EDITORIAL: Flying Russia’s Potemkin Skies


Flying Russia’s Potemkin Skies

At the Paris Air Show last week, Russia’s Sukhoi  aircraft manufacturing concern was able to secure only a pathetic total of three orders for its new “Superjet-100” model, upon which the company has pinned all its future hopes.  Looking below the surface, we see that the whole business was nothing but a pathetic charade, a classic Russian Potemkin village carried out to paper over the fact that there is, in the words of aeronautics experts “nothing new” about Russia’s plane.  In fact, there were no legitimate offers at all for the Russian crate.  Given Russia’s horrific record of air disasters, that’s hardly surprising.

The first order wasn’t an order at all, it was from the Hungarian airline Malev and was a mere letter of intent to buy planes the company can’t currently finance.  As Forbes reported:  “Malev is not exactly a tough customer for Russia to win over. The airline is 49%-owned by Russia’s Vneshekonombank, a state-owned lender, which just happens to also be a 5% shareholder of United Aircraft Corporation”

In other words, Russia bought planes from itself.  Well, it said it might buy them.

Something quite similar happened with the second order, from Italy’s  ItAli airlines, which bought an insignficant ten planes.  An Italian company owns a blocking stake in Sukhoi and was the driving force behind the Superjet.

In other words, Italy bought planes from itself, with a Russian gun to its head.

And the last buyer?  That would be tiny impoverished Armenia, one of Russia’s post-Soviet stooge states, a lap dog eager to do Russia’s bidding at every turn.  The “order” was too laughable to discuss further.

In other words, again Russia bought planes from itself.

This is exactly the same way the Soviet Union used to make it big in business, and when the Iron Curtain was it place it used to fool many clueless Westerners. But when the USSR collapsed because it was all illusion and no substance, one would have thought Russians might reconsider this crazy dishonest game and actually start trying to do something real.

No such luck.

8 responses to “EDITORIAL: Flying Russia’s Potemkin Skies

  1. Having flown in other “wonders of Russian aviation”, I am not at all surprised that major airlines will not touch Russian aircraft with a barge pole.

    The only wonder is that Russian made aircraft get off the ground in the first place.

  2. Just coincidentally yesterdays Russia Today tv “news” channel tickertape was claiming that the Su superjet had become a “best seller” at Paris and published articles like “Russia’s new airliner steals the Paris Air Show” where sukhoi “has been busy signing up customers”.

    An embarrassingly transparent tissue of lies.

  3. Of course Airbus racked up $12.9B in orders at the same show, but I guess that was lost in the shadow of the superjet’s success.

  4. Any wonder nobody wants to buy rooshan:

    Russian air force loses second plane in three days

    19 June, 18:19 | Reuters

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s air force lost its second fighter plane in three days on Friday when an Su-24 crashed in southern Russia, but both pilots survived, Russian news agencies reported.

    The air force immediately grounded its fleet of Su-24s, a Soviet era plane also known by the NATO reporting name Fencer, Interfax news agency said.

    The crew tried to land several times, but technical problems prevented them from doing so, Interfax quoted a military source as saying. “Flight control then gave the command to leave the aerodrome area for a safe place and eject”.

    Another SU-24 plane crashed on Wednesday while coming in to land in the northern Murmansk Region, Russian media reported. Both pilots survived.

    The commander of Russia’s air force said last August that the nation’s air defences were in disarray and needed huge investment to keep up with the West.

    A Russian Air Force spokesman declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.


  5. Boeing and Airbus are fed by their countries. So Sukhoi too. And meanwhile A-380 program is near a disaster. And a Dreamliner is still a dream – one delay by another.

    • In what way has the A380 been a disaster?
      It has already received 200 orders, which is 1/2 way to breaking even (which took the most successful airliner the 747 nearly a decade to achieve).

      The simple fact is that the Airbus and Boeing designs will be successful and safe airliners.

      The Sukhoi will be the same as the Tupelovs and Sukhois it will replace. A deathtrap.

      Russian aircraft, ships, and cars are inferior. Always have been, always will.

  6. Pingback: Авиасуббота-52 | AviaScope

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