The "Complet" sign is up on the Paris International Air Show - with more than 1,700 exhibitors from 43 countries, the 42nd edition of this venerable exposition is sold out.

Organisers are expecting about 300,000 visitors over the eight days of the show at Le Bourget.

They will be visiting more than 400 chalets and working their way through exhibitions covering more 48,350m2 of indoor exhibition space in five halls and 26,873m2 of static aircraft display



The biennial show is expected to yield FFr200 million (US$ 33 million) in profit and bring altogether US$160 million to the Paris area through hotels, catering, transport and Paris nightlife.

The US makes a comeback in a big way, accounting for more than half of all foreign participation. In fact, US participation is up by 25% with more than 12,000m2 of floor space.

In addition to the US companies exhibiting individually, two large groups are present - the US National Pavilion in Hall 1 and the US International Pavilion in Hall 3. Hall 7, the old round hall which used to house the US Pavilion sponsored by the US Department of Commerce, was demolished in 1996.



The British display area has grown by 15% to 3,600m2 and the Chinese have doubled their floor space.

The show is hosting for the first time national pavilions from Brazil and Moldova, reputed as the "Silicon Valley" of Eastern Europe.

The Australians, absent in 1995, are back in force. Exhibitors from New Zealand are also sharing their pavilion.

There is also first-time participation of exhibitors from Lithuania, Thailand and South Korea.

Russian aeronautics and space companies have a significant presence at Le Bourget occupying more than 2,200m2 compared with 1,500m2 in 1995). Most of them are located within the Russian pavilion in Hall 5.

The centrepiece of the Russian exhibits is module for the international space station. The exterior wall of the exhibition hall had to be dismantled to accommodate the element.

The Functional Energy Block is the first module of the ISS.

It serves as a basis for the future docking of US and Russian segments of the ISS and is meant to operate with the station over a long period providing an additional habitat and an inherent part of the station's data processing and power capabilities.

At least 200 aircraft will be on show in the static display area, including several prototypes or aircraft making their first appearance at Le Bourget.

Particularly notable are the Brazilian EMB-145 regional jet, Bombardier Global Express, the four-nation NH Industries NH90 helicopter, the civil version of the Bell Boeing 609 (mock-up), the Boeing 737-700, Cessna Citation Bravo and Excel, the Gulfstream V, the Italian Agusta A119 Koala, the Saab 2000, Socata TBM200, Khrunichev single-engine T411 AIST, MAPO MiG MiG-AT, the Sukhoi Su-37, and the Ilyushin IL-76MF.


Source: Flight Daily News