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g lo Bal p E rsp EC t iv E s | 20 10 Far nb oroug H air SHow
glo Bal p Ersp EC t i v E s | 20 1 0 Fa rnbo roug H a ir S H ow
airshow 2010 in review
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bae SyStemS taraniS ucv
eaDS a-400m military tranSPort
by J e F F r ey braD ForD P H . D.
july 2010 saw the world’s civil and military aerospace industry descend on a small private airfield on the outskirts of london to meet, discuss, deal and show off their latest and greatest innovations.
the aerospace industry has had a rough ride. the economic crash has affected passenger airline traffic and the airlines. the recession also impacted on government spending in the military sector which results less in cancellations and more in delays to programmes, creating greater inefficiencies in production and procurement. legal controversies have also dogged the past year – in the military sphere the fight between airbus (eaDS) and boeing spilled out into the future aerial fueling tanker programme for the uS air Force (a requirement
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for near 180 aircraft and a price tag of some $35 billion over a twenty year period). in the epic struggle for supremacy between airbus and boeing, the former was cited by the world trade organisation (wto) for receiving subsidies, next the latter was also. Stalemate for this round perhaps. in the civil airline world the airbus a-380 suffered its first in-service challenge following an engine failure aboard a qantas aircraft. boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, present at Farnborough, though still in testing, also had a scare following a fire requiring a control panel replacement. For the defence world the largest production program remains the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) or F-35 lightning ii which is to replace current aircraft including the F-18 Hornet, a-10 thunderbolt, F-16 Falcon and the av-8b Harrier Jump Jet (used also by the royal navy and royal air Force until the recent decision to scrap them as part of the SDSr review). the program led by uS contractor lockheed martin was estimated this past
June as costing $380 billion and having a production run of some 2,400 aircraft over a twenty-five year period. JSF has been prioritized as part of a procurement review which has highlighted cost-overruns and the project officer was replaced. Farnborough saw the first visit of the boeing Dreamliner 787 whilst still in development. the aircraft is very impressive although not especially distinctive to the casual observer. interviewing the flight crew one of the big improvements from their perspective was the most intangible – air quality – on long trips in this superb aircraft the negative effects of the flight time on travelers should be reduced. the flight deck is high-tech with a Heads-up-display and a real twenty-First century look and feel. in terms of the airbus versus boeing battle for order numbers the first day could be seen as a victory for boeing who won orders worth some $13bn, with orders from emirates airline for 30 boeing 777-300ers worth $9.1bn, an order for 15 737-800s value around
$1.15bn from norwegian air Shuttle, and finally leasing company gecaS, which ordered $3bn worth of 737-800s. airbus, too, benefited from gecaS’s patronage – with a $4.9bn order for 60 a320 family airliners. Steven udvar-Hazy’ air lease corp also ordered a320s, with a $4.4bn order for 51 of the type. Finally aeroflot ordered 11 a330-300 from airbus at a list price of $2.3bn. challenger to the vietnam-era c-130 Hercules transport aircraft, the airbus a-400m flew at the show. the program has suffered numerable delays, an earlier Farnborough airshow twenty years earlier in 1990 saw a full-scale mock-up made of wood present. clearly this program is moving closer to fruition, though struggling national defence budgets in europe may introduce further delays yet. a sign of the rapid maturity of the unmanned aerial vehicle (uav) sector was reflected in these aircraft being fully integrated into the pavilions and pitches of the
major industrial players. british company bae Systems briefed extensively on their ‘taranis’ program named after a celtic god. the program to created an unmanned combat vehicle offers the company a niche advantage and opportunity to retain the hightech skill base to design and manufacture entire combat aircraft systems. italian defence combine Finmeccanica was present in a major way at Farnborough 2010 with an impressive pavilion, array of capabilities and engagement of senior management figures such as executive chairman of Selex Systems integration and former Deputy chief executive of the Defence Procurement agency David gould. Finmeccanica emphasizes a blend of military, para-military and law enforcement related technologies which will have increasing appeal to the changing defence environment and greater definition of the role of ‘homeland security’. looking back and comparing 2010 with older Farnborough events the industry would probably feel in good shape. the 1990 air-
show saw many aircraft missing with name plates indicating that they were deployed in the middle east ahead of the 1991 gulf conflict with iraq over the iraqi annexation of kuwait. the post cold-war defence cuts were yet to bite and yet, despite substantial engagement in international conflicts 2010 saw no such similar cancellations. all-in-all the Farnborough airshow demonstrated its continued place in the international aerospace industry with significant industry and political representation. the airshow still remains the number one industry venue for unveiling new aircraft outside of the united States such as the boeing 787 Dreamliner. During the show some uS$47 billion worth of orders were announced. the event featured 152 aircraft in static and flying displays and the public weekend attracted over 100,000 visitors. the next Farnborough international airshow will take place 9-15 July 2012. For more information see www.farnborough.com
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