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  1. Ukraine State Aviation Museum Zhulyany Airport, Kiev As some of you know, at least, those who have read my report on MiniArt Models, HERE, back in 2017 I visited Kiev for the very first time. Just south of Kiev city is Zhulyany Airport, the north west section of which is a large open fenced off area, housing the Zhulyany Aircraft Museum, also known as the Oleg Antonov State Aircraft Museum and Ukraine State Aviation Museum. The museum contains more than 80 airframes, both fixed and rotary wing, plus a selection of drones, weapons and a great selection of Russian aircraft engines. Not all the aircraft are on display as there are some in storage and/or being restored. The museum was officially established in 2003 with 30 odd airframes and has been growing ever since into the wonderful museum it is today. If you are in Kiev and plan to make a visit to the museum then you can either take a taxi, which cost around 300 to 400 Hryvnia, (UAH) which equates to £9 to £12 depending where in Kiev you are staying. Once you arrive at what looks like an old industrial estate and bus parking area you will need to get your tickets at the small office in the middle of some iron fence work with three large signs, and next to the main gate. Entrance to the museum will cost you 50uah, (£1.50), and another 20uah, (60p), to take photographs. There are several aircraft that are open to the public but you will have to get your tickets from the office before you enter the museum, these are:- TU-154 – 5uah, (15p) TU-134UBI – 10uah, (30p) TU-134 Presidential – 10uah, (30p) IL-62 – 10UAH, (30p) Mi-26 Helicopter – 5uah, (15p) Mi-8 Helicopter – 5uah, (15p) The engine exhibition is also extra at 10uah, (30p), but is very interesting, with a whole range of soviet era engines, some of which have been cutaway to show their interiors, although the lighting in the large “shed” is, shall we say, a bit dim, so if you want to take photos you will need a flash or set up your camera accordingly, even though flash is said to be forbidden, I wasn’t thrown out or even spoken to by the lady at the door. Talking of ladies, most of the museum seems to be run by women of a certain age, and probably best not to be messed with. They are very helpful though and even with little English they can guide you to the various parts of the museum with great efficiency, they also look after most of the aircraft in which you can gain entrance with your additional tickets. In addition to all the airframes, there is a small, but well stocked gift shop offering everything from a fridge magnets to locally produced model kits such as those from Modelsvit and AModel at reasonable prices, and a second small shop nearby selling drinks and snacks. There is also a large earth mound about 50 yards from the shop, opposite the Bear and Backfires, which is a real boon for the avid plane spotter, as it overlooks the fence to Zhulyany Airport itself. It’s more of a regional airport rather than truly international with mainly Boeing 737’s and the like, but also gets the odd business jet and old Tupolev airliner. But you can get some good photographs of the aircraft landing, taking off and particularly taxing, as the taxiway is right next to the museum fence and main aircraft gate, through which many of the exhibits were brought into the museum. It is near the large gate to the airport that several trucks are parked, these include a large KRAZ fire fighting vehicle and airfield ice clearance vehicle complete with a Klimov VK-1 jet engine, better known by us Brits as a Rolls Royce Nene. Around the south side of the museum there are a number of workshops and a sort of aircraft graveyard. These aren’t open to the public, but there are a number of aircraft on the museum side of the fence being worked on and being restored. The restorers are very nice, once they understand you are interested in their work and if you’re lucky, will show you around their aircraft. Whilst already restored, some of the exhibits are still being worked on to keep them at least alive, if not flight worthy, particularly the IL-86 and IL-76 when I last visited. There is so much to see that you could easily spend the whole day there and take hundreds, if not thousands of photos, in my case over 3000 at the last count, in two visits. Doh! Most of which you will be able to see in the walkround section on Britmodeller. Conclusion This is a superb collection and museum, with lots of aircraft very few in the west have actually seen. While most airframes are in great to good condition, there are a number that look like they will need a good clean or paint-job soon, mostly the Mig and Sukhoi fighters in the centre of the museum grounds. For the price of entrance it is exceptional value for money, (just hope the museum doesn’t read this and put the prices up), but then the Ukraine is pretty cheap for westerners to visit in general. If you’re in Kiev, it is a must on your to-do list. I do hope that this article has given you a flavour of what this museum is like and you enjoy your visit, do remember though that the weather can be rather temperamental in Ukraine, much like here I guess, but it's more extreme, so plan your trip carefully, I have been lucky and visited their both in April and August with bright sunny days on both occasions, but August was particularly hot, around 30'C, so take plenty of water. Prices and currency conversion were correct at time of my last visit.
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