The 2008 Farnborough International airshow (held from July 14 through 20) largely confounded widespread predictions that provide clear evidence of an industry heading into a downturn. A fresh wave of airliner orders, mainly from carriers in the fast-growing Middle Eastern and Asian markets, bolstered Airbus and Boeing, along with their phalanx of global suppliers.
Paris Air Show
The 2003 Paris Air Show, held June 15 to 22, opened against a backdrop of bitter transatlantic political disputes over France’s opposition to the U.S.-led Iraq War and the future of the Middle East. It ended with carriers from that region providing the whole aerospace industry with a welcome financial shot in the arm by placing multi-billion-dollar orders for new airliners.
This year’s show benefits from recent improvements to infrastructure and facilities as organizer Farnborough International continues a 60-year evolution of development begun by the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC). One of the first examples was a re-landscaping of the exhibition site in 1980 to accommodate continuing growth.
Bell Helicopter (Chalet L3-7) here in a press conference yesterday strongly hinted the company is about to transfer more work to partner AgustaWestland in the protracted BA609 Tiltrotor program. “We are looking for the most efficient way to get the aircraft certified and we’ll possibly find some efficiencies in Italy,” Mike Blake, executive v-p for customer solutions, said. While one test aircraft resides
Life begins at 60 looks to be the motto for the Farnborough International airshow as it prepares to mark the 60th anniversary of the first staging of the event, held this year from July 14 to 20. The 2008 show also marks the 100th anniversary of the first powered flight in Britain, with the historic Farnborough site the UK’s answer to Kitty Hawk thanks to the daring of American aviator Samuel Cody.
French ground power specialist Guinault is providing aircraft juiced up on the ground here at the Farnborough show through its partner PowerVamp. The company, which also serves the same need at the Paris Air Show, makes ground power units for aircraft of all sizes, as well as equipment such as cabin heaters and air starters.
The 2001 Paris Air Show was no epic in terms of new models unveiled and mega-developments launched. It was nonetheless an exceptionally businesslike event, achieving a record tally for announced sales of some $40 billion. Even so, this grand tally was somewhat down from the $52 billion sales bonanza at last year’s Farnborough Air Show and some chose to interpret this as evidence of the long-anticipated cooling in demand.
For any business aircraft manufacturers that have so far resisted the temptation, it is not too late to book space to display products and services at the Farnborough International airshow (FI2008), the global aerospace show taking place in the UK, July 14 to 21.
As startling as the absence of current airliners from the Boeing stable was the gaping void created by the lack of any of Russia’s fearsome fighters in the flying display. Many observers felt that the show was the poorer for the lack of the thrust-vectoring wonders of Mikoyan and Sukhoi.
The 2003 Paris Air Show will open its doors June 15 to 22 against a backdrop of bitter conflict and recriminations. But enough of relations between the U.S. and France. This year’s Le Bourget show also cannot fail to be overshadowed by the ramifications of the war in Iraq, which, as of press time, was still raging, despite the best efforts of the Chirac administration and several other major world leaders to halt the conflict.