AIR International – June 2018

(Jacob Rumans) #1

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AIR International visited the
Internationale Luft- und
Raumfahrtausstellung (ILA
or International Aerospace
Exhibition), perhaps better
known as the Berlin Air Show,
organised by the Bundesverband
der Deutschen Luft- und
Raumfahrtindustrie (German
Aerospace Industries Association)
and Messe Berlin GmbH between
April 25 and 29.
Berlin’s ILA is one of Europe’s
big three aerospace exhibitions,
alongside Farnborough and Paris.
A dedicated exhibition area, Berlin
ExpoCenter Airport, erected for
the show in 2012 is situated in a
corner of the newly built Berlin
Brandenburg Airport that adjoins
Berlin Schönefeld Airport, formerly
East Germany’s only Berlin airport.
Home to the airline Eurowings and
a major hub for low cost carrier

Ryanair, the fi eld saw 12.9 million
passengers pass through its gates in

  1. However, the show site is far
    enough away from the international
    airport that fl ying displays using the
    show’s active runway as the datum
    point are little a ected by aircraft
    movements from Schönefeld.
    Like its rivals in the UK and France,
    the show is divided into trade
    and public days and this year the
    fi rst three were dedicated as the
    non-public days, with the weekend
    having a much-enlarged fl ying
    display, including an eclectic mix of
    military, civil, modern and vintage
    aircraft from around the world.

Innovative displays
There were two massive aircraft
dominating the extensive static
display area. As well as the Airbus
A380, the 100th of the type to
be delivered to Emirates Airlines,

there was the even bigger Antonov
An-225 Mriya (Dream). The sole
example of this rarely seen six-
engine, twin-tail behemoth (its
maximum take-o weight of 640
tonnes [710 short tons] makes it
the heaviest aircraft ever built)
was exhibited by the Antonov
State Company (ASC) subsidiary
Antonov Airlines.
Antonov displayed its aircraft
because Russia’s Volga-Dnepr
airline, operator of An-
heavy lifters, will cease to
support NATO’s Strategic Airlift
International Solution programme
in January 2019. When the
carrier announced its decision
to withdraw its support for
the programme in April 2018,
it gave restructuring within its
organisation as the reason, but it
is widely believed that the move
was a response by the Kremlin to

worldwide sanctions on Russia.
The Ukrainian Antonov Airlines,
which specialises in the transport
of outsized cargo worldwide,
seems to be a perfect fi t to replace
the Russian carrier with its fl eet of
fi ve 120-tonne payload An-124-
100Ms, two 150-tonne payload
An-124-100s, a 60-tonne payload
An-22 and the unique 250-tonne
payload An-225.
Unusually for an air show, an
example of the Airbus Beluga
used by the company to carry
components around Europe
was on display. The type would
not seem to fi t in the business
model of either of the two other
European trade shows, not being
available for purchase, but fi ts
right in at Berlin, demonstrating
European manufacturers’
imaginative use of technology to
solve logistics problems.

Berlin 2018

Jerry Gunner reports from the Berlin
ExpoCenter Airport, venue of this
year’s ILA air show

The largest aeroplane in the world, the unique Antonov An-225 seen here on departure, dominated the static display.
Timm Ziegenthaler

Two Kawasaki P-1s deployed to ILA via a two-day visit to Germany’s
Nordholz Naval Air Station. Timm Ziegenthaler

Airbus showcased the unique A340-400 F-WWAI, its Flight Lab for the BLADE
programme. Airbus
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