Focused on Innovation, the Oldest Air Show Repaints Aerial Commute

From captivating displays staged on the ground as well as in the sky to transporting futuristic experiences, 53rd edition of the Paris Air Show wraps up with strong imprints

Issue: 7 / 2019By Ayushee ChaudharyPhoto(s): By ParisAirshow.tv, Dassault Aviation
Dassault unveiled its new-generation fighter at the Paris Air Show 2019. Seen here is Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation with the mock up.

After much anticipation and buzz, the longest-running air show successfully completed its 53rd edition leaving much to reminisce. Started in 1909, the Paris Air Show has continued to be the largest trade show through decades and hence the most anticipated. The biennial air show was held this year from June 17 to June 23 at Le Bourget Parc des Expositions that has been its venue since 1953. Despite being the oldest, the Paris Air Show carries novelty at its heart so much so that this recently wrapped edition was outlined with ‘innovation’ as the main theme.

Paris Air Show has grown to be a hub for major developments in the global aerospace market. Having the first four days reserved for trade visitors and the rest three open to the general public with the fifth one dedicated to students, the air show attracts traders as well as general public alike. Inaugurated by the French President, Emmanuel Macron on June 17, this year, the air show hosted 2,453 exhibitors from 49 countries, 150 start-ups from 21 countries and 1,76,630 general public visitors.

From important discussions over cyber security to making way for the next generation of professionals through the careers plane (a space dedicated to employment and training); from showcasing the established aerospace players to the future of air mobility, from captivating static display to thrilling flying displays, the Paris Air Show had it all.

Accompanying young and old, was the show’s mascot, Aleo who welcomed everyone ensuring they discover the history of aeronautics and space with all fun and simplicity.

A VISUAL RETREAT

Several interesting displays, both static and aerial as under and demonstrations on the military side as well as commercial aircraft, adorned the 53rd edition of the Paris Air Show.

  • The precision aerobatic demonstration unit of the French Air Force, the Patrouille Acrobatique de France, has continued to be a highlight and the main attraction of the Paris Air Show as they go around painting the sky blue, white and red through their multiple aerial stunts and formations.
  • Performance by a Dassault Rafale fighter jet during the aerobatic display, was another favourite with many other commercial and military aircraft of the likes of Airbus A350 garnishing the sky at Le Bourget.
  • The first public appearance was made by Elbit Systems’ Hermes 45 Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) at the company’s static display area.
  • Some of the other attractive aircraft displayed were Mitsubishi SpaceJet which was unveiled after being rebranded from the MRJ.
  • Indian Airline SpiceJet also displayed one of its new generation versions of the Bombardier Q400.
  • Bombardier’s Global 7500 jet was also among the business jets on display at the air show.
  • The e-commerce giant, Amazon also displayed its cargo aircraft stating ‘Prime Air’. Amazon has five Boeing 737-800BCF on lease.
  • AirAsia debuted at the air show with its first Airbus A330-900neo.

TRANSPORTING INTO A WORLD OF VIRTUAL REALITY

Placed in the Concorde Hall of the Air and Space Museum at Le Bourget, the future-focused exhibition under the name of ‘Paris Air Lab’, returned to the Paris Air Show after its successful debut in 2017. Committed to innovations, this Air Lab ensured to be a gateway into the future, taking the visitors on an extraordinary journey to discover tomorrow’s challenges namely climate change, artificial intelligence and future of mobility. Through several spaces dedicated to innovation, this exhibition space offered visitors some interesting and innovative first-hand, near-life experiences. Through animations and Virtual Reality (VR), Paris Air Lab allowed the visitors to live some of the major futuristic aerospace adventures. Visitors had the opportunity to capture themselves in zero gravity at the CNES exhibition stand, take a walk in space (virtually), experience some ‘space cooking’ and even be a part of the space-themed ‘escape game’ and accomplish the mission making way through the clues.

Paris Air Show also organised a ‘rocketry challenge’ for the young aviation enthusiasts in the age group of 12 to 18 years. The challenge that took place in the centre of the show involved sending up of three raw eggs in a rocket that must remain unbroken on landing. The final round of the international competition this year was seen between four teams each from France, the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan. The British team came out as winners.

PAS also organised a ‘rocketry challenge’ for the young aviation enthusiasts in the age group of 12-18 years. The challenge that took place in the center of the show involved sending up of three raw eggs in a rocket that must remain unbroken on landing.

Among other highlights on supersonic developments, electrifying flying, sustainable and innovationdriven industry, major attention fell on the arrival of the US Air Force’s new military derivative aircraft, the Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aerial tanker based on the popular Boeing 767 passenger aircraft that made its debut at the 2019 Paris Air Show.

The 53rd edition also celebrated music on the show for the first time. On the occasion of the celebration of music in France, on June 21, as many as eight groups punctuated the visitors’ arrival with classical music, jazz, rock and Brazilian music creating a real moment of relaxation and conviviality leaving everyone under a tranced ambiance.