Tupolev Tu-104B: Soviets’ Own Ways (III).

An Aeroflot Tu-104B looking every bit as aggressive as the bomber it was derived.


Vostok 5-Vostok 6: Ястреб и Чайка.

In this precise moment, but 55 years ago, the second joint Vostok mission was under way. In Vostok 5 was Valery Bykovsky, but it was the Vostok 6 the one which made the headlines. Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, was at the “helm”….well, at least she was inside; the Vostok’s cosmonauts had very few manual control over the events. With hindsight more a propaganda stunt than anything since womanhood had to wait two more decades for the next one. Anyway, Tereshkova was the first and one had to be not only able but also very brave to climb into one of those rockets back then.

Superb poster, quite dynamic and unrealistic. They weren’t launched at the same time.

Salyut 7 (2017 movie): “Stop that music…, stop that infernal din.”

Just finished this movie, a wildly free adaptation of Soyuz T 13 (Vladimir Dzhanibekov-Viktor Savinykh) rescue mission. My opinion? I kinda like it. The story line is a big too Hollywoodised for my taste, but it’s sure a worthy addition to the always interesting Russian space-related filmography. Two personal complains though. One minor, the Shuttle and its astronauts brief technical depiction and one major, the bombastic and LOUD original soundtrack.

The best part of the movie to me. Their interpretation of the T 13 mission docking; the first time a spacecraft had docked with a “dead” (inert) space station. The movie’s computer-generated special-effects are truly magnificent.

Tupolev Tu-154: Among the Stars.

For decades this somehow brutish-looking three-engined jetliner was the workhorse in the medium-range sector of both the USSR and the usual satellites and/or related nations. As usual, not economically efficient in a Western way, the Tu-154s have proven to be rough and “all-terrain” in the Soviet way. Fast too they are. Quite a number of them still remain in service today.

A masterpiece of Russian art this magnificent Аэрофлoт poster. The artist sure made it look sleeker here.

Beriev KOR-1: Against all its odds.

The KOR-1 was a successful unsuccessful ship-borne reconnaissance seaplane designed and built for the Soviet Navy in the years before WW2. Yep, no mistakes in my previous sentence. This neat looking floatplane suffered from its very inception unresolved handling and structural deficiencies plus engine problems. It also displayed poor catapult performance. Notwithstanding those defects the design was placed into production: there was no other alternative. The dozen produced saw little ship service and they were used at shore-based units until 1942.

Lovely in a Polikarpov’s way. KOR-1’s barely more successful successor was even prettier.

Junkers Ju 13: HI…HI…HI..

Добролёт (Dobrolet) was a Soviet air transport organization constituted in 1923 and which operated through the 1920s Not only an airline/mail service, Dobrolet also carried cargo and undertook ancillary community work in both Russia and the huge Soviet Central Asia. In 1930 Dobrolet story ended to give way to Aeroflot. Curiously the name “Dobrolet” has been twice reused: by a cargo company and by an Aeroflot’s low cost airline, both defunct now.

Soviet Constructivism poster jewel. Thanks to the Treaty of Rapallo of 1922 a Junkers factory was built in Moscow’s Fili suburb. The F13s produced there were designated Ju 13s in the USSR.