kilometres, and four instances of in-flight refueling would occur.

Valery Chkalov was born on the 2nd of February, 1904 in the village of Vasilyovo (at present, the town of Chkalovsk).

In 1919, he volunteered to join the Red Army and work at the aircraft assembly line in Nizhny Novgorod. From 1921 to 1924, he studied at Yegoryev and Boris and Gleb schools of aviation as well as at the Moscow Aerobatics School and at the Serpukhov Air Shooting and Bombing School.

In 1924, he enrolled into the Red Banner Air Squadron and earned the reputation of a virtuoso pilot.

In 1930, he became a test pilot of the USSR Air Force Research and Development Institute and had tested over seventy types of aircrafts. Chkalov invented and practiced new aerobatic stunts, i.e. the upward spin and slow roll.

From July 20th to July 22nd, 1936, Valery Chkalov, assisted by Georgy Baidukov and Aleksandr Belyakov, effectuated a non-stop flight from Moscow to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

From June 18th to June 20th, 1937, he flew to Vancouver (North America) via the North Pole with the same crew.

On July 24th, 1936, the title of the Hero of the USSR was conferred onto him. He was also bearer of two Orders of Lenin and one Order of the Red Banner. The legendary pilot died in a new fighter test flight air crash on December 15th, 1938. Valery Chkalov was buried near the Kremlin walls in Red Square.


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