This Thursday we’ve finally managed to get to MAKS 2013 air show in Zhukovsky! Peter had been planning to visit it for a long time and now his dream came true! Whoop-whoop! MAKS stands for International Aviation and Space show and is held every 2nd year in Zhukovsky air field not far from Moscow.
There you can admire an airplane exhibition starting from fighter jets, like Sukhoi and Mig, to old planes from WWII and the likes of Tu-144, first super sonic passenger plane built in Soviet Union in 1970s. Peter recognized a lot of the planes, and kept uttering combinations of letters and numbers like Su-34, or Mig-35 (which to me mean actually nothing), and gesticulating and smiling like a little boy who was let into a toy shop right before Christmas (Booooys! :) ). Just now when I asked him for some of the names of the planes we’ve seen at the exhibition, he reminded me to mention Tu-160, Russian supersonic variable sweep wing strategic bomber, it’s actually the world’s largest combat and supersonic aircraft (!), and it can sweep its wings back and forth. I know, impressive!
We got business access to the show thanks to my brother who could not make it there and gave us his pass.
Big part of the MAKS event is the air show, where world class pilots from around the globe perform impressive tricks in the air. I was mesmerized by the technique and skill of those pilots, especially of the fighter planes! How can those massive multi-tonn machines almost float in the air barely moving? I guess that’s how they hover over their targets (OR NOT?), but how they do it is a mystery to me… Everyone knows that planes (especially fighter jets) are loud, but man they are LOUD! It’s also not possible to follow the jet by the sound, by the time the sound gets to you the aircraft is some place else.
For the general public, for whom MAKS 2013 opened its doors only on Friday, the air show and aircraft exhibitions are the main attractions. One can just lie on the glass sipping beer, eating barbecue, i.e. Russian shashlik, and watching planes do their awesome stunts in the air. But MAKS is not only an entertainment for the people, it is also an important trade event for Russian and overseas companies. On wikipedia it says that the purpose of MAKS is to demonstrate Russian high tech expertise and its openness to joined business projects with international companies. So the first few days of the event are closed to the general public and are only open for business representatives who are there to promote their products or inventions, find new contracts and partnerships, and so on.
This year within MAKS business program the total worth of all contracts signed added up to about 16 billion US dollars which is twice more than at the last show in 2011. $12 billion out of 16 went to the Russian United Aircraft Corporation which is going to deliver and service 173 passenger planes to various companies most of which are Russian leasing companies which in turn will ‘lend’ those planes to different airlines. Unfortunately the biggest buyers of Russian aircrafts still come from our own country, and international companies are there to supply technological solutions and support (source: gazeta.ru) Hopefully in the future Russia will be at the forefront of technological advancement in that area.
In general Peter and I have really enjoyed the show and the exhibition at MAKS 2013! One thing that makes me a bit sad is that WHY can we build super advanced fighter jets, and not reliable and nice looking cars?!