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John A. Weeks III
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Aviation History And Aircraft Photography
Minsk 1143.2
Minsk Aircraft Carrier World
Shenzhen, China


The Carrier: The Minsk is a pretty big ship at 900 feet long, but it is quite different from US Navy aircraft carriers. It is essentially a conventional ship with the flight deck hung off of the side of the ship. This configuration was picked to match the helicopters and vertical take-off jets that were stationed on the ship.

The Kiev class of carriers, and the Minsk in particular were trouble-prone from day one. The Minsk was completed in 1978, but was no longer serviceable in 1989, and she was retired in 1993. The ship was sold to South Korea, where it arrived in 1995. The Korean owners ended up doing a deal with China to buy the ship to be used as a museum. The ship went on display in 2000.

The Museum: I have not visited the Minsk, so I know nothing about it first hand. The ship is reported to not only be a museum, but it also has commercial attractions such as a theater, disco, and casino. It is reported to be very popular, attracting 2,000 visitors on weekdays, and as many as 5,000 visitors on weekends.

Note—these photos were swiped from a German auction site.


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