It is now a well-established tradition that the annual 9th May military parade held in Moscow’s Red Square to celebrate the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory in the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany includes an aviation component. The first such flypast was in 1995, but since 2005 it has become annual – weather permitting, of course. In recent years the number of participating aircraft equals the number of years that have passed since the war; this year, the 77th anniversary Victory Day flypast was to include 77 assorted aircraft – 15 helicopters and 62 fixed-wing aircraft.
In the run-up to the Victory Day celebrations on 9th May, the Russian Air Force made two practice flypasts over Moscow’s Red Square on 3rd May and during the dress rehearsal of the V-Day parade on 7th May.
This established one-day event always has a maritime theme. This year it was a celebration of the Westland Lynx helicopter being the 40th anniversary of its first flight and still in production as the 'Wildcat'. Numerous versions were on display including overseas naval variants from France and Germany and G-LYNX, holder of the world helicopter speed record.