An aircraft boneyard

The first airplane was located exactly at the spot indicated by the satellite map positioning data.

However, two of them could be seen in the satellite image, and only one was actually there.

02. Meanwhile, the group of three aircraft that was supposed to be a kilometer (0.6 mi) away from this first plane was actually located much closer and one more plane was among them. So, in the end, the numbers of aircraft on the satellite map and in real life matched.

03. The first plane we came across was an Ilyushin Il-76TD.

04. Since the side number was easily accessible, it was possible to research some further details about this aircraft. The plane was manufactured in December, 1982 for the Soviet Air Force. It then went on to serve as a military airlifter for 10 years.

05. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the plane was left in Ukraine, where it was put to storage. After a two-year break they started using it once more, first for a year in Ukraine and then, after it was modified to become an Il-76TD, the plane was operated in Russia for a while.

06. The Il-76TD, a long-haul cargo plane, is in fact a civilian variation of Il-76MD, with all the military equipment dismantled.

07. Now’s the time to climb inside.

08. The interiors of the plane are an absolute mess, but it is still possible to appreciate how large the cargo section is. It’s 24.5 m (80.3 ft.) long, 3.4 m (11.1 ft.) wide, and 3.5 m (11.5 ft.) high.

09. The maximum payload of this airlifter was 50 metric tons, and it could carry that cargo across distances up to 3650 km (2268 mi).

10. The lid of the emergency float container was torn out by someone and carefully placed near the right entry door.

11. One more looks at the cargo hold and let’s moves on to the cockpit.

12. There is very little left of the cockpit. All the equipment and even the floor have been dismantled. Only the air navigator’s chair is still in place.

A plane of this type is usually piloted by 7 crew, and there used to be a lot of equipment in here.

14. In the service compartment near the cockpit there is an emergency operation hatch that leads outside.

15. After climbing out the hatch it is possible to walk on top of the plane, but the hull was extremely slippery because of the rain, and I decided against it.


17. Moving on to the group of four aircraft put into storage. All of them had been manufactured by the Yakovlev Design Bureau. Yak-42D is a short-range passenger jet that was first put into operation 26 years ago.

18. If the information found on the Internet is correct, this Yak-42 is for sale. So, if somebody wanted to buy this aircraft, they’d have to cough up 33 759 000 roubles, or 516 107 US dollars (as of June 7, 2016).

19. The condition of the interiors is better than that of the previous Il plane, but still very pitiful.

20. Only 3 economy class seats are left out of 120 total.

21. The rear airstairs.

22. Opening the small doors in the rear part it’s possible to see this network of pipes.

24. Two crew were enough to pilot a Yak-42D.

26. From the left-side windows it’s possible to get a view the other planes in this storage area.

28. Here’s another Yak-42D that used to belong to the Elbrus Avia airline.

29. The engines have already been dismantled, so I won’t be surprised if this one is sawn apart in the future.

30. This plane was manufactured two years later than the previous one, in 1989.

31. The condition of this one is better than that of the two other ones.

32. But unfortunately, the cockpit is also very badly damaged.

33. However, the lavatories were quite well preserved.

34. Let’s take a last look at this airplane, and then head to the next one.

35. This is another Yak-42D.

36. The rear airstairs were down, so it was easier to get inside.

37. Almost all of the floor was missing in this one.


39. Moreover, the knocked-over chair barricades were a significant obstacle on the way to the cockpit.

40. The next aircraft is the most fascinating one in my opinion. This is a Yak-40K short-range passenger jet.



43 Here, the cockpit is the best preserved one.

44. Ironically enough, all of these aircraft outlived the airlines they used to belong to. Those were all shut down in the late 2000s.

45. Meanwhile, during our tour of the planes it got dark outside, our clothes were soaked because of the rain and the weather was soggy. So we decided to finish up and go home.

Images @ Saoirse

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