ILA Berlin 2018

ILA update

– 27 April 2018 -

Soldiers in close up
Presenting all the different facets of the Bundeswehr: Over 40 aircraft can be viewed on the ground. A tour around the A310 MRTT and a chance to sit in the cockpit of a Tornado. Visitors can also take a close look at military helicopters such as the TIGER combat helicopter or the navy’s Sea Lynx and Sea King. The Young Professionals’ marquee and the Careers Truck are providing extensive details about various career prospects with Germany’s armed forces, the Bundeswehr: What conditions to I have to meet to become a pilot? What are the responsibilities of a helicopter maintenance technician? Where can I find employment as a paramedic with the Bundeswehr? Halle 3 features the latest Bundeswehr technology. As well as a VR simulation of the maintenance of a Tornado, so-called IT forensics shows visitors the restoration of data that is thought to have been lost. One of the main highlights each day at 5.20 p.m. will be a flypast by a total of 20 aircraft including the Eurofighter, A400M and NH-90.

Drilling below the surface of Mars with the HP3 ‘Mole’

5 May 2018 will witness the launch of the InSight Lander, which only six months later will touch down on Mars. The InSight mission, which stands for ‘Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport’, is part of NASA’s successful Discovery programme. It will closely inspect the crust, mantle, and core of our neighbouring planet for the first time. After landing, the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structures (SEIS) will begin, measuring the shockwaves from seismic movement and relaying data intended to provide understanding of the planet’s history. The Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment (RISE) will register even the smallest changes in the planet’s rotational axis. This will also offer clues to the planet’s internal structure. The DLR is sending its HP3 sensor package, a thermal probe unit, to the red planet. Using an electric drill, the so-called mole will dig a hole up to five metres deep below the surface, where it will insert a band with temperature sensors. The HP3 Mars ‘Mole’ is on display at the ILA Berlin Space Pavilion.

Franco-German defence projects

”The ILA has kept its promises again“, said Federal Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen during her visit to the show on Thursday. The “ultra-modern aircraft and helicopters” on show were “impressive“, she said. ”The ILA is an outstanding exhibition of German products and services, and this year in particular symbolises Franco-German friendship and partnership.“ France is the partner country of ILA 2018. Together with her French counterpart Florence Parly, Minister von der Leyen paved the way for several defence programmes at the show. They include development of a new generation of fighter aircraft, a new long-distance naval reconnaissance aircraft, and a new generation of armoured vehicles. The partnership between Germany and France was closer than ever, said Ursula von der Leyen. They bore joint responsibility for a Europe that was strong and “able to defend its citizens and values“. The agreements were ”a historical step forward for Europe and the industries of both countries.“ Florence Parly also noted that this was a “historic agreement.” It was necessary to make the armed forces of both countries “more powerful, modern and versatile” by 2040, to ensure they had a strategic advantage and to create a “Europe focused on defence.” The projects would benefit both large and small companies as well as startups. ”The huge enthusiasm can already be felt.“ Germany and France want to lay down specifications together for the new aircraft. Other countries will be able to join the projects later, but will have to accept the plans already made. There would no longer be changes according to individual countries’ specifications, the ministers said. At the same time, there would be ”highly professional risk management“, said Ursula von der Leyen. ”We have learned our lesson from developing the A400M,“ which even after its teething problems was still the most modern aircraft in its category. As far as these latest projects were concerned, deadlines and budgets would be kept to, said Florence Parly.

ILA CareerCenter opens its doors


On Friday the ILA CareerCenter, Germany’s biggest job centre for careers and training in the aerospace industry, opened its doors at ILA Berlin 2018. Over 40 companies and institutions are presenting opportunities for training, jobs and careers. The personnel managers of exhibiting companies are on hand to provide expert information. At various presentations visitors can put on VR goggles to look around the International Space Station (ISS) for example, in order to then decide if they want to take the first step towards a dream career as an astronaut. School leavers can also find out about a large selection of university courses which will open the door to a wide range of career opportunities in this sector. The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive programme of discussions, lectures and workshops.


