Russian Army Air Service

The Russian Army Air Service (RAAS) was established in 1912. By the outbreak of the First World War the RAAS owned 360 aircraft and 16 airships, making it the largest airforce in the world. However, with limited financial resources, expansion was slow and by 1917 the Russians had fewer that 1,000 aircraft in service.

Most of the aircraft used by the RAAS was provided by France (Farman MF-II, Morane-Saulnier, Nieuport II, Nieuport 17 and Spad VIII). Russian built machines like the Anata DS and Lebed were inferior copies of foreign designs and were never mass-produced. The poorly trained Russian pilots were outclassed by the German Army Air Service on the Eastern Front and the RAAS suffered very heavy casualties. Only four Russian pilots obtained more than ten victories: Alexander Kozakov (20), Vasil Yanchenko (16), Pavel Argeyev (15) and Ivan Smirnov (11).

The Russian Antra DS (1917)
The Russian Antra DS (1917)

Performance Data of the Antra DS




150 hp Salmson

Wing Span

40 ft 7 in (12.37 m)


26 ft 6 in (8.1 m)


10 ft 5 in (3.19 m)

Maximum Speed

89 mph (144 kph)

Maximum Height

14,110 ft (4,300 m)


3 hours 30 minutes


2 machine-guns