(All images by Plamen Stefanov, reproduced with permission)
Occupying a commanding position overlooking the small Bulgarian town of Omurtag is the Park of Aviation and Aeronautics, a collection of largely Soviet-era military memorabilia dominated by a pair of retired MiG fighters displayed in a dramatic takeoff pose.
The museum opened in 2008 to commemorate Bulgaria’s military history and the achievements of Alekandr Aleksandrov, the second Bulgarian cosmonaut who was born in Omurtag. Aleksandrov, along with Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Solovyev and Viktor Savinykh, blasted into space in June 1988 aboard Soyuz TM-5, bound for the Russian space station Mir.
In addition to the MiGs and the spacesuit worn by Aleksandrov during his historic flight, the Park of Aviation and Aeronautics also contains a Sukhoi SU-22 jet, a Zenit rocket launcher and other fascinating Cold War relics. (Thanks to photographer Plamen Stefanov, whose grandfather served with the Bulgarian military, for the images.)
Keep reading – explore this Post-Soviet Aircraft Graveyard on an Abandoned Air Base in Far East Russia, and don’t miss Rinkaby Airport’s Forgotten Swedish Fighter Fleet.