The Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen, together with her French counterpart, Florence Parly, will be visiting the ILA 2018 on Thursday, 26 April, Start time: 3.20 p.m.
A “Dream” at the ILA: Surprise visit from the Antonov An-225
The world’s heaviest and largest operational aircraft was a surprise visitor on Wednesday at the ILA in Berlin, and will remain on display until the weekend, when the public will also be admitted. The An-225 “Mrija” (Dream) from the Ukrainian manufacturer Antonov first flew at the end of 1988 and was originally developed to transport the Soviet space shuttle “Buran”, mounted on its fuselage. Temporarily withdrawn from service following the abandonment of the space project, in 2001 the six-engined jet was re-introduced by Antonov Airlines to transport extremely heavy loads and since then has carried payloads weighing up to 250 tonnes. The maximum take-off weight is 640 tonnes. The “Dream” has an overall length of 84 metres and a wingspan of 88.40 metres. The horizontal tail surface has a width of 32.65 metres, which is equivalent to the wingspan of an Airbus A320.
BDLI and GIFAS plan to expand their joint venture
The intention to expand their joint venture was stated by the President of the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI), Klaus Richter, and the Chairman of the French industry association GIFAS, Eric Trappier, on Wednesday, at the start of the ILA 2018. France is the partner country of this year’s show. With around 400 members employing approximately 200,000 people, and an annual turnover of about 64 billion euros, the industry represents a significant economic factor in France, Trappier pointed out. One possible joint project for the future is the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) that was initiated by the German chancellor Angela Merkel and the French president Emmanuel Macron. This is due to be developed by 2035/40 to meet the joint requirements of the two countries. It is not focussed on a single type of aircraft but could comprise a series of systems, among them unmanned aircraft and including a remotely controlled combat jet.
Emergency assistance and technical papers: Bundeswehr demonstrates its expertise
Among its presentations at the ILA the German armed forces, the Bundeswehr, will be using an emergency assistance demonstration to show how aircraft can be used to fight fires and drop emergency supplies. The CH-53 transporter helicopter and the NH-90 helicopter are being used for this purpose. In Hall 3 the cyber-forensic experts of the Bundeswehr are demonstrating how data can be read from a deliberately destroyed USB stick. A number of fascinating talks are being given in the HeliLounge, including “Successful multinational cooperation: The International Helicopter Training Centre at Bückeburg and the German-French TIGER Training Centre” at 4 p.m.
Outdoor display area (Bundeswehr), contact: Major André Hesse-Witt, Tel.: +49 (0)171 972 4874
The suppliers’ success story
More international suppliers to the aviation industry can be found at the ILA Berlin 2018 than at any other event. The success story that is the International Supplier Centers (ISC) continues for the seventh successive year, Arndt Schönemann, Vice President Equipment and Materials of the BDLI, reported at the opening of the ISC on Wednesday. Its currently has 280 exhibitors, which is almost one third of the total for the trade show as a whole. Schoenemann was particularly pleased with the increasing number of non-aviation companies represented, as this is an indication of the influence that the aerospace industry is now having in other sectors.
The German government’s newly appointed Coordinator for the Aerospace Industry, Thomas Jarzombek (CDU), welcomed the fact that the German supply industry is opening up increasingly to international aircraft manufacturers. The industry is in any case an example of the futility of adopting a purely nationally based attitude. Bertrand Lucerau, president of the suppliers’ section of the French industrial association Gifas, drew attention to the major challenges facing a sector that comprises so many small and medium-sized businesses. Capabilities have been severely tested by several far-reaching developments taking place at the same time, such as new aircraft and engine versions, the general cost pressures and the strength of the euro against the US dollar. He proposed switching to payments in euros when settling accounts between companies if both are based in the eurozone.
Increasing challenges facing Europe in the research field
At the opening of the ILA Future Lab on Wednesday the focus was on a more intensive research strategy by the European Union in the face of the new challenges posed by globalisation and digitalisation. Reiner Winkler, Vice President Aviation at BDLI, commented that the main indices reveal a positive tendency, but for Europe the international challenges in the research field have also become greater. It becomes all the more important to defend a leading position at a time when nationalistic tendencies are emerging on the political agenda. Moreover, as he pointed out, it is only through global collaboration that climate change can be counteracted. The German government’s new Aerospace Coordinator, Thomas Jarzombek (CDU), assured the industry that it has “the capabilities to advance the economy and society“. He believes that the new ILA concept, in which the three letters forming its name also stand for “Innovation and Leadership in Aerospace”, is the right one. The Director of the EU Commission for Transport, Clara de la Torre, described the creation of standards for electric drive systems as a future task for her authority.
