Farnborough Air Show - 2012

Farnborough Air Show

Late last night, Hawker Beechcraft announced that China-based Superior Aviation Beijing Co. has signed an “exclusivity agreement” to buy the whole U.S. aircraft manufacturer, minus its defense business. Hawker Beechcraft filed for U.S. Chapter 11 reorganization in May and just last week outlined a framework to exit this protection by year-end. Part of this plan included a potential sale, which is now the likely outcome.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Boeing and Airbus have both arrived at the Farnborough International 2012 show under new leadership, but don’t expect any cooling in the hostility between the world’s top-two airliner manufacturers. The U.S. airframer is expected to draw the first blood in the orders battle today if, as is expected, Air Lease Corp. confirms an anticipated order for 50 or more of Boeing’s new 737 MAX narrowbodies.

Flight 447 flight data recorder

In its final report into the loss of an Air France Airbus A330 over the South Atlantic on June 1, 2009, French air accident investigation agency BEA (Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses) has managed to explain most–but not all–of the pitch-up inputs by the pilot who was flying the aircraft at the time of the accident during the last minutes of Air France Flight 447.

The 2012 Farnborough International Airshow is set to open on July 9, with almost 1,500 exhibitors from some 70 countries preparing to receive up to 120,000 business visitors (and potentially more than twice as many visitors again on the event’s public days). Overall, one quarter of 2012 exhibitors have increased the amount of space they’ve booked compared with their presence two years ago. Some 28 percent of 2012 exhibitors are exhibiting for the first time at Farnborough.

General Schwarz

The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford in the UK reports a record number of acceptances in response to invitations sent to international air forces. Approximately 250 military aircraft from 25 countries, and air chiefs from more than 40 countries, are attending the event, which takes place this weekend before the Farnborough International Airshow opens.

Prime Minister David Cameron at 2012 Airshow

British Prime Minister David Cameron meets with aircraft executives and delegates at 2012 Farnborough International Airshow

2012 Farnborough International Airshow

Wet weather failed to dampen spirits on the first day of the airshow

Malaysian Airlines

Airlines from around the globe on show at Farnborough 2012

Airbus 400M

The Airbus 400M military transport plane arrives at Farnborough International Airshow

Business jets at Farnborough 2012

Jets of varying sizes arrive at Farnborough International Airshow

Boeing 787

A Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the star of Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ static display area at Farnborough 2012 .


The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor returns to the 2012 Farnborough Airshow static and flying displays, but the convertable aircraft still commands attention from attendees.

Farnborough International organizers are promising full static and flying displays for the 2012 show.

One month ahead of the opening of the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow, Amanda Stainer, Farnborough International events and exhibitions director, spoke with Charles Alcock, AIN international editor, about how plans for the big event are shaping up and the mood of the aerospace industry.

More Stories from Farnborough 2012

July 13, 2012, 10:45 AM

AIN has a team of reporters on site at the 49th Farnborough Airshow this week, bringing you the latest and most comprehensive military, commercial and civil aviation news from the biennial event.

July 13, 2012, 9:20 AM

The long-delayed solicitation for fixed-wing basic training aircraft to serve in the UK’s Military Flying Training System (MFTS) will be issued within 40 days.

July 13, 2012, 9:17 AM

The Korean T-50 jet aerobatic team has been wowing the crowds at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at Fairford this weekend.

July 13, 2012, 9:15 AM

Selex Galileo has announced a new sale for its Falco tactical unmanned air system, bringing the number of export customers to four.

July 13, 2012, 9:13 AM

Boosted by a visit from British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday, yesterday Eurofighter described an upgrade path for the Typhoon that finally appears to be on a firm footing.

July 12, 2012, 3:52 AM

The Omega Air KDC-10 tanker is here to remind visitors that a contract air refueling service is readily available. It brought the two Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets across the Atlantic to Farnborough last week; the U.S. Navy is Omega’s prime customer, buying about 85 percent of the Irish company’s tanking output, which was nearly 1,600 hours last year with the KDC-10 and three KC-707s.

July 11, 2012, 6:45 PM

Anglo-French cooperation on MALE UAVs may have stalled, according to reports from Paris and from informed sources AIN spoke to at the Farnborough International airshow yesterday. However, it appears that that the proposed joint UCAV study will still be sanctioned when French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visits London on July 24.

July 11, 2012, 6:40 PM

Delta Air Lines has equipped three Boeing 767-300ERs with ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast) components from Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems (ACSS), a joint venture between L-3 and Thales.

The avionics, installed under an FAA supplemental type certificate , are part of ACSS’s SafeRoute suite and include in-trail procedures (ITP) and surface area movement management solutions.

July 11, 2012, 6:35 PM

UK Defense Secretary Philip Hammond, MP, joined celebrations marking the first deliveries of the AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat helicopter to the British Army here at the show yesterday. He simultaneously confirmed a contract worth approximately $388 million for training and support. The AW159 is to remain in service until 2044.

July 11, 2012, 6:30 PM

Hydra Technologies has lifted the veil of secrecy from the new S5 Kukulkan unmanned aerial system, showing it off for the first time publicly here at the Farnborough International airshow. Developed with the Mexican government and tested completely under cover, the S5 represents a natural evolution of the highly successful S4 Ehecatl tactical UAS that has accumulated more than 10,000 hours in extreme battle conditions.

July 11, 2012, 6:25 PM

Denmark’s Terma is showing off, for the first time here at the show, the multi-mission pod (MMP) it has developed for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The MMP began life as the gun pod for the F-35, which Terma designed and developed on behalf of General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, but the company has developed it into a more versatile pod that should prove attractive, in particular, to overseas operators of the JSF.

July 11, 2012, 6:20 PM

ATR announced more than $600 million worth of firm orders at the show yesterday, led by an eight-unit deal with Taiwan’s TransAsia for ATR 72-600s. Meanwhile, the Franco-Italian manufacturer logged a separate pair of orders, each for two ATR 72-600s, from Air Lease Corporation and Lao Airlines.

July 11, 2012, 6:17 PM

In 2014 the Farnborough airshow will play host to a new event, the Global Intelligent Systems Expo. Air Vice Marshal Baz North, the RAF’s assistant chief of the air staff, announced yesterday at the ADS Defence Conference that the expo will constitute a conference and workshops, plus both static and dynamic displays, to provide a forum for the advancement of intelligent systems and their application. The expo is a collaboration between ADS, Farnborough International and the UK MoD.

July 11, 2012, 6:15 PM

With UK operations in Afghanistan scheduled to draw to a close by the end of 2014, and with reduced budgets going forward, the Ministry of Defence is facing a number of tough challenges. Speaking yesterday here at Farnborough at the ADS Defence Conference, UK Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond defined those challenges into three broad areas.

July 11, 2012, 6:10 PM

The problems with the A400M’s TP400-D6 turboprop engine that caused the airlifter to be scratched from this week’s Farnborough International flight demonstrations will slow civil certification and first delivery of the aircraft, but are not expected to delay its entry into service with the French air force next year. Production aircraft do not have the same issues.