Air Transport World

Parting the curtain. (1992 MosAeroshow in Moscow, Russia)

MOSCOW - It's a start. While MosAeroshow '92, the 1992 Moscow air show, isn't going to throw the organizers of the Farnborough and Paris shows into a panic exactly, it did serve a useful purpose - something that is asked at the end of virtually every air show these days.

The show seemed to be much as Farnborough or Paris might have appeared in the late 1940s or early '50s, having a good future but with still a lot of lessons to be learned.

The major benefits tended to be more subtle than the dramatic happenings of most international air shows. Although a few announcements were made, no big orders were announced nor major projects launched, and with the exception of the Russian equipment, no elaborate displays. However, members of the CIS did display several future aircraft designs.

The most significant aspect of the show was its location - Zhukovsky Airport, just a few miles southeast of Moscow. it is the Russian aircraft-test facility, equivalent to Edwards Air Force Base or Patuxent Naval Test Center in the U.S., or the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough.

The show provided the first opportunity for any Westerner even to be allowed to enter, much less to roam around taking photographs. Guards, who once would have shot a Westerner on sight, went out of their way to be polite.

Estimates of attendees ranged from 500,000 to 750,000, including over 300 exhibitors from 20 nations. More than 120 aircraft, spacecraft and military weapons systems were displayed during the Aug. …

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