Back in 2004, the Farnborough International show opened against a backdrop of uncertainty about its future organization with doubts over how the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) proceeds with an event that it has hosted since 1948. Two years on, these doubts have been laid to rest and today the FI2006 show opens with a new streamlined structure, a visibly improved site and a truly abundant harvest of Grade A exhibits.
Farnborough Air Show » July 17, 2006
BAE Systems hopes that up to three important UK contracts will be confirmed when British defense minister Des Browne visits the show tomorrow. Production deals for the Royal Air Force (RAF) Nimrod MRA.4 maritime patrol aircraft and the Hawk Mk128 Advanced Jet Trainer are overdue. BAE is also seeking government funds for a British unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) technology demonstration program that it would lead.
EADS executives can talk all they want about refusing to allow the Farnborough airshow to dictate the timing of their decisions, but in their current predicament they simply don’t enjoy the luxury of ignoring the opportunity to claw back some credibility here this week.
Situated literally at the center of the show site, Goodrich Corp. has certainly made an impression at this year’s Farnborough with a new pavilion that combines a chalet and an exhibit stand, giving invited guests and drop-ins alike quick and easy access to information on its entire range of products.
The importance of northwest England in the UK’s aerospace industry is reflected in its representation here. Nearly 50 companies and organizations from the region are here in the Northwest Aerospace Alliance (NWAA) pavilion (Hall 1 Stand D9-12) to promote products and services that range from high-end engineered aircraft and engine components to some of the UK’s first commercial UAVs.
The Eldec division of Crane Aerospace & Electronics (Hall 4 Stand G20) is showing an example of what it reckons is the ideal means of reconciling a growing demand for more powerful on-board electrical equipment with new restrictions on the effect individual loads can have on the aircraft power supply.
Airbus has issued a new “conservative and interim” recommendation for A380 separation minimums backed by 100 hours of flight testing performed in Toulouse, Istres and Frankfurt.
Boeing is now offering a variant of the 737–its smallest model–designed to carry about as many passengers as the biggest example of its first jetliner, the four-engine 707 of the 1950s. The new Model 737-900ER will carry some 215 passengers in the latest single-aisle twinjet, compared with 219 in the first-generation 707 and 99 in the original 737.
Boeing last month quietly booked a single order for a 747-8 “Intercontinental” jet– its first for a passenger 747 in several years and thought to be a VIP variant for Qatar Airways. Boeing believes it can sell 450 examples of the newly stretched 747-8.
Automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) is poised to make the transition from promising technology to fundamental air traffic management tool, and the trials helping prepare the way are identifying many of the details that will need to be addressed.