Photo by Olga Belyakova
The first commander of the regiment Peter M. Stefanovsky
Regiment commander Anatoly Yermolaevich Rubakhin in 1945 year
Colonel Anatoly Rubakhin explains the combat mission to the personnel
The current commander of the Lipetsk air group, Lieutenant Colonel Nikolai Myshkin
Engineer Major Alexander Pichugin (center)
The flight crew of the Su-30 CM along with a technician checks the equipment before departure
Colonel-General Viktor Bondarev, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Force of the Russian Federation, awards Lipetsk pilots who are the winners of the Aviadarts-2015 international stage
Landing a pair of MiG - XNUMHUB
Flights aerobatic team "Falcons of Russia"
Preparation of aircraft for destruction of the Su-30CM aircraft for a training flight
Each flight pilots model on the ground, carefully thinking through all its details
The sky is calling ...
Technician grants clearance
The pilot takes the plane for departure
Group of fighter pilots after the next flight
In the sky, we often hear a buzz - incredibly powerful and exciting, automatically raising our eyes and seeing white stripes “revealing” the blue of the sky. It seems that someone's invisible hand slowly moves the brush on the blue canvas ...
We know that our military airplanes are flying - they carry out training tasks. But every time we involuntarily pronounce: if only not war. And with horror we remember the day when at dawn of 22 June 1941, a terrible, sinister hum was approaching our borders ...
On the day the Great Patriotic War began, test pilots from the Red Army Air Force Research Institute, headed by Stepan Pavlovich Suprun, a close friend of Valery Chkalov, came to the Supreme Commander: "Comrade Stalin, we must be at the front, we are ready to organize an aviation regiment our cadres. " Joseph Vissarionovich answered that one regiment would not be enough. Stepan Suprun was immediately found: "My friend, Lieutenant Colonel Pyotr Mikhailovich Stefanovsky, can organize another regiment of fighters." And this is not enough, answered the Supreme Commander, we need dozens, hundreds of such regiments, try to gather as many volunteers as possible.
There were a lot of volunteers. First of all, the flight and technical composition of the regiments was staffed from the personnel of the 705 air base of the Scientific Research Institute of the Air Force KA. On June 12, on the personal orders of Stalin, 25 formed two special purpose fighter aviation regiments. 401 is under the command of Stepan Pavlovich Suprun. He is the first in stories USSR twice Hero of the Soviet Union (the second time - posthumously). The pilot died a few days after the birth of the 401 regiment - July 4 1941.
The first commander of 402 is Lieutenant Colonel Peter M. Stefanovsky. 30 June 1941-th regiment flew to the place of deployment, in Idritsu. And the first combat sorties pilots made July 3. In these battles, they shot down six enemy Messers. German projectile touched one of our aircraft. Senior Lieutenant Shadrin, who controlled them, survived - he managed to land the downed MiG-3.
The 402 th pilots of the special purpose fighter regiment fought near Pskov, in the Kuban, liberated Sevastopol and the entire Crimean peninsula from the fascist scum, smashed the Germans in the skies over Orel and Smolensk, flew to Poland and Berlin in 1945.
The 402 was the most productive destructive regiment of the Soviet Air Force. On his account 13511 combat missions and 810 downed enemy aircraft. On the combat regiment two orders - the Red Banner and Suvorov III degree, as well as the honorary title "Sevastopol". In the entire history, thirty-two regiment pilots became holders of the Order of the Golden Star. Ten awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union during World War II.
Place of residence - Lipetsk
During the war, the regiment was based at different airfields, and it stood near Lipetsk - at re-formation. Here he arrived 21 Jun 1943 th. In Lipetsk, the regiment was replenished with flight and technical personnel; new aircraft were introduced - Yak-9T and Yak-1, the entire 31 machine. They needed to be mastered in a short time and to ensure the coherence of the actions of the combat calculations of the pairs, the main tactical unit of fighter aviation.
