The top brass of the world's airforces joined HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on a tour of the static displays following his official opening of Dubai '97.

Sheikh Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai and the UAE Defence Minister, was escorted airside by Lt Gen HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Virginia Kern, managing director of Fairs and Exhibitions, the organiser of the show. management.

Followed by members of the international aviation press and several hundred invited guests, they spent more than an hour and a half being guided round the hardware in the midday sun.

Sheikh Mohammed met representatives of many of the companies exhibiting at this, the fifth Dubai airshow.

He and his entourage boarded a number of the aircraft on display, showing particular interest in some of the business jets.

The official party spent considerable time inside the Gulfstream V, the Boeing 777-300 and the Airbus Industrie A330-200, where he was given a demonstration of water ballast testing by Airbus Industrie's managing director Jean Pierson.

Two fighters also caught Sheikh Mohammed's eye. At the Su-37MR he was introduced to Sukoi Design Bureau director Mikhail Simonov.

He was later updated on progress on Eurofighter by John Weston, president and CEO of BAe.

Source: Flight Daily News