Russia's biggest air show, MAKS 2007, gets 100,000 visitors daily

The largest air show in post-Soviet Russian history, MAKS 2007, is now open for the general public for three days. Earlier, it was open only for buyers, sellers, specialists and the media.

A general admission ticket for the show costs up to 350 roubles (about $15). But, notwithstanding the steep entry charge, over 100,000 people walked through the gates on 24 August.

Even more are expected over the weekend, not least because weather forecasters predict fine weather for the remaining days of the show. Meteorological aviation will be used to disperse clouds in case the weather worsens. The air show closes on 26 August.

The air show is enormously popular. The number of passengers taking the train from Moscow's Kazansky railway station to the town of Zhukovsky, where the air show is being held, has tripled. There are long queues for train tickets, as people from other regions are travelling to Moscow with their families and friends.

It may cost a bomb, but visitors get the opportunity to watch Russian and foreign aircraft performing demonstration flights. MAKS 2007 also has an extensive exhibition of military and passenger planes, parked on a runway several kilometres long.

The world's most experienced pilots demonstrate their skills in the sky above Zhukovsky. Each flight lasts five minutes. All demo flights are accompanied by music, and every jet is outfitted with video cameras to transmit images from the cockpit to large video screens installed on the ground.