Perhaps the most spectacular airshows of recent times was that for the 100th Anniversary of the Russian Air Force held at Zhukovsky in August 2012. The show presented a cavalcade of types associated with Russian military aviation over the last 100 years.
Planes TV were lucky enough to be able to attend the show and record it for a wider audience. As well as the Russian aircraft, the show was an international celebration with display teams from across Europe include Il Frecce Tricolori, the Finnish Midnight Hawks and our own Red Arrows plus solo jet displays from the likes of the French Air Force Rafale. However for this production, Planes TV made the decision to focus on the participating historic warbirds and modern Russian Air Force aircraft as well aircraft from DOSAAF.
The show attracted 300,000 people over three days which for an airfield based event in truly massive crowd. Planes TV shot from both the crowd and live-side of the airfield and many of their shots give a very good impression of the scale of the event.
Unlike recent PlanesTV projects, this production features full narration throughout from Melvyn Hiscock. While there are no interviews Melvyn’s commentary does set the scene for each collection of displays wonderfully with plenty of background to explain the significance and the often confusing or complex Russian methods, designations or organization!
As you would expect, the actual quality of the content is superb with some mouthwatering displays from rare aircraft that rarely, if ever venture outside of the Russian border! Highlight include flypasts by the Long Range Aviation bombers (Tu-22M3 Backfires, Tu-95MS Bears and Tu-150 Blackjacks), a diverse range of transport types and some amazing collection of fighters. The modern fighter or course provide some spectacular footage. Seeing the like of the Su-35S Flanker-E, Su-34 Fullback and various MiG-29s cavorting in display flying and simulated dogfights across Russian skies is particularly eye=catching.
Concluding the show and the production were the Russian Swift and Knights with their spectacular flare releases and close formation flying. For aviation enthusiasts this is a superb production and one of great interest, particularly in Blu-Ray format as the colour of the show looks epic in HD thanks to the superb lighting and clear skies the show enjoyed.