Pressing need for air traffic rules to include UAVs

Without delivery drones, organising urban life will be very hard, said Oliver Evans, head of Global Business Development at the US drone company Matternet, speaking at a panel discussion at ILA 2018. Switzerland is among the countries where the company is already trialling its products, and where these airborne couriers are already flying blood bottles between locations at a hospital in Lugano. In most other countries drones are banned entirely from flying over densely populated areas, and certainly near people. According to Fabio Ruta of the Drone Working Group of the Standards Organisation for the European aviation industry, with businesses currently developing more and more uses for civilian drones, it was urgently necessary to integrate drones into European airspace regulations. However, to do that the entire aviation safety system needed to be reformed. Florian Guillermet of SESAR, which aims to improve European air traffic management, said that until now a fundamental aviation safety principle had been “see and avoid.“ That would now have to be replaced with “sense and avoid.” To begin with, the “essentially manual” system of air traffic control and regulations would have to be automated. In a few years time the volume of drone traffic, especially in densely populated areas, would make manual air traffic control impossible. Evans confirmed that view: ”It is also the most efficient way of delivering small items from A to B.”

Lufthansa Jumbo to arrive at the ILA on Saturday

On Saturday, Lufthansa will be flying in to the ILA with the latest version of the legendary Boeing 747. Christened ”Brandenburg“, the 747-8 registered as “yankee alpha“ will arrive on Saturday at the ILA, where visitors can admire it until late afternoon. This is the first Jumbo to represent the new-look airline. At 76.3 metres in length, the 747-8 is 5.6 metres longer than its predecessor, the 747-400. The wingspan measures 68.4 metres and the maximum take-off weight is 442 tonnes. The Lufthansa variant has 364 passenger seats in four classes.

F-35 pilot “Dojo” Olson: “An aircraft for decision-makers”

Captain Andrew “Dojo” Olson of the 56th Fighter Wing, one of the US Air Force squadrons stationed at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, acquired some 1,000 flying hours as a pilot of the F-15E combat aircraft. Today he is one of the first pilots and instructors for the F-35 stealth fighter, two of which will be on display at the ILA. With all his flying experience, he does not intend to compare apples with oranges, but one big difference between the two types of aircraft is in their armament loading possibilities. “In order to keep the radar signature as small as possible, weapons can only be carried inside the F-35, while pods can be mounted externally on the F-15.” However, the brand new F-35 has other outstanding qualities: “It enables us to fly unobserved into hostile territory and, so to speak, kick the door in to allow the rest of the air force to come in.” The cockpit has easier controls and instrumentation that those of the F-15, as well as many new sensor systems. “This all makes the aircraft easier to fly. Consequently the pilot can concentrate on making the right decisions”, Olson explains. The F-35 can cover the distance from Arizona to Berlin non-stop in just under eleven and a half hours, being refuelled midair no fewer than ten times. “For safety reasons the tank is always just over half full”, ”Dojo” adds.


Skysense: Innovative charging system for drone batteries at the ILA

The Airbus Bizlab start-up Skysense is using the Future Lab Forum at the ILA 2018 to introduce its innovative infrastructure for charging the batteries on the drones that are already being used by NASA, General Electrics, Prosegur and various companies in the fields of security, inspection, logistics and agriculture. Drones are placed to revolutionise a wide range of industries but, as in the electric vehicle sector, short operating times, energy management and long charging cycles present some critical challenges. Skysense is intended to meet all these requirements with a network of wireless charging pads that are compatible with all drones and are also easy to install. As a result flying times can be extended and automation scenarios can be implemented.


