German chancellor Merkel to unveil Berlin air show

June 8th, 2010 - 1:28 pm ICT by IANS  

F-16 By D. Balaji
Berlin, June 8 (IANS) German Chancellor Angela Merkal will unveil the Berlin air show (ILA 2010) in this historic unified capital Tuesday in the presence of Swiss President Doris Leuthard at Berlin-Schonefeld airport’s security zone.

Organised by the German Aerospace Industries Association (GAIA) and Messe Berlin GmbH, the largest biennial international aerospace event is being held in the aftermath of the global meltdown and at a time when some European countries like Greece are still facing an economic crisis.

The six-day trade fair will witness 1,153 exhibitors from 47 countries displaying a wide range of current and future products and services associated with aviation and space technology, as against 1,127 exhibitors from 37 countries in 2008 air show.

About 300 fixed and rotary wing aircraft, including the giant A380 have landed for static and spectacular aerial displays. A separate air traffic control tower has been set up to coordinate and monitor the flying displays.

The 90-minute inaugural show will witness breathtaking flying displays, featuring appearances by veteran test pilots and aerobatic pilots and crews of national, formation and aerobatic teams.

The expo and the static display area spread across 250,000 square metres.

As partner country, Switzerland is also commemorating 100 years of Swiss Aviation and is present with one of the public’s favourites, the Patrouille Suisse, the space pavilion showcasing key space flight technologies.

Exhibitors from Australia, Finland, Mexico, Monaco, Sweden, Singapore, Turkey and Tunisia are representing for the first time.

About 40 percent of the exhibitors are from outside Germany, with the largest European delegations coming from Italy, France, Britain, Poland and Russia.

The US is the largest participant with its global aerospace major Boeing returning to the fair after 12 years.

The latest European combat aircraft — the Eurofighter Typhoon of EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V.) and Gripen of Saab, which are in race for the 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft order of the Indian Air Force (IAF), are demonstrating their air prowess.

Besides Typhoon and Gripen, the US-based Lockheed Martin’s F-16 and Boeing’s F/A-18, Boeing’s F/A-18, French Dassault Rafale and Russian MiG-35 are vying for the IAF order, estimated to be worth $10 billion.

About 100-odd conferences during the event will witness brain-storming sessions on the various segments of the aerospace industry spanning commercial aviation, space flight, defence and security, aero engines and materials and general aviation.

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