Airbus A380 at Farnborough Airshow 2010 Monday, July 20, 2010.
Farnborough International Airshow
The Farnborough International Airshow is a seven-day international trade fair for the aerospace business which is held biennially in Hampshire, England. The airshow is organised by Farnborough International Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of British aerospace industry’s body the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) to demonstrate both civilian and military aircraft to potential customers and investors. It (along with the Paris Air Show) is an important event for the aerospace industry particularly for the announcement of new developments and orders.
There are four indoor exhibition halls and an outdoor aircraft static display. Demonstrations flights and a flying display are held each day of the show. On the last two days the general public are admitted, and some non-commercial items are added to the static and flying displays. Since 1996, the show has had its own official radio station operated by the staff and students of near-by Farnborough College of Technology. In 2004 there were more than 1,300 exhibitors and 150,000 trade visitors.
Initially an annual event, in 1962 the air show changed to its present biennial format. The second change was that it became an international event with exhibitors from all over the world, the exception, until recently, being those countries from behind the Iron Curtain. It is currently held at Farnborough Airfield in mid July in every even numbered year, alternating with the Paris Air Show and is therefore held in the same years as the Berlin Air Show (ILA).
The Farnborough Airshow has its origins in the annual RAF Airshow at Hendon (1920–1937) and was established by the Society of British Aircraft Constructors (SBAC), which had been founded in 1916. The SBAC held a small exhibition at Hendon on 27 June 1932 as the show-piece for the British aircraft industry, at which 35 aircraft were exhibited by 16 companies. With a break for World War II the show recommenced at Radlett (the site of Handley Page’s airfield) in 1946 and was held there until 1948 when the show moved to its present location of Farnborough home of the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Hampshire, approximately 30 miles south west of central London. The headquarters of the UK’s principal aerospace firm, BAE Systems, is also in Farnborough.
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine airliner manufactured by the European corporation Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS. The largest passenger airliner in the world, the A380 made its maiden flight on 27 April 2005 from Toulouse, France, and made its first commercial flight on 25 October 2007 from Singapore to Sydney with Singapore Airlines. The aircraft was known as the Airbus A3XX during much of its development phase, but the nickname Superjumbo has since become associated with it.
The A380’s upper deck extends along the entire length of the fuselage, and its width is equivalent to that of a widebody aircraft. This allows for an A380-800’s cabin with 5,146 square feet (478.1 m2) of floor space; 49% more floor space than the next-largest airliner, the Boeing 747-400 with 3,453 square feet (320.8 m2), and provides seating for 525 people in a typical three-class configuration or up to 853 people in all-economy class configurations. The postponed freighter version, the A380-800F, is offered as one of the largest freight aircraft, with a payload capacity exceeded only by the Antonov An-225. The A380-800 has a design range of 15,200 km (8,200 nmi), sufficient to fly from New York to Hong Kong for example, and a cruising speed of Mach 0.85 (about 900 km/h or 560 mph at cruising altitude).