MAKS 2019 Russia
Copyright: Andrea Avian

MAKS 2019: Russian airshow at Zhukovsky

MAKS : Международный авиационно-космический салон,  Mezhdunarodnyj aviatsionno-kosmiche (“International Aviation and Space Show”) is the international airshow of V-VS (Russian air force) which is hold every two years in the Zhukovsky airport, home of the Gromov Flight Research Institute, around 70km in the south-east of Moscow. Untill 2009 the event was organized by russian Industry Ministry, but since 2011 it is managed by Moscow Governament and Aviasalon.

The MAKS is the most important aviation event of Russia. It started as entertainment show, calling thousands people from Russia and other Countries, it becomes soon an important show window for the russian aviation Companies where they can show the performaces of their products and sign purchase contracts with foreign Countries.

The History of Russian airshow goes back in 1911, over S. Petersburg, and only after 22 years a second event took place over Moscow, but only since 1992 it bacames an usual event. Nowadays, the primary aim of MAKS is to project the russian aviation industries in an international comerical scenario, showing the best of its technology in the aviation sector. Big part of the event is dedicated to scientific comferences and symposiums.

The airshow is hold in Zhukovsky airport, home of Gromov Flight Research Institute, where the new aircraft and aviation solutions and technologies are tested. Here, after the collapse of URSS, the russian aviation industries moved their headquarters. The editions of the past opened with the speech of Russian President, followed by conferences and later the air-show.

Some milestones of the event were:

  • the esibition of Su 47 Berkut in 1999
  • the first american partecipation in 2003
  • the presentation of space ship Kliper in 2005
  • the first esibition of Suchoj PAK-FA T 50 in 2011
  • the first partecipation of foreign air team such as the chinese and Baltic Bees in 2013
  • the fly-pass of four Su 27 to commemorate Commander of Russian Knights Igor Tkachenko, death during the practice of MAKS 2009.

One of the limits of the event is rapresented by the dificulties of russian organizers to face the 300.000 people who visited the airshow during the weekend, causing long queue, traffic jams and sometimes public order problems. The lack of air conditioned in some stands could rapresent another limit.

Some experts says that the level of MAKS is lower if compared with european or american airshows, but other experts are sure it has nothing less then Le Bourget or Farnborough airshow.

What is sure is that MAKS rapresent the only one chance to see the best medern russian fighter jets in action, that is not possible in others european or american airshows, mostly in this time when the relation between Russia and NATO looks to become cold.

The 2019 edition, which took place from 27th August to 01st September, saw the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Erdogan. Turkey, after been cut off by the americans from the F-35 supply, moved its interest to the russian fifth generation stealth fighter SU-57, and MAKS 2019 rapresented the opportunity to show the capabilities of the russian jet to the potential turkish partner.

Article and images: Andrea Avian