Berlin, 1 February 2018 - Flying taxis, zero emission aircraft, 3D-printed drones – the aerospace industry stands for innovation like no other. German aerospace companies invest 11% of their revenue in research and development – about twice as much as other industries. The spectacular results will be on display at ILA Berlin, scheduled to take place from 25 to 29 April 2018, where over 1,000 exhibitors will showcase their know-how in Germany’s capital. Exhibitors range from large corporations to highly specialised suppliers and operators, representing industries from civil aviation to defence and security and space.
Innovation and Leadership in Aerospace
Aerospace technology is making advances at breakneck speed. Germany has become one of the industry’s global leaders: For example, final assembly for one out of every six commercial aircraft is carried out in the country, while every aircraft built worldwide contains technology Made in Germany. The nation is also an integral member of European space and military aviation programmes as well as a centre for helicopter and engine manufacturing.
That’s why ILA Berlin revolves around the latest innovations and key issues shaping our future, such as 3D printing, sustainable flight, and Industry 4.0. “Today, ILA stands for Innovation and Leadership in Aerospace. Thanks to our efforts, the world’s very first air show is now leading the way into the future,” said Volker Thum, Managing Director of the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI). “The event offers exhibitors from around the world the perfect opportunity to present the latest technologies and discuss key issues with industry leaders. Finally, the 150,000 expected visitors will likely be dazzled by the spectacular exhibitions and flight demonstrations.”
Partner nation France
ILA is expected to host a high-level political delegation from France, the partner nation of this year’s airshow. “France and Germany have always been strategic partners when it comes to aerospace,” said BDLI President Klaus Richter. “Building on this unique relationship, we now enter into a new era in Franco-German relations – and send a strong, united message to policymakers, industry and the public,” he continued. “To sum up: This is excellent for our industry and a major boost for French-German relations.”
The future is in sight
Sustainable aviation is one of the most important topics at the trade fair. The aviation industry aims to cut net CO2 emissions in half by 2050 as measured against 2005 emissions. To achieve these ambitious goals, industry is looking at alternative fuels, including those sourced from algae, as well as e-mobility, which is shaping up to be one of the most promising approaches. Germany is already a heavyweight for research in the area: At ILA, visitors can learn more from aircraft manufacturers and electronics companies who are planning to fly hybrid aircraft with up to 100 passengers within the next fifteen years. The technological changes and wholly new aircraft designs that could make this a reality are already being developed – which means that the next revolution in aircraft design is already on the horizon.
Unmanned aircraft is another of today’s key issues. In the future, completely new technologies will offer even more support to pilots and bolster safety as well. And that’s not all: Engineers all over the world are developing new technical concepts and business models for transporting passengers, for example in unmanned flying taxis. ILA will showcase what is already possible now as well as the technical and regulatory challenges that still must be overcome.
The fascination of space
Space is more fascinating than ever – and 2018 will bring a number of highlights. Astronaut Alexander Gerst will become the first German to command the ISS “Horizons Mission 2018”. This coincides with the ten-year anniversary of the European space laboratory Columbus and of the Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATV). Bepi Colombo, Europe’s first mission to Mercury, is also scheduled to begin this year under German command. Production of the first Ariane 6 will start, with the first flight to take place in 2020.
ILA brings together the global space community at the largest exhibition of its kind in Europe. The event serves as a singular opportunity for state agencies, academia and aerospace companies to present the latest innovations and developments on space – bridging borders and nations. Practically no other industry fosters international cooperation to the same extent as space. For example, international collaboration is used for programmes to secure access to space and for aerospace research, satellite communications and Earth observation.
In short, ILA offers the ideal platform for the international space community to identify potential collaborations and discuss the issues shaping our future – from Big Data to intelligent mobility – at panel discussions with leaders in the field.
New momentum for military aviation
Since mid-July 2017, it has become clear that Europe wants to develop a new combat aircraft. Together, Germany and France have given the green light for an ambitious European defence project. In addition, the German Armed Forces and their European partners are undertaking further multi-billion Euro arms projects. Given the security situation, these procurement programmes will be among the top topics at ILA Berlin. Generals, defence and security leaders, and defence industry experts and cyber scientists will exchange ideas on the topic at ILA. It will also be possible to inspect military aircraft in the air and on the ground and to evaluate innovative concepts for the future at the highest technical level.
A boost for Industry 4.0
Up until now, the development of large and energy-efficient aircraft has been extremely time-consuming and costly. Yet with “Industry 4.0”, the aviation industry is committed to dramatically shortening this period and cutting costs. With virtual development processes, it will be possible to first simulate flight on the computer in order to optimise concepts at an early stage. The aircraft industry will undergo a significant wave of automation in the wake of Industry 4.0, and big-data concepts that evaluate the information from hundreds of aircraft sensors will overhaul aircraft maintenance. Numerous exhibitors will show the latest technology at ILA and present their visions for the future.
One of the key technologies of Industry 4.0 is additive manufacturing – i.e. 3D printing. These technologies are just emerging as a market worth billions. Germany, where hundreds of millions of euros are currently being invested in 3D technologies and entire 3D campuses are being built, is one of the world leaders in the sector. The possibilities are endless, especially for the aircraft industry. For example, 3D printing offers weight reductions of 30 to 55 per cent – that could reduce the weight of an Airbus A350 XWB by up to 1,000 kilograms. Every kilogram shaved off means 25 tonnes of CO2 that can be reduced throughout the course of an aircraft’s lifespan.
A global stage for the supplier industry
The supplier industry forms the backbone of the sector, with every aircraft made up of up to four million parts. The supply chain has an ideal platform at ILA with the International Supplier Center (ISC): Over 300 companies from all over the world will present their innovations In a dedicated hall to buyers from international OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and 1st tier suppliers. Nowhere else will it be possible to find so much supplier know-how in the same place.
Media accreditation: Over 3,000 media representatives expected
ILA Berlin takes place every two years in Germany’s capital, right in the heart of Europe. With its long and storied history, the airshow is expected to attract about 150,000 visitors, including over 3,000 media representatives. Journalists can register on February 2018 for accreditation on the ILA website at: https://www.ila-berlin.de/en/press/accreditation