Binocular-toting ‘spotters' must have thought Farnborough ‘96 was cancelled when they saw no sign of major activity on the airfield site this summer.
It normally takes at least six months to build the exhibition halls and chalets that make up the show ‘village'.
This year the company in charge of construction put it all together in a little less than five weeks.
De Boer Structures of Banbury, UK won the contract from the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) to supply the temporary structures for Farnborough ‘96 and the next show in 1998.
The contract, worth nearly £3 million ($4.7 million) in 1996 alone, covers the supply of more than 80,000m2 of temporary structures, making it the largest contract of its type in the world.
This is the first time in recent years that the SBAC contract has gone out to tender, a process which was highly competitive and lasted nearly eight months.
The ‘spotters' (amateur aircraft enthusiasts) might like to know that a 20-strong team from De Boer Structures started work on construction in mid-June, erecting a 55,000m2 hall for the trade exhibition which in some areas will be up to 100m wide and 180m long. The clearspan structure is wide enough to house an Airbus A340.
The company has also built 200 business chalets, covering an area of 20,000m2 in a line spanning 650m overlooking the runway. In addition there are 5,000m2 of administrative facilities for the SBAC.
The exhibition halls, more than 21m high at the apex and with no internal supporting pillars, give far greater flexibility and freedom for stand design. For the first time the halls are carpeted throughout.
Peter Taylor, deputy director of the SBAC, says: "This is the largest single contract of the Farnborough event and represents a major step forward for the show and SBAC as we invest in the future.
"We are determined that Farnborough International will provide the best opportunity for promoting international business across all sectors of the aerospace industry well into the 21st century".
Jeremy Perkins of De Boer Structures say: "Although the Farnborough Air Show has the largest area of temporary structure in the world, we only needed five weeks to put everything together.
"I've heard that rumour was rife outside the airfield that Farnborough ‘96 was cancelled until we turned up in June."
Source: Flight Daily News