Organisers of Europe’s biggest aviation trade show, the Aero Friedrichshafen, have hailed the event as a success.
The trade show held in the German city of Friedrichshafen was attended by some 30,000 visitors.
More than 600 companies from 35 different countries displayed their latest products and innovations, ranging from ultralights and gliders to business jets, helicopters and electric aircraft.
Whole aircraft parachute recovery systems, that is, parachutes that don’t protect just a single passenger but the entire plane, are a growing trend.
Vision SF50, a brand new single-engine business jet from Cirrus Aircraft which has the whole aircraft parachute recovery system was on display at the Friedrichshafen show.
Once it receives operating approval later this year, it will be the world’s first business jet to be delivered with a standard parachute rescue system.
“The parachute that is on this airplane is call CAPS – the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System. We’ve had a parachute on every airplane we’ve ever made, 6.300 planes. If the pilot is in an emergency, when all other things have failed, anyone in the airplane can pull a handle and the entire airplane will come down under a parachute,” explained Todd Simmons, President of Customer Experience at Cirrus Aircraft.
But it was not just the huge aircraft that were on display. Drones were also very popular at the Friedrichshafen show.
The exhibition’s indoor flight hall was used for drone racing, a feature organisers used to attract the younger Playstation generation and electronics enthusiasts.
Users wore glasses that provided them with a video image taken from the drone, giving them a pilot’s perspective.
But with an estimated three million drones circulating in Europe today, calls are growing for better “aviation awareness”.
Managing Director of UAV Dach, Uwe Nortmann said the absence of legal restrictions on devices which weigh less than 5kg means “whoever buys an aircraft like this (drone) on the internet or in a shop can just switch it on and operate it without knowing what they’re doing”.
“The pilots of these drones have to learn what they are doing and be aware of the responsibility and the risks. And this is only possible with specific training which doesn’t exist yet” he said.
A paragliding school from northern Germany proved that having a disability doesn’t mean you can’t fly.
It presented a specially adapted wheelchair which allows paragliders to take off and land safely.
“Paragliders with disabilities, like myself, require a special wheelchair with a suspension system and large wheels, to be able to take off and land on bumpy ground” said Michael Amtmann, Chairman of “Die Rolli Flieger”.
The Aero Friedrichshafen show also provided a platform for organisers to promote careers as well as motivate the next generation of pilots.
Under the slogan ‘Be a pilot’, advisors were at hand to provide guidance about future careers in aviation and answer questions young people had about schooling, qualifications and career funding.