ILA Berlin is synonymous with tradition and innovation and claims to be the longeststanding and most firmly established air show in the world
The ILA Berlin Air Show (Internationale Luft-und Raumfahrtausstellung – or simply ILA) claims to be the world’s oldest air show, said to have started in 1909. Similar to the air shows in Le Bourget (Paris) and Farnborough (London), the Berlin Air Show is a major trade exhibition for the aerospace and defence industries with a public air show. ILA is synonymous with tradition and innovation and claims to be the longest-standing and most firmly established air show in the world. The history of the ILA began with the International Airship Exhibition, which took place from July 10 to October 17, in Frankfurt/Main. Over a period of 100 days 500 exhibitors displayed airships, aeroplanes and balloons which fascinated 1.5 million visitors. Following its successful debut in 1909, in 1912 and 1928 the ILA was held in Berlin.
After 1945, when the Allied Control Council banned Germany from developing and producing aircraft, ten years elapsed before the country was able to regain control of its own airspace. On April 1, 1955, following the company’s relaunch, Lufthansa took to the skies again. The foundations had now been laid for the civil and military aviation industry to be rebuilt. On May 5, 1955, the German armed forces (Bundeswehr) came into being. It was at this time that the era of space travel began. In the mid-1950s, parallel with these industrial developments, ILA experienced a revival. It was subsequently held for more than 30 years at Langenhagen Airport in Hannover.
In 1992, 64 years after it last took place in Berlin, the ILA Aerospace Exhibition returned to its original venue. Since then it has been held biannually in Berlin/Brandenburg. In 2012 the Berlin ExpoCenter Airport was inaugurated. This is where, 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the ILA will be taking place from June 1 to 4, 2016. The ILA is co-organised by the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI) and Messe Berlin GmbH.
In the previous edition, 1,203 exhibitors from 40 countries displayed the industry’s entire range of current high-tech products and research and development projects. Exhibitor numbers were the second highest in the 105-year history of the ILA. Some 2,27,000 trade visitors and members of the public flocked to the 2,50,000 square metre venue, Berlin Expo Center Airport. This year not only the numbers are going to be impressive but the programmes and one of them is the Startup Day.
First ILA Startup Day
For the first time ILA includes a Startup Day that will give founders of new companies the chance to network with key aerospace industry players. More than 140 startups have applied to take part. These will be represented with their products in the ILA Startup Area in Hall 6 and cover every area of the industry, including unmanned flight, the Internet of things, social network platforms as well as new business ideas. The Aerospace Accelerator Airbus Bizlab will be offering visitors a look at its activities and will be represented with startups such as Teraki and Synergeticon, for example. Other startups, including Arti-Minds Robotics, eightyLEO, M2MGO and many others, promise B2B solutions capable of promoting disruptive trends.
The focus is on three individual themes: Industry, space technology and communication, as well as new business models in the aerospace industry. The ILA Startup Day is co-organised by the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI), the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) and Messe Berlin, with the support of industry startups. The premium partner is Airbus Bizlab. Other partners include An-wenderzentrum Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), Bitkom, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Starburst Accelerator.
The segment military aviation, security and defence demonstrates a variety of presentations on the ground and in the air. It is not only a core brand of ILA but also offers significant technologies and solutions for security challenges of today and tomorrow. Core areas are new technologies, in particular the future field of unmanned aviation, and helicopters.
European platform for the international helicopter industry
The ILA Berlin Air Show is one of Europe’s most important trade fairs for the entire helicopter industry, which will be exhibiting its latest products and forward-looking technology. The focus of the helicopter displays will be on civilian and border duties, i.e. offshore operations, commuter flights, air rescue, aerial work, border patrol and police operations, as well as key military areas of transport and combat search and rescue (CSAR). A special highlight will be an event under the heading of ‘New types of eco-efficient technology in helicopter construction and flight operations’, featuring leading speakers.
Dr. Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Airbus Helicopters, Germany, and member of the presidium of BDLI, said, “This year’s ILA is a major event for the helicopter industry. A visit to the fair is a must for everyone involved in helicopter design, construction and operations as well as new technologies. There will be impressive displays of innovative products on the ground and in the air, including the Bluecopter, which represents a new technology platform. The conference on June 3, will be devoted to new types of eco-efficient technology in helicopter construction and flight operations and areas of civilian and military use. For the first time, lectures and discussions will address the latest helicopter-related topics at the HeliLounge, which will provide an outstanding platform for dialogue and information.”
Leading helicopter manufacturers at the show are Airbus Helicopters, Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., Boeing and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. One of the technology highlights at ILA will be the presentation of the Bluecopter by Airbus Helicopters. With its combination of innovative, eco-efficient technology and a new helicopter design, the Bluecopter paves the way for a lower-noise and more fuel-efficient helicopter generation of the future.
The US Air Force and Royal Air Force will be exhibiting a CH-47 Chinook and AH-64 Apache respectively in Berlin. The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is a tandem-rotor, heavy-lift helicopter. It is used mainly as a troop, vehicle, armament and equipment carrier. The AH-64 Apache is a twin-engined attack helicopter, designed by Hughes Aircraft (USA) and currently manufactured by Boeing. In Hall 2 on Stand 232 Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. (USA) will be exhibiting a mock-up of its latest single-engined Bell 505 JRX (Jet Ranger X).
The following commercial aircraft will be on display at the show – Airbus family of A319; A320neo; A310 MRTT; A350-900; A380; A400M, A400M MSN4; Antonov 178; Boeing 747-8; Boeing C17; C295; Dornier 228-212; Lockheed Martin’s P-3C Orion among others.
In the military and training aircraft, the ones that will be at the show are Aero Vodochody L159; Boeing B-52; Douglas A4-N Skyhawk; Eurofighter Typhoon; Mikojan-Gurewitsch MiG-29; Northrop F-5E Tiger II; Panavia Tornado; Saab JAS-39 Gripen among others.
Today, more than ever, aerospace supply chain suppliers require a business platform with access to the global market. That is why the International Suppliers Center (ISC) was created: As a marketplace for the supplier industry of all aerospace market product groups. Unlike every other comparable supplier fair, the ISC exhibitors benefit from the integration into the ILA Berlin Air Show, and thus from the proximity to the market leaders exhibiting here, and over 1,25,000 trade visitors.
When it comes to conference, the organisers have lined up seminars in almost all the broad categories – civil aviation; space; unmanned aerial vehicles; supply chain; human resources, etc. One of the highpoints of the conferences will be that to do with Additive Manufacturing and Sustainable Aviation wherein renowned experts from science, industry and politics will present and discuss trends, challenges and developments.
Germany’s largest aerospace employment exchange
During the public days at the ILA 2016 on June 3 and 4, Hall 1 is the starting place for careers in aviation and the space sector. With an attractive range of events and services, in recent years the ILA CareerCenter has become Germany’s largest employment exchange for the aerospace industry. In a clear and informative way it presents the many different professions, training paths, courses and career opportunities in the aviation and space industries, as well as discussions with highly qualified partners.