The 6th International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS 2003 opened in the Moscow region Tuesday afternoon, entertaining visitors with a wide variety of aircrafts arriving here from some 38 countries.
Over 200 planes of various types, including Russian Su-32 fighter bomber and Su-27 multi-purpose fighter plane, F-15 and F-16 fighters and C-130 military-transport plane from the United States, helicopters and bombers, are on display at the airfield of Zhukovsky town, which is about 40 kilometers southeast of Moscow.
Huge airboat-shaped balloons floating high above the exhibition field that covers some 17,500 square meters. Visitors, most of whom are officials engaged in aviation-related industries as the event does not receive ordinary people until Friday, are deeply immersed in watching the aerobatic performances by US and Russianpilots. The tail-fog of the demonstration jets painted the sunny sky with the color of orange, blue, green and chalkiness.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the opening ceremonyof the air show, praising the organization of the event and sayinghe enjoyed the aerobatic performances by US and Russian pilots.
The air show, claimed to be an unprecedented event during its entire decade-long history, is expected to create an attractive environment where Russia will be highlighted as one of the leaders in world aircraft-building industry, said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Alyoshin days before the launch of the exhibition.
While officials from the US Air Force, which for the first timebrought its airplanes to the Moscow exhibition, consider it animportant event in the development of contacts between theservicemen of the two countries.
Liesl Carter, a US Air Force captain that navigates KC-135R aircraft, told Xinhua at the exhibition site that the air show is"a monumental event that the US planes may show up here," whichhelps the United States and Russia to get closer with each other.
It is also a rare opportunity "for the pilots of differentcountries to learn from each other," said the female pilot, who was followed by another US navigator pointing out that "international relation is a biggest game bringing our countriescloser together."
The MAKS 2003, scheduled to be closed on Aug. 24, attracts over 600 companies from countries across the world and 30 delegations of foreign air forces.