09/04/2008 ILA 2008 Berlin
Countdown to the ILA2008 experience begins
High tech premieres, giants of the air and flying legends are heading for Schönefeld - Outstanding flying display for the public at the weekend - Largest-ever area devoted to space flight - "60th anniversary of the Airlift" on open air grounds - Sightseeing flights in a Ju 52
Berlin, 29 April 2008 - The countdown for the International Aerospace Exhibition has begun. The ILA2008 will open its doors on the southern section of Berlin-Schönefeld Airport in just four weeks. From 27 May to 1 June over 1,000 exhibitors from some 40 countries will be presenting aviation and space flight in all its fascinating details. The weekend (30 May - 1 June), when the public are admitted, promises to be a particularly memorable occasion. The main attraction will be a programme of flying displays featuring some of the world's leading aircraft and helicopters, over 300 in all, ranging from ultra-light "hoppers" to the giants of the air, from flying legends to high tech premieres . Experienced test pilots and world aerobatic champions, national flying teams and airborne acrobats will be demonstrating their skills in some breath-taking performances. One of the main attractions for visitors this year will again be the Space Hall, presenting a wide range of German and European activities, products and programmes. However, the ILA can offer plenty of other fascinating experiences, quite apart from glimpses into deep space. For example at the "Meet the Bundeswehr" display visitors can test their flying skills in a Eurofighter simulator. The special show on the open air grounds entitled "60th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift" recalls the largest humanitarian airborne operation of all time. And sightseeing flights in a historic Ju 52 are always popular with visitors.
The organisers of the ILA, the German Aerospace industries Association (BDLI) and Messe Berlin GmbH, issued the following statements at today's press conference in Berlin:
Dietmar Schrick, Chief Executive of the BDLI: "Once again the ILA 2008 set-up, with its wide-ranging display, provides convincing proof of the capabilities of the aerospace industry. This sector continues its successful growth, and with its various events the ILA is in tune with the entire sector." And in the words of Stefan Grave, ILA Project Director for Messe Berlin: "The ILA offers everything to delight and fascinate technically minded visitors. No comparable event provides such an opportunity for a close look at all the fascinating aspects of aviation and space flight. The ILA presents the world's largest number of aircraft and displays the widest range of aircraft both on the ground and in the air."
More 300 aircraft on the ground and in the air
Over 300 aircraft are being shown by exhibitors and in the programme of displays. The commercial and transport aircraft will include some of the giants of the air. Visitors will be particularly interested in the Airbus A380, the largest, most advanced and most environmentally friendly of the world's commercial aircraft, with a typical capacity of more than 550 passengers. Airbus is also exhibiting its A330, one of the largest and most economical of the world's long haul, twin-engined airliners. Examples of the two largest transport aircraft ever to go into mass production, the Antonov An-124 and the C-5 Galaxy from Lockheed Martin, are also expected to make an appearance. The C-17 Globemaster III from Boeing is the same US Air Force transport aircraft which former US President Bill Clinton officially named the "Spirit of Berlin" prior to the ILA 1998 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift. Among the more unusual transport aircraft is the German Bundeswehr's A310 MedEvac, known as the "flying hospital".
As the partner country at the ILA2008, India has announced the largest ever display by its aerospace sector outside its own borders. Among the aircraft which Hindustan Aeronautics is intending to show for the first time in Germany, both on the ground and in the air, are a single-engined jet trainer, the HJT-36 "Sitara", and the "Dhruv" light military and civilian helicopter. One of the main highlights will be an appearance by the "Sarang" helicopter team, flying four Dhruvs.