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YAKUTSK, July 27 /TASS/. Two DC-3 (Douglas) aircraft that are making a historical Alaska-Siberia 2015 flight have crossed the Bering Strait and landed safely in Anadyr, the Autonomous District of Chukotka, Dmitry Litovkin, the head of the Russian Aviation Society, told TASS on Monday.
"The two planes landed safely in Anadyr. The flight lasted for about 12 hours and had passed without emergencies despite the plane’s old age (manufactured in 1942). The Russian-American crews have coped with the task," Litovkin said.
Russian Defense Ministry aircraft accompany the WWII aircraft. Reserve airfields have been set up on the route.
The United States used the Alaska-Siberia route to supply almost 8,000 warplanes under the Lend Lease program during the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945). The flight is devoted to the 70th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War. Its aim is to commemorate the WWII feat of Soviet and American pilots.
"We are pleased with the North American part of our action. Residents of all the towns in the United States and Canada that had Lend Lease airfields during WWII welcomed us with admiration. A 94-year-old American who was a pilot during the war visited us in Fairbanks city in Alaska last Saturday," Rusavia’s Director-General Sergei Baranov told TASS by telephone.
The Alaska-Siberia 2015 flight began in the Great Falls city (Montana), the first stop on the Lend Lease northern route, on July 20. Krasnoyarsk, Russian Siberia, was the final destination. The DC-3 planes are expected to reach it on August 4.
Prior to that, they will make stops in Magadan, Yakutsk and Bratsk.