The Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) closed Sunday after a successful week in which over $38 billion of business was announced together with major new product and programme launches.FIA 2006 was one of the biggest in recent memory with 1480 exhibitors from 35 countries taking part. Some 75 defence delegations from 43 countries attended, along with 40 civil aerospace delegations from 15 countries. Trade show attendance figures during the week are expected to top the 2004 level of 133,000.
Trevor Sidebottom, Managing Director of Farnborough International Limited, the airshow organiser said: “We have had a truly fantastic airshow this year. From the scale of business announced, the high calibre of the visitors attending and the fact that companies are using our airshow to make significant product or partnership announcements, there is no doubt that Farnborough International Airshow is the world’s pre-eminent business to business airshow.”
International aerospace companies used the airshow to announce significant new business worth in excess of US$38 billion. Orders have been announced from across the aerospace spectrum, covering civil and defence products, aero-engines, the supply chain, the MRO sector, training, equipment and services.
New products on display at the airshow included the Airbus A380, the Raytheon ASTOR Sentinel surveillance aircraft, a host of new business jet types and the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. Bell Boeing used Farnborough International Airshow to launch an international sales drive for the aircraft.
The most significant new product launch this week was the new Airbus A350XWB airliner, which by the end of the week had secured its first order. The rotary winged sector was very busy with the X-Hawk Fancraft from Bell Helicopter and Urban Aeronautics of Israel, the new AugustaWestland AW149 multi-role helicopter and two new variants of the Sikorsky Black Hawk being announced.
Raytheon of the USA unveiled its AT-6 Joint Airborne Weapons System - a light attack version of the T6B turboprop trainer, Honeywell launched its Synthetic Vision System for a business jet with the first to be installed next year on the Gulfstream range of aircraft, and Lockheed Martin used the airshow to reveal details of its all-composite long-range high altitude P-175 Polecat UAV.
Several new collaborative ventures were launched at the airshow, among them being Pratt & Whitney’s new strategic alliances for possible powerplants for future medium range twinjets and Bombardier’s partnership agreement with Shenyang Aircraft for the manufacture of Dash 8-400 fuselages. Of great UK significance was the announcement of the Team Complex Weapons strategy by Lord Drayson, Minister of State for Defence Procurement under the auspices of the Defence Industrial Strategy.