Farnborough International organizers say that both static and flying displays for the 2012 show will be full, with a significant portion of the aircraft roster still to be publicly confirmed as of press time. Among the anticipated highlights could be one of the earlier in-service examples of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner 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 extra-terrestrial escape.
Predictably, business aircraft look set to be thin on the ground at Farnborough, with the notable exceptions of Hawker Beechcraft’s Hawker 4000 jet, 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 only keeping aircraft on-site from Monday through Wednesday and also being able to do customer demonstration flights.
At face value, the Farnborough’s military contingent appears to be ready to make a stronger showing. Among the highlights will be Boeing’ F/A18 Super Hornet, jet trainer contenders the 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 Falcons, a pair of Sukhoi Su-27 fighters and the Saab Gripen.