99-year-old WW2 veteran flies fighter jet simulator [Video]

Russian Defense Ministry

The 99-year-old Russian veteran of the Second World War, Maria Koltakova, took part in a training session on board a Sukhoi Su-34 flight simulator at Voronezh Malshevo air base, south of Moscow.

For an hour and a half, Koltakova acted as a navigator to the Russian Air Force pilot Andrei Dyachenko. “Together with Maria Denisovna flew military pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Andrei Dyachenko. They performed a series of aerobatic maneuvers: forced and combat turns, oblique loop, Nesterov loop, and horizontal barrels,” the press service of the Western Military District said. “In addition, they jointly refueled in the air, and finally identified the “enemy” warships with the help of optical-electronic means of aiming and destroyed them with the help of air-to-ground aircraft.”

Developed in the 1980s, the Sukhoi Su-34 ‘Fullback’ is a fighter-bomber capable of conducting strike missions on air, sea, and ground targets. It is operated by a crew of two people sitting side-by-side.

During World War II, Maria Koltakova volunteered to join the Red Army in 1942 and served in an ambulance battalion. Among other important events, she participated in the battle of Kursk. Nicknamed the “Steel Grandmother,” the war veteran, already tried parachuting, scuba diving, hang-gliding, hot air ballooning. Earlier in March 2021, she even drove a T-72 battle tank. Koltakova has been listed in the Russian Book of Records 14 times since 2015.


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Clement Charpentreau
Editor-in-chief[br][br] Clement joined the AeroTime editorial team in 2018 after honing his journalism skills in newsrooms across France. Clement has a particular interest in the role of the aviation industry in international relations. He reports mainly on developments in defense and security technology, and aviation safety. Clement is based in Vilnius, Lithuania.
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