July 20, 1915 | 20 июля 1915 г. by Olga

Via Flickr:

Aviators of the XVI Corps Aviation Unit on the day of St. Elijah, in Russia the Holiday of aviation and aeronautics. July 20, 1915

Авиаторы XVI корпусного авиационного отряда. Торжественное построение в день Святого Илии праздника авиации и воздухоплавания. 20 июля 1915


Marcel Pliat | Марсель Пля, 1916 by Olga

Via Flickr:


Marcel Pliat
was one of several French nationals who served in the Russian Imperial
Army during World War I but he was the only black man to serve in the
Russian Imperial Air Force. Pliat was born in French Polynesia (now Tahiti) around 1890.

of the 4th corps air squadron Imperial Russian Air Service,  A.Kazakov
in front of his Morane G. with two of his mechanics, a cable with an
anchor and a weight at their feet
September 7, 1914, Austro-Hungarian pilot Franz Malina and his
observer, Friedrich von Rosenthal, reconnoitered the Russian airfield
near Volya-Vysotska for the second day in a row.
Taking off in his unarmed Morane Saulnier G scout, he apparently tried
to bring the enemy Albatros B.II biplane down by ramming it with his
landing gear, but crashed into it instead. None of the three airmen
survived the collision. Nesterov would be awarded a posthumous Order of
St. George for what the Russians still regard as history’s first
air-to-air victory.

Sikorsky Ilya Muromets – Imperial Russian bomber, June 1916

Staff captain Pankratiev (standing 5th from the left), guard staff
captain Nikolskoy (standing 4th from the left) and 31 lower rank
soldiers (Petr Chuchelov standing 7th from the left, Alexander
Pankratiev standing 4th from the right) at the airship “Ilya Muromets
II” with the factory number 167. Kolodzievka.

From the archive of the Museum of Technik Vadim Zadorozhny.