Schturmowik in the skies over Berlin again

A total of some 36,000 Ilyushin II-2 ground attack (“Schturmowik”) aircraft were built, making it one of the most-produced aircraft in the world. They were an ever-present sight in the skies over Berlin during the final days of World War II. Those who built it called it the “Flying Tank”, but among German soldiers it was known as the “Flying Death”. The Il-2 now on show on the ground and in the air for the first time at the ILA was shot down in northern Russia in November 1943 and was fortunate to make an emergency landing on the frozen Krivoe Lake, where it subsequently sank. The pilot Skopintsev and gunner Gumennoi were injured but survived, and were able to make their way back to their own lines. Seventy years later the wreckage site was identified by the organisation “Wings of Victory“, which raised it and equipped it with a new engine, restoring it to full airworthiness. Some 65 per cent of the material is from the original aircraft recovered from the lake. The Il-2 on display is one of only two airworthy examples in the world. It is quite an experience to see it in the skies over the ILA, and one that is unlikely to be repeated any time soon.


A400M: Four-engined European military transport aircraft

The Airbus A400M that brought the defence ministers Ursula von der Leyen (Germany) and Florence Parly (France) to the ILA on Thursday is a four-engined, strategic and tactical transport aircraft. It is the first large Airbus to be powered by propellers. With Germany’s Bundeswehr it is gradually replacing the ageing Transall C-160, which is built jointly by Germany and France. Delivery of the A400M commenced in 2013 and by the end of March this year 66 had been delivered to customers all over the world. The Bundeswehr expects to take delivery of 53, 13 of which will subsequently be sold on. Following decades of preliminary planning, production is still subject to delays and the aircraft have had their “teething problems”, with the result that the C-160 is still in service with the Bundeswehr in considerable numbers. The intention is for the A400M to be deployed by seven European NATO countries and in Malaysia. Its characteristic features are the significant improvements in capacity, speed, flexibility and range compared with the Transall C-130. Carrying a 20 tonne load it has a non-stop range of 6,400 kilometres. However, with a maximum take-off weight of 141 tonnes, a length of 45 metres and a span of 42.3 m, it is smaller than existing transport aircraft from other manufacturers. This enables it to also fly at lower speeds and to land and take off from runways with a length of only 1 kilometre.

The RS10 “elfin” powered glider soars on elfin wings GmbH ( is currently developing the “elfin” RS10, a fascinating electric hybrid sports aircraft in the 20 m FAI twin-seater category. It is powered by an innovative and “green” electric motor from Siemens. There is also the option of a conventional engine to give it a greater range, and which charges the electric motor during flight. “The ’elfin‘ has been designed for the world market, with the emphasis on Europe and the USA”, according to Lars Muth, project engineer with It was announced that the first ’elfin’ sale was made just a few days ago, and its first flight is planned for this year. is based in Schönhagen, Brandenburg, at Germany’s second largest airfield. This unique project is also receiving considerable support from the Federal Research Ministry and the Brandenburg Economic Promotion Agency.

“Flying” safely over the ILA – AirEmotion makes it possible

A unique attraction for the public enables visitors to the ILA to enjoy the sensation of bird flight this year. AirEmotion is the name of this event tool, with which it is almost possible to experience the indescribable feeling of the freedom of the air. Securely strapped in by the type of belts used on hang gliders, the flyers are suspended from a construction crane that carries them gently over the ground at a height of around 60 metres. It is all the brainchild of Christian Noll from Ammersee in Bavaria. “I have been an enthusiastic hang glider pilot for 30 years”, Noll says. “This led me to seek to enable as many people as possible to experience this sense of freedom. To achieve this I developed a hang glider simulator, which is operated with the aid of a crane.” AirEmotion is a special, patented design that has received certification from the technical supervisory authority TÜV. Children from the age of five upwards can also experience this sensation of flight.

