French and Soviet jet fighter aircraft gave aerobatic display on Wednesday, 23 June, at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport, the first joint East-West demonstration of the kind since the second world war.
French and Soviet jet fighter aircraft gave aerobatic display on Wednesday, 23 June, at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport, the first joint East-West demonstration of the kind since the second world war. Taking part were French Mirage-3 and Soviet Mig-21 aircraft.
Six Mirage fighters arrived in Moscow last week (June 21 - see Visnews Production no. 7195/71, serviced 25 June), the first Western military aircraft to land in the Soviet Union since the war.
They accompanied General Gabriel Gauthier, Chief-of-Staff of the French Air Force, who was visiting Moscow at the invitation of the Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet Air Force, Marshal of the Air Force level Kutakhov.
SYNOPSIS: The French Air Force Chief, General Gauthier, has been visiting Moscow at the invitation of his Soviet opposite number, Air-Force Marshal Kutakhov. General Gauthier was accompanied by six Mirage-3 jet fighters, and during the visit they combined with Soviet aircraft in a unique air display at Moscow' Domodedovo Airport.
Captain Gilbert Paniot, the senior French pilot on the visit, put his Mirage-3 through its paces to show the aircraft's flexibility and performance. The demonstration included passes over the airport at low speeds and low altitude. Despite its high performance, the Mirage-3 is designed to operate from small airfields.
In its various forms, as an all-weather interceptor and as a long-range fighter-bomber, the Mirage-3 is in service with a number of Western air forces and more than 700 have been produced. But this was the first time it, or any western combat aircraft, had landed in the Soviet Union since world-war tow. And it was the first time the Soviet and French Air Forces had taken part in a joint display.
After the French had shown their paces, the Soviet Air Force demonstrated the versatility of the delta-wing Mig-21. A trio of the high-speed fighters gave a vivid display of aerobatic formation flying, piloted by Lieutenant-Colonel Vaskanyan and Majors Musha and Avedikov. The unique air display highlights the special character France and the Soviet Union give to their relations.