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
The preparations that presage a major international air show are compelling to watch. It starts with barren ramp space and naked concrete floors. In the preceding weeks, days and hours, the vibrancy of a living event build slowly. It takes time; and literally years of person-hours to bring it all together.
In the days leading up to every air show, the aircraft and pilots that perform in the aerial displays must display their routines for the authorities. These validation flights are flown exactly as the final performance. It’s the air show before the Airshow, and it’s dynamic to watch. Have a look.
NBAA is about airplanes; products and services - but none of that means anything without the people. And the relationships that bind those people are what makes the entire industry succeed. No one can do what he or she does in a vacuum.
Dassault’s long awaited super-midsize jet was finally revealed at this year’s NBAA show in Las Vegas. Named the Falcon 5X, the new twinjet will feature fly-by-wire controls and a host of other innovations.