Taking a Ride on the Antonov AN-26: A Soviet Cargo Plane Experience in Kostroma, Russia

In the article, “Taking a Ride on the Antonov AN-26: A Soviet Cargo Plane Experience in Kostroma, Russia,” the author recounts their adventure on an Antonov AN-26, a converted Soviet cargo plane. The plane is operated by Kostroma air enterprise, a local airline in the town of Kostroma, Russia. The author describes going through security and check-in procedures, facing challenges with filming during the flight, and highlighting the unique features of the Antonov AN-26. Despite the discomfort, the author found the experience to be fun and unique. Overall, the article provides an entertaining insight into the author’s journey on this rare Soviet airliner.

Background Information

Location of Kostroma

Kostroma is a picturesque town located 200 miles northeast of Moscow, Russia. Situated on the banks of the Volga River, Kostroma offers stunning views and a rich historical heritage.

Kostroma Air Enterprise

Kostroma Air Enterprise is a local airline that operates rare Soviet airliners in passenger configuration. Among their fleet is the Antonov AN-26, a converted Soviet cargo plane. Kostroma Air Enterprise is one of the only airlines in the world that operates this aircraft as a passenger plane.

Limited Flights at Kostroma Airport

The airport at Kostroma has limited flights, most of which are operated by Kostroma Air Enterprise. Due to its remote location, the airport only sees a handful of flights each week. The limited number of flights adds to the uniqueness of the experience when traveling to or from Kostroma.

Preparation for the Flight

Security and Check-in Procedures

When preparing for your flight at Kostroma Airport, you’ll go through security and check-in procedures in true Soviet style. Similar to other Russian airports, you’ll need to take your baggage through the security point yourself before it is taken out to the plane. This hands-on approach to security is unique and adds to the overall experience of flying from Kostroma.

True Soviet Style

Upon entering Kostroma Airport, you’ll notice the classic Soviet style of the airport. The airport’s facilities and decor reflect the era of Soviet aviation. From the green-painted walls to the simple and basic facilities, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

Warnings from Flight Attendant

Before boarding the aircraft, you may receive warnings from the flight attendant regarding restrictions on filming during the flight. This is a typical security measure and should be respected. Following the rules ensures a safe and pleasant flight for all passengers.

The Antonov AN-26

Introduction to the Aircraft

The Antonov AN-26 is a converted Soviet cargo plane that has been transformed into a passenger aircraft. Originally delivered as a bomber to the Peruvian Air Force in 1976, it later found its way to Russia. The aircraft, named Marshall Novikov, offers a unique flying experience that is not easily found elsewhere.

History of Marshall Novikov

Marshall Novikov has quite a history. Serving as a bomber during the Ecuadorian conflict, this aircraft has seen its share of action. Now, it has been converted into a passenger aircraft and is operated by Kostroma Air Enterprise. The rich history of the aircraft adds to the allure and uniqueness of the experience.

Unique Features

The Antonov AN-26 is known for its unique features that set it apart from other passenger planes. Inside the cabin, you’ll find net curtains and tapestry, giving it a nostalgic and nostalgic feel. These little touches add to the charm and make the flight experience even more memorable.

The Flight Experience

Duration and Route

The flight from Kostroma to Saint Petersburg on the Antonov AN-26 lasts approximately two hours and six minutes. The route takes you northwest to Saint Petersburg, offering scenic views along the way. Flying at an altitude of 5500 meters, the flight provides an opportunity to appreciate the beautiful Russian landscape from above.

Challenges with Filming

Filming during the flight may present some challenges due to restrictions imposed by the flight attendant. While you may face limitations on filming, it is important to respect these rules for the safety and comfort of all passengers. Despite these challenges, the flight experience itself is still enjoyable and unique.

Flight Attendant’s Warnings

Throughout the flight, the flight attendant, Olga, may continue to enforce the restrictions on filming. It is important to comply with her instructions to ensure a smooth and pleasant experience for everyone on board. Olga’s presence adds an element of authenticity to the Soviet aesthetic of the flight.


Uniqueness of the Experience

Riding the Antonov AN-26 from Kostroma to Saint Petersburg is a truly unique experience. The combination of the aircraft’s history, the limited flights at Kostroma Airport, and the Soviet-style atmosphere make this journey one to remember. Despite the discomfort and challenges faced during the flight, the overall experience is fun and unlike any other.

Author’s Overall Opinion

The author thoroughly enjoyed their flight on the Antonov AN-26, despite the hot and noisy conditions and the restrictions on filming. The opportunity to ride on one of the only passenger-configured Antonov AN-26s in the world made the experience worthwhile. The author appreciates the uniqueness and authenticity of the flight, and would gladly do it again.