N3 on course for expansion and at the ILA for the first time

N3 Overhaul Services, a company operated jointly by Lufthansa Technik and Rolls-Royce for the maintenance and repair of Trent engines, has its own stand at the ILA for the first time. Based in Arnstadt, Thuringia, and founded eleven years ago, it is now set for further expansion. So far 930 Trent series 500, 700 and 900 engines have been overhauled and the first Trent XBW, which powers the Airbus A350, is expected this month. The number of engines serviced this year is expected to increase by a quarter to around 150, while the workforce has expanded by 70 in recent months to 670. On its stand and also at the Career Center at the ILA the company is providing details about vacancies for specialists and also about training opportunities. The eleventh technical training course begins in September.

Lockheed Martin and Rheinmetall present the CH-53K

The new Sikorsky CH-53K heavy lift helicopter is attracting plenty of attention on its international debut at the ILA 2018. “This is the most powerful helicopter ever built in the USA”, was the claim by Sikorsky President Dan Schultz at the ILA Media Briefing. This grey giant is a completely new design and is notable for its many improvements, including three external load hooks, fly-by-wire controls, a digital cockpit and the widespread use of carbon fibre compounds. Together with the Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorski, Rheinmetall is bidding for the “Heavy Lift Transport Helicopter” as a successor to the older CH-53G currently in service with the German armed forces. Armin Papperger, CEO of Rheinmetall, believes his company is well equipped to provide simulation and training services and, in particular, on-site maintenance in Germany in the years to come. The partners are also working to strengthen the team to tackle these tasks by including other industrial contributors. The objective is to offer Germany’s armed forces a comprehensive solution that extends beyond helicopter procurement. “We want to keep our German clients happy”, said Pappberger at the ILA. At least 45 new helicopters are required, with deliveries expected to begin in 2023.

ESA and Arianespace continue their collaboration

With a new basic agreement the European Space Agency ESA is committed to further collaboration with the launch service provider Arianespace. A contract defining the launch processes for all of the ESA’s own missions was signed at the ILA Berlin 2018 by the CEO of Arianespace, Stéphane Israël, and the Director General of the ESA, Jan Wörner. The political basis for this agreement was provided by a meeting of European ministers in 2014. The contract applies to all the Arianespace range of launchers, i.e. not only the current Ariane 5, Sojus und Vega programmes, but also the future Ariane-6 and Vega C missions. As Wörner explained: “In this way the ESA provides the framework that will enable Arianespace to continue operating its range of launchers under the best possible conditions.“ Ariane has already launched 67 satellites into orbit for the ESA, which was also the launch customer for the Ariane 6. Israël added that the contract represents an important stage in the continuation of the Ariane 6 and Vega C programmes.

US Air Force well represented at the ILA

The US Air Force is presenting a large number of aircraft at the ILA Berlin. This year they encompass combat aircraft, helicopters and transporters, including the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III bearing the name “Spirit of Berlin” as a token of respect to the German capital. “Taking place every two years, the ILA Berlin is a unique opportunity to acquaint the general public with the leading role played by the United States in aviation and space, and at the same time to support various tenders to supply customers all over Europe”, according to a statement given to the press. Visitors can come and admire many of the aircraft and helicopters, such as the CH-47, F-15, F-16, F/A-18, F-35 and MV-22, at the static display, while the Sikorsky CH-53K heavy lift transport helicopter will also be presenting its particular capabilities in the flying display.

Franke Industrie takes over Ammatec GmbH

Just a few days ago the Swiss company Franke Industrie AG, a supplier of hot gas path components for gas turbines and engines, took over the German company Ammatec GmbH, based in Ampfing, which is exhibiting under its new ownership for the first time at the ILA 2018. The company supplies the aviation industry with complex precision components made from materials that are difficult to machine, and its customers include aircraft engine manufacturers such as MTU and Rolls-Royce. It will be merged into the newly formed Franke Industrie GmbH, which will take over the workforce of around 60 and the management headed by Tilmann Rosch. “The acquisition of Ammatec represents a decisive step in the commitment to expand our strategically important aviation and space division”, stated the CEO of Franke, Markus Hodel.