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THE 3rd Airshow China took place November 6-12 in Zhuhai with 400 exhibitors from around the world and 300,000 visitors participating. The indoor exhibit space was 12,436sqm and outdoor static display area 45,000sqm. Eighty-nine planes were on display and agreements worth 6.4 billion yuan ($776 million) signed.
Apart from the giant exhibitors such as Boeing, United Technologies Corp (UTC), Airbus, Russian AVIAEXPORT Public Ltd, Sukhoi and Rolls-Royce, businesspeople from Brazil, South Africa and South Korea as well as European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co and Rosvoorouzhenie made their first presence at the airshow.
1. The British UBB (The Utterly Butterly Barnstormers) stunt flight show was great fun. Even bad weather didn't stop the British team from winning applause. With two attractive young women sitting on the wings, two aircraft designed in the 1940's performed breath-taking stunts including rolls and stall turns. When the two planes finally landed, the audience surged to them and asked the aviator daredevils for their autographs.
2. The Ka-50 is the world's first operational helicopter with a rescue ejection system, which allows the pilot to escape at all altitudes and speeds. Any information about this helicopter was strictly secret in the ‘70s and ‘80s. American intelligence services had trouble getting any information about its development. The situation rapidly changed a few years ago. Everybody could see the new Kamov helicopter at the Paris Airshow ‘92 for the first time. The only rival of the helicopter in the world is the US Apache Attack Helicopter. Authorized by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Ka-50 took part in the Zhuhai airshow, which was its debut at an airshow in Asia.
3. It was also a first for the PLA Army Aviation Corps regiment to stage a performance at an international air show. The corps brought nine armed Z-9 helicopters in “three-three-three” formations for low-altitude performance.
4. Some 70 varieties of aircraft, ranging from passenger carriers Boeing, Gulf Stream, Dash 8Q, Y-8, Xinzhou-60 and others to military planes such as Su-30, MiG-31 and KA-50 were displayed.
5. Zhang Dousan, a Chinese who made his own Douqiang-3 helicopter in three years on the balcony of his apartment, was invited to exhibit it in the static display area. With speeds reaching 120km and an altitude 1,500m, the craft was completely hand-made. Journalists dubbed Zhang an adventurous man.
6. Russian pilots were clever at making money. They not only showed stunning flight techniques, but also sold service caps, 150 yuan ($18.20) each, badges, 20-50 yuan ($2.40-60) each, autographs, 30 yuan ($3.60) each and a reward of a group photo with the purchasers.