June 9, 2005: three Beriev Aircraft Company
light amphibians BE-103 started a long-distance flight from Komsomol'sk-na-Amure to Saint Petersburg.
The Be-103 was developed by Beriev Aircraft Company
and was put into mass production at KNAAPO (JSC "Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association" named after Yuri Gagarin).
The pilots V. Guber, A. Pulenko and V. Fortushnov (Beriev Aircraft Company) will be flying the amphibians. The air route is more 5,000 miles long, and the planes will make 16 landings, including aerodromes with unpaved runways. On several flight stages, a MI-8 helicopter and an AN-12 plane will escort the Beriev
The first part of the air route goes via ALSIB (the "Alaska-Siberia Connection"), a WWII aircraft ferry route through Alaska to Russia. Almost 8000 aircraft were ferried over the ALSIB route from the U.S. to Soviet Russia. In Yaroslavl, in the final segment of the flight, the amphibians will change their routes. One of the BE-103 will alter its course to Taganrog, and the two remaining machines will fly to Saint Petersburg to take part at the 2nd International Maritime Defense Show IMDS 2005.
Up-to-date, the planes have flown the following route: Dzemga aerodrome (near Komsomol'sk-na-Amure) - Khabarovsk - Blagoveshensk - Zeya - Chulman - Olekminsk - Lensk. The flight continues with the BE-103 planes going the path segment Lensk - Kirensk - Bratsk.