This post is not meant to be anything other than personal opinion, so please take it as such. Also your thoughts are much appreciated.
Many sectors of economy in former Soviet Union are suffering, but it is especially sad for me (as I am sure for other enthusiasts) to see current state of aircraft manufacturing industry. At one point in history, soviet aircraft were very decent and exported to quite a few foreign countries, and now, not even local carriers are willing to buy domestically produced aircraft (In reference to recent rumor that SU decided to order A350). I do understand why this happens, but my frustration with this is inability to understand why government looks the other way? Why doesn’t it create subsidies and tax breaks for both manufacturers and carriers? If Boeing and Airbus are getting subsidies from their local governments why can’t it happen in FSU? Money IS there, and I am sure that people in Russian government who are responsible for economic development are not idiots and understand that natural resource driven economy will not sustain for long, and other sectors will have to be developed. However, if this trend continues, the entire civil aviation segment of the industry will be wiped out!
Of course there are reasons for this: widespread corruption, overall state of economy which almost fully depends on export of natural resources, older technology as a result of long economic slump, etc... Is Tu-204/214, RRJ and new string of designs by Antonov last gasp, or IS THERE hope for industry? Your comments are welcome...
[Edited 2005-11-05 23:25:23]