Russian SU-25 pilots launch unguided missiles and bombard targets simulating armored vehicles during a training exercise in Kyrgyzstan.
Around the World in 44 Days by Helo
The first Russian around-the-world helicopter flight was completed on September 14. It took the pilots two more days than planned to finish the trip. Although the crews expected to face technical problems, the real challenges turned out to be of a psychological nature: namely, crossing the Atlantic with no land in sight. The route went through every climate zone, including the most remote corners of the world. The crews flew two Robinson R66 helicopters over Norwegian fjords, the Atlantic Ocean, ice-covered Greenland, and the mountains and forests of Canada. Landing in the fog-covered Faroe Islands turned out to be the most dangerous challenge that the pilots faced during the journey. The adventurers flew over the volcanoes of Kamchatka in Russia's Far East and over the Siberian taiga -- the planet's largest forest area -- as well as over the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The northern, southern and westernmost points of Europe were also included in the route. The aviators were not trying to break any records, but simply to show that the sky has no limits.