'Flanker' arrives at major US museum

One of the former Ukrainian Air Force jets is destined for a new home at the Ohio attraction

The National Museum of the USAF (NMUSAF) in Dayton, Ohio announced its latest acquisition last month – former Ukrainian Air Force Sukhoi Su-27UB Flanker ‘Blue 32’ (N132SU).

Previously on strength with the 831st Fighter Aviation Regiment based at Myrhorod in Ukraine's Poltava Oblast as ‘Blue 61’, it was the first example of the type to go on display in North America. The 1988-built jet arrived in the US in 2009 after being purchased by Rockford, Illinois-based Pride Aircraft. After being demilitarized it was acquired by Delaware company Meridican – although it’s thought to have spent the next decade or so flying for the US military at the USAF’s secretive Groom Lake test facility, better known as Area 51.

It’s unclear when exactly ‘Blue 32’ last flew, or if the full details of its past usage will now come to light. It is expected to join the NMUSAF’s Cold War Gallery before the end of this year.

'Blue 32’ has been acquired by the NMUSAF
'Blue 32’ has been acquired by the NMUSAF NMUSAF