Airbus will present its extensive product portfolio and a number of innovations at the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from 25 to 29 April, and will once again be the largest single exhibitor. This year’s ILA partner country is France.
In the commercial aircraft segment, Airbus aircraft on display will be an Emirates Airline A380 and the A350-900 MSN 2. This A350 played a major role in the flight testing of the world’s most modern long-haul aircraft. More than 150 A350 XWBs are already in service around the world, including at Lufthansa, which has its home base for this aircraft type in Munich. Both the A380 and A350 XWB show the close cooperation between Germany and France within Airbus. The development, large-scale component manufacturing such as the fuselage, cockpit or vertical stabiliser, as well as final assembly and delivery activities for these aircraft are carried out at sites including Hamburg, Toulouse, Stade, Bremen, St. Nazaire and Nantes.
A special attraction at Airbus this year will be the A340 BLADE (Breakthrough Laminar Aircraft Demonstrator in Europe). The wings of this test aircraft were modified to analyse new aerodynamic concepts for laminar flow as part of the European research project Clean Sky.
In addition to the Eurofighter, Airbus Defence and Space will exhibit the C295 military transport aircraft and several Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems. For the first time ever, visitors to ILA will have the opportunity to view a 1:1 model of the future European UAV system MALE RPAS (Medium Altitude, Long Endurance; Remotely Piloted Aircraft System). An interactive presentation will provide information on Airbus’ designs for future European combat aircraft systems. Furthermore, a live demonstration will be given of the Heron UAV, which is used by the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr). The successor model, the Heron TP UAV, can also be visited in the outdoor exhibition area.
Airbus Aerial, the commercial UAV start-up, will also be at ILA to present its data acquisition and processing solutions. It operates image processing services that bring together UAVs, satellite imagery and software solutions to enable more in-depth analyses for commercial customers. Airbus Aerial will be exhibiting the Zephyr UAV: Zephyr is a very light, unmanned aerial vehicle powered by electricity generated from its own solar cells. Thanks to its sensors and transmission equipment, Zephyr offers short delay times for radio transmissions and high resolutions for image recordings while operating at an altitude of 20 km. The Zephyr can remain over an observation area for more than 30 days without the need for stopovers, thereby opening up unprecedented possibilities for long-term monitoring or as a flying radio relay station for long-term transmissions.
Furthermore, Airbus will present its diverse space activities in the Space Pavilion. Under the banner ‘Space for Earth’, Airbus – together with the European Space Agency (ESA), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), the German Aerospace Research Centre (DLR) and the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI) – will be presenting the latest space missions and new technologies. They will discuss how Earth observation satellites, such as TerraSAR-X and Merlin, help improve the quality of life on Earth and how they make essential contributions to environmental and climate protection. Scientific space research (such as the BepiColombo mission to Mercury and the ExoMars probe and rover) collects information that can be used to learn more about our solar system. Information will also be provided on the experiments planned for this year’s ‘Horizons’ mission, which will see German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst return to the ISS. One example is CIMON, an assistant for astronauts that has been developed by Airbus.
The ILA Space Day on 25 April will include lectures and discussions and focus on key questions of space flight for the coming years. Among other areas, Airbus aerospace experts will discuss safety in space, the future of space exploration and Europe’s independent access to space using the new Ariane 6 launcher.
Airbus Helicopters will have a significant presence at ILA ranging from successful military products to its next-generation rotorcraft. The state-of-the-art, multirole twin-engine helicopter H145M will be one of the show’s highlights on the static and flying display. The H145M is the military version of the tried-and-tested, light twin-engine H145 civil helicopter. With a maximum take-off weight of 3.7 tonnes, the agile H145M can be used for a wide range of tasks, including transport, supply, surveillance, air rescue, armed reconnaissance and medical evacuation. In 2017, Airbus Helicopters delivered the 15th and final H145M multi-role helicopter to the Bundeswehr’s Special Forces after having completed the entire programme within the specified time schedule and budget.
At the Future Lab, Airbus Helicopters will display a model of its highly innovative aerial taxi CityAirbus. CityAirbus is a multi-passenger, self-piloted battery-powered vertical take-off and landing vehicle designed for urban air mobility. It is designed to carry up to four passengers over congested megacities in a fast, affordable and environmentally friendly way. The first flight is scheduled for December 2018. A model of the high-speed helicopter RACER can be seen at the booth of the European Clean Sky Programme. The RACER demonstrator will be built around a simple architecture, ensuring safety and cost-efficiency. An innovative ‘box-wing’ design, optimised for aerodynamic efficiency, will provide lift in cruise mode while isolating passengers during ground operations from the ‘pusher’ lateral rotors designed to generate thrust in forward flight.
Other exhibits include a full scale mock-up of the brand new H160 presented for the first time ever at ILA, with an example of an EMS cabin interior, a model of the unmanned surveillance rotorcraft VSR700 and an H135, the smallest member of Airbus Helicopters’ twin engine family.
Missile house MBDA, in which Airbus holds a 37.5 percent stake, will team up with Lockheed Martin to present the progress made in the development of the Tactical Air Defence System (TADS). The system comprises three vehicles with a command post, a launcher for the high-performance PAC 3 MSE guided missile and the IRIS-T SL launcher. MBDA will also display a modular system concept for short-range and very short-range defence against threats from the air. For the first time, this includes a new laser system that can be used on land and at sea. One of the most important tools in the area of battlefield engagement is the Enforcer. This is a precise, light-weight and cost-effective small missile for use by the infantry and Special Forces. MBDA will demonstrate the use of the Enforcer in virtual reality at its booth, and will also present the Meteor, Brimstone and Taurus guided missiles for arming aircraft as well as the new Franco-German European Modular Missile (EMM) guided missiles for arming helicopters.
Airbus subsidiary Premium AEROTEC will exhibit a full scale demonstrator of a rear pressure bulkhead for an aircraft of the A320 Family. The component is made from eight similar pieces which are connected to each other by the latest welding technology. Premium AEROTEC thereby proves its unique capability to develop and produce large aircraft components from thermoplastic materials. The company is a pioneer in taking thermoplastic CFC beyond today’s application within the aircraft fuselage. The company is the first aviation supplier that was able to introduce 3D-printed titanium components into the structure of aircraft. Premium AEROTEC has full capability throughout the entire process chain, from product concept, development and the actual printing process through to the downstream process steps and right up until the qualified parts are handed over to the client.
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