UPDATE 15 July 2014 | The Farnborough International Airshow outside London kicked off on Monday 14 July under glorious skies. Airheadsfly.com is present to keep up to date with the latest aviation industry news, like the official announcement – as expected – of the Airbus A330neo. The press conference – the first of many at the show – around the A330neo drew a lot of attention on Monday morning.
Update 15 July 21:49 CET : F-35 now definitely cancelled.
The Lockheed martin F-35 Lightning II was supposed to headline the Farnborough airshow, but a press release stated on Sunday that the 5th generation Lockheed Martin aircraft will not be present at the the start of the airshow, for the same reason it failed to show up during this weekend’s airshow at Fairford. The grounding order for the F-35 was lifted on Tuesday 15 July, and replaced by a ‘limited flight clearance’. Wether that means the F-35 may show up after all at Farnborough, is still shrouded in clouds.
The US however already sent a strong delegation from Boeing, with two Dreamliners present, one which is the new 787-9, which just entered service with launch customer Air New Zealand.
Making its airshow debut was Textron AirLand’s outside-the-box Scorpion Jet, a twin tailed, twin engined and multipurpose light jet aircraft. The jet is a perfect example of a keep-it-simple mentality that seems mostly unheard of n today’s aviation industry. The Scorpion Jet first flew in December 2013, and crossed the Atlantic with no hassle on the way to the UK.
Airbus however took center stage in de flying display with the Airbus A380, A350WXB and A400M tactical airlifter. The flying program at Farnborough also included a unique combined display by Alenia Aermacchi’s M-345 (indeed in Frecce Tricolori colours) and M-346 advanced jet trainer, plus the locally developed T-129 ATAK helicopter from Turkish Aerospace Industries.
But foremost, Farnborough is the place for big business. Airbus noted dozens of orders from BOC Aviation, SMBC Aviation Capital and AerCap for its Airbus A320 family, plus more importantly, 24 orders for the new Airbus A330neo from launch customer Air Lease Corporation, not to mention 60 A321neo orders from the same company. Boeing shook hands with leasing company CIT Group over ten additional 787-9 Dreamliners, next to an earlier order for ten aircraft. Bombardier bagged dozens of potential orders for its CSeries, despite the new aircraft being absent at the show.
Also absent to a large extend where delegations from Russia – the 103-seat Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) being an exception. The crisis over Ukraine caused a stir over UK visas for Russian delegates, following which Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin advised Russian delegates at the airshow to “return home”.
The Farnborough International Airshow closes of with a public airshow on 19 and 20 July. Further news regarding the possible late arrival of the F-35, is expected within a few days, although the chances of it indeed appearing look slim.
© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest