A Visit to the Russian Bear Page 3

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Among the “usual suspects” in the flying display you will find two well-known Russian teams: “Strizhi” (Swallows) in their MiG-29s, and the “Russian Knights” in their Su-27s based out of Kubinka Air Field. The Flanker is definitely the largest aircraft I ever saw doing team aerobatics, and it’s impressive as are the MiGs. The (mostly native) visiting crowd literary goes into a frenzy when the announcer introduces these two teams and their pilots. We were hearing the uproar on the opposite side of the runway more than a kilometer away from our photography location.

Since MAKS is an exhibition first and an air show second, you will likely also see a lot of prototypes or rare planes being presented. For 2007, this included a Su-30MKM for Malaysia, the MiG-35 still looking for export customers, and the MiG-29K export version is destined for India. Other team formations and older aircraft (like Anatoly Kvochur’s legendary Su-30 display or the super-maneuverable MiG-29OVT) were also shown. Even a Su-34 “Fullback” (aka “Platypus”) made an armed appearance and impressed with a highly agile display.

Depending on the daily program, there’s other things to see. We were lucky to have a Tu-160 Black Jack take off in the evening. Other visitors had more luck with helicopters, Su-33s or civilian displays. The show is simply way too huge to take it all in during two days. Sadly it seems the days of flying Bears, Foxhounds and assorted truly rare stuff are gone.

An-3t Blackjack
An-3t
Blackjack
Helo Street
Endless Lineup of Planes
Helo Street
F-15 Takeoff F-15C
F-15 Takeoff
F-15C
ka-50 ka-52
ka-50
ka-52
Lipetsk Academy - the Russian "Top Gun" Equivalent
MiG-29K vapor
Lipetsk Academy – the
Russian “Top Gun” Equivalent
MiG-29K vapor

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