Golovino Airport, Tomsk, Siberia (RU-0387) - 12 July 2009

After an early breakfast we boarded our minibus for the 320km ride to Tomsk to shoot at the airport there, making an unscheduled stop (after phone calls by Olga) slightly to the west of the city to visit another small grass airfield. We travelled for more than 10 miles on dirt roads through a forest trying to navigate to it with no signs at all suggesting we were even going in the correct direction. Unfortunately our driver had certainly never been there before as he stopped to ask traffic going in the opposite a couple of times to make sure we were on the right track.

Finally we stumbled across the airfield of Golovino, with the final hurdle being some very wet and slippery mud to cross before actually entering the place. At first glance it looked pretty non-descript with the normal An-2 and Yak-52 aircraft that you'd associate with these types of airfields. One of the pilots agreed to show us around and in broken English, and assisted by Olga, told us about the various aircraft littered about.

The surprise here was a nice looking Yak-12 which we were told had been displayed in a museum for at least 30 years previously but was now being restored to flying condition; and by the looks if it, it was very close to being finished. The Yak-12 was designed as a light STOL aircraft for the Soviet Air Force and first flew in 1947. This version was one of the original batch of only 788 built and was constructed with steel and fabric. The later versions, which were built in much larger numbers, were of all metal construction.

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