Gromov Flight Research Institute

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Gromov Flight Research Institute
Native name
Лётно-исследовательский институт имени М. М. Громова
Joint-stock company
Industry Aerospace
Founded 1941; 77 years ago (1941)
Headquarters Zhukovsky, Russia
Area served
Europe and Asia
Owner Russian Federation
Parent United Aircraft Corporation[1]
Website (in Russian)

Gromov Flight Research Institute or GFRI for short (Russian: Лётно-исследовательский институт имени М. М. Громова, Russian: ЛИИ) is an important Russian State Research Center which operates aircraft test base located in Zhukovsky, 40 km south-east of Moscow. The airfield is also known as Ramenskoye air base.

It has world's second longest public-use runway, at 5,402 m (17,723 ft) with concrete surfacing covers the area of 2.5 million square meters. The airfield was used as the backup landing site for the Shuttle Buran test program and also as a test base for a Buran's aerodynamic prototypes. (See OK-GLI)

GFRI periodically hosts the MAKS event, the International Air Show (Aviasalon).

At present, GFRI is also hosted Zhukovsky International Airport.


The Flight Research Institute was founded on March 8, 1941, in accordance with the decree of Sovnarkom and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Mikhail Gromov, a test pilot, Hero of the Soviet Union, became its first chief. From the very beginning the Institute participated in development and testing of aircraft and airborne systems, conducted flight research in order to pave the way to further scientific activities.

The first years of the Institute's existence fell on the war times. During the war experts of the institute kept developing recommendations to eliminate defects in flight qualities and war-fighting capabilities of the aircraft, flight testing of the aircraft prototypes, studied the foreign aircraft and equipment, both purchased and taken as trophies.

Cold War[edit]

Zhukovsky airfield was the Soviet Union's equivalent to the US Edwards AFB and as such many types of aircraft underwent evaluation.[2]

Here some western aircraft were tested or analyzed. it’s unknown if any flight evaluations were made by the USSR. Google Earth look around for the Ramenskoye Airport shows an F-4 parked there.

  • Wrecks from F-111s shot down over North Vietnam were sent to Zhukovskiy to be analyzed.
  • There are also rumors an Iranian F-14 Tomcat defected to Soviet Union. The plane and its AIM-54 Phoenix misseles may have been tested. Some F-14 wrecks were probably brought to Russia for examination.
  • Pieces of US planes shot down in North Vietnam and their captured electronic countermeasures equipment were taken for evaluation (F-111, A-6, A-7, B-52, F-4, F105, etc.).
  • Captured VNAF helicopters are believed to have been tested (UH-1H, CH-47).

Perestroika times[edit]

Ilyushin Il-76LL testbed with Progress D-27 engine prototype

Due to financial problems in the 1990s (perestroika times), tourist fighter flights in former secret jets became available, mainly for wealthy western tourists. The security check was comparable to the Russian visa. On offer for flights was the Aero L-39 Albatros jet trainer, the Soviet-built Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23, MiG-25 for stratosphere "Edge of Space"-flights, the MiG-29 Fulcrum and even the Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker.[3] From June 2006, flights stopped on Zhukovsky. Today, flights in the Aero L-39 Albatros are available with the famous Aerobatic Team Wjasma Rus[4] and MiG-29 Fulcrum flights are available in Nizhniy Novgorod.[5]

Modified Sukhoi Su-27P aeroplane (1995)

The airline was established by the institute in 1995 as a wholly owned commercial subsidiary and named Gromov Air (later Moskovia Airlines).

Current research and development activities[edit]

  • Aerospace flight research and testing in low and high speed aerodynamics, flight dynamics, propulsion and avionics technologies.[6][7][8]
  • Testing and certification services for prototype aircraft and on-board equipment.[7]
  • Research in aircraft flight safety, reliability, maintainability and other operating capabilities.[9]
  • Main Russian Test Pilot School for training the test pilots and on-board test engineers.[10]
  • Development, production and operation of a variety of the flying testbeds including those based on the Tu-154, MiG-29, Su-30, Il-76, Il-103 aeroplanes, Mi-8 helicopters, etc.[7][8]
  • Development and production of flight testing instrumentation (low and high frequency data collection solid state storage systems, vibration parameters measuring devices, instant temperature sensors, miniaturized flat piezoresistance beat and pressure distribution sensors, hot-wire airflow velocity vector transducers and aerodynamic friction stress measurement products, etc.).[6]

Testbed aeroplanes[edit]

Notable employees[edit]

Heads of the institute[edit]

Scientists, test pilots, navigators, and engineers[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Companies". UAC Russia (in Russian). Retrieved May 18, 2017. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Sukhoi Su-27 Flight, Zhukovsky Airbase
  4. ^ Vyazma Rus Display Team Archived February 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ MiG-29 in Russia
  6. ^ a b "Company Overview of Public Joint-Stock Company "Gromov Flight Research Institute"". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2017-12-25. 
  7. ^ a b c "Gromov Flight Research Institute". International Science and Technology Center. Retrieved 2017-12-25. 
  8. ^ a b Hamel, Peter G., ed. (2017). In-flight simulators and fly-by-wire/light demonstrators : a historical account of international aeronautical research. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. p. 345. ISBN 9783319539973. 
  9. ^ Деркач, Олег; Петров, Андрей; Полтавец, Владимир; и др. (2012). Эксплуатационно-технические характеристики и обеспечение эксплуатации авиационной техники [Aircraft Operating Capabilities and Operations Support] (in Russian). Москва: ООО "Широкий взгляд". p. 140. ISBN 978-5-904465-03-2. 
  10. ^ Знаменская, Наталья, ed. (2002). ШЛИ со временем [ShLI in Time] (in Russian) (2 ed.). Жуковский: ООО "Редакция газеты "Жуковские вести". p. 400. 
  11. ^ a b c d "ЛИИ – Институт, который выдержал невзгоды" (in Russian). Retrieved 2018-01-15. 
  12. ^ "Генеральный директор Союза авиапроизводителей России – Горбунов Евгений Алексеевич" (in Russian). Retrieved 2018-01-13. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°33′29.54″N 38°8′47.42″E / 55.5582056°N 38.1465056°E / 55.5582056; 38.1465056