A Big, Loud, Russian Helicopter

Since the open house at Luke AFB back in March, not much of anything has happened on this site. However, by no means have I been sitting around and doing nothing all summer. As I write this post, I am ten hours away from flying home from St. Petersburg, Russia, where I have spent the last two months studying the Russian language and immersing myself in Russian culture. Though it had its difficult moments, it turned out to be a fantastic experience, and I am already trying to figure out a way to come back.

Russia’s achievements in spaceflight and aviation are what first got me interested in learning the language. Naturally, then, I was thrilled to get the chance to visit the country and hopefully see Russian airplanes and spaceflight relics in person. Unfortunately, though St. Petersburg is a great city, it has little to offer in those respects. There is a museum of cosmonautics on the grounds of the Peter and Paul Fortress, but it was undergoing renovation at the time of my visit and was not up to its usual standards. There is, however, one attraction in the city for those who love aviation. Specifically, this:

Mil Mi-8

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