Last Sunday, July 17, saw the conclusion of the famed Farnborough Air Show (just outside London), the oldest and most important in the world. In practice, days from Monday 11 to Friday 15 July were reserved, as usual, for the Trade Show, involving only sector operators and companies, with continuous encounters, negotiations and the conclusion of agreements worth millions of dollars.
GE Aviation, along with Avio Aero, was a major protagonist, based in a prominent chalet right beside the Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney display areas, where visitors could admire the parked F16 and F18 (equipped with GE engines) Fighters, plus the brand-new Joint Strike Fighter, with PW F135 engines, which for the first ever time demonstrated its abilities in an airshow. The latter event was the highlight of the opening Monday, when the super-modern Fighter model made its airshow debut flight, escorted by the British Red Arrows, and admired by celebrities including the ex-UK Premier David Cameron and the owner of Virgin Atlantic, Richard Branson.
The annual event once again generated a staggering volume of trade agreements: orders for over 120 billion dollars were signed during the week, of which 22 billion dollars concerned aviation engines.
The GE Pavilion was always crowded, especially for the first two days: press conferences and meetings were held both in the dining area on the first floor (whose open terrace offered a splendid view of the planes in parking formation or in flight exhibitions, every day from roughly 1 to 4 p.m.) and inside the Executive Conference Room in the ground floor.
Avio Aero played host to numerous Italian and International guests, including important figures in the institutional panorama, such as the representatives of South Korean sector industry, IOSE and Hanwa Techwin, with whom Riccardo Procacci signed a Memorandum of Understanding which lays the foundations for a future collaboration involving mounted gearbox accessories for the Korean KF-X program. A major high level delegation from the Italian Air Force made a welcome visit, headed by its Commander in Chief General Vecciarelli, plus the Regione Campania’s Director of Productive Activities Amedeo Lepore and the President of CIRA (Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali) Luigi Carrino. We also participated in important panels, such as for example “Invest in Apulia”, organized by the Regione Puglia and aimed at promoting sector manufacturing present in the Region of Puglia.
In other words, Farnborough was an exciting and hyper-active week which as usual allowed us to present our products as an integral part of the GE family – a badge of honor in terms of various specific technologies – but also to meet and deal with various customers and partners in an independent way: our own customers and partners, who for years have counted on our ability and expertise regarding the aviation engines of the future.