... And even now, after years of 75, we hear in the Lipetsk sky the roar of the airplanes of a special 402 regiment (of course, not the ones that were bombed by the fascists, but modern ones). In 1992, the already renamed 402 th IAP (968 th Fighter Aviation Sevastopol Red Banner of the Order of Suvorov Grade III, the regiment of the pulp and paper industry and PLC (Air Force)) finally settled at the military airfield of the Lipetsk aviation center. Today, the full name of the regiment is the Lipetsk Aviation Group as part of the State Center for Training Aviation Personnel and Military Tests of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation named after Valery Pavlovich Chkalov.
We arrived at the airport just ten minutes before the start of training flights. The first aircraft have already roared on the runway. The commander, Lieutenant Colonel Nikolai Nikolaevich Myshkin was still in his office (he gave orders, discussed something with his colleagues on the phone), but was ready to sit at the helm.
... A minute later, together with the commander in a service UAZ we drove to the aircraft.
No, a plane is too simple, ordinary. Fighters — MiG and Su of different generations and modifications — these are aviation complexes stuffed with an incredible number of instruments and electronics. My heart stops when you are approaching huge air machines, like birds of incredible sizes. It captures the spirit when the wound-up motor dodges the air-sound wave. This hum is completely different, not the one in the sky. He is fascinating and, gaining power, makes you worry more and more.
After confirming their readiness for flight, engineers and technicians escort the aviation complex - the car slowly taxies, heading for the runway. And soaring into the sky, hiding in the clouds. It rises higher, flies farther, leaving a white stripe in the sky, giving the ground the roar of its engines.
The task of the aviation group, as well as the entire Lipetsk aviation center, is the training of aviation personnel for all parts of the Russian Aerospace Forces and troop tests. Pilots develop and work out flight procedures, airborne navigation techniques on military aircraft such as the Su-35 and the Su-30CM. All record and send the material to Moscow. After approval by the top management, other military units begin to work on the manuals of Lipetsk pilots.
Four days a week, the staff of the group is busy in flight. They are working out the methods of combat use of aviation complexes for ground and air targets, air battles. Flights - single, pair, as part of a link (three cars) or a group of four planes. On the day of flights, each pilot performs three or four sorties on 40-60 minutes. And in each solves a new problem.
They fly around in circles, piloting zones or on the ground - in 70 kilometers from the airfield. The actual radius is about 1600 - 1700 kilometers. Continuously the plane can fly for three and a half hours (without refueling). 22 kilometer from the ground is the maximum height to which the fourth generation airline complex rises. In training flights, the pilots drive the car to a height of four to eight kilometers, depending on the task.
On the first flight on the day of our visit, June 21, the commander had the task to test the young airman’s combat use skills of the air complex in complex types for ground targets.
- Senior Lieutenant Anatoly Sopin two years ago graduated from the Higher Flight School, flies a long time ago, but on other planes. Now I have completed an additional training program to manage the airline complexes of this modification, ”says Nikolay Myshkin. - We are flying to the training ground, I will see how the guy works on ground targets, and after that I will make a decision - to allow or not allow him to practice flights.
After 40 minutes, the Myshkin-Sopin crew returned from a mission.
“Senior Lieutenant Sopin is ready for training flights, I am satisfied with his work,” the lieutenant colonel informed us. - It can be seen that both the flight commander and the squadron commander prepared the pilot well for a new type of flight training.
Nikolai Nikolaevich Myshkin - third generation aviator. Grandfather was a military pilot, his father all his life - in civil aviation.
- My childhood was spent in the garrisons, one might say, I grew up on the airfield, - smiles the commander. - I did not dream of becoming a pilot, I was born to them. Already at the age of six, he flew An-2 aircraft with his father. Then - on the Yak-18, Yak-52. When I was fourteen, my father led the DOSAAF in the city of Kamyshin, Volgograd region. And I spent two years in the flying club. In 1996, after school he entered the Kaczyn Military School. But two years later he was disbanded, and we, the cadets, were transferred to the Armavir Higher Military Aviation Red Banner Air Force Pilot School.
