Monino THE Russian Airforce Museum

Russia’s Central Air Force Museum, located 40km east of Moscow, is under threat of extinction. The adjacent Gagarin Military Academy is closing, leaving the museum — one of the world’s greatest aviation collections, with more than 170 historic aircraft on show.

One hears that there are plans to open a new “military theme park” at Kubinka, to the west of Moscow, where some of the Monino exhibits will be taken; but it appears highly likely that many of the bigger aircraft and outside exhibits face scrapping.

In terms of international significance for aviation enthusiasts, albeit not in terms of general-public visitor numbers, Monino is in the same list of “greats” as the RAF Museum, the Musée de l’Air, the USA’s National Air and Space Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, the Prague Aviation Museum, the Italian Air Force Museum, National Museum of the USAF at Dayton, and so on and so on. As such, it comes as a shock to consider that it may all too soon be dispersed — and the chance to see such rarities or sole survivors as the Myasishchev M-50 Bounder, Beriev VVA-14, Il’ya Muromets, Petlyakov Pe-2, Mil V-12, Lavochkin La-250 etc at all, let alone in a single museum in their homeland, will be gone forever.

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And there is MORE, not revealed by these two aerial photographs! Not only are there extra 'outdoor' exhibits, but there are also two hangers that exhibit older and more fragile items.

The Central Museum of the Air Forces at Monino, Russia is located approximately 38 kilometers (24 miles) from Moscow along the Gorky Highway in a lovely wooded area. It is the largest and best aviation museum in Russia. The museum was formerly known as The Russian Federation Air Force Museum and, prior to that, The USSR Air Force Museum.

The facility was an operational air base from 1932 through April, 1956. The museum was founded in 1958 and opened in 1960 at the original airfield location and in the original airfield structures.

The area was off-limits to civilians during the Soviet era so it has been neither easy to find nor easy to access. Advance permission to visit the museum was recently required for non-Russian citizens. Despite this, it is the finest Russian aviation museum in existence and will be the highlight of any enthusiast's visit.

The facilities are largely unimproved and the majority of aircraft are exposed to the harsh Russian weather. The museum has long been run by the Russian government and there was no legitimate means of making monetary contributions to the museum at the time I visited. Many of the Russian aviation Design Bureaus (Tupolev, Ilyushin, Antonov, Mikoyan, etc.) have contributed exhibits and resources to the museum and its maintenance.

Despite these conditions, the aircraft are in surprisingly good shape and most are sitting on the original tires they landed at the Monino airfield with. This is a testament to the museum employees who have a great historical legacy to preserve.

Monino Sightseeing:

09.00hrs: You are collected from your accommodation and taken by private car to Monino Airforce base (35km out of Moscow) and the home of the Russian Airforce museum. Total time including transfer to and return - 6 hours.
EUR 250 for one person
EUR 138 per person for two persons.
EUR 100 per person for three persons.
EUR 100 per person for four persons. A larger car has to be used.

Cost also includes the permissions required to enter the base and the museum entrance fees.
Camera and video permit fees are paid upon arrival and vary according to which you take.
This cost is for driver and guide for the entire excursion. The guide acts as an interpreter at the museum as there is no guiding other than in the Russian language.
Currently the museum is closed on a Wednesday and a Sunday.

Monino Aircraft Museum Enquiry

Read my diary of a VERY earlier visit

Recent Client Pictures

Booking Conditions

Clients Comments:

From: David
To: Marie Pickering
Subject: Visit to Monino


I’d like to share our experience of the tour you arranged to the Russian Air Forces Museum at Monino.

 It was great! We were picked up on time and the driver and it took around 1.5 hours to drive there.

The guide was a student called Galia (?), who had only been to Monino once before and when pressed said she didn’t really like planes. That was not a problem and we all had fun with that! At the Museum we had a local guide, with whom we had great rapport even though we had no Russian had he had not much more English. Galia, translated very ably, we had good conversations and shared our knowledge. I think I made a friend there. The Museum, itself could do with an injection of funds as many aircraft are clearly deteriorating  being outdoors. However, to see the aircraft of the “cold war” up close was truly amazing and a trip I recommend to other enthusiasts. In fact Joy and Robin (not enthusiast said it was a great day.

Regards David


Hello Brent

Just to let you know your partner provides a great service , I was very impressed , and the tour they gave me was out of this world mate.

To: Rhos [Gulf]
Subject: RE: Tours in Moscow


Yes indeed we do, but as we are based in Melbourne I suggest you contact our Moscow office. Call and you talk to Andrei. He can help you in the same time zone.


Sent: Friday, 17 June 2011 12:42 AM
Subject: Tours in Moscow


I am a Australian just arrived in Moscow and found your name on the Web offering tours in Moscow , and was wondering if you still do them as I am very interested of the Russian Aircraft Museum and Star City
Appreciate your assistance in this regard

Expeditor - Vendor Drawing and Data