'A party organised BY pilots FOR pilots' is the motto of this, the largest fly-in in Europe that celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2013. The 1993 event was aimed specifically at the microlight community but such was the popularity of the event, and the evolution of the light weight aircraft such that it is often barely discernable from its heavier cousins, that it soon expanded.
This is all about jet model aircraft, engineering skill, extreme accuracy and aero-modelling enthusiasm. Teams from all over the world compete in two categories, dry weight (without kerosene) of 13.5kg and 20kg. Final scores depend on two equal categories, scale building precision with documentation and flying skills of standard and specialised maneuvers. These activities must relate to those flown by the aircraft in real life, types represented must have flown themselves. There are three 'rounds'; the last ordered by a system similar to golf's cut, allowing the leaders to fly last.
Photos by Peter Davison and Michael Yevdokimov Text by Peter Davison Every two years the MAKS airshow draws the crowds to the Zhukovsky Flight Test Centre just southeast of Moscow. Russian industry may have been short on orders these past few years but it sure isn't short of ideas. The displays of models and light aircraft, particularly some of the autogyros, would suggest that personal mobility is on the verge of great progress; only time will tell. The Tu-334 has given way to the Superjet, the only really new airliner on display; Russia still leads the world on heavylift with not only helicopters but also potential solutions to airborne relief being available to the right investor.