The Soviet aircraft designers Polikarpov, Yakovlev, Lavochkin, Mikoyan-Gurevich, Ilyushin, Petlyakov and Tupolev began their careers shortly before or during the “Great Patriotic War” or WWII as Western nations refer to it. Under great pressure from Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, these men labored, often under house arrest and threat of execution, to create aircraft that could compete with the Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf designs of Nazi Germany and Japan as well as their Allies Britain and the USA. Lend-Lease aircraft like the Bell Airacobra and Hawker Hurricane were provided in great numbers by the Soviet’s allies to bolster it’s depleted air regiments. Polikarpov’s,Yaks, MiGs and other aircraft designs progressed through many variants until the end of the war. Many of the designer’s names endure to this very day like Mikoyan and Gurevich (MiG) for example! The Soviet Air Force produced many ace pilots among them the world’s first female aces! This collection, which, like all my other collections, is a work in progress and a labor of love!