Lift-off and landings at Farnborough

Ellie Zolfagharifard

Senior reporter

This week is set to be dominated by the Farnborough International Airshow, with anyone who is anyone in the aviation industry descending upon the Hampshire town.

Proceedings kicked off yesterday when Boeing’s flagship plane, the 787 Dreamliner, touched down in Farnborough ahead of the show opening.

The company hails the plane as the future of air travel, with improved passenger comfort and an estimated 20 per cent reduction in fuel compared to similar sized airplanes.

But the landing follows two years of delays to the 787 programme, and competitor Airbus is keen to gain its share of attention at the show with demonstrations of its two flagships, the A380 and the A400M.

Airbus’ A400M will be opening the flying display at 1.30pm today. This will be followed by the super jumbo A380 which Airbus’ engineering chief, Charles Champion, describes as ‘somewhere between the A320 and the Concorde’ in terms of innovation.

Also at the show, business secretary Vince Cable, science minister David Willetts and secretary for defence Liam Fox, will be speaking at a conference programme about the current state and future of the UK aviation industry.

Friday will be dedicated to Futures Day, aimed at inspiring young people to think about a career in aerospace, defence and security with engineers from the Bloodhound supersonic car project on hand to talk about their plans to break the current land speed record. Futures Day may be buoyed somewhat with figures released last week by ADS that suggest the number of young people studying industry-related subjects rose by six per cent in 2009.

Shaun Ormrod, chief executive of Farnborough International said: ‘The technology we have on show in 2010 and the calibre of the flying displays will ensure the Farnborough International Airshow and the UK maintains its position as the key hub in the global aviation market.’

Look out for The Engineer’s reporters who will be bringing you the latest news direct from Farnborough, as well as exclusive interviews with the Bloodhound team, Astrium executives and Boeing’s Dreamliner engineers.


The Boeing 787 Dreamliner