A SU 27SKM, Russia's best fighter craft, finished demonstration toward weekend. The program meant to show all its worth. Aerobatic stunts included an Immelmann turn in afterburner, sliced and slow rolls and half-rolls, a whip stall, hammer heads, and rolling circles, Yevgeny Frolov, head test pilot of the Sukhoi design bureau, said to RIA Novosti. An updated SU 27 is incomparably better than its precedent-the 27SKM has inherited all its strong points with spectacularly improved control and navigation, and upgraded fighting ability in all weather.
The Russian delegation was one of the best and largest this time. Russia had the most showy and convenient site, at the exposition quarters main entrance, total area exceeding 1,300 square meters, said spokesmen for the Rosoboronexport, government company leading and supervising arms trade, and chief organizer of the Russian exposition. All top-notch air design bureaus were among the fifty Russian corporate exhibitors, the delegation exceeding three hundred.
However fine Russia might be doing, Zhuhai air shows are past their prime, even though exposition quarters have spectacularly increased, say a majority of experts Novosti has interviewed.
Very few pioneer makes have appeared-a majority of exhibitors are making do with long-established items, remarked Guido Bacelman, editor of the Swiss-based journal, Fly News.
There are extremely few genuine items-even the host country is demonstrating dummies, complained Andrew Chang, editor-in-chief of the KANWA analytical center, based in Hong Kong.
Models really dominate a vast field behind the exposition center. Towering among replicas of Chinese single-seat planes is an IL 76 jumbo, which has brought to Zhuhai a greater part of Russian show equipment.
Despite all that, the Airshow China is among the world's most expensive air shows. It costs an exhibitor $70,000 to bring one craft, and the host charges $6,000 per parking, says Yevgeny Yefimov of Tupolev Co.
Rosoboronexport spokesmen refused to say with any precision what it cost Russia to take part. A standard stand is rented at $100,000, remarked a Russian air company spokesman.
The Airshow China is a biennial arrangement. It is held on China's central government orders. Organizing the shows is the people's government of the Zhuhai special economic zone. Active in the organization are China's State Committee for Defense Research, Technology and Industry; the Civil Aviation Ministry, the AVIC 1 and 2 all-China air industrial corporations, and several other government companies and central offices.
A greater part of Russian delegates are leaving for Moscow tomorrow by a charter flight.