Eurofighters to replace German Tornados in the future
They are demonstrating their capabilities each day at the ILA, but Germany’s Tornado combat aircraft are ageing. They have been in service since the 1980s as fighter-bombers and for electronic surveillance, and some of them are currently based in Jordan in the fight against the so-called IS. Since 2015 a new version of the Eurofighter, the Typhoon, has been available to replace them. Well over 600 have been ordered and they are already in service with Germany’s Luftwaffe as fighter aircraft. “I am confident that the Eurofighter Typhoon can represent a cost-effective and attractive solution for Germany, satisfying every requirement and capable of fulfilling every mission for the Luftwaffe in Germany“, stated Volker Paltzo, the CEO of Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH. A corresponding offer was submitted jointly to the Federal Ministry of Defence on the day preceding the start of the ILA by Airbus and Eurofighter GmbH.
DLR: Innovative pilot assistance system
Landing is one of the most demanding aspects of a flight. The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) has developed the pilot assistance system LNAS (Low Noise Augmentation System) to assist pilots with the complex tasks involved in achieving a low-noise approach. The DLR is currently collaborating with Deutsche Lufthansa, the environmental research facility Umwelt- und Nachbarschaftshaus (UNH) in Kelsterbach and the operator of Frankfurt airport FRAPORT AG in carrying out trials of the pilot assistance system in daily flight operations. At the present time the LNAS assistance system is being tested during the landing approach on regular services in a series of preliminary trials that are being conducted by 25 selected Lufthansa pilots. As soon as all the basic conditions have been met the trials will be extended to all Lufthansa pilots flying the A320. The LNAS landing assistance system can be seen on the DLR stand, no. 301. in Hall 4 at the ILA Berlin.
A unique concept for heavy loads: Boeing CH-47 Chinook
Two rotors mounted in tandem, each with three blades with a diameter of more than 18 metres, and rotating in opposite directions, are a design concept that makes the Boeing CH-47 Chinook unique in the small world of large helicopters. This colossus can lift loads of up to eleven tonnes, and since it first flew in September 1961 more than 1,200 of them have been built for many of the world’s armed forces as well as for civilian operators. However, although it is nearly 60 years old there is plenty of life left in the Chinook due to constant upgrades and adaptations to differing requirements. The current version is in the running to replace the CH-53 as a transport helicopter for the Bundeswehr. One model from the US military and one from the Royal Air Force can be seen at the ILA 2018, and the latter is also taking part in the programme of flying displays.
German firms also involved in Boeing’s bid to supply a heavy lift helicopter
The Sikorsky CH-53G has proved its effectiveness over several decades with the Bundeswehr as a heavy lift transport helicopter, but it is due to be replaced within a few years by a more modern successor. At the end of this year the US company Boeing is expecting an official invitation to tender from the German defence ministry. With its CH-47 Chinook the company is already producing a helicopter that is currently in service with NATO partners. Moreover German aerospace companies are already involved in its production and maintenance. “We have assembled a strong team in preparing our Chinook bid”, explains Michael Hostetter, Director Vertical Lift Programs Germany. “The Chinook is a modern, proven and mission-ready heavy lift transport helicopter offering a high availability rate and low maintenance costs.”
Pilots’ association demands IT security concept for aviation
During the ILA 2018 the airline pilots’ association Vereinigung Cockpit called for a comprehensive IT security concept for aviation. “All the communication between an aircraft and air traffic control is unencrypted”, says Markus Wahl, the spokesman for the pilots’ union. “This could result in an aircraft deviating from its course as a result of an unauthorised radio message, with fatal consequences.” Moreover, for navigation purposes, aviation is relying increasingly on GPS signals. These too can be subject to interference and falsification. It is therefore of decisive importance to develop comprehensive security concepts that are then verified by an independent authority.
Debut at the ILA: ESA is marketing Copernicus programs
A new digital trading platform will be making its first appearance during the ILA. The World Space Alliance will be offering a range of space-supported data and products from the Copernicus programs of the ESA. The partnership between the ESA and the world market leader for business software will be facilitating access to business applications based on geodata, thereby closing the gap between standard earth observation and the digital business world. At 10.15 a.m. on Thursday Josef Aschbacher, ESA Director for Earth Observation Programs, Thomas Reiter, Inter-agency Coordinator for the ESA, Bianca Hörsch, ESA Representative for Digital Matters, and Carsten Linz, Information Technology Director, SAP Center for Digital Leadership, will be presenting the project in the Space Pavilion at the ILA.