July 2, 2007 - 7:54 am
Filed in: Avia-Corner,Monino,Moscow Dispatches,Museums

[Note: For the previous post in this series, click here: 1]

Getting In:

According to the official website, the VVS Museum is open:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday from 9:30 am until 5:00 pm with a 45 minute break from 1:30-2:15 [Currently, the Museum seems not to be observing the scheduled break on these days]

Saturday the Museum is open from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm

The Museum is closed on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Technically, foreign visitors are required to call ahead to notify the administration of their desire to visit. I did not. As a result, the woman sitting at the registration desk gave me a stern glance. She then called her superior. He subsequently allowed me in without any trouble.

Odds are you’ll get in without the phone call. Given the Museum’s desperate need for cash (more about that in a moment), they’d be foolish to turn away any visitors willing to pay the entrance fee. Still, if you want to do everything by the book, here’s the relevant contact information:

Telephone: 526-33-27
Fax: 747-39-28

I can’t vouch for the English-language fluency of the Museum staff. My guess is that you’ll probably need to know a bit of Russian in order to make the by-the-book arrangements. Alternatively, you can always get a real live Russian to do this for you. (They’re easy to find ‘round these parts). If you’re staying at a nice hotel the concierge would be the one to ask.

The entry fee for foreigners visiting on their own is currently 350 rubles (approx. $14). Children under 15 get in for 200 rubles. If you want to bring along a camera to take still photographs you must pay an additional 200 ruble fee (about $8). There’s yet another charge (250 rubles) for using a video camera.

After settling up at the cashier’s desk, you’ll receive a paper receipt. Exit the door you entered, go back through the gate, and turn right. Across the street you’ll see a big blue metal fence behind which are a bunch of Russian airplanes…

Getting Acquainted:

Under normal operating conditions, the Museum is divided into two separate sections.

The first is the Main Hall (where tickets are purchased). It houses the reception area, cashier, sundry administrative offices, and a seven-room display chronicling the of “History of Russian Aviation” to the present day.

The second section consists of the large aircraft collection parked in the big field across the street. There you will find on display six dozen plus airplanes (and a handful of helicopters) dating from the Great Patriotic War to the present. Two hangars located at the far side of the field opposite the entry gate contain respective displays devoted to “Unique Flying Machines” [Уникальные летательные аппараты] and “Training Aircraft, Sport Planes, and Parachuting” [Учебные и спортивные самолеты. Выставка парашютов].

Here’s a map of the Museum grounds:

map01.jpg

And now, the bad news…

In 2005, a fire destroyed most of the Museum’s Main Hall. Little has been done since then to remedy the situation. There appears to be no set schedule for beginning (let alone completing) the necessary repairs. In order to ensure that the remainder of the Museum continues to function, the “History of Russian Aviation” display has been closed to make room for the administrative offices.

Likewise, the hangar which houses the display of “Unique Flying Machines” is currently closed while major repairs are being made to the hangar’s roof. When I inquired as to the date by which the repairs are supposed to be completed and the display re-opened, I was told that, officially, everything will be finished by August of this year. When I asked for a date by which the display might realistically be expected to re-open, I received the expected reply: “Only God knows.” On the bright side, there was actual work being done on the hangar the day I visited.

The qualifier to all of this is that most of the textual information contained in these displays is/was in Russian. So it’s not as if non-Russian speakers are going to miss out on that much anyway. Later in this “Field Guide” I’ll give you a detailed summary of the displays’ contents (in English no less!) as they would normally appear. Next up, a first look at the Museum and its airplanes…

ScP

[ For the next installment in this series of posts, click here: 3]

5 Responses to “The Russian Air Force Museum at Monino (pt. 2)”
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