Ready for takeoff: a look ahead at the Paris Air Show

June 14, 2019
Intelligent Aerospace and Military & Aerospace Electronics associate editor Jamie Whitney will be on the tarmac to bring you the latest from the 53rd International Paris Air Show.

PARIS - The 53rd International Paris Air Show takes flight Monday, June 17, 2019 and I will be on hand the full week to bring you the latest news from the world's largest event dedicated to aviation and space industry.

While I have done some international travel for my work as a journalist before, the Paris Air Show will no doubt be orders of magnitude larger than anything I've done before. With thousands of exhibitors, hundreds of thousands of people - the Paris Air Show will no doubt be an unforgettable experience. But what's going to be on my horizon?

The Boeing Company appears to have its focus on the military world with only its 787-9 Dreamliner listed as the only commercial passenger plane listed on its roster of aircraft it plans on displaying. Boeing will also have a static display of its Passenger Air Vehicle eVTOL.

Of course, Boeing could make a splash by announcing the 797/New Midsize Airplane (NMA), though the American company has been mum so far on the jet.

Boeing will also be looking to instill confidence in its 737 MAX line, which remains grounded worldwide as regulatory agencies re-certify the troubled passenger aircraft after two deadly crashes in 2018 and 2019. With U.S.-based carriers American and Southwest airlines having announced it will keep its MAX jets grounded into September, Boeing may not have a firm timeline yet to announce when the updated 737s will return to service.

On the military side of things, I'm most looking forward to seeing Boeing's full-size model of its T-X trainer jet.

Airbus will be on hand with a number of commercial and military aircraft, though there is plenty of speculation as to whether the European giant will unveil its single-aisle A321XLR, which will compete with Boeing's NMA. If Airbus uses its home turf to announce the A321XLR, I'm eager to learn the specifications, including engine options.

Airbus says it plans to fly its A350-1000 flagship, A330neo, and A380 during the show.

Rotorcraft will also feature heavily for Airbus, including the H160M, a multi-role helicopter developed for the French armed forces. Dubbed the "Guepard" (Cheetah in French), the H160M is a modular platform intended to play numerous roles in the French military, including anti-ship warfare, air intercept, and commando infiltration across the nation's army, navy, and air forces.

The program is a part of France's Joint Light Helicopter (HIL) effort. The Airbus H160 was selected in 2017 and was initially scheduled to launch in 2022 with delivery of the first units to take place in 2026.

Of course, I'm also interested in the cutting edge technology that goes into sophisticated platforms like the T-X trainer jet, H160M helicopter, and myriad urban air mobility (UAM) flyers being developed. Since the technology was announced, I've been fascinated by 3D printing and 3D printers. I'm looking forward to learning more about how 3D printers are used to make numerous parts for commercial and military aircraft.

Likewise, I'm looking forward to learning more about software solutions for collision avoidance in both military UAS' like Elbit Systems Hermes 45 Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS), which will make its debut at Paris, as well as SkyVision.

With more than 2,000 exhibitors, I quite literally could not write about everything that is new, interesting, and exciting that will be on display at the 53rd International Paris Air Show. However, I do have a full week planned ahead of me and will bring you loads of relevant, interesting stories from the world of aerospace technology, so check back often! In addition, subscribers to the Intelligent Aerospace and Military & Aerospace Electronics e-newsletters will get a daily recap sent right to their inboxes starting on Monday! Subscribe now to get all the latest news from Paris. Au revoir, and see you in the City of Lights! 

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