The Sukhoi SuperJet100 with Saberlet wingtips was flown by Leonid Tschikunow and he handled that SSJ like a fighter jet. Very impressive demo!
For years I have known about the MAKS aviation trade show and air show, which happens every other year in Zhukovsky, which is on the outskirts of Moscow. I had originally planned on attending this event in 2017, but the date of the show was moved up by a month so as to not conflict with another Russian military trade show, so I was not able to attend. But, fast forward to August 28, 2019: I finally embarked on my journey to Moscow.
After spending two lovely weeks of vacation in Switzerland, I flew from Zurich via Riga to Moscow’s Shermetyevo airport. After deplaning, within a matter of minutes I was through immigration, collected my bag, cleared customs and was sitting in a taxi heading for the city.
I had rented an apartment in Moscow for five nights; it was located near three train stations, which made it an ideal location for easy access by rail to Zhukovsky Airport for the MAKS airshow, and then to travel to Monino for a visit to the Central Air Force Museum.
The following morning, on Thursday, the last of the MAKS business days, I took the 7.30 a.m. express train to the Odyth station, and from there a shuttle bus to the Zhukovsky airfield. By 8:45 a.m. I was standing in awe of an Airbus A-350, which was parked right across from Irkut’s MC-21.
My main objective for the day was to check out and take pictures of the static displays and walk through the many exhibit halls, and perhaps catch some of the flight performances in the afternoon.
One of at least three Sukhoi T-50s climbing as part of a flight demonstration – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
Every two years, the Russian government hosts the MAKS Aviasalon to showcase to the world the best and brightest of the country’s aerospace industry. I was able to attend the trade days, which are reserved for industry officials and foreign delegations to observe, try out, and negotiate sales of various aircraft, systems, and armaments in a unique environment. After three days, the business events of MAKS 2015 had concluded, and the results were pretty lackluster in terms of orders.
The show did not disappoint, however. With a large range of aircraft on static display, including examples of the Russian armed forces’ latest and greatest in their inventory, as well as multiple examples from Rostvertol, two Sukhoi Superjets, a Tupolev Tu-204C, and more, the show was sure to impress any AvGeek.
The Mikoyan MiG 1.44 technology demonstrator was displayed for the first time – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
One of the highlights of the show was the public debut of three types that have never been displayed previously. These were the new navalised version of the Kamov Ka-52, the Ka-52K, and two older aircraft: The hydrogen-fueled Tupolev Tu-155, and the Mikoyan MiG 1.44.
Both of the older aircraft were a bit special. The Tu-155 was a highly-modified version of the Tu-154, with one of its engines replaced with a hydrogen-fueled experimental engine. The Mikoyan MiG 1.44 was an attempt at a fifth-generation fighter by MiG, and it only flew three or four times prior to being grounded due to funding and government disinterest in the late 1990’s.