Farnborough Air Show

Dreamliner May Bolster Farnborough Static Display

 - June 11, 2012, 7:45 AM
Boeing's 787 Dreamliner was flanked by two RAF Spitfires at Farnborough 2010. (David McIntosh photo)

Farnborough International Airshow organizers are promising that both the static and flying displays for the 2012 air show will be as full as ever. Behind the scenes the display roster is fully booked, but airframers have yet to give clearance for all the aircraft to be publicly confirmed.

One of the anticipated highlights yet to be confirmed is one of the earliest in-service Boeing 787 Dreamliners operated by high-profile Arabian Gulf carrier Qatar Airways. Also on the cards are two other, as yet undisclosed, Boeing transports. 

Arguably, the potential show stealer this year will be the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo, which is set to be offered for space tourism. There will be plenty of industry executives gathered at Farnborough who will be only too glad to fantasize about an extraterrestrial escape from their daily concerns.

Predictably, business aircraft look set to be thin on the ground at Farnborough, with the notable exceptions of Hawker Beechcraft’s Hawker 4000, plus a duo of King Air twin turboprops: the 350iER and the B200. Also lined up are a mockup of Bell’s new 525 Relentless helicopter, Piaggio Aero’s Avanti II twin pusherprop and the Pilatus PC-12. The Farnborough static display will once again include a separate Business Aircraft Park, giving exhibitors there the option of  keeping aircraft on-site only from Monday through Wednesday and also being able to offer customer demonstration flights.

The Farnborough military contingent appears to be ready to make a strong showing. Among the highlights will be Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, jet trainer contenders Korean Aerospace Industries’ T-50 and the Russian Yak-130, a U.S. Marine Corps V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, a pair of Sukhoi Su-27 fighters and the Saab Gripen.

Farnborough International also will feature a daily flying display with the following schedule:

  • Monday, July 9, 1:30 to 4:00 p.m.;
  • Tuesday through Thursday, July 10-12, 2:15 to 4:45 p.m.;
  • Friday, July 13, 1:30 to 5:00 p.m.; and 
  • Saturday and Sunday, July 14 and 15, 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. 

On the main trade days of the show (July 9-12) the aircraft flying will be as follows:

  • Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter;
  • Hawker Beechcraft T6 trainer;
  • Irkut Yak-130 jet trainer;
  • Ruag Aviation Dornier 228 twin turboprop utility aircraft;
  • Saab Gripen fighter;
  • South Korean air force T-50 jet trainer;
  • Tekever AR4 Light Ray unmanned air system;
  • the Blades aerobatic team; and
  • a U.S. Marine Corps V-22 Osprey tiltrotor.

The show’s public days (July 14 and 15) will feature many of these plus what may prove to be the final public appearance of the Avro Vulcan XH558 bomber, the Battle of Britain Memorial flight, the Breitling jet display team, the Breitling wing-walkers and the RAF Red Arrows display team.