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Is MAKS 2015 a show of Russian defiance

August 25, 2015 - RUSSIA

Russia's assertion that its aviation industry can weather the sanctions imposed by the West will be on display at the biennial MAKS air show at Zhukovsky Airport outside Moscow.

A trade show of civil and military aircraft, MAKS is famous for unique aerial spectaculars. In 2015 they might include World War II aircraft, marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the conflict, and the first public flight of the Russian Chirok, a drone hybridized with an amphibious hovercraft.

Russia's conflict with Ukraine and annexation of the Crimea triggered the penalties. The St. Petersburg Times reported on Sep 10, 2014, that the crisis in Ukraine has forced Russia to ensure it can proceed alone in sensitive industries if the sanctions continue to increase. The dispute has highlighted the need for domestic aircraft alternatives to Boeing and Airbus, according to the newspaper, and Russia is developing a new long-range airliner with China. The report notes that Russian airlines lease 90 per cent of their planes from the West, a suggestion that the pain of sanctions won't be one-sided.

At the last MAKS, visitors saw the first public performance of the declassified Sukhoi stealth fighter jet, the T-50; the world's largest cargo plane, the AN-225 Mria; and China's J-10 fighter jets, a rival to the US F-16. A speciality of MAKS is allowing visitors on board a wide range of modern and older Russian aircraft, including a Tupolev Tu-144, known as the Soviet Concorde. Visitors can also arrange to fly in the MiG-29 Fulcrum, one of the country's most advanced jet fighters, and can determine how death-defying the aerobatics will be.


Russia, China to Combat Aviation Sanctions (St. Petersburg Times, 10 Sep 2014)

MAKS Air Show stories (RT)

Aerobatics Experience in MiG-29 for tourists (Country of Tourism)

New Russian craft to compete with U.S. and Canadian planes on remote routes (Beyond the headlines 2 Sep 2014)

Date written/update: 2014-11-11