|Paris Air Show
Salon international de l'aéronautique et de l'espace, Paris-Le Bourget
The first day of the 2007 Paris Air Show
|Genre||Commercial air show|
|Venue||Paris–Le Bourget Airport|
|Location(s)||Le Bourget, Paris (since 1953)|
|Organized by||SIAE (GIFAS)|
The Paris Air Show (Salon international de l'aéronautique et de l'espace de Paris-Le Bourget, Salon du Bourget) claims to be the world's calendar-oldest air show. Established in 1909, it has been held every odd year since 1949 at Paris–Le Bourget Airport in north Paris, France. The 2015 Paris Air Show, for example, held 15–21 June 2015, was the 51st.
The format is similar to the Farnborough International Airshow in Britain and the ILA Berlin Air Show, both of which are staged in alternate years to the Paris show. The Paris event starts with four professional days closed to the general public; and then on Friday, Saturday and Sunday the public, including children, are allowed in.
The Paris Air Show is organised by the French aerospace industry's primary representative body, the Groupement des industries françaises aéronautiques et spatiales (GIFAS). According to GIFAS, the 2011 Paris show attracted 151,500 professional visitors and 204,000 members of the general public, and 3,250 journalists from 80 countries.
It is a large commercial event, with a major purpose being to demonstrate military and civilian aircraft to potential customers. It claims to be the most prestigious aircraft exposition in the world. Major aircraft sales contracts are announced by manufacturers during the show. All major international manufacturers, as well as representatives of the military forces of many countries, attend the Paris Air Show.
The Paris Air Show traces its history back to the first decade of the 20th century. In 1908 a section of the Paris Motor Show was dedicated to aircraft. The following year, a dedicated air show was held at the Grand Palais from 25 September to 17 October, during which 100,000 visitors turned out to see products and innovations from 380 exhibitors. There were four further shows before the First World War. 
The air show continued to be held at the Grand Palais, and from 1949 flying demonstrations were staged at Paris Orly Airport. In 1953, the show was relocated from the Grand Palais to Le Bourget. Since the 1970s, the show emerged as the main international reference of the aeronautical sector.
The "38th Paris International Air and Space Show" or "1989 Paris Air Show", featured a variety of aerospace technology from NATO and Warsaw Pact nations. A Mikoyan MiG-29 crashed during a demonstration flight with no loss of life. The then-Soviet space shuttle Buran and its carrier, Antonov An-225 Mriya, was displayed at this show.
The show attracted 1,611 exhibitors from 39 countries and nearly 300,000 visitors attended the show.
The 41st Paris Air Show main attraction was the stealth B-2 Spirit bomber, along the Tupolev Tu-160 and Sukhoi Su-32 bombers. The flying display included the Bell-Boeing V-22 tilt-rotor, the Airbus Beluga Super Transporter, the Eurofighter 2000, the Rockwell-MBB X-31 high-manoeuvrability fighter demonstrator, the McDonnell Douglas C-17 military transport, the Eurocopter EC135 civil helicopter, the Sukhoi Su-35 fighter, and the Daimler-Benz Aerospace Dornier 328-100, and for the first time on static the Boeing 777, Saab Gripen, Atlas Cheetah Mirage and Cessna Citation X.
The 48th International Paris Air Show took place in 2009 and marked a hundred years of technological innovation in aeronautics and space conquest. The event was held from 15 to 21 June, at Le Bourget. A memorial service was held for the victims of Air France Flight 447.
The 2011 show was the 49th presentation, and hosted over 2,100 international exhibitors in 28 international pavilions. A total of 150 aircraft were on display, including the solar-electric aircraft Solar Impulse.
A demo A380 was damaged the day before the exhibition opened and needed a replacement; while the new Airbus A400M Atlas military transport aircraft had an engine failure, but could still perform some demonstration flights.
The 2015 show, held from June 15 to June 21, 2015, saw the new Dassault Falcon 8X, Airbus A350 XWB and Bombardier CS300 and received 351,584 visitors, 2,303 exhibitors over 122,500 square metres of exhibition space, 4,359 journalists from 72 countries and 130 billion euros in purchases and "cemented its position as the world's largest event dedicated to the aerospace industry". During the show, Airbus Helicopters announced a successor to the Super Puma, called the Airbus Helicopters X6.
The 52nd Air Show was held from 19 to 25 June 2017, with 2,381 exhibitors from 48 countries, showing 140 aircraft including for the first time the Airbus A321neo, Airbus A350-1000, Boeing 787-10, Boeing 737 MAX 9, Kawasaki P-1, Mitsubishi MRJ90 and Lockheed Martin F-35. Inaugurated by French President Emmanuel Macron, it was visited by 290 official delegations from 98 countries and 7 international organizations, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, 3,450 journalists, 142,000 trade visitors and 180,000 general public visitors. Announcements for 934 commercial aircraft orders and purchasing commitments were worth a catalogue value of US$115 billion.
There were 1,226 order and commitments : 352 firm orders, 699 letters of intent or memorandums of understanding, 40 options and 135 options letters of intent; plus 229 conversions of existing orders, mainly for the Boeing 737-10 MAX variant launched at the show. There were mainly narrowbodies with 1,021 orders or commitments against 76 widebodies, 48 regional jets and 81 turboprop airliners. With 766, mainly preliminary deals, Boeing led Airbus with 331, while Bombardier Aerospace had 64, Embraer 48 and ATR Aircraft 17. Nearly half of those order and commitments was from aircraft lessors with 513, and where the operator was known, 43% came from Asia-Pacific, 27% from the middle east, 10% from Europe as from South America, 7% from Africa and 3% from North America.
The 53rd Air Show will be held from 17 to 23 June 2019.
At the Paris Air Show on June 3, 1973, the second Tupolev Tu-144 production aircraft (registration SSSR-77102) crashed during its display. It stalled while attempting a rapid climb. Trying to pull out of the subsequent dive, the aircraft broke up and crashed, destroying 15 houses and killing all six on board and eight on the ground; a further sixty people received serious injuries.
The cause of this accident remains controversial. Theories include: the Tu-144 climbed to avoid a French Mirage chase plane whose pilot was attempting to photograph it; that changes had been made by the ground engineering team to the auto-stabilisation circuits to allow the Tu-144 to outperform the Concorde in the display circuit; and that the crew were attempting a manoeuvre and to outshine the Concorde.
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