Yefim Gordon

Russian Airliners Outside Russia

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AfterWorld War II, as Soviet influence expanded rapidly as a result of the postwar settlement in Europe and with the rise of Communist states in the Far East, Africa, and the Caribbean, the potential worldwide export market for Soviet-built airliners grew phenomenally. As the Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe gradually developed their own domestic airlines, such as LOT in Poland, Malev in Hungary, and CSA in Czechoslovakia, they began to acquire significant numbers of Soviet-built aircraft, such as the Tupolev Tu-134 and the Ilyushin Il-62. These aircraft became increasingly familiar sights at airports across Europe and around the world. It was only with the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, that the market for civilian aircraft in the former Soviet opened up to plane makers in the rest of the world. The airlines in these newly independent countries now sought to upgrade their fleets with aircraft from western companies such as Airbus and Boeing, whose products already dominated the fleets of the carriers from non-Communist countries with whom they were now competing directly. For this book, author Yefim Gordon turns his attention to the great variety of Soviet and Russian built civilian aircraft, which were supplied to the export market. The book uses 160 color photos to explore the aircraft built before the collapse of the Soviet Union as well as those that have come to dominate Russian sales overseas in the past decade.