Description: All of the key aviation research centers in Russia are located at Zhukovsky. One of them is the Gromov Flight Research Institute (known by its Russian acronym "LII"). Established in 1941, the Institute has made significant contributions to the improvement of combat aircraft performance as well as the development and testing of new and updated aircraft.
Currently, LII is regarded as the premier test center for aviation engineering research in Russia. By conducting flight tests on planes, helicopters, flying test-beds and models - in addition to participating in factory and State testing - the Flight Research Institute plays in integral role in solving the numerous problems which face new aircraft and aviation equipment development. (For example, the great deal of flight testing performed at LII made it possible for the Ilyushin Design Bureau to construct an air tanker IL-78 which is capable of refueling all types of in-flight aircraft.)
The Institute has a large and unique airfield capable of testing every type of aircraft available in Russia. The airfield has three concrete runways, one of which is the longest in Europe. This particular runway is 120 meters wide, 5.4 km in length and has no weight limitations. (It was on this runway that the carrier aircraft "Mriya" achieved a successful take-off and landing while "carrying" the Buran orbiter at a total weight of 600 metric tons!)
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