Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram
 

The aircraft graveyard at the former Khodynka Aerodrome: Historic planes have been left to rot on what used to be Moscow’s oldest airfield

Jack Beckett

Khodynka Aerodrome (officially Frunze Central Aerodrome, often referred to as Tsentralny Aerodrome) was an airport in Moscow, Russia, located 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) northwest of the centre of the city.

It was the only airport in the city until the opening of Bykovo in 1933. (Tushino opened in 1935, Vnukovo in 1941).

Sukhoi Su-27,

Sukhoi Su-27

 

Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker

Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker

The founding of the aerodrome took place on June 17, 1910, when the Moscow Aeronautical Society announced that the staff of the Moscow Military District had approved the allocation of land in the territory of Khodynka field as an airfield. Donations from aviation enthusiasts met much of the cost of the construction of the facility.

There resulted a runway and six small hangars for airplanes. The official opening took place on October 3, 1910, in the presence of military authorities and of many Russian aviators.

MiG-21 Fishbed 2

MiG-21 Fishbed

 

MiG-21 Fishbed 3

MiG-21 Fishbed

 

Yakoev Yak-25

Yakovlev Yak-25

On May 3, 1922, the first ever Russian international flight on the route Moscow – Königsberg – Berlin took place. On July 15, 1923, the first regular domestic passenger flights between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod started – the 420 km route took 2.5 hours in a 4-seater AK-1 monoplane.

Sukhoi Su-15 Flagon 2

Sukhoi Su-15 Flagon

Sukhoi Su-15 Flagon

Sukhoi Su-15 Flagon

The airfield was at the core of Russia’s aviation industry, surrounded by the main headquarters of Aeroflot, design bureaus for Ilyushin, Mikoyan-Gurevich (MiG), Sukhoi and Yakovlev, several aircraft production facilities.

It was reportedly home to a large number of stored airframes manufactured by Russian aircraft giants Sukhoi and Mikoyan-Gurevich (MiG).

It was reportedly home to a large number of stored airframes manufactured by Russian aircraft giants Sukhoi and Mikoyan-Gurevich (MiG)

 

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21

 

Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-25PU Foxbat

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25PU Foxbat

 

Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-25PD Foxbat

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25PD Foxbat

Khodynka Aerodrome officially closed in 2003 and according to a 2010 Google Earth image and this series of photos by Flickr user Sergey Rodovnichenko, taken on August 2012, at least 30 to 40 abandoned aircraft remain on site.

The Russians are currently trying to redevelop the area and build homes, which means the planes are slowly, one by one, being transported away. Photos: Sergey Rodovnichenko/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Sukhoi Su-17 Fitter 11

Sukhoi Su-17 Fitter 11

 

Sukhoi Su-17 Fitter

Sukhoi Su-17 Fitter

 

Those cranes meant redevelopment, so most of these planes are gone by now.

Those cranes meant redevelopment, so most of these planes are gone by now

Some describe the site as an abandoned museum, where the hulks of Soviet Russia linger alongside the modern sports arena and skyscrapers that occupy much of the site today.