Moscow Ballet by Gary Parsons
1999's Waddington and Biggin Hill International Air Displays over the weekend of 26 & 27 June were graced with the presence of two Sukhoi Su27P Flankers from the Russian Test Pilots Gromov Institute, Moscow.
A four and a half hour flight from Moscow to Waddington before the weekend posed no problem to the long-legged fighters as the two pilots, world famous Paris ejectee Anatoly Kvotchur and his wingman Vladimir Logynovski ran straight into a practice display routine before touching soil in England. This was to be the only practice before the first display of the weekend, on midday Saturday at Waddington, as time would not permit any more. Anatoly's parallel bar dismount from the cockpit was just the start of a gymnastic style to the weekend.
Consequently, before the show the following day, the two pilots ran through their display on the dispersal. Out of sight of the public, the whole routine was paced out in a graceful routine more akin to the opera house than a windswept airfield, hands performing graceful arcs as the two pilots looped, turned and stalled in unison. No sooner was their personal performance complete when they donned g-suits and helmets, fired up the awaiting Flankers and took to the air. This is when we would find out what those minor disagreements had been about...