The 27th Aero Friedrichshafen opened this week with a record 757 exhibitors from 40 countries that will highlight a full spectrum of aircraft from ultralights to business jets. That is the largest tally for the show, besting the then record-setting 707 exhibitors in 2017. The April 10 to 13 show next to Friedrichshafen Airport in Germany will also focus on emerging technologies, including drones, electric aircraft, and eVTOL air taxis.
"The international trade fair not only shows the current variety of models available for general aviation but also provides an outlook on concepts of the future,” said show director Tobias Bretzel.
The show, which began more than 40 years ago with glider manufacturers, will stay true to those roots with single and double-seaters on display, from training gliders to the Super Orchidee. While German manufacturers have had a strong showing in the glider market, the exhibition will also feature glider technologies from Eastern European and South African manufacturers.
Ultralights, in general, will range from gyrocopters, gliders, and powered-aircraft, beginning with a 120-kilogram (264-pound) single-seat aircraft up to aircraft in the 600-kilogram (1,323-pound) class. This comes as Europe has moved to increase the maximum takeoff weight for three-axis ultralights from 472 kilograms to 600 kilograms. Germany is implementing the new weight thresholds and Aero Friedrichshafen will address how ultralights can be equipped to take advantage of the higher weight limit.
On the other end of the spectrum, Aero Friedrichshafen also is placing an increased focus on business aviation with a special conference held in concert with the German Business Aviation Association on April 11. Further a Heli Forum is scheduled, along with both piston and turbine helicopters on display.
Launched 10 years ago, Aero Friedrichshafen’s e-flight expo is continuing to expand with new aircraft types and propulsion systems. When the exhibition for electric aircraft was first held, the concept “still seemed futuristic,” said Aero Friedrichshafen organizations. Now long-standing corporations and start-ups are developing a range of aircraft, including electric aircraft that can be ordered and eVTOL air taxis.
Near the manned aviation area of the e-flight-expo is the AERODrones/UAS Expo special exhibition. Aero Friedrichshafen will address the various applications and issues such as drone-driving licenses. A Flight Zone for Unmanned Aerial Systems will be staged and for the first time, and Aero Friedrichshafen will host a closed trade event for police departments.
Visitors will be able to learn about advancements and changes in propulsion, including electric and hybrid systems along with sustainable fuel and power2liquid, in the Engine Area.
ADS-B is anticipated to be a strong area of interest in the Avionics Avenue, but many other produces will be displayed, including navigation and collision warning devices, and flight planning apps, along with a Headset Test Area. In addition, the Flight Simulator Area returns to this year’s show.
Along with the various forms of flight, Aero Friedrichshafen will turn its attention to pilot recruitment with the continuation of its Be a Pilot program that enables visitors interested in flight training to meet with training representatives. In all more than 200 lectures, conferences, and workshops planned with industry, association, and government leaders on hand to discuss key issues.