... This year the school turned 75 years. 23 February 1941, on the day of the 23 anniversary of the Red Army, for the first time all the cadets, Red Army soldiers and junior commanders took the military oath for the first time. And the history of the school began with the organization in Armavir in 1937, the parachute school and the flying club (from 1 in December 1940, the School of fighter pilots).
And one more date related to aviation and the history of the famous Fighter Regiment. 40 years ago, on February 23, 1976, died the first commander of the 402 air regiment, Hero of the Soviet Union, Peter M. Stefanovsky. During his command during World War II, he made 150 combat missions, shot down 4 enemy aircraft.
- Since 2001, I served in the Fighter Aviation Regiment near Volgograd, in 2006 I entered the Yury Alekseevich Gagarin Academy in the village of Monino, Moscow Region, - continues Nikolay Myshkin. - In 2008, he was assigned to the city of Krymsk as deputy commander of an aviation squadron. There flew the Su-27. In 2012, I was transferred to Lipetsk ... The most tense moment in the service was the first training flight, when I was still a cadet. You have entrusted the plane (before flying with an instructor), and you need to show everything that you have been taught. I rose into the air and only then I realized that I was treating myself, in the cockpit, except for me, there is no one. Experienced a sense of great responsibility. And great pleasure because he reached the goal. Now I have more than two thousand flying hours. But no departure is like the other, each time I discover something new for myself in the capabilities of the aircraft. There is no limit to perfection. And if the pilot believes that he has achieved everything, he knows everything and knows how, then you can put a cross on him.
Nikolai Myshkin says that when the clouds hang and rains, the sun shines behind the clouds. You rise into the sky, "cut" the clouds - and you find yourself in the world of sunshine, freedom, joy. But it happens that the clouds are solid. It rises higher, it seems, here it is, the sun, its rays are already breaking through, but the clouds are not allowed. Vertically they can stretch up to 10 kilometers!
- In such cases, the flight takes place outside of visual visibility (often in autumn and winter). These are instrument flights: we do not see either the earth or the sky, we only fly in the clouds (as on a simulator, as if standing in a place). Only when turning you feel that you are flying, - says Nikolay Nikolayevich. - The most difficult task is to fly to the same airfield from which it flew. True, such cases that the pilot got lost, we did not have, so experienced and professional flight personnel.
“The command of the regiment that went through the Great Patriotic War is a special honor,” says the lieutenant colonel. - And participation in the Victory parade in Moscow is an inexpressible emotion. The excitement, of course, is. The sense of belonging to the heroic feat of our people, concentration, special pride and understanding that even now, in peacetime, we are contributing to the Great Victory.
Lieutenant Colonel Alexey Anatolyevich Kurakin is a first class pilot. In Lipetsk serves with 2002 year. Flies to Su-27, Su-30, 30 CM. Personally, I brought the first Su-35 to Komsomolsk-on-Amur in Lipetsk. Now Alexey Kurakin is dreaming of a T-50 - the fifth generation aviation complex.
- While T-50 is a secret object. I saw him in Akhtubinsk, however, from a distance of about five hundred meters, - says Alexei Kurakin. - I wanted to go, but they stopped me: it is impossible! I say: yes I will fly on it! They answer me: when you come, then you will come. They promise to put the T-50 into service next year.
Lieutenant Colonel Kurakin - Deputy Commander of the Lipetsk Air Group. Like Nikolay Myshkin, he graduated from the Armavir School.
- Honestly, I never dreamed of aviation in my childhood. A year before graduation, I met two twin brothers (I lived in the village of Otradnaya, Krasnodar Territory) - in a beautiful shape, fit. They studied at the Yeisk special school of initial flight training. And I fired up: I also want to be a pilot! And he entered the same school. For two years of study, I realized that flying is my vocation. In 1997, he graduated from the Armavir School. During the years of service, one thousand three hundred hours flew.
When you first rise into the sky, you feel boundless freedom, the pilot shares. - The sky becomes family and friends, it seems that you know every cloud.
