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.
This spectacular event was to be the highlight of the Summer of 2012, even though the numerous Air Forces announced in the pre-publicity failed to arrive in any quantity. Had they arrived then I know not how they could have been fitted into the schedule. The highlight of the long flying display were the flypasts; not just a one pass opening but a sequence of groups spread through the day; each dedicated to a different aspect of the service. The bomber force, the trainers, the transports, the helicopters and the trainers all participated with a long session in the morning dedicated to vintage warbirds, many of which had travelled from the rest of Europe.