When it comes to hardware with a flair for the dramatic, there's little to compare with military aircraft. After all, just imagine Tom Cruise's career without Top Gun.
The place to be this week for aerospace shoppers is an airfield just outside Moscow, for the MAKS 2007 International Aviation & Space Salon. There awaits a cornucopia of flying weaponry, much of it Russian-made, from MiGs to helicopters to a mock-up of a work-in-progress unmanned stealth craft, the Skat. If you can get there by this weekend, you might still have a chance to admire the craftsmanship, mingle with the flyboys and the military-industrial suits, and watch some spectacular aerial maneuvers. (From what we've read, though, you might want to pack your own snacks and other amenities.)
You don't have to go for the combat gear if you don't want to. The Russian government, and companies like Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, would be plenty pleased to have you buy some passenger planes, like Sukhoi's forthcoming midrange SuperJet 100.
And just think: it wasn't so awfully long ago that one of the very few ways to get this close to a Russian (nee Soviet) fighter jet was to be in the James Bond business.
For a look at some of the planes at MAKS 2007, check out this CNET News.com gallery: Photos: Russian air show aims high.