A Russian Air Force Su-24M getting fuel in mid-air during a training exercise in December 2014 (Image © Russian Ministry of Defence)

Air-to-air petrol: Russian style

Of course you have seen loads of images of Western air-to-air refuelling pictures here at Airheadsfly.com. But somehow we missed the Russians a bit doing the same trick. So here they are, thanks to some nice footage released by the Russian Ministry of Defence on 9 December 2014.

It shows pilots of the Russian Central Military District spending some time – about 4 hours to be more precise – up in the yonder flying at 295 to 300 knots at a 30 feet distance of a Ilyushin IL-78 tanker to get petrol in mid-air. The 30 or so crews from air bases in the Chelyabinsk, Perm and Krasnoyarsk regions went up both at day and at night, flying their Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-31BM (“Foxhound”) long-range interceptors and Sukhoi Su-24M (“Fencer”) strike aircraft.

Patrolling a designated part of the Russian airspace, aircraft maintenance and escorting transport aircraft was part of the recent training missions as well.

Source: Russian Ministry of Defence

Related: Backfires and bears over the Baltic Sea

Paired up: a Sukhoi Su-24M and a MiG-31BM photographed in mid-air. Photoreleased on 9 December 2014 (Image © Russian Ministry of Defence)
Paired up: a Sukhoi Su-24M and a MiG-31BM photographed in mid-air. Photoreleased on 9 December 2014 (Image © Russian Ministry of Defence)
A Russian Air Force MiG-31BM catching "the bucket". Image released on 9 December 2014 of recent in-flight refuelling training (Image © Russian Ministry of Defence)
A Russian Air Force MiG-31BM catching “the bucket”. Image released on 9 December 2014 of recent in-flight refuelling training (Image © Russian Ministry of Defence)
A Sukhoi Su-24M ("Fencer") on a snowy airbase of the Russian Central Military District (Image © Russian Ministry of Defence)
A Sukhoi Su-24M (“Fencer”) on a snowy airbase of the Russian Central Military District (Image © Russian Ministry of Defence)
A Russian Air Force Su-24M getting fuel in mid-air during a training exercise in December 2014 (Image © Russian Ministry of Defence)
A Russian Air Force Su-24M getting fuel in mid-air during a training exercise in December 2014 (Image © Russian Ministry of Defence)