The International Aviation and Space Salon, better known by the Russian acronym MAKS, is celebrating its 25th anniversary at Zhukovsky (Moscow region) in July of this year. MAKS 2017 is taking place a month earlier than its usual dates, so that participants will have time to prepare for another upcoming big aviation event, the Army-2017 military-technical forum.
Here, Russian Aviation Insider spotlights 10 striking facts about Russia’s premier air show:
- The first MAKS was actually the second
Although MAKS officially opened for the first time in 1993, it was actually the second event of its type. The first, held in 1992, was called the Mosaeroshow and was a bit of an experimental test run for the organizers who had created it with the aim of gathering aerospace industry representatives from all over the world. Being the very first of its kind in Russia (or in the Soviet Union), the organizers of the inaugural event had neither adequate time nor the experience to effectively plan it. Yet, despite these drawbacks, the show successfully created the birth of the establishment of valuable connections between Russian and foreign aerospace companies, with Russian participants of the event coming into contact with 69 companies from around the world. This resulted in the signing of a few deals for the delivery of aircraft. In the intervening years these contacts have grown substantially.
- The logotype
The central element to the MAKS logotype is the stylized A, which was first drawn out by artist Nina Dmitrieva for the Mosaeroshow, in 1992. The logo attracted immediate criticism for its lack of a direct and obvious connection to aviation. Some critics went so far as to compare it to a sign for a bus stop. As a result, a new logo was created for MAKS 1993, showing a stylized aircraft and rocket in takeoff. Even this symbol was unable to avoid harsh criticism, being called, among other things, “a worm on a stick.” After this, the 1992 variant was restored, and is used to this day.
- The venue
MAKS today is unimaginable without its Ramenskoye airfield venue at Zhukovsky, outside Moscow. However, there was a time during preparation for the Mosaeroshow-92 when there were a few alternative options for its location. Russia’s leadership had proposed Domodedovo airport, as well as the military airport in Kubinka and Zhukovsky, which had already had experience of organizing air shows, and which was selected as the final location. In 1993, the salon was simultaneously carried out at three different places: at Ramenskoye, the M. V. Frunze Central Airfield, in Khodynskoye Field, and the exhibition hall at Krasnaya Presnya, Moscow. The format of using several locations soon proved unfavorable and, in 1995, the decision was made to locate MAKS at a single location – Zhukovsky.
- Russia’s leaders at the opening
From the very beginning, MAKS has enjoyed a celebrated status, such that prominent leaders of Russia have always attended its openings. In 1997, then-president Boris Yeltsin opened the event, the first president to do so. Not long before his arrival, the event’s organizers had to quickly purchase a sturdy wooden chair because the event’s existing seats were, according to the president’s aides, not strong enough to hold his weight. Following on from Yeltsin’s example, presidents Vladimir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev have since attended each of MAKS’s opening ceremonies.
- The storm of 2000
The summer of 2000 brought a storm that destroyed part of MAKS’s exhibition infrastructure. Four pavilions were ruined, while many of the exhibition’s other structures suffered varying degrees of damage. The total cost of the damage was set at some $200,000. Fortunately, since the complex was adequately insured against such eventualities, the organizers received due compensation for the damage, and were able to construct new, modernized pavilions.
- The record of visitors
MAKS 2001 saw the largest number of visitors, when some 660,000 attendees came to the air salon. Even though the numbers of visitors fell after 2001, the show has retained its reputation as one of the most important and popular in the world. In 2015, MAKS welcomed 404,000 visitors – 52,000 more than attended the Paris Air Show held at Le Bourget in the same year.
- Record contracts
The record for the number of sales contracts occurred at MAKS 2013, at which the total number of deals was valued at $21.2 billion. The large part of this came from orders for 96 Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional jets and 82 narrow-bodied MC-21s.
- The record number of exhibitors
MAKS 2015 accommodated the largest number of participating businesses, with 878 companies from 30 countries taking part. The number of participants in the air salon has grown exponentially since the first MAKS in 1993, at which 243 representatives were present.
- New sectors
The MAKS program this year will include a few new sectors of the aviation business, including air transport, general aviation, business aviation, coating, chemicals, environmental protection and security systems. These sectors complement an already well-developed list: aircraft, materials and technology, MRO services, airports and airfields, engines, aircraft weapons, simulators, military equipment, communication systems and space industry and research.
- The MC-21 at MAKS-2017
It is anticipated that a prototype of the MC-21-300 will be unveiled at MAKS 2017. The Irkut Corporation rolled out the new aircraft for the first time last year, but it has not as yet been displayed to the wider public. The aircraft is expected to begin flight tests later this year.
Russian Aviation Insider
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