Panevezys, Lithuania, will host the 13-th European stunt-flying championship July 10-22.
The Russian national team will, as usual, include people from the Sukhoi aircraft design bureau. The Sukhoi design bureau's delegation is headed by deputy general designer Stanislav Rubanov, who also supervises the Sukhoi Aerobatic Planes program. Moreover, Rubanov is a merited designer of Russia.
The Sukhoi team comprises such renowned stunt flyers as 25-time world champion and two-time world air games champion Svetlana Kopanina; absolute world champion Mikhail Mamistov, who also won the afore-said world air games, absolute world champion Alexander Krotov (team qualification), as well as absolute world champion Victor Chmal, who heads a stunt-flyer group.
The Russians will be flying Su-26, Su-31 and Su-31-M aerobatic planes, which have already won a reputation for themselves. The Russian national team came first, while flying them at the world championship in Spain last year.
The Sukhoi design bureau completely subsidizes the Russian national team's participation in international competitions. Moreover, the design bureau helps train team members, repairing and servicing aerobatic planes all the same.
About 200 Sukhoi aerobatic planes have been assembled since the mid-1980s; more than 50 percent of this number have been subsequently exported to the United States. These planes have also been sold to 17 other countries of the world, including Australia, Great Britain, France and some others.
The fourth-generation Su-26 and Su-31 aircraft now account for some 50 percent of all aerobatic planes taking part in international events. Meanwhile new models, i.e. the Su-49, can be used by air clubs and pilot schools alike.
Those light-engined Sukhoi planes boast impressive thrust-to-weight and power-to-weight ratios; small wonder, Russian aerobatic flyers keep stealing the show time and again.