Not long ago a site was found near Moscow that is be perfect for those who like to listen to melting snow dripping from aluminum aircraft bodies. A few dozens of MiG-31 jet fighters that have been taken apart to a stage where they still look beautiful but no longer present a threat to potetntial enemy are located in a cozy spot on the edge of a forest.
MiG-31 (NATO reporting name: Foxhound) is a two-seater supersonic weatherproof long-range interceptor fighter. It was designed in the 1970s. It is the first Soviet 4th generation fighter plane.
MiG-31 was designed to intercept and destroy air targets on extremely low, low, medium and high altitudes, either during daytime or nighttime, in harsh and mild weather conditions, and with the enemy’s use of active and passive radio jamming and false heat targets.
A group of four MiG-31 planes is capable of controlling an airspace up to 1000 km (620 miles) frontage.
Originally it was intended for cruising missile interception in the whole range of altitudes and speeds and low-altitude satellites. MiG-31 regiments had a special force status among other air defense forces for several years.
The first thing that gets taken from planes as souvenirs from are the nose cones.
Then they take out the engines
Then they get to the inside parts
But there is no need to get upset – there is still enough for all decent people to take home little a souvenir.
This thing is always located in the very nose of the aircraft and while the flying machine is still operational it is carefully covered. It is called a pitot-static system – a device used for atmospheric pressure signals reception.
All of the important inside parts are covered with insulating glass-cloths.
Cartridge installation manual
And here you can see chassis galore
The most beautiful parts are the wings with stars painted on them
The view from the engine
The view from the cockpit
The view of the cockpit
The 174th B.F. Safonov Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment fulfilled its duties of guarding and protecting the USSR-Finnish-Norwegian border, and later the Russian border. The regiment was based at Monchegorsk. It was disbanded in 2001.
The pilots of the regiment. A MiG-31 plane is in the background. The photo was taken circa 1981-82.
The same fighter plane in flight.
p.s. Don’t feel sad about the planes. Just like any other hardware, they have a limited life cycle and when they become outdated, they can no longer carry out their military duty and have to be disposed of.
Images by Leonid Varlamov, reproduced with permission