Greetings to aviation lovers and those who sympathize with us!
Today I invite you to take a flight on the route Arkhangelsk (Vaskovo) - St. Petersburg on a Yak-42 aircraft of Cosmos Airlines.
Let's talk a little about Cosmos Airlines itself. . JSC PO Kosmos was created to transport passengers and cargo of enterprises of the Roscosmos State Corporation in 1995. The airline also operates charter flights and periodically appears on regular routes. For example, in May 2014, the company operated direct flights from Arkhangelsk to Simferopol for the first time since Soviet times. And in 2019, “space” planes flew from Arkhangelsk to Novaya Zemlya.
On May 1, 2023, Talagi Airport, which is the air gateway to Arkhangelsk, was closed for runway reconstruction. In this regard, all air traffic was concentrated at Vaskovo airport, which previously served only intraregional flights on An-2 and L-410 aircraft. The airport can also receive An-12, An-24/26 and Yak-40. Due to the need to receive interregional flights, the airport was certified to receive the Yak-42, An-74, ATR-72, Bombardier CRJ 100/200 and Embraer 170. Thus, it was able to receive aircraft from S7, Rusline, Severstal, UT Air and Cosmos airlines .
Starting from June 5 of this year, Cosmos Airlines began operating flights on the route Arkhangelsk - St. Petersburg on Yak-42 aircraft. The carrier has two aircraft of this type in its fleet; both of them flew on this route, replacing each other. Kosmos also attracted the Yak-42 of Izhavia Airlines to operate flights. Flights were operated three days a week, one flight by Cosmos aircraft, the second by Izhavia.
Initially, tickets for Cosmos flights could only be purchased on aggregator sites, but later the airline began selling on its official website. It was there that I bought a ticket in mid-August. When purchasing, of course, I paid attention to the carrier on this flight, so that I could fly by Cosmos and not Izhavia. But as it turned out, on the dates for which I selected tickets, Izhavia no longer flew and all flights were operated by Cosmos.
The purchasing process is standard, it is approximately the same on the websites of all airlines, differing only in appearance. The ticket price was 10,850 rubles, which you will agree is not very cheap for an hour and a half flight. Two months later, I went to the site again and the price was already 8,500 rubles, but later it again increased to the price at which the ticket was purchased.
I arrived in Arkhangelsk the day before departure, took a walk in the city center, spent the night in a hotel and the next morning went by taxi to the airport. The cost of the trip from my hotel was more than seven hundred rubles. But on the day, or rather the morning of my departure, a price of 555 rubles appeared, which I took advantage of. You can also get to Vaskovo by shuttle bus, but its first flight is only at 7:30, and my departure is at 8:10, and accordingly this option did not suit me at all. The trip took about 20 minutes and now I arrived at this airport for the first time. It was warm outside, so I walked to the monument to the Mi-6 helicopter, which is located a little far from the terminals.
Mi-6, USSR-21145, manufactured in 1970. The helicopter was first operated by the USSR Air Force, then transferred to Aeroflot. In 1992 he moved to the 2nd Arkhangelsk AOA, where he worked until 2003. In 2021, it was installed in honor of the workers of the 2nd Arkhangelsk United Aviation Squadron, who ensured the operation of the Mi-6 from May 1968 to March 2003.
Next to the terminals there is a monument to another helicopter, this time it is a Mi-4 USSR-19143 manufactured in 1961.
Behind the Mi-4 there is a terminal from which passengers fly to the Arkhangelsk region. The 2nd Arkhangelsk United Air Squadron, or otherwise the Arctic Airlines airline, has very developed flights on An-2 and L-410 aircraft to remote villages in the region.
We need to go to a temporary terminal, which was erected to serve passengers flying outside the Arkhangelsk region. There is also a public transport stop next to it.
I arrived about 20 minutes before check-in, my flight is the very first, but the terminal is already open, let's go into it already. At the entrance, as usual, there is a security check.
