Countdown to MAKS-2007 air show near Moscow

Almost 800 companies from 39 countries have been brought together for Russia's biggest ever air show. The 9th Moscow Aviation and Space Show is set to open on August 21 near Moscow. The first event was held 14 years ago, and the air show has been gaining

Preparations are in full swing and almost everything is set. The organisers promise to do their utmost this year to make it the best show ever and a very special one.

At MAKS 2007 the MiG Corporation will demonstrate the maritime MiG-29, and our latest prototype MiG-35. As well as the MiG-29 OVT that demonstrates exclusive manoeuvrability due to the deflectable thrust vector engines, 

Mikhail Belyaev, a test pilot

Among other aircraft to look out for in the skies, is another of Russia's latest – the super manoeuvrable Su-35, that already uses some technology of the future 5th generation fighter jet.

The aerobatic teams are also expected to tear through the skies as the French top guns from Patrouille de France perform some gravity defying stunts to amaze the crowd.

But spectators should also keep their eyes to the skies as two Russian display teams – the Swifts and the Russian Knights attempt a diamond barrel roll – something few display teams would ever contemplate.

“I expect it to be a great week, especially if we will have weather like this. Flying should be awesome! And I look forward to seeing all sorts of airplanes I've never seen before,” said Col. Steve Brummond, U.S. Air Force.

Yesterday's rivals are today's brothers-in-arms. It becomes obvious as the legendary Russian top gun pilot, Magomed Tolboev, goes out to meet his U.S. colleagues.

“Le Bourget and Farnborough air shows are small. MAKS is the one to visit,” he says.

His friends have flown all the way across Europe refuelling their F-15 and F-16 fighter jets in mid air, using tanker aircraft.  And all that just to display their planes to the crowd of almost one million spectators expected to flood through the gates of the show.

But it's not only the tiny F-16s that are making the hop across the pond. They brought with them the colossal long range Boeing C-17, which is making its first appearance in Moscow.  Also on route is the legendary B-52 bomber – the arrival of which is eagerly anticipated. 

“For the first time ever there'll be hardly enough room to park all the aircraft. There'll be over 300 of them. All arriving before the shows begin on the 21st,” Dmitry Shulepov, the Aviasalon Director-General, noted.