“Today, the clouds are kind and sparkling,” says Alexey Anatolyevich, looking into the sky. - And there are dangerous: dark, they seethe and outraged. In such a better not to enter. Sometimes you look, like a cloud of light, you rise higher - it darkens, darkens. Staying in such a danger, you need to quickly leave. The pilot must have a sense of self-preservation - you cannot fly without him for a long time.
Every year on May 9, airplanes of the Lipetsk air group fly over Red Square. Alexey Anatolyevich is also a participant in the Victory Parades in Moscow. Only the best of the best fighter pilots deserve this honor.
“We’re flying back to Lipetsk — we’re doing a circle over the city, above Victory Square,” says the lieutenant colonel.
Alexey Kurakin is a participant of the Aviamiks demonstration flights at the Aviadarts national and international competitions. This year the All-Russian stage took place in the Crimea, in Sevastopol.
- Our predecessors - the pilots of the special purpose Fighter 402 regiment - during the Great Patriotic War freed this city from the fascists. And we in the year of the 75 anniversary of the beginning of the war and the base of the regiment flew in the sky of Sevastopol, - says Alexey Anatolyevich. - On the Su-35 we passed at a height of one hundred and fifty - two hundred meters from the Black Sea, flew over the Kerch Strait. True, the weather was not flying, but we had a task, and we fulfilled it under the most difficult conditions.
... The last flight of the pilots of the Lipetsk air group ends in 22 hours 30 minutes. They get home by midnight.
- I come - the younger son is waiting, the eldest is sleeping. In the morning the younger one sleeps, the elder prepares for training, - Aleksey Kurakin smiles. - He has skydiving this summer, he is engaged in the Muds in the Aviators' Club. And the younger one dreams of becoming a tanker.
Error is excluded
In the cockpit of each aircraft - the icon of St. Nicholas. Father Ilya, an assistant to the head of the aviation center, consecrated all the cars. And before their departure to the parade in Moscow conducts service ...
On the ground, the cars are guarded by engineers - they strictly monitor the serviceability of aircrafts. It is they who accompany the planes to the sky and meet them on the runway.
Major Alexander Vasilyevich Pichugin - deputy commander of the first aviation squadron (where all the fighter equipment is concentrated) for the engineering and aviation service. Organizes the work of engineers and technicians to maintain the aircraft in good condition and combat readiness, is responsible for flight safety. In Lipetsk serves with 1999 year. In general, in the Armed Forces - with 1987-th.
“Errors in our work are excluded,” says Alexander Vasilyevich. - One engineer does the work, the other - controls to eliminate the shortcomings. The most difficult minutes are waiting for an airplane. While he is in the air, the nervous tension is at its maximum. Because you understand your responsibility for the lives of pilots. And when the car touched the concrete, taxied into the parking lot, you can breathe a sigh of relief. And so - every departure.
... 20 years ago, 24 on June 1996, the city cemetery of Lipetsk hosted a funeral ceremony for the burial of the remains of Mikhail Egorovich Chunosov, a native of Lipetsk land. He did not return from the 16 August battle of 1941. On this day, the MiGs of the 402 Fighter Aviation Regiment fought aerial battles with superior enemy forces. The car of Senior Lieutenant Chunosov was attacked by the fascist Ju-88 and Messer. The pilot-hero diverted four Bf-110 fighters to himself, but his plane was shot down near the village of Bazhenko (Novgorod region).
... Now I increasingly look to the sky - I am looking for white stripes and look at the clouds, what they are today - kind and sparkling or dangerous. I have never flown on an airplane - there was no chance, and I'm afraid ... But how can I still want to discover this infinite blue, go through the clouds and swim over them - under the sun!
Today, on Monday (the day of the release of the next issue of “Results of the Week”), the personnel of the Lipetsk air group have flights again. Huge steel birds will fly up into the sky and, hiding in the clouds, will rise higher, fly farther and farther, leaving a white stripe in the sky and giving the earth the roar of their engines.