Aviation in Russia over the past four years has been growing at a rapid rate, and many companies want to get a piece of that pie. As Russia's economy becomes more like that in the West, many aviation companies have begun to seek out opportunities in this vast country.
It is also interesting to note that there is a significant amount of investment of Russian money in American general aviation products. For example, a Russian company run by Americans called AAI Acquisitions based in Denver purchased the assets of Adam Aircraft for pennies on the dollar in an effort to revive the Adam Aircraft A700 very light jet.
And it goes the other way too. American companies Epic Aircraft who want to build their twin jet aircraft in Tbilisi in - of all places - the Georgia Republic! Given the recent invasion of Georgia by the Russians, and the destruction of so much infrastructure, this could present a problem for this up and coming aircraft.
Then there is Eclipse Aviation which has indicated plans to manufacture the aircraft at a Russian factory in an attempt to make the Eclipse more profitable. Eclipse is the aircraft using friction stir weld technology to build its aircraft, but perhaps it will wind up making military trucks and humvees instead, eh?
Cessna, Bombardier and Beechcraft having been eying the Russian market for some time, and with some success, but perhaps they should be very careful what they wish for and what they invest in.
Over the next few posts I will discuss the role of general aviation in Russia today. By the way, in an earlier life I was a Russian linguist for the US Air Force, and had the opportunity to travel in Russia on several occasions. It is a vast, beautiful and interesting place.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!