Relics of Russian Aircraft from Germany – AirlineGeeks.com
By Mark Evans
Relics of Russian Aircraft from Germany
Until 1990, Germany was divided into two nations. The capitalist west and the communist east. Sanctions imposed on the Soviet Union and satellite nations by the West prevented East Germany from buying Western aircraft. This meant that Russian aircraft were mainly operated during communist rule.
Interflug was the national airline of East Germany, officially known as the German Democratic Republic. It was founded in 1955 as Deutsche Lufthansa and soon began flights to most European socialist capitals. In 1963 Deutsche Lufthansa was absorbed into Interflug and at the end operated a large fleet of airliners consisting of Ilyushin 18, Ilyushin 62 and Tupolev 134. They also operated various other aircraft for agricultural work, industrial and surveying facilities as well as a flight school.
The East German airline faced significant problems in the 1970s and 1980s. An energy crisis and rising fuel prices caused the airline to cease its domestic network, with the last domestic route being flown in 1980. Its aging fleet of Russian aircraft became expensive to operate. They used far more fuel than western jets and their engines did not meet new noise regulations in the west. This has seen them pay higher landing fees or be banned from certain airports.
Once commercial airliners were exempted from the trade embargo in 1988, Interflug quickly ordered three Airbus 310s, the first being delivered in 1989. The Western jets offered increased range over the IL62s, allowing direct flights to Cuba.
Unfortunately, the Berlin-based carrier did not have the chance to replace the other Russian planes. The German Democratic Republic was dissolved in October 1990 and became part of the Federal Republic of Germany. An agency was created to reprivatize East German companies. No investors could be found, and the liquidation of Interflug was announced in February 1991, with the last flight in April.
Five of the IL18s got a second life after a group of ex-Inteflug employees formed a cargo airline called Sedan. It was based at Interflug’s former hub at Berlin’s Schonefeld Airport, but ceased operations in 1994.
Airbus 310s were transferred to the German Air Force providing VIP flights for senior German officials.
Several of the aircraft have been preserved and remain at various airports and museums across the country.
DM-STA IL18 Deutsche Lufthansa colors – Kept at Leipzig Airport.
Interflug DDR-STB IL18 colors – Kept in downtown Leipzig. Located on top of a building along Karl-Heine Strasse.
DDR-STE IL18 Interflug colors – Preserved at the Borkheide Hans Grade Museum.
DDR-STG IL18 Interflug colors – Kept at Erfurt Airport.
DDR-STH IL18 Interflug Colors – Preserved Flugausstellung L & P
Junior Museum, Hermeskiel.
DM-SEC IL62 Interflug colors – Kept at Luftfahrt Und Technik Museumspark, Merseburg Airport. Unfortunately, the museum has closed and the planes are for sale, so it’s unlikely that this plane will stay there for long. Tupolev 134 DDR-SCZ was also there but seems to have already been sold. Currently unknown if it has a new location.
Interflug DDR-SEF IL62 colors – Kept in downtown Leipzig as Restaurant Regenbogen.
DDR-SEG IL62 Interflug colors – Kept at Stolln / Rhinow Airport.
DDR-SCB T134 Interflug colors – Kept at Magdeburg Airport.
DDR-SCH T134 Interflug colors – Preserved at Finowfurt Aviation Museum.
DDR-SCK T134 Interflug Colors – Preserved at the Flugausstellung L & P Junior Museum, Hermeskiel.
Hydro Systems DDR-SCL T134 Colors – Preserved at Hydro Systems, Biberach.
Germany has a rich heritage of preserving aviation history and many other aircraft can be found in various museums across the country. Several other Russian aircraft have been preserved at the following locations.
Automotive and Technical Museum, Sinsheim.
A fantastic museum with lots of aircraft exhibits as well as other transport. They spectacularly kept a Tupolev 144 on their roof alongside a Concorde.
Russian aircraft include:
CCCP-77112 Tupolev 144 Aeroflot colors.
HA-LBH Tupolev 134 MALEV colors.
OK-PAI Ilyushin 18 CSA colors.
0833 Ilyushin 14 Bulgarian air tickets, but operated for the Polish Air Force.
Another great museum with many aircraft exhibits. Their main exhibit is the former Lufthansa B747-200 D-ABYM. Russian aircraft include:
UR-64460 AN22 Antonov Design Bureau.
52+04 AN26 German Air Force.
Flugausstellung L & P Junior Museum, Hermeskiel.
Besides the two Interflug aircraft mentioned above, the museum has many other exhibits. Russian aircraft include:
HA-ANA AN2 Hungarian Air Force.
52+08 AN26 German Air Force – Preserved Flugausstellung L & P Junior Museum, Hermeskiel.
3076 IL14 Polish Air Force.
The museum also has many interesting western types. In particular a Vickers VC-10, G-ARVF painted in the colors of the Government of the United Arab Emirates.
CCCP-65745 T134 Aeroflot base colors, missing its tail – Preserved at Flugplatz Museum Cottbus.
RA-65117 T134 www.kunz.aero titles – Operated as an aircraft recovery systems test bed at Hahn Am See.
HA-LCB T154 Flughafen Stuttgart titles – Preserved at Stuttgart Airport and used as a fire trainer.