The A400M is the cover star of the next Flight International (1-7 June), our special preview issue for ILA, the Berlin air show which begins on 7 June. Craig Hoyle has written an update on the military airlifter, which makes its public debut at ILA. It was meant to have appeared two years ago, but the programme stalled.
The fact that Germany is the A400M's biggest customer, accounting for a third of its 180-strong orderbook, means the show will give Airbus Military a huge opportunity to reverse some of the negative publicity surrounding the delays and the government bail out for the programme (which is likely to mean Germany and other countries trimming their orders).
Craig has also written about a very successful Airbus-led European cooperation programme, the NH90 helicopter, following a visit to see it in action in Finland.
We also have articles on German engine maker MTU, clustering in Hamburg, how Lufthansa Technik helped to get the A380 to ILA on time and the revival by Swiss champion Ruag of the Dornier 228.
Meanwhile, look out for a key decision on Monday over the future of ILA. The show has been held at Berlin Schoenefeld airport since 1992 (it was previously in Hanover) partly as a factor of German reunification. The rather ramshackle airport was the old East Berlin gateway and it was politically important to establish that half of the city as a new spiritual home for German aerospace.
But now Schoenefeld is being built over by the shiny new Berlin-Brandenburg International airport and the show's organisers need a new site in time for 2012. The original plan was for a new facility to be established beside the new airport, but progress on this has slowed. Now BDLI is considering Leipzig as an alternative venue, with a decision due to be taken on Monday 31 May.
Whatever the choice, BDLI admits that it faces a "very tight schedule" and "big time pressure". As anyone who has ever been involved with an air show knows, they take months to set up and sometimes years to market. Exhibitors want certainty before they commit, and show organisers and convention centre landlords are reluctant to take risks too until a critical mass of revenue and floorspace is banked. It could make for an interesting two years for Europe's "third" air show.