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Sredney Island, Srednij, Sredniy Ostrov, 2002 North Pole Expedition Jump Off Point showing a photo of an Russian An-26 Curl Aircraft.

North Pole Expedition 2002.

C. Jeff Dyrek, webmaster, standing on the North Pole
Many North Pole Expeditions use Sredney Island as their actual starting point.  They fly to Sredney, then ski to the Geographical North Pole.  A trip like this, one way, will take about two months.  Sredney is also spelled Srednij Island.  The photo here is of a Russian Antonov An-26 Curl Cargo Aircraft.

As the North Pole Expedition proceeds, we had to stop on Sredney Island, part of the Severnaya Zemyla Island group north of Siberia.  Here is a photo of a Russian An-26 Curl Airplane.

This is the jump off point meaning if anyone has arrived here on one of the larger Russian An-12 Cub Aircraft, they must transfer to a smaller airplane which is capable of landing on the North Pole all ice runway of Camp Barneo , the North Pole Base Camp.

Sredniy Ostrov
Location: 893 km N Khatanga, Taymirskaya, RU
Coordinates: 7931'N 09104'E  
Elevation: 12 m (39 ft)
Runway:4000 m (13123 ft) (?)
Military units: OGA (Arctic Control Group). Ice airfield used as alternate field for Tu-95 bombers in the Arctic. Created in late 1950s as a staging base for Soviet bombers to reach the U.S. ICAO is UODS. 820 km E of Nagurskoye.

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Photo, Russian Antonov An-26 Aircraft at Sredney Island on the North Pole Expedition 2002
Photo by C. Jeff Dyrek


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This is the Antonov An-26 that we used to fly to Sredney Island from Khatanga.  Sredney island is located above the center of Russia in the Arctic Ocean.  Sredney is also spelled Srednij.  Sredney island is the jump off point for many Arctic Expeditions because of its nice runways and close proximity to the actual North Pole. 

Sredney Island is part of the archipelago of Severnaya Zemlya located just north of the northern coast of central Siberia.  In Russian the archipelago is spelled Се́верная Земля́, meaning Northern Land.  Severnaya Zemlya is also located on the division of the Kara and Laptev Seas. 

Severnaya Zemlya was first discovered in 1913 which makes it the last archipelago on the planet Earth to be discovered.  I have been to the Russian base located on Srednij twice now.  In late April the temperatures were about -35 degrees Fahrenheit with moderate to light winds. 

Thomas Trautman and I walked from one island to the next across the Kara Sea.  It was frozen so we were not trying to act like Jesus.   As we walked, there were two real big Russian dogs following us.  One was only a pup, but he was a big dog too.  They did not speak English so it took us a long time to make friends with them.  As we walked with the wind to our back, we would come to places that were shielded from the wind and also formed a sort of lens which focused the heat and kept it trapped in a still air space.  When we entered these points, it was so hot that we had to instantly start unzipping and opening up our clothes.  This was very interesting to me.  When we returned to the base, the wind was in our face and it was much colder, especially on our faces.

Thomas never new this, but I was having problems with my internal injuries that happened way back when I was in the Navy.  I was afraid that if we kept walking that wound would open up and I would start having internal bleeding again, which would mean a rescue from where we were located. 

As we were flying to the base, I noticed that there were many bases located in these islands, but they all looked abandoned.

One last comment:  No matter where we went, the Russians always treated us very well and were very helpful.  The Russian people are really great people.

  • Crew: 4 (2 pilots, 1 engineer, 1 navigator)
  • Capacity: 40 passengers
  • Payload: 5,500 kg (12,000 lb)
  • Length: 23.8 m (78 ft 1 in)
  • Wingspan: 29.2 m (95 ft 9 in)
  • Height: 8.32 m (27 ft 3 in)
  • Wing area: 74.98 m (ft)
  • Empty weight: 15,020 kg (33,110 lb)
  • Useful load: 4,500 kg (9,900 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 24,000 kg (53,000 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 Progress AI-24VT turboprops, 2,820 shp (2,100 kW
  • Cruise speed: 440 km/h (240 knots, 275 mph)
  • Range: 2,550 km (with maximum fuel; 900 to 1100 km with maximum payload) (1,380 nm, 1,580 mi, 485 nm, 595 nm)
  • Service ceiling: 7500 m (17,000 ft)

Y-7H  is the Chinese production version.

The An-26 Curl is a highly flexible aircraft designed for short hauling. It is a short to medium range military and commercial transport and cargo carrier. It is equipped with side benches to accommodate troops or skydivers. Thanks to the rear loading ramp, the An-26 can operated without much ground support.



One of our Expedition Members took this ride to the Edge of Space,
he said it was absolutely fantastic.




The YellowAirplane Team on the
North Pole Expedition
of 2002

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The background picture on this page is an actual photo of the
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an f14 tomcat landing on the uss kitty hawk aircraft carriers

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Islands in the Arctic Ocean








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