Looking Back at the Farnborough Air Show

July 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

Despite rising fuel prices and crashing economies, the Farnborough Air Show in England enjoyed a massive turn-out. There was the usual collection of aircraft manufactures, shareholders, customers and rivals. Members of the general public also made sure that they got to enjoy the show.

The 60th annual Farnborough Air Show proved to be one of the best air shows of the year. All kinds of airplane manufacturers showed up to show off both established and experimental new aircraft, hoping to generate new business and outshine rivals. While much of the action took place on the ground, the flyovers were really what turned heads. The brief appearance of a U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor in flight was one of the many highlights of this year’s show. As its sleek body tore up the air, many people were unaware of the fact that dozens of weapons were neatly tucked inside its body. The aircraft is capable of flying at Mach 1.72 and can cruise at supersonic speeds without needing to fire up its afterburners. The short display with this aircraft was truly impressive.

As usual, the Farnborough Air Show was a battlefield for industry giants Boeing, Airbus, EADS and Northrop Grumman. Boeing’s special environmental display was especially memorable as it looked more like an art display than an aircraft display. Ethereal music complimented the brightly colored, translucent displays that were put on in snow white central exhibition space with a spiraling walkway. They put a lot of emphasis on algae and harvesting this resource as a potential source of jet fuel. They have a point – not only is purposely grown algae clean and cheap, it makes an excellent source of fuel. The emphasis on going green is especially important at the moment with some governments set to impose carbon-emission quotas on aviation soon. Airbus showcased their A380 double-decker jet along similar lines, proudly displaying the fact that the superjumbo was super-efficient. Their billboard featured the outline of the aircraft cut from a green leaf – striking imagery that no doubt got to the point for most people.

Unfortunately, the dazzling flying display did not help the various companies showcased to stand up to some of their greener slogans, since they resulted in the somewhat unnecessary spewing of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and created a noticeable amount of noise pollution. Still, they were very eye-catching and made for great entertainment. They also served as an excellent form of advertisement. All in all it would seem that the Farnborough Air Show was a massive success and it was enjoyed by all. The fact that there was a global trend towards greener flying was also a definite plus factor.

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