The Farnborough Interrnational Airshow is one of the most important dates on the aerospace industry‘s calendar. Every two years, deals and partnerships are announced as well as a slew of new planes and parts from the world’s biggest and best manufacturers and aerospace parts manufacturing companies.
What did we learn from the 2018 show?
Industry confidence is high
If business activity at the show is anything to go by, it’s fair to say the aerospace sector is having a good year. This year’s show saw USD $192 billion worth of orders, the organisers report, a USD $67.5 billion gain over the activity from the previous show.
Gareth Rogers, Farnborough International CEO, explained that this spelt good news for the industry.
“Going into the show, the industry backlog is at a record high, in excess of 14,000 aircraft on the books. The major deals announced this week demonstrate how confident the aerospace industry is and the role of Farnborough as an economic barometer.”
Industry confidence is high after Farnborough Airshow trade deals: https://t.co/uqL7avSbnM
The show saw orders worth $192bn, a rise of $67.5bn on 2016
1,400+ commercial aircraft were ordered, valued at $154bn and 1,432 engines were ordered worth $22bn#FIA18 @FIAFarnborough pic.twitter.com/eTpc6DKB0L
– Aerospace Manufacturing (@AerospaceTweets) July 23, 2018
New planes are on the way
The other news to always come out of Farnborough is the announcement of new planes, and this time was not a disappointment on that front.
One of the biggest announcements from the show was a new fighter aircraft from RAF, named Tempest. It will be able to fly unmanned, the Guardian reports, and will include next-generation, direct-energy weapons that use bursts of lasers or particle beams to damage opponents. Also on board will be a sophisticated targeting system, aided by artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Airbus showed off a new plane for the 130 to 160 seat market, the A220-300. But competition is always around the corner, as Embraer were demonstrating their E190-E2 which serves the same market.
Boeing’s new 737 MAX has not only become the fastest selling plane in the company’s history, they report, it’s also attracted a lot of attention online for the stunning near-vertical take-off it demonstrated at the show. The dramatic feat was part of the company’s push to sell the plane’s performance and demonstrate its capability of flying out of airports at high altitudes and with short runways.
There was also a concept for a flying passenger vehicle from an unlikely source – the car manufacturer, Aston Martin. The Volante Vision is a three seater luxury vehicle that’s capable of vertical take off. This will likely make use of some fiberglass reinforcement to keep the weight down. It’s currently in development with assistance from Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and Rolls-Royce
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