The aerial demonstrations and outside aircraft displays get most of the glory, but it’s inside the halls where the business of an international trade show gets its traction. For the hard core, inside the aisles is where it’s at. Photos: David McIntosh
Along the shores of the Singapore Strait, the lineup of aircraft in the static display area covers a wide range of sizes, shapes and missions. Business jets large and small, airliners and military birds of prey are all part of the complement on hand. This overhead view shows just a small segment of the total number of aircraft on display. Photo: David McIntosh
The undoubted star of the 2014 Singapore Airshow is the all-new Airbus A350XWB, which arrived over the weekend from Europe (with a stopover in Qatar). The new widebody will appear in the flying display on Tuesday and Wednesday. The prototype on show here has completed more than 1,000 hours of flight testing since making its first flight last June.
The daily flying displays are the heart and soul of an air show. Here in Singapore, the home town heroes are the Black Knights of the Royal Singapore Air Force (RSAF). Flying F-16s in the team’s distinctive starred paints scheme, the solo performers thrill the crowd with heart-stopping head-on passes like this one. Photo: Mark Wagner
Saturday, a few days before the start of this year’s Singapore Airshow, the Republic of Singapore Air Force held a family day celebration at the Changi Airport show site. Service members were able to bring family members out to see the static displays and watch some of the performers practicing for the aerial demonstrations. In some cases, the thunder of jet engines made the strongest impression. Photo: David McIntosh
The first Learjet 28 Longhorn (serial number 28-001) cruised at 50,000 feet somewhere between Allentown, Pa., and Mattoon, Ill., when the thought hit me. Neil Armstrong, the first man who walked on the moon, had flown this same airplane and here I was riding in the cabin.
With the increasing use of unmanned combat aircraft over the past decade, airplanes without windows have been an increasing presence at air shows around the world. This year’s Dubai Airshow is no exception, and with a few exceptions, most of the offerings come from a local manufacturer. The first example is one of the exceptions.
The Middle East region is one of the best markets for business aviation. Though fortunes within the industry have lagged across the board following the financial collapse of 2008, better times are visible just over the horizon.
The Grand Opening of the Dubai Airshow is a royal occasion, overseen by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Following the ribbon cutting, His Highness toured the new, improved and expanded show site at Al Maktoum International Airport. Photo: David McIntosh
The Gulf region has long been an attractive market for the defense contractors from all over the world, and the Dubai Airshow is one of the most important venues for displaying wares. Combat aircraft and systems have always represented a large part of the activities here. Photo: David McIntosh