Every two years, the airfield of Farnborough becomes the largest aviation trade show in the world. There you can buy anything from an airliner to a missile to shoot it down with.
Farnborough International Airshow was held this year from 19-25 July and is still one of the world’s most iconic global events. Traditionally there are five days of trade show followed by two days of airshow. However there are always air displays taking place throughout the week as well.
Over 152 aircraft were represented there and the weekend alone brought in over 108 000 visitors. Over US$47 billion worth of orders were placed during the trade week. Aside from all the media briefings, press conferences and demonstrations, with 1223 traders and organisations represented there, you needed a week to see it all.
Forecast International Inc. rate the aircraft each year and create a Top 20 aircraft at the show list. This figure is based on a ten year period and is derived by multiplying the unit cost of the aircraft by the number of production units for a given program by the year. The resulting value is then totalled for a 10 year period and ranked.
The top 20 aircraft in the world at the moment are listed below along with the 10 year program value:
1. Boeing 787 $199,199,000,000
2. Boeing 777 $165,162,500,000
3. Airbus A380 $ 98,002,900,000
4. Eurofighter Typhoon $ 39,200,000,000
5. Airbus A400M $ 33,615,000,000
6. Boeing C-17 $ 16,500,000,000
7. Sikorsky MH-60S (UH-60) $ 14,755,000,000
8. Lockheed Martin C-130J $ 11,515,000,000
9. Bombardier Q400 $ 10,281,600,000
10. Boeing F/A-18E/F $ 9,969,681,600
11. Gulfstream Aerospace G550 $ 9,540,000,000
12. Northrop Grumman E-2C(E-2D) $ 9,400,000,000
13. Boeing CH-47 (CH-47F) $ 7,830,000,000
14. Bombardier Challenger 605 $ 6,991,671,000
15. ATR 72 (ATR 42/72) $ 6,824,500,000
16. Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 $ 6,364,000,000
17. Bombardier Global 5000 $ 6,268,428,000
18. Sukhoi Superjet 100 $ 5,790,000,000
19. Agusta Westland AW139 $ 5,670,400,000
20. Agusta Westland AW109 LUH $ 4,811,000,000
Once production starts, the new Airbus A350XWB, is expected to have a program value of about $130.8 billion.
No surprise at top of the list was the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. What a sight to see her standing on the apron next the A400M and the A380.
The twin engine wide body jetliner, which first flew in December 2009, is in flight test. The 787-8 will carry 210-250 passengers on routes of 7650-8200 nm. The 787-9 will carry 250-290 passengers on routes of 8000-8500 nm. Entry into service is expected this year still. Boeing says 56 customers have placed orders for 1252 aircraft. Delays have slipped entry into airline service, but the 787 will still beat it’s competitor the A350XWB into operation. The 787 is slated to be in service by the fourth quarter of this year, while the A350XWB will not be in service until 2013.
The Dreamliner is powered by two GEnx-1B’s or Rolls Royce Trent 1000’s, and standing next to them, I can tell you that they are massive. I was invited on board for a media tour of the 787 and needless to say, I was beyond impressed. The state-of-the-art flight deck with customizable widescreen displays, dual HUD’s, and dual EFB’s was incredible, not to mention how spacious and ergonomic it was compared to other jetline flight decks I have visited.
The one feature that impressed everybody on board was the lack of window blinds which have now been replaced by incredibly large electronically dimmable windows…absolutely superb. The rest of the cabin is just as impressive, lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and dynamic lighting make for a very pleasant atmosphere.
Everything about this aircraft is impressive, from the innovative laminar flow nacelles on the engines to reduce drag, noise and weight to the advanced aerodynamics of the raked wingtips, high aspect ratio design, variable-camber trailing edge and smaller flap-track fairings which all reduce drag and fuel consumption. Overall the 787 has a 20% lower fuel consumption, it will open new non-stop markets, carry more cargo, requires less maintenance, is 20% lower on CO2 emissions and is quieter for communities.
The A380 still impresses and her display flight was just as incredible to watch as this huge bird was being thrown around the sky like a small business jet.
Static displays by air-forces, private enterprises, big corporate and small aviation companies just consumed huge amounts of time as you wandered from vendor to vendor just soaking up all this hardware.
Boeing brought out a static display of the future of UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and these new platforms are going to prove very interesting for the near future, one wonders how long man will still enjoy the thrill of military flight?
The flying displays, well…to say the least were great. the crowd line is a mere few metres from the runway and the daily flying program included everything from the Blades Aerobatic Team in their Extra 300’s to the biggest of airliners. Displays by the F-16, F-18 Super Hornet, F-22 Raptor, Typhoon, to name but a few were just breathtaking. Aermacchi displayed their new jet trainer, the M346, for which they have orders now for over 1600 of them.
Farnborough International Airshow never fails to impress and this year was no different. The next airshow will be held from 9-15 July 2012.