FARNBOROUGH: Paris Air Show hopes to secure JSF for 2013

Farnborough
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The organiser of next year's Paris air show is harbouring high hopes of securing the services of Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) as the star of the flying display.

Show chief executive Gilles Fournier rates the chances of the JSF and a suitably-qualified pilot being made available at "60-80%".

"If the F-35 is ready, for sure we will have it," says Fournier. "If they are able to have it fly with a test pilot in an air show, I am sure they will come," he adds.

Show debutantes from the civil sector could include China's Comac ARJ21 and Bombardier's CSeries, "which should be ready for the next Paris air show", says Fournier.

Exhibitor bookings are higher than they were at the same point in the run-up to the previous show, says Fournier. He says demand is being partly driven by hot competition for military export orders as western defence budgets are cut and 2013 could see the Russian manufacturers return in force.

"Today it is not confirmed, but we expect to see the [Sukhoi] Su-35," says Fournier.

Paris air show chairman Emeric d'Arcimoles adds: "Le Bourget 2013 should be the comeback of the Russian helicopter industry."

D'Arcimoles says the Paris air show will also be used as a vehicle to attract more aircraft technicians to the industry.

"The air show is a platform to demonstrate to young people that the aerospace industry is a great opportunity for the future," he says.

Visitors to the 2013 show are set to benefit from advanced indoor geolocation technology that the organiser is working on together with US, Canadian and French start-ups. This will combine wi-fi, Bluetooth and ultrasound signals to enable consenting attendees to track each other's location at the show to an accuracy of "6-8m", says Fournier.