As part of the Lend-Lease Act of 1941, under the direction of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Alaska-Siberian Air Route (ALSIB) was created. This required the construction of airfields every few hundred miles from Great Falls to Krasnoyarsk and was the catalyst for the Alaska Highway.
In 2015, the BRAVO 369 flight team (USA) in coloboration with RUSAVIA, a Moscowbased Russian Aviation Company, retraced the ALSIB, flying the entire 6,000 mile route from Great Falls, Montana, to Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
“The more I read about that period, the more I thought it would make for a good project. Because there’s so little information about the ALSIB and about the lend-lease program in general,” says Jeff Geer, Bravo 369 president and chairman.
The ALSIB route from the city of Fairbanks, Alaska, to Krasnoyarsk ran for a total of almost 4,000 miles. Given that the American leg of the route was 3,000 miles up through Canada, plus many thousands of kilometers to the frontline airfields, the entire distance was about 8,700 miles.
“The main test was the weather. But flying in the summertime didn't present as many challenges as it would have in WWII during the winter. And, of course, we were very fortunate to have modern technology guiding us along,” continues Jeff Geer.