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Riga Aviation Museum

December 19, 2015 in Aviation

Mid August this year I went to the Golden Model Show in Riga, Latvia, with some friends. It´s just a short hop over the Baltic sea on the over night ferry, so we filled up boxes with models and a stash of money for souvenirs (models!). We had time for the show but also some time on our own. We got information the Riga Aviation Museum would be closed, a bit unclear, but I went there anyway to have a look around. After a ride on the local bus I got to the museum was open! I ringed the bell and a man in bare feet, no shirt and shorts only opened the gate for me. I payed the admittance fee and…OMG, it was just the kind of museum I expected and hoped for. I just love it when it´s like a collection of things stacked all over. Sometimes it´s nice to have a well kept place, all objects well taken care of indoors…but it just get a bit boring sometimes. No risk of that here, though. Old Soviet era aircraft and equipment left all over when Latvia regained its independency in 1991. Here I was free to explore the not so well polished aircraft and airport vehicles as it suited me. Unfortunately the Tu-22M bomber was behind barbed wire but I managed to sneak a few photos of it through the crumbling walls. Next Golden Model is planned for August 2017. Riga is a wonderful city and it´s easy to get around. A trip there and the model show is recommended.

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10 responses to Riga Aviation Museum

  1. The Tu-22M looks to be a very early example with the pods that fooled western observers into thinking the were the typical Tupolev main gear pods. Was that camouflage, or was it it patchy primer? Also, what was the twin jet delta with the glazed nose and nose probe? It looks very interesting! (Maybe a scaled down test article for the M-50 Bounder?)

  2. It is treacly nice to see pictures of these. I doubt we won’t be seeing many of these here in the states any time soon. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Some great photos, my friend…a shame they are relegated to the elements to further deteriorate. Thank you for posting pics of your excursion.

    • Hi, Craig. As we discussed before in the Firefly and Sea Venom threads this is what it looks like at many museums. The Soviet Union had many aircraft but the Baltic states haven´t got the money to restore or stop deterioration. But it´s not like these are the last few MiG-21s or so…

  4. Some rare stuff there!
    Is that yellow truck with the jet engine on it sued to defrost runways?
    That Czech yellow plane looks like a Ag plane, cropduster. A Midget and a Mongol, to boot. Delphin, too. Firebar, all my ol’ WARPAC chums.
    I love the nose interior on the Yak 28. Utilitarian!
    Amazing to finally see this stuff when not in a grainy photo taken thru some air attaches overcoat buttonhole. Some of it still looks scary.
    I’d have gone nuts in there, running from one to the other, babbling to myself.
    Thanks for letting us see the swords rusting into plowshares. Great stuff!

    • Thanks, Bernard. The yellow one is a defroster with a jet engine attached, you´re correct. Yes, the glassed nose do look utalitarian indeed, must been absolutely scary being in that thing taking off. Take a closer look at the intake detail photo of the MiG-31, just look at those panel lines. They used a pair of scissors cutting the panels?! Babbling to myself is exactly what I did…

  5. Great photos! Thanks for sharing.

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