Simply driving onto the Farnborough airfield show ground is enough to start my feelings of anticipation grow as I drive to a pre-Farnborough Air Show 2012 press briefing.
I love Farnborough, always have since my first visit as a kid in 1974 (the Blackbird was there – now that was cool). Some of my friends in the media hate Farnborough (or Paris, take your pick), but I’ve always loved the intensity of these industry fanfares.
For those of us who have visited Farnborough countless times over the years it is a familiar place. There are the classic chalet rows, which have been virtually unchanged for decades. The four main halls scale the steps that lead up from static aircraft parking area.
The organisers of Farnborough, with chief executive Shaun Ormrod to the fore, are doing their best to keep the show relevant and customer friendly. There are lots of special features, like the Aviation Security Zone (sponsored by Flightglobal partner FLIR Systems), an Innovations Zone, a Futures Day and a Space Zone.
Ormrod tells the press corps that “2012 is looking like it’s going to be a really great show”. Here’s why:
* 98% of the chalet space is sold (only 2 units left)
* 100% of the halls are sold and there is a waiting list
* The aircraft static park is full and there is a waiting list.
For now the flying display is OK but not overwhelming (the Red Arrows will be there of course).
Russia’s Yakovlev Yak-130 trainer is coming, which is nice but not exactly earth-shattering news. No word on whether Boeing’s 787 or 747-8 will be either flying, flying past or on static. Boeing promises news on its presence shortly.
The coolest new arrival is ground-based – for the time being. After much persuasion from the Farnborough team, Virgin Galactic has agreed to bring its SpaceShipTwo mock-up to the show.
This will be the first time Virgin Galactic has shown SS2 in Europe. Now that is cool.
The press briefing is over and the countdown clock to Farnborough 2012 is ticking.
Flightglobal will be there covering the show via our fantastic show landing page, our mobile app, interactive Flight Daily News, the Flight Daily News paper and much more!
Don’t forget our Live Streaming of the air display – which will be found via Flightglobal.com.
Bring on the show!