Kings of the sky: Pilots and gunners compete to find out whose skills are most awesome (PHOTOS)
Military crews are wowing spectators as they pit mastery of their fighter jets and combat helicopters against each other in this year’s Aviadarts competition in Russia.
A total of 43 teams from four nations flocked to Ryazan, a city some 200km (125 miles) southeast from Moscow, to take part in the finals of Aviadarts-2019.
The two-week games are long enough to test crews of all kinds of aircraft, from long-range nuclear-capable bombers to transport helicopters.
In each competition a team has to perform a challenging flight routine in a set amount of time and often hit targets with cannon fire or bombs.
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To win, you need ace pilots, eagle-eyed gunners and bombers plus a highly-competent squad of technicians on the ground to keep your plane or chopper in top shape.
The first week of Aviadarts was somewhat marred by cloudy weather, which even forced postponement of some events, but then the skies cleared and they were ready to be claimed.
The final results will be announced on Saturday. Russia hopes to win this year, but there is strong competition from China, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. The nations have been battling for medals since 2013, when the championship first took place.
There was also a demonstration program for the spectators, with Russian avionics masters the Swifts and the Russian Knights taking to the air.
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