The general area of]
Immediately after security there are two check-in counters. Another one for business class passengers is located opposite.
Next to the check-in counters there is also baggage packing.
There are two ticket offices, one for S7 airlines, the other apparently for everyone else.
You can also recharge your gadgets.
In such a small room there was room for a cafe. The prices there I wouldn’t say are “airport prices”, but they are also higher than in the city. Puff pastry with ham and cheese, sausage in pastry for 120 rubles, manna 110, and hot dog 130.
If , something goes wrong, then three bathrooms are also present.
Two hours before departure, passenger check-in began.
A day before departure, I tried to go to the Cosmos website and find online registration there. And to my great surprise, I found it there! I didn’t think that an airline that doesn’t plan to fly on regular flights for a long time would get tired of it and do registration on the website. Moreover, the place where I registered was free. I understand that the last six rows were free due to the proximity of the engines, but that’s exactly what I needed! And sorry, but I didn’t look at the cost of seats at the front of the cabin.
For some reason I thought that I had a fare without luggage. But as it turned out, I still had luggage and I agreed to the offer to return the bag. After registration, we go to pre-flight inspection.
The inspection is carried out in a very small room, probably five people can be there together. But for the passenger flow of Vaskovo, this is probably enough.
After inspection we find ourselves in a sterile area, there is already more space here than in the general area.
Seats to wait for the flight times more, but still, of course, there are not enough for them all. There are also three small shops with local goods in the sterile area. When I entered they were still closed, but after 20 minutes they opened.
For the little ones there is a small children's play area , but it seems to be only for very small children.
There is also a small cafe, prices can be seen in the photo. I only bought tea, which cost 80 rubles.
Passengers on our flight everyone was arriving and the space was getting smaller. Still, this temporary terminal is not designed for a large influx of passengers. I wonder what’s going on here if at least two flights are delayed?
But this time I didn’t manage to find out, everything happened exactly according to schedule and 40 minutes before departure, boarding for our flight began.
After checking the tickets, before bus you need to walk along the street.
As platform buses at the airport, not special, but regular buses are used.
Opposite the bus boarding point, there is parking lot L -410 of the 2nd Arkhangelsk United Air Squadron flying around the Arkhangelsk region. I took a photo from the bus window.
We drove about three minutes to the parking lot. Along the way we passed An-24/26, Yak-40 and Mi-8 helicopters. We can definitely say that fans of Soviet aviation should come here and take pictures.
They took us to the Yak-42 with tail number RA-42458, this is one of the last aircraft of this type produced. It was assembled in 2003 and this year it turned twenty years old. During this time, he flew in Iran, Moldova and Africa. In Russia, it was operated in Izhavia and, as can be seen from the orange livery in Krasavia, from where it entered Space in 2022.
Landing in the Yak-42 can be carried out as standard along the ramp, or through its own ramp at the tail of the aircraft. In our case, it was the second option. And you must agree, it is much more interesting to enter the Yak-42 on your own ramp.
It is worth noting that on the apron none of the SAB representatives interfered in any way with photographing the aircraft.
A small traffic jam of passengers formed at the entrance, during which time it was possible to take several photos of the gangway.
I don’t have to go far, although my row is the penultimate one, I walk closer than the first rows . It’s good that during online registration I didn’t choose row 20 as I wanted. There is practically no window on it, and this would be a huge disadvantage from the flight.
I had what I call a “personal porthole,” because no one but me could look through it! Even I had to turn my head to enjoy the views.
And I had a view of the D-36 engine and wing. At first, the porthole was covered in snow and ice, but as the cabin warmed up, everything melted. new but clean. Overhead there is a standard set of three individual fans and lights. I didn’t check the brightness of the lamps, but the general lighting of the interior seemed somewhat dim to me. The luggage racks are probably closer in size to the ATR 42/72 than to the A320 or B373.
