PARIS AIR SHOW: PREVIEW
France expects a record number of visitors and exhibitors at the Paris Air Show that has both military and civil components, the latter always hogging the limelight with announcements of mega deals
THE PARIS AIR SHOW per se is one of the biggest events worldwide like the Olympic Games or the Festival de Cannes. Founded in 1909, Paris Air and Space Show is a true force for the development of this industry in France and catalyst to international cooperation. Organised by the SIAE, 100 per cent owned by the GIFAS it has obtained in 2013, the ISO standard 20121 (after Olympic Games and Eurovision contest). The show is working hard to reduce the environmental impact and encourages exhibitors to do so as well. The aviation community from almost all countries descend on Le Bourget where the show takes place from June 15 to 20.
According to Emeric d’Arcimoles, Paris Air Show’s Chairman and CEO, “Paris Air and Space Show is a major player in the aerospace industry, and shows its richness and diversity. More than just a showcase, the show is an extraordinary exchange tool, in which every actor of this industry finds the contacts and ideas that will help them to grow.”
The biggest of all contingents is United States to be represented by more than 350 companies, most of them gathered in the 4,000 sqm American pavilion. For the US companies it is good news as in the last edition, on account of restriction imposed by their government, participation was limited.
Airbus Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Marwan Lahoud,
who is also the President of the GIFAS aerospace industry association, said that France expects a record number of visitors and more than 2,200 exhibitors at the air show. The show has both military and civil components and the latter always hogs the limelight with announcements of mega deals. Both the Paris Air Show and the Farnborough Air Show near London continue to be hosts for the perennial battle between the two aircraft manufacturing giants Airbus and Boeing.
AIRBUS ON TOP. It is Airbus’ home turf and they come out in droves aircraft as well as executives, to make a point, particularly to their American competitor Boeing, that they rule the skies. This year, Airbus will be showcasing the A350, A380, E-FAN, H135, H225M, H145M, H160, CASA 295, A400M and Typhoon. And the company will be as aggressive as ever in its sales and marketing, expecting to bag substantial orders. In fact, it has become a routine for Airbus to take centre-stage with mega deal announcements. In 2013, Airbus bagged 466 orders valued at $68.7 billion and Boeing was on its tail with 442 orders valued at $66 billion.
Marwan Lahoud, Airbus Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, at a pre-event press conference, told reporters that Airbus’ delivery plans for the A400M military transporter may get altered following an accident in May. The A400M will be on display.
BOEING UP THERE. The ding-dong battle between Airbus and Boeing at the show invariably gets interesting with jibes, competition on deals, etc. Boeing trails for the simple reason that Airbus goes hammer and tongs at the show. Boeing in May announced new orders for two 737s, bringing the 2015 total to 159 gross orders and 134 net orders till May end. Boeing’s deliveries till April end 2015 were 250 with 737 accounting for 164. It is believed that the orders at Paris Air Show may not be as huge as in 2013, though demand exists. But you never know what these two giants will pull out of their hats.
EMBRAER GETS IT RIGHT. The Brazilian airframe manufacturer is coming to Le Bourget with lot more focus on its offerings in the regional realm. It is going to reiterate the unique benefits of the E-Jet family which is gaining substantial market across continents. The Embraer team is going to be explaining how the E-Jet family (E2 is going to come soon) is a good business bet, giving better return on capital employed than bigger aircraft from the top two manufacturers Airbus and Boeing. The company is going to be highlighting its ‘new metrics for success’ even while it is taking its mock-up cabin of E2 across the world. Right sizing of aircraft is its pitch and it is working for the company as more and more new destinations within a country open up. In the executive jet segment, it has aircraft in all the classes and it drives home the point that it caters to one and all.
Bombardier’s CS300 CSeries jetliner which is hit by development snags, however, will make its debut flying appearance. So also Ukraine’s Antonov An-178 military transporter which staged a maiden flight earlier this month, will be there.
PILATUS TRAINER IN FOCUS. Since the Paris Air Show is known for several technological innovations, Pilatus is show-
casing the PC-21 which is used round the world to train military pilots of the future and the PC-12 NG termed as the world’s greatest single. Also vying for pride of place at the Paris Air Show in the single engine aircraft category is the PC-12 NG. This versatile aircraft performs many roles worldwide, including executive transport, commuter, medevac, police and border surveillance, cargo transport, military liaison and regional airliner.
GULFSTREAM RECORDS. The Gulfstream G280 and G650 will be on static display. Gulfstream will be making presentations on its various development programmes including the G500 and G600. Two of the five G500 flight test aircraft are complete and the remaining three are in production. The G500 has completed its operational checks and is undergoing taxi validation prior to first flight.
Gulfstream’s newest flagship, the G650ER has connected three cities in record time. On April 23, it departed London Luton Airport and arrived at Hong Kong, flying 10,349 km at an average speed of Mach 0.90 for 10 hours and 27 minutes. On April 25, it left Hong Kong and landed in Seattle to complete 10,936 km in 10 hours and 25 minutes. Both times, the aircraft landed with fuel in excess of National Business Aviation Association’s instrument flight rules reserves. TEXTRON RANGE. Textron Aviation, a Textron Inc company, is showcasing Beechcraft B350 King Air; AT6 and C208 Caravan Ex, while Textron Airland will present Scorpion. Cessna Aircraft Company, subsidiary of Textron Aviation, recently received certification by Brazil’s Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil of the Citation CJ3+, one of the newest models in Cessna’s stable of nextgeneration Citation business jets. “The range, performance and economics of the Citation CJ3+ make it a natural fit for operations in Brazil, a country that has long been one of Cessna’s largest markets,” said Bob Gibbs, Vice President, Sales. “The Citation CJ3+ represents the latest, proven technology in terms of avionics and cabin productivity and carries on the brand promise expected from the Cessna name.”
Beechcraft Corporation, a subsidiary of Textron Aviation Inc, is riding on the orders of Wheels Up which has exercised its option to purchase the next 35 King Air 350i turboprops from its initial order placed in 2013. The additional aircraft will help expand the membership-based private aviation company’s fleet throughout the United States.
DASSAULT FALCON 5X IN THE LIMELIGHT. Falcon 2000LXS, Falcon 7X and Falcon 900LX will be at the show. At the time of writing this, Dassault has already rolled the new Falcon 5X. The company is likely to announce the dates of its maiden flight. Unveiled at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Las Vegas in October 2013, the Falcon 5X will feature the largest cabin cross section and the most advanced flight controls in the industry derived from the pioneering digital flight control system designed for the 7X.
Not just these companies, there are over 2,000 exhibitors who will be presenting their products and solutions to a community which is fast expanding and shows like Le Bourget give enormous fillip to the aviation industry.
IN THE EXECUTIVE JET SEGMENT, EMBRAER HAS AIRCRAFT IN ALL THE CLASSES AND IT DRIVES HOME THE POINT THAT IT CATERS TO ONE AND ALL
Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the tarmac
Embraer will be showcasing mock-up cabin of E2