FARNBOROUGH, England, 15 July 2012. The 2012 Farnborough International Airshow comes to an official end today with deals completed for about 800 aircraft worth $72 billion, which is up substantially from the Farnborough show two years ago when airplane manufacturers inked deals worth a collective $47 billion for about 835 aircraft.
The Farnborough 2012 total, however, falls short of last summer's Paris Air Show when airplane makers made deals for about 1,336 aircraft.
The biggest story at Farnborough this year involved the continuing rivalry of passenger jet manufacturers Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle and Airbus in Toulouse, France. Boeing sold 427 aircraft, compared with Airbus, which sold 123.
It was a turnaround from the Paris Air Show last year when Airbus took orders for about 910 aircraft worth $88 billion while Boeing announced orders for 141 totaling $22 billion. Farnborough and Paris, which stage on alternating years, are the largest air shows in Europe.
Orders and commitments announced at Farnborough this year totaled an official 758 aircraft, according to show organizers. The figures represent a 53 percent increase on the 2010 show and close to the 2008 figure when sales peaked at $88 billion.
The Military & Aerospace Electronics unofficial count for Farnborough 2012 stands at 800, which includes 500 firm orders and 300 options and conditional deals. Boeing and Airbus are locked in competition for the future fuel-efficient single-aisle jetliner market with Boeing's 737 MAX and the Airbus A320neo.
Boeing's biggest day at Farnborough this past week came Thursday on the last business day of the show when the company announced a 150-plane deal to airline giant United Airlines, involving 100 next-generation 737 MAX 9 narrow-body aircraft as well as 737-900ER long-range narrow-bodies.
Organizers say the show attracted more than 107,000 trade visitors and more than 1500 exhibitors Monday through Friday, including more than 70 military delegations from 46 countries with a further 13 delegations from the civil sector.
More than 140 aircraft took part in the static and flying displays, including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner which flew on the first three days of the show -- and the Airbus A380 in attendance for all seven days of the show. Flying display highlights included the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, a Saab Gripen fighter, and the Korean T50 jet trainer.
The trade show portion of Farnborough involved far more than just the Boeing-Airbus rivalry. Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. sold 100 of its Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) aircraft, while Canadian manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace sold 52 of the company's Q400 NextGen, CRJ, and CSeries aircraft.
Helicopters also represented Farnborough highlight with AgustaWestland booking deals for 70 light- and medium-lift helicopters, and announcing a deal with Russian helicopter manufacturer Russian Helicopters to develop a light helicopter together.
Brazilian manufacturer Embraer and French manufacturer ATR sales of 13 aircraft apiece, while U.S. manufacturer Hawker-Beechcraft Corp. in Wichita, Kan., got in on the action by selling one King Air turboprop to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Hawker Beechcraft also tested the waters for the international market for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft by displaying the company's Baron G58 ISR turboprop.
Other aircraft manufacturers present at Farnborough, including Dassault Falcon, Sukhoi, and United Aircraft Corp. (UAC) of Russia made no aircraft sales announcements at Farnborough.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) also got in on the sales action at Farnborough last week as AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Hunt Valley, Md., won a contract to upgrade and support a fleet of 45 RQ-7B Shadow tactical UAVs for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps under terms of a $358 million contract announced Monday, while small UAV specialist Insitu Pacific in Queensland, Australia, won contracts to supply ScanEagle small UAVs to Japan and Singapore.
For more information contact the Farnborough International Airshow online at www.farnborough.com. Also read complete Military & Aerospace Electronics and Avionics Intelligence Farnborough show coverage online at www.militaryaerospace.com/farnborough-report.