Every other July, the aviation world convenes upon the small town of Farnborough in southern England for the Farnborough Airshow.
The biennial event, which kicked off July 14, is one of the industry’s biggest sales and technology showcases. The Farnborough Airshow, which the Wall Street Journal describes as “part arms bazaar, part industrial petting zoo,” is expected to be the setting for a flurry of commercial and military aviation wheeling and dealing.
According to Businessweek, the 2012 show netted $US53 billion in sales. And the deals should continue to roll in: aircraft engine maker GE Aviation says it expects to take $US30 billion in orders this week.
Sales aside, Farnborough is also the perfect opportunity for the world’s aircraft manufacturers, air forces, and airlines to see and be seen. Everything from the fighter jets and airliners of the future to retired war birds from the Cold War will make an appearance this week.
Nearly a decade after its first flight, the Airbus A380 is still a crowd pleaser. This sheer magnitude of the Superjumbo is simply awe-inspiring, despite the fact it looks bit like a giant flying salmon.
In addition to the A380, the all-new Airbus A350XWB continues its sales tour as it tries to battle back from the devastating cancelation of Emirates' $US16 billion order.
The A350XWB will be keen to impress potential buyers with its state-of-the-art construction, engines, and avionics.
But Boeing won't let rival Airbus hog the limelight. The American aviation titan is showing off its latest Dreamliner, the 787-9.
The first production model of the longer 787-9 Dreamliner entered service this month with Air New Zealand (seen here parked at the airline's base in Auckland).
Even though the exhaust cover may say 'remove before flight,' this F-35 will never fly because it's simply a static display model. The F-35 fleet, which was expected to fly at the show, has been grounded due to technical glitches.
Lockheed's jet may not be flying, but Boeing's is. The Boeing/McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Super Hornet will demonstrate its outstanding manoeuvrability and mission versatility to the public.
Another frontline fighter expect to make an appearance is the Eurofighter Typhoon. The Typhoon, a 4th generation fighter, is the mainline weapon for the Royal Air Force and the Luftwaffe, as well as the Spanish and Italian Air Forces.
The Boeing/McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle, seen here deployed in Afghanistan, is also expected to make flying demonstrations for the public. The Strike Eagle, which first debuted more than 20 years ago in the first Gulf War, is still one of the most lethal ground attack aircraft in the skies.
The muscle behind the Strike Eagle is a pair of massive Pratt & Whitney PW100 afterburning turbofans that can propel the jet to a top of speed of more that 2.5 times the speed of sound.
The British Aerospace/McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II+ is one of the most unique aircraft in history. Seen here deployed in Afghanistan, the veteran British American 'jump jet' is expected to show off its vertical landing and takeoff abilities for the crowd.
The Boeing P-8 Poseidon may look like a run-of-the-mill airliner, but it's actually one of the U.S. Navy's most advanced and deadly attack aircraft. The P-8, which will replace the ageing P-3 Orions, will take on the role as the U.S. military's premier submarine hunter. Its advanced electronics also make it perfect for search and rescue missions. The plane seen here preparing to search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
The Airbus A400M represents the latest in military transport design. Featuring advanced avionics and powerful turboprop engines, Airbus hopes the A400M will become a viable replacement for the ageing Lockheed C-130 Hercules.
The Avro Vulcan is one most memorable and decorated military aircraft of the Cold War. The most famous of the Royal Air Force's V-class bombers, the Vulcan was a star performer in the Falklands War and the 1965 James Bond flick, 'Thunderball.'
50 years after its first flight, the last remaining Vulcan, XH558, still cuts a graceful and futuristic silhouette through the air (seen here at the 2008 Farnborough Airshow).
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