Volunteers donate plane to Ukraine’s Air Force



2014/08/31 • News

On  Ukraine’s ” Aviation Day,” August 30, at the military airport in Boryspil, there was a demonstration flight of the military transport plane An-26 that had been restored with the assistance of donors and volunteers,  reports the online news source cenzoriv.net.

The plane, renamed Phoenix, which had been in storage since 2005,  was made airworthy thanks to the joint efforts of the volunteers of the Wings of the Phoenix NGO,  the employees of Ukrainian aircraft repair facilities, and military aviators from  the 15th Transport Aviation Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Taking part in the ceremonies marking the plane’s restoration were Ihor Kabanenko, Deputy Minister of Defense on European Integration, Yuriy Biryukov, head of Wings of the Phoenix and advisor to the president of Ukraine, the command and personnel of the 15th aviation transportation Air Force Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Air Force veterans, aircraft workers, representatives of local government, numerous guests and journalists.


Yuriy Biryukov, Wings of the Phoenix

“Today is an especially important event,” Kabanenko  told the participants. “With the assistance of volunteers we have restored a transport plane that  has now joined the ranks of our Air Force. Something similar had already happened in our history when, thanks to the support of concerned citizens, we repaired combat vehicles and planes and bought armaments and military equipment. This happened when the people of Ukraine were defending their land from the Nazi evil. Unfortunately, history is repeating itself, and, again, our country is virtually on the eve of war. Today’s example is extraordinarily significant….(with the help of volunteers) this plane is now ready … to protect our families, defend Ukraine and protect our future,” he said.

Lieutenant Colonel Oleksiy Bratus, commander of the aviation technical department, described the genesis of the project.

“Five months ago, I met Yuri Biryukov. Our first conversation about restoring the plane, which has been in “iron” storage for a decade and used for parts for other aircraft in our military unit , had almost a mythical character,” he said. “First, neither he nor I believed in the possibility of this project. However, we tried. The repair work began with a visit to the Antonov State Enterprises, where ,with the assistance of the chief designer Pavlo Potapeko, the plane was diagnosed: “will live!”

plane2He went on to explain that  all the necessary service and routine maintenance were performed and the anchoring system, the hydraulic and fuel hoses and aircraft rubber components were replaced. Finally,  the plane was painted by the unit’s navigator, Major Roman Rodionov.

“There is no aircraft in the world in this color — “camouflage pixels”– Bratus added. “Ours is the first. We encountered many difficulties during this project. There were problems with the engine, there were nerves and emotion, but we succeeded, and last night the plane became airworthy.”

The Antonov An-26 plane was given the name “Phoenix” after the restoration. It circled the military airfield three times and successfully landed on the runway. It will be used by the Air Force of Ukraine for  military transportation and other military tasks.

cenzoriv.net, translated by Anna Mostovych




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  • W8post

    Puto, sadistically, will go after this plane first…

    • sandy miller

      ask the world to pray for Putin and Russia to come to their senses. No God would want this. No truely Godly person on earth would want what Putin is doing in Ukraine.

  • sandy miller

    Bravo…people of Ukraine united and working together. Russians…don’t let Putin poison yu minds like this against your brothers and sisters….Many of you are intermarried. Don’t allow Putin to force you to kill each other. There is no reason for this both countries can work together and with other countries for peace, democracy and prosperity. There is no excuse for what Putin and his regime have done to the people to the people of Ukraine.

  • Skip Waterhouse

    I’m a US citizen, a pilot, and resident of shattered Lugansk, my wife’s family home. I’ve never been so proud and hopeful for Ukraine’s future with patriots like the “Wings of Phoenix” on our side.

    Right now, I’m thinking of the frightened citizens of Mariupol, who have already purged their city once of terrorists–I hope they can hold out again, but sadly now they’re dealing with a completely different kind of force.