The Aviationist.com is sending two U.S.-based correspondents to cover the 2019 MAKS Airshow outside Moscow from Aug. 27 – September 1, 2019. Lance Riegle, 21, of Dearborn Heights, Michigan and Tom Demerly, 57, of Dearborn, Michigan will work on the ground in Moscow with Russian aviation journalist and expert Alex Snow of Moscow to produce video, photo and print coverage of the show from Zhukovsky International Airport, where MAKS 2019 is being held. They will also be supported by The Aviationist’s Polish contributor and photographer Jacek Siminski, who covered MAKS 2017 (read here his report).
Why is MAKS interesting? Quite simple: because it is probably the only event where you can see all the latest Russian hardware at work. “MAKS is not a typical air-show, it should rather be seen as a trade exhibition with the aerospace industry gathering in order to sign new agreements and sell their products. Nonetheless, flying demos seem to be a good way to work on this, as you may also see what the given aircraft does in the air,” Siminski wrote in his piece two years ago.
“This is an incredible opportunity” The Aviationist’s Tom Demerly said. “When I was a boy, all we had were grainy black & white photos of Russian aircraft in a Jane’s Aircraft guide book. To us, visiting from the U.S., these are the most exotic and alluring military aircraft. Except for rare visits to the U.S., we’ve only seen these aircraft in video and photos. To be able to report on the advances of the Russian aerospace and defense industry in person is an incredible opportunity and privilege.”
The MAKS Aviasalon 2019 air show outside Moscow is one of the world’s largest military and commercial air shows. In 2019, there will be approximately 900 aviation vendors displaying at MAKS from more than 36 countries. Nearly half a million attendees are expected at MAKS from around the world. Russian defense vendors such as Mikoyan-Gurevich (MiG), Sukhoi, Rostec/Russian Helicopters among many others will be displaying at MAKS 2019.
For the first time ever there will be a static display of Russia’s new 5th generation Sukhoi Su-57, an aircraft that has been compared to the U.S. F-22 Raptor. The Su-57 will also perform flight demonstrations during the show.
The display of the Su-57 at MAKS 2019 is significant since Russia and Sukhoi have been exploring potential export markets for the new Su-57, with India being a possible candidate. India showed initial interest in the Su-57 but withdrew from purchase negotiations in 2018. However, on July 9, 2019, Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, Vladimir Drozhzhov, told reporters, “I believe that we should resume this project, Russia is open to that. We are ready and are proposing this program to our Indian partners.”
Russia has already built a strong export industry around their cost-effective and reliable tactical helicopters. The Mi-28NE and Ka-52 gunship helicopters will be on display at MAKS, along with the proven and continually updated Mi-17 series. This year the latest Mi-17Sh and Mi-17V-5 updated helicopters will be on display.
In addition to unique helicopter updates and the sure to be sensational Su-57 display, MAKS 2019 will showcase the Ilyushin Il-112V light tactical military transport, the Sukhoi Su-35S and Su-30SM multi-role super-maneuverable tactical aircraft and the light, Yak-130 trainer and counter-insurgency aircraft. There have also been unconfirmed rumors of a Chinese contingent making some type of display at MAKS. Chinese military units were recently visiting Russia to participate in joint exercises, adding hope to the rumors some Chinese aircraft may make an appearance at MAKS.
Feature content and news reports from team will be featured on The Aviationist throughout the week of the show, with detailed follow-up coverage following MAKS 2019.
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