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The Full Story Of Farnborough Airshow

Aug 17, 2007
The Farnborough International Airshow is a weeklong aviation tradeshow. It features military and civilian aircraft and brings together manufacturers, customers and the public.

There are five exhibit halls and an outdoors static display, with daily demonstration flights. The last two days are open to the general public. In 2004 there were more than 1,300 exhibitors that were seen by 150,000 visitors. The airshow also attracts protests against the arms trade.

History

The Farnborough Airshow traces its origins to the annual RAF Airshow at Hendon between 1920 and 1937. In 1916 the Society of British Aerospace Companies or SBAC was formed. This organization went to the Hendon show to showcase the British aviation industry.

Sixteen companies presented thirty-five aircraft that first year. After a pause for WWII, the show resumed in 1946 at Radlett. The show moved to Farnborough in 1948, which is also where BAE Systems, Britain's premier aviation company is located. In 1962 it changed from a yearly event to biennial.

Over the years it has grown into an international event and the world's largest aerospace trade show and is held every even numbered year, alternating with the Paris Airshow. The 2008 Farnborough International Airshow will also celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of fixed wing flight in the UK, a flight by Samuel Cody, which took off at Farnborough itself.

Aircraft Displays

Each day of the airshow features more than a hundred aircraft on display. There are displays devoted to business aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, spacecraft and of course military aircraft. Air Force and other flying service demonstration teams from around will perform or at least be seen, and with thirty plus countries sending wares, the latest aircraft on the open market will be present to support the billions of dollars worth of deals and agreements that will take place.

Eurofighter Typhoons, V-22 Ospreys, MiG-29 OVT, Airbus A380, Gripen, Apache Longbow and others were present in 2006 and are likely to attend in 2008.

Exhibition

The exhibition features a combination of static displays of aircraft, flights by various aircraft and other aerospace components, such as engines, radars or software. There is a Media Center and conferences that occur during the program.

Eighty-three defense delegations from forty-three nations, and forty civil aerospace delegations from fifteen nations attended the 2006 Farnborough International Airshow, and future events are expected to be of similar size. The size and prestige of the show ensures that anyone in the aerospace market, selling or buying, attends to seek the best deals possible.

At the 2006 show, $42 billion in deals were announced, $5 billion military sales and $37 billion in the civilian aerospace market. 130,000 visitors attended on the open days. There is an Enthusiast's Day, which allows Friends of Farnborough with an interest in aviation to attend on one of the days that are otherwise open only to industry figures. There is also an International Youth Program, designed to encourage youths to pursue careers in the aerospace industry.

Traditionally, the RAF Red Arrows will perform towards the end of the program.
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