(From The Moscow Times)
This week with lots of fanfare the MAKS-2003 air show opened in Zhukovsky. The Russian aviation industry is displaying its best. Improved relations with the West are also underlined by the presence of French, Italian and American military jets. This year's MAKS seems to surpass previous ones, but is the progress real?
The civil as well as military aircraft on display are all of Soviet stock, at best minor modernizations of hardware mass-produced in the 1970s and 1980s. Most of these upgrades were also designed in Soviet times but did not go into production because the Soviet Union collapsed.
The organization of the show is also very Soviet. In 1997, after passing the entry …