Russian Swifts Aerobatic Team Celebrate the 30th Anniversary

Thirty years ago, on 6 May 1991, one of the most famous military aerobatic groups Swifts (Russia: Strizhi) of the Russian Aerospace Forces – was established. The team celebrated its 30th anniversary with training flights for the Victory Parade 2021. To commemorate the Russian Knights 30th Anniversary milestone a promotional video has been published online that provides some spectacular insight into the unit’s six-ship precision formation-flying work.

The Swifts are another Russian Air Force aerobatic display team, flying MiG-29A and MiG-29UB fighters. All team members are drawn from the 237th Guards Proskurov Aircraft Demonstration Centre based in Kubinka Air Base. The aerobatic display team will trade-in their MiG-29s for the MiG-35. The team’s aircraft are painted in an overall white, red and blue color scheme and do not employ smoke generators.

The Swifts and Russian Knights aerobatic teams
Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jets of theSwifts and Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets of the Russian Knights aerobatic teams

Like the “Russian Knights”, the pilots and ground crew on the team are variable and don’t have to practice extensively like other aerobatic teams to change their members for a period. The team’s pilots permanent duty is also fighter training.The team also routinely uses just four aircraft for demonstrations, but also flies with fewer numbers and / or larger numbers by combining formations with the “Russian Knights”.

In 2004 the big joint diamond formation of the Russian Knights and the Swifts aerobatic teams included nine aircraft with the display of the whole complex of aerobatic stunts was included in demonstration program. This fact has become the world record in the history of aviation. This new formation unofficially called Kubinka Diamond. On May 9, 2005 the Russian Knights with the Swifts aerobatic team displayed their joint formation flight over the Red Square included nine aircraft dated to the 60th anniversary of the World War II victory.

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