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MAKS air show 2017

MAKS air show, Russia’s great showcase of aviation technology, is coming up. We tell you about what makes MAKS special, its history, and this year’s highlights.

Founded in 1993, MAKS is the jewel in crown of Russia’s aviation industry, attended by around 700 exhibitors from 30 countries. Run every two years, it is the source of a sizeable portion of Russia’s lucrative international aviation business, and a magnet for Russia’s rich and powerful. MAKS has been opened by the President of Russia since Boris Yeltsin began the tradition in 1997. The air show’s home at Zhukovsky is shared with the Gromov Flight Research Institute, a major hub of Russian aviation research from World War II onwards. This year’s show will be the 13th incarnation of MAKS and promises to be an exciting year, with new sectors represented at the show, plus the launch of new aircraft including the long-anticipated prototype of the MC-21-300. The air show will end in a riot of colour and sound, with aerobatic displays by world-famous teams such as the Swifts, the Russian Knights, the U.S. Air Force Jet Team, and


History of the Maks Air Show - Russia
History of the Maks Air Show - Russia

Russian air shows have a long and proud history, dating back to at least 1911, when an aviation event was held in St Petersburg. However, MAKS did not emerge until the early Nineties when, as the communist era drew to a close, Russia was keen to develop new international ties and market its highly-developed aviation technology.

A first aviation event, named the Mosaeroshow, was held in Zhukovsky in 1992. Although the infrastructure and event-planning for this initial air show was not polished, the event was profitable, enabling Russian participants to make contact with 69 companies from across the world, and ultimately sign a number of aircraft manufacture deals.

Due to the success of Mosaeroshow, the MAKS air show was founded two years later in 1993. The name is the Russian acronym for the air show’s full name, which translates as “the International Aviation and Space Show.” From the start, MAKS showcased new technology and presented the Russian aircraft and aviation industries to the international market. Science conferences and roundtables, chaired by Russia's Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute, were also part of the show from the early years.

Initially, sites at the M. V. Frunze Central Airfield, Khodynskoye Field, Ramenskoye, and the exhibition hall at Krasnaya Presnya were used. But Zhukovsky had both practical and historical factors in its favour: Its size meant that the whole event could be housed in one convenient location in close proximity to Moscow; And Zhukovsky has played a crucial role in Russian and Soviet aviation history as home to the Gromov Flight Research Institute. This scientific nexus played a central role in developing flight technology during both World War II (or, to Russians, the Great Patriotic War) and the Cold War. For these reasons Zhukovsky became the sole event location in 1995.

Since its early years, MAKS has grown into a popular event in the international aviation and aircraft industry calendar. In terms of size the event peaked in 2001, with 660,000 visitors. However, MAKS still pulls in a significant number of visitors from both home and abroad. At the last event in 2015, MAKS welcomed 404,000 industry professionals, aviation enthusiasts and tourists.

Entertainment Event and Industry Powerhouse

An aerobatics display with nine aircraft trailing multicoloured smoke, and a white, silver and red military aircraft on the landing pad.
An aerobatics display with nine aircraft trailing multicoloured smoke, and a white, silver and red military aircraft on the landing pad.

For many, MAKS is an annual holiday, and a spectacle to be enjoyed. Aerobatic teams from all over the world, including the Russian Knights, Patrouille de France, Swifts and Frecce Tricolori, delight the crowds with flying shows. There are programs for children. Innovative and spectacular aviation technology is on display, often with flight demonstrations. And many Russian participants also enjoy celebrity spotting at an event ever-popular with Moscow’s rich and famous.

Yet MAKS is also a business powerhouse, generating billions of roubles in business (350 billion roubles in 2015) and acting as a magnet for industry players. Prototypes of new technology too sensitive to be taken out of Russia are often unveiled at this event. High-ranking Russian officials are present and available for conversation. And scientists and experts debate the development of aviation and space technology at conferences and symposia. In other words, the air show provides valuable insight into the progress of the industry, and the views of its key players.

For those looking to purchase aircraft, from private jets to fighter planes, MAKS is a popular destination. Participants in the air show include all major Russian manufacturers, plus international names like Airbus, Boeing, Rolls Royce, and the Safran Group (a full list of participants at the air show can be found here).

What to Expect in 2017

MAKS air show 2017 will be big. Organisers expect 440 companies from 28 countries. A number of new features will be introduced in 2017, and there will be some long-anticipated aircraft unveilings.

A number of sectors of the industry not previously featured will be premiered this year, including business aviation, environmental protection, coating, air transport, chemicals, and security systems. This is in addition to the usual list of featured sectors, which includes aircraft, materials and technology, aircraft weapons, military equipment, and the space industry, to name just a few.

A prototype of the much-hyped MC-21-300 is expected to have its unveiling at MAKS 2017, and will begin flight tests until later in 2017. The MiG-35, Russia’s new 4th-generation light fighter, will be introduced. And, much to the excitement of media worldwide, Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport have announced that they will be presenting advanced aviation technologies, including holograms with flying elements.

Attending MAKS air show 2017

Dates: 18 - 23 July
Location: Zhukovsky International Airport.

The MAKS airshow is six days long, and open to the general public on three of those days. Although the event is typically held in August, MAKS air show 2017 will be held between 18th and 23rd July. For non-business visitors the dates are 21st to 23rd July.

MAKS is held at Zhukovsky International Airport, 20km southeast of Moscow. MAKS is a rare opportunity to see this highly restricted airbase, where Russian aviation and part of its space programme are tested.

We can help you charter a private jet, the most fitting way to travel to MAKS and certainly the most convenient. Private jets are especially practical for group travellers, and a popular option with business travellers to the air show.

Tickets to MAKS are available, along with a breakdown on the deals and prices, here.



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