Located in the village of Monino in the Moscow Oblast region, 23 kilometers east of Moscow, is the largest aviation museum in Russia and one of the largest military aviation museums in the world, the Central Air Force Museum.
The museum site traces its aviation history back to the heavy bomber airfield that was constructed at Monino in 1926. In 1940 what would later become the Yuri Gagarin Air Force Academy opened its doors here and it was on the grounds of the Air Force Academy that the museum first opened in 1958. Because of the many classified prototypes that were displayed at the museum it remained closed to the general public until 1999.
When the Gagarin Air Force Academy merged with the Zhukovsky Aviation Engeneering Academy in 2008 the campus in Monino was retained, but after the closure of the Monino campus in 2011 funding for the museum became an issue. There has been talk of closing the museum in July 2016, scrapping many of the larger aircraft as they could not be moved safely and moving the remaining exhibits to another site (Kubinka was named) but during our visit in September 2016 luckily nothing pointed to such a move.
With over 173 aircraft in the books the Central Air Force Museum is well worth a visit.