Russia leads the way at this year’s Berlin air show, with a record number of companies exhibiting, and buyers thronging the stands.
The public is allowed in on Friday. This year India has pride of place as the fair’s partner nation, and one of the first visitors was Chancellor Angela Merkel, who spent 90 minutes seeing some of the 300 aircraft on display.
The show is the world’s oldest, having begun in 1909 when most planes were wood and paper affairs held together with string and faith. It is also the 60th anniversary of the Berlin airlift, when the west broke the Soviet cold-war blockade of the city with a feat of logistics never seen before, or since.
To mark this, an ancient Douglas DC3 will take to the sky every day, and US and British veterans will offer first-hand accounts of the operation. Among the goodies on show is a new Airbus A330 cargo plane, adapted to fly on green fuel, and giants like the A 380, the Antanov AN 124, and the C5 Galaxy.