Terrific Photos of Russian Airplane Graveyard

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Via the UK Daily Mail come these marvellous photographs from an airplane graveyard in Russia. Photographer Alexio Marziano has done a truly fantastic job capturing these old Russkie birds—I just love his eye for detail, sense of perspective when taking the photos, and especially some of the playing around he did with depth of field. (Yes, yes, a fellow photographer after my own heart, I know. But he is very good! Keep reading!)

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The ships can be found in an Ulyanovsk field almost 600 miles away from Moscow in what is part museum, part-graveyard for the planes, jets and helicopters—including a Tu-144, the Soviet Union’s first and last supersonic passenger aircraft (the Tu-144 is, I believe, in the first photo I’ve featured in this post). High prices and repeated crashes of this particular plane led to its operating for only one year—not at all a good return on investment, and much, much worse, at the cost of several lives.

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Officially known as the Museum of Civil Aviation, it seems to me (and many others, judging by the article’s comments) that the ships on site could be better taken care of, but this being Putin’s Russia, who knows what is going on? These are expensive things to maintain, I can tell you that much. Regardless, the old birds do make for some fascinating eye candy, and I wouldn’t mind an opportunity to photograph these myself.

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An Mi-6 military helicopter, meant for transport. Great perspective!

To see so many enormous aircraft grounded this way—particularly in surrounded by cropped grass, everything dusted in snow—certainly adds to the feel of the Museum being a graveyard. Despite some of the obvious neglect and wear of the years, though, to say nothing of the fact that every bird here has been mothballed, many of the planes look as if it would take a simple dusting off before they could turn and begin to roll down one of the pathways. To me, that adds to the eerie aspect captured and enhanced by Marziano’s photos.

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These are but a few of Alexio’s many superb photos of the ships; the Daily Mail article offers more. I couldn’t find much more information about the museum itself, but this post from EnglishRussia.com is packed with brilliantly coloured (though not as artistic, I must say) photographs of and information about many of the planes at the Museum. More fun, though, are Marziano’s additional photographs from the Museum—all 40 of them—on his website. It is marvellous work. He’s a talented documentarian to watch, if I say so myself. So pop on over for a look, and enjoy!

Love the depth of field Alexio Marziano used for this shot of a ship's snow-covered nose.

Love the depth of field Alexio Marziano used for this shot of a ship’s snow-covered nose.

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