I had the pleasure of attending this year’s Farnborough International Airshow in jolly ol’ England. While the weather did not cooperate; apparently the United Kingdom is experiencing a rare bout of early summer monsoon, with minor flooding in various spots in the location. Despite the weather, the show went on without any problems.
This year’s show, as before, showcased the latest in aerospace achievement. On the commercial side, Boeing brought in the 787-8 Dreamliner (powered by GEnx engines), in full Qatar livery. Airbus responded with a brand new A380 in Malaysia Airlines colors, and even the A320 with “sharklet” winglet made a brief appearance. On the military side, it was the battle of the gen 4.5 fighters, featuring a trio of Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet, Saab JAS-39 Gripen, and Eurofighter Typhoon. The contrast between the latest military and civil aircraft is apparent during the airshow, while the crowd is energized by the roar of the jet fighters, they were equally marveled by the quietness of the latest airliners.
From the order book perspective, this year is truly the year of the max, 737 MAX that is. The latest generation of the venerable 737 family received some sizeable orders, including 75 firm orders from Air Lease Corporation and 100 from United Airlines. Of course, all these aircraft will be powered by the latest CFM LEAP-1B engines.
GE Aviation had a strong presence at the show, with a chalet on the flight line and an interactive booth in the exhibition hall. The GEnx engine was a popular attraction, where countless visitors stopped to take pictures. Other interactive displays, which showed various engine and systems products, were also well received. The future visions video, which talked about Aviation Systems vision of the future in ATM, IVHM, and integrated electrical power system, resonated with many of the visitors. Finally, the Nexcelle IPS nacelle display gave people a glimpse of what is possible in propulsion integration.
Here are some snapshots and clips of the airshow. Enjoy!