Farnborough International Air Show balances industry showcases with family-friendly flying displays.

Airshow organisers look to the future

Aviation security will have its own dedicated zone at this summer’s Farnborough International Airshow.

Security is also the topic for an hour-long mini-conference during the show – one of four organised by trade body ADS, the others being aerospace, space and future defence technologies.

There are few details yet of the civil aircraft likely to make an appearance, but a number of military planes are expected to display during the trade week. The Boeing F/A18 Super Hornet and the US Marine Corps V-22 Osprey are scheduled to appear. Other aircraft attending include the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon and C-130J Super Hercules, the Saab Gripen Fighter and the Yak 130.

During the weekend, military greats from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Avro Vulcan XH558 will also be flying, as well as several aerobatic teams.

Looking to the future, a star attraction on the ground will be a full-size mock-up of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic spaceliner, making its first appearance in Europe.

Future technology will also be the theme of a new Innovation Zone, which is expected to be particularly popular with younger visitors. It will host a variety of interactive exhibits and demonstrations that could feature in the aircraft of the future. A number of universities will be featured here, and will be hoping to attract new students to their engineering departments.

FIA 2012 will run from 9 to 15 July, but show organiser Farnborough International Ltd (FIL) recognises that the event has two distinct markets: the industry insiders who tour the halls and chalets during the trade days and the airshow enthusiasts who bring their families along at the weekend for the flying displays.

Because of that division, the indoor exhibition halls this year will close at the end of the trade week, except for catering facilities and the popular Space Zone, saving exhibitors the cost of staffing their stands at the weekend.

A limited number of public tickets will be available on the Friday for people who – perhaps because of past connections with the industry – like to visit the trade stands.

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