It seemed to me that the back of the seat has a greater angle of inclination in the normal position than that of foreign aircraft. According to my feelings, this is the situation in the same A320 when you lean the back a little back. But these are my feelings, maybe this is not true at all.
The seats themselves are of course narrow and, again, probably closer to the ATR 42/72. On the back of the chair there is only a pocket for the press and a table.
Although the porthole was cleared of ice, small stains still remained and prevented taking good photographs. There was plenty to photograph overboard. Not very far from us were three Mi-8s and one Yak-40 RA-88251 of the Vologda Air Enterprise, which flies from Arkhangelsk to Kotlas, replacing the L-410 2 of the Arkhangelsk United Air Squadron on this route.
While I was looking at the interior and trying to photograph the Yak-40 with helicopters, the landing ended. The plane underwent de-icing treatment, during which we were given a safety briefing and we headed to the runway to begin our flight to St. Petersburg.
Now I suggest you be in the cabin of the Yak-42 and watch a video of take-off from Vaskovo airport. The video also shows anti-icing preparation and engine startup.
From the start of acceleration to It took approximately 40 seconds for the landing gear to lift off from the runway. The cloud cover was not as big as I expected and after about a minute we were already out of it.
According to the schedule, our flight should last 1:30, but of course it will pass 10 minutes faster. Therefore, without thinking for a long time, while we were gaining altitude, I decided to inspect the contents of the pocket.
However, as it turned out, there was nothing special to inspect there, because there was only a safety instruction. The most interesting thing is that this is the instruction manual for this particular aircraft, it shows the type of aircraft and its tail number.
Some confusion in shoulders, compensated by a good reserve for the legs. As you can see in the photo, I have a bottle of water and a hat in my pocket; if I removed them, there would be even more space.
After reaching the flight level, the passengers were offered water with or without gas.
The sun is shining overboard, usually during the flight I choose the side where it is not hot or makes it difficult to watch. This time the choice of the sunny side was made deliberately, but more on that a little later.
By the way, I was hot not only from the shining sun, but also from the stove. The hole just went to my feet and warmed me well
Closer to St. Petersburg the weather improved and the clouds disappeared. Soon Lake Ladoga appeared below us and after about five minutes we began our descent.
When descending, a wonderful view of the center of St. Petersburg opened up. That's why I registered on the sunny side. Aurora, Palace Square, the Winter Palace and the Peter and Paul Fortress, all this could be seen upon landing.
Next, a flight over Nevskaya lip and exit to the landing line.
And now I suggest you watch the video of our flight landing in Pulkovo.
After landing, we rode a little along the platform to our parking lot. Exiting the plane, as well as landing, was carried out through its own ramp. Although I was sitting on the second row from this ramp, I was in no hurry to leave. I waited until the passengers left the cabin to take a few photos.
I noticed that on planes originally from the USSR there were such like the Yak-42 and early Tu-204, the backrests fold forward. I wonder what this is connected with?
A bus was waiting near the plane, which took us to the terminal. As a farewell, I took a photo of our today's hero.
Then we had to go to the baggage claim hall.
We have arrived, and someone is rushing to catch their flight.
The baggage belt number for our flight was three. But I had to wait about 15 minutes for my bag.
After receiving my luggage, I head out.
But it’s too early to leave Pulkovo, we should go and photograph the planes.
I actually went to film the departure of the Yak-42 on which it arrived.
As it turned out later, this was the last flight of Cosmos Airlines to/from St. Petersburg. From the next day, Rusline airline began flying according to the Cosmos schedule. It was I who successfully managed to jump on the tail of the flying Yak Cosmos.
After his departure, I headed to the bus stop and took a bus to St. Petersburg. In the evening a train to Moscow was waiting for me, and from there by Aeroflot home.
Now let's say goodbye, but not for long! Five more reviews of October and November flights will be released in the near future.
That’s all for today, thank you all for your attention and see you again! I hope you enjoyed reading this review.
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