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Thank you for flying Soviet airlines: The vast aeroplane graveyard in Russia where 9,000 giants of the sky have been left to rust

Sat rusting away in a field 555 miles east of Moscow, these relics are all that’s left of a bygone era of Soviet innovation in military and civilian aircraft.

Among them are some of the former Communist regime’s greatest achievements in air travel, that have since been superseded many times and rendered redundant.

Nine thousand of the hulking Cold War wrecks can be seen at the vast plane and helicopter graveyard at Russia’s largest aviation museum in Ulyanovsk, in the Middle Volga region.

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The Museum of Civil Aviation in Ulyanovsk is the largest aviation museum in Russia. It contains more than 9,000 exhibits including hundreds of originals
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Many of the planes were made by Tupolev, the 90-year-old Russian aerospace and defence company headquartered in Basmanny district, Okrug

Each off the exhibits had to make their last flight here, touching down at the Ulyanovsk-Central airport, just a few hundred yards from the museum.

All except one. TB-1, one of the Soviet Union’s greatest planes before the regime fell in 1991, was brought here in pieces and re-assembled by the designer.

The TB-1 (ANT-4), was the world’s first commercial heavy-metal twin-engine monoplane bomber. The plane was designed in nine months in 1925 and just 212 were built.

Many of the planes were made by Tupolev, the 90-year-old Russian aerospace and defence company headquartered in Basmanny district, Okrug, Moscow.

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One of the exhibits that takes pride of place in the museum is the world’s first and last Soviet supersonic passenger aircraft, the Tu-144

 

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The hulking wrecks include many helicopter used for both civilian and military tasks

 

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Some of the former Communist regime’s greatest achievements in air travel lay there rusting away

Photographer Alexio Marziano said: ‘In general, cemeteries and museums aircraft something very, very attracted to me.

‘I do not know why, but walking among the huge carcasses of magnificent monsters gives me the same feeling as if I was wandering somewhere among the remains of the huge dinosaurs.

‘The sense of their former power and long-distance flights interests me. Each has its own personality and destiny. But most importantly – all of them with valor performed their duty and did not get ruined.’

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The pictures were taken by photographer Alexio Marziano on a visit to the museum 555 miles east of Moscow

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Photographer Alexio Marziano said: ‘I do not know why, but walking among the huge carcasses of magnificent monsters gives me the same feeling as if I was wandering somewhere among the remains of the huge dinosaurs.’

 

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The CCCP on this plane’s tail refers to Russia’s former regime, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

 

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Photographer Alexio Marziano said: ‘In general, cemeteries and museums aircraft something very, very attracted to me.’Another exhibit that takes pride of place in the museum is the world’s first and last Soviet supersonic passenger aircraft, the Tu-144.The first flight of the Tu-144 was held December 31, 1968, the two months ahead of the Anglo-French Concorde.However, a Tu-144 crashed at the Paris Air Show in 1973. It was introduced into passenger service on 1 November 1977, almost two years after Concorde.The plane wasn’t popular because of its high prices and slow loading times. And when one crashed during a demonstration flight at Le Bourget in 1973, killing all six crew members, the Aeroflot stopped using them.

 

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Not all the aircraft on show were jet-propelled. This biplane is an early example of aeroplane ingenuity

 

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The Tupolev Tu-144 was a supersonic transport aircraft (SST) and remains one of only two SSTs to enter commercial service

 

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Photographer Alexio Marziano said: ‘The sense of their former power and long-distance flights interests me.’

 

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Each off the exhibits had to make their last flight here, touching down at the Ulyanovsk-Central airport

 

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The planes touched down at the Ulyanovsk-Central airport after making their final journey

 

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A propeller-driven aircraft on the edge of Russia’s largest aeroplane graveyard

 

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A snow-capped nose of a small passenger plane left to rust among the other wrecks

 

Read more: DailyMail.co.uk

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