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1999-2006
by Roy Cochrun
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Anatoliy Kvochur's Su-30 Airplane Lands at Zhukovskiy

Today, 8 September 2006, at 15:45 Moscow time, Anatoliy Kvochur and Sergey Korostiev's Su-30 airplane landed at the airfield in Zhukovskiy, having completed a non-stop flight along a route from Moscow Chkalov Island (the former Udd Island) Moscow, dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Valeriy Chkalov's legendary flight. 

The Su-30 had taken off form the Zhukovskiy tonight at 2:30, and having reached Chkalov Island, returned successfully back to Zhukovskiy 13 hours 15 minutes later. As Anatoliy Kvochur reported, the crews state of health is excellent. 

Seventy years ago, at 5:45 a.m. on 20 July 1936, an ANT-25 airplane with the crew: commander V.P. Chkalov, co-pilot G. F. Baydukov, navigator A. V. Belyakov, took off along the "Stalin Route" of Moscow Franz Joseph Land Severnaya Zemlya Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy Khabarovsk, and on 22 July 1936, after 56 hours and 20 minutes of flight and 9,374 kilometers for route covered, the airplane completed a successful landing on the coastal strip of Udd Island.  The crew remained overnight at the home of a local resident, Fetin'ya Andreevna Smirnova. 

A wooden runway 500 meters long and 35 50 meters wide had to be built for the ANT-25's takeoff. This task was accomplished in precious few days. On 28 July, the strip was finished and the ANT-25 stood at its start, ready for takeoff. However, the weather on the route toward Khabarovsk continued to be unsuitable for flying. The airplane left the island only at 8:15 a.m. on 2 August 1936. The first landing was in Khabarovsk. On 6 August, the crew took off from Khabarovsk. On the way to Moscow landings were made in Krasnoyarsk and Omsk. The airplane arrived in Moscow on 10 August 1936. Before landing, the ANT-25 made a smooth circuit over the Kremlin accompanied by as aerial escort of 12 airplanes. The airplane landed at Shchelkovo airfield at 17:00 hours. 

Soon after the flight, Udd Island was renamed Chkalov Island, and Langr Island to Baydukov Island.

((A map at http://www.avia.ru/news/?id=1157716186 shows the flight route of the Su-30 and each Il-78 tanker involved in Kvochur's flight.))

Source: 08.09.06, AVIA.RU