|Лётно-исследовательский институт имени М. М. Громова|
|Europe and Asia|
|Parent||United Aircraft Corporation|
The Gromov Flight Research Institute or GFRI for short (Russian: Лётно-исследовательский институт имени М. М. Громова, Russian: ЛИИ) is an important Russian State Research Centre which operates an aircraft test base located in Zhukovsky, 40 km south-east of Moscow. The airfield is also known as Ramenskoye air base.
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 prototype BTS-002.
GFRI periodically hosts the MAKS International Air Show (Aviasalon).
At present, GFRI also hosts 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.
Zhukovsky airfield was the Soviet Union's equivalent to the US Edwards AFB and as such many types of aircraft underwent evaluation.
Here some western aircraft were tested or analyzed:
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. From June 2006, flights stopped on Zhukovsky. Today, flights in the Aero L-39 Albatros are available with the famous Aerobatic Team Wjasma Rus and MiG-29 Fulcrum flights are available in Nizhniy Novgorod.
The airline was established by the institute in 1995 as a wholly owned commercial subsidiary and named Gromov Air (later Moskovia Airlines).
Coordinates: 55°33′29.54″N 38°8′47.42″E / 55.5582056°N 38.1465056°E