Paris Air Show

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Paris Air Show
Salon international de l'aéronautique et de l'espace, Paris-Le Bourget
Paris Air Show 2007 01.jpg
The first day of the 2007 Paris Air Show
Status Active
Genre Commercial air show
Dates June
Frequency Odd years
Venue Paris–Le Bourget Airport
Location(s) Le Bourget, Paris (since 1953)
Coordinates 48°57′20″N 2°25′57″E / 48.9555°N 2.4324°E / 48.9555; 2.4324Coordinates: 48°57′20″N 2°25′57″E / 48.9555°N 2.4324°E / 48.9555; 2.4324
Country France
Established 1909; 109 years ago (1909)
Attendance 2017: 322000[1]
Activity Aerobatic displays
Static displays
Organized by SIAE (GIFAS)

The Paris Air Show (Salon international de l'aéronautique et de l'espace de Paris-Le Bourget, Salon du Bourget) is the largest Air Show before UK's Farnborough, followed by Dubai Air Show or Singapore Airshow.[2] The latest was the 52nd Air Show, held from 19 to 25 June 2017, attended by 3,450 journalists, 142,000 professionals and 180,000 general public visitors.[1] It claims to be the world's calendar-oldest air show.[3] Established in 1909 as the ILA Berlin Air Show, it has been held every odd year since 1949 at Paris–Le Bourget Airport in north Paris, France.

It is a large trade fair, demonstrating military and civilian aircraft, and is attended by many military forces and the major aircraft manufacturers, often announcing major aircraft sales. It starts with four professional days and is then opened to the general public followed from Friday to Sunday. The format is similar to Farnborough and the ILA, both staged in even years. It is organised by the French aerospace industry's primary representative body, the Groupement des industries françaises aéronautiques et spatiales (GIFAS).


The first Salon de la locomotion aérienne, 1909, Grand Palais, Paris.

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.[4] The following year, a dedicated air show was held at the Grand Palais[5] from 25 September to 17 October, during which 100,000 visitors turned out to see products and innovations from 380 exhibitors.[6] There were four further shows before the First World War.[7] The show restarted in 1919, and from 1924 it was held every two years before being interrupted again by the Second World War. It restarted in 1946 and since 1949, has been held in every odd year.[citation needed]

SNCASE SE.212 Durandal experimental jet/rocket fighter aircraft at the 1957 Air Salon

The air show continued to be held at the Grand Palais, and from 1949 flying demonstrations were staged at Paris Orly Airport.[8] In 1953, the show was relocated from the Grand Palais to Le Bourget.[9] The show was drawing international notice in the 1960s.[10] Since the 1970s, the show has emerged as the main international reference of the aeronautical sector.[11]


The 1967 air show was opened by French President Charles de Gaulle, who toured the exhibits and shook hands with two Soviet cosmonauts and two American astronauts.[10] Prominently displayed by the Soviet Union was a three-stage Vostok rocket, such as the one that had carried Yuri Gagarin into space on April 12, 1961. The "extraordinarily powerful" Vostok was downplayed by American missile experts as "rather old and unsophisticated."[12]. The American exhibit, the largest at the fair, featured the F-111 swing-wing fighter bomber,[12] a replica of Charles Lindberg's Spirit of St. Louis.[13] and the Ling-Temco-Vought XC-142A, a cargo plane capable of a vertical takeoff and landing.[14] A full-size model of the supersonic Concorde was displayed by the French and British,[12] auguring its successful first flight on March 2, 1969.[15]


"The largest plane in the world," the Boeing 747 jet airliner, arrived on June 3, after flying non-stop from Seattle, Washington,[16] and the Apollo 8 command module, charred by its re-entry, was there flanked by the Apollo 9 astronauts, but the most-viewed exhibit was the supersonic Concorde, which made its first flight over Paris as the show opened.[17]


The Soviet TU-144 supersonic airliner was flown to Le Bourget for the 1971 show,[18][19] drawing comparisons with the French Concorde.[20][21] Landing with the Concorde was the world's largest aircraft, the American Lockheed C-5A Galaxy.[22]


Antonov An-225 Mriya with Buran at Le Bourget, 1989

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.[23] 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.[23]


The show attracted 1,611 exhibitors from 39 countries and nearly 300,000 visitors attended the show.[24]


A stealth B-2 Spirit in 1995

The 41st Paris Air Show main attraction was the stealth B-2 Spirit bomber, along with the Tupolev Tu-160 and Sukhoi Su-32 bombers.[25] 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.[24]


Airbus A300 ZERO-G in 2009

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.[26]


A380 takes off for the crowds, 2011

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.[27]

A demo A380 was damaged the day before the exhibition opened and needed a replacement;[28][29] while the new Airbus A400M Atlas military transport aircraft had an engine failure, but could still perform some demonstration flights.[29]


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".[30] During the show, Airbus Helicopters announced a successor to the Super Puma, called the Airbus Helicopters X6.[31]


Airbus Helicopters X3-derived RACER model, 2017

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.[1]

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.[32]


The 53rd Air Show will be held from 17 to 23 June 2019.[1]


Among major accidents, there were two crashes of Convair B-58 Hustler bombers, in 1961 (during aerobatics) and 1965 (during landing).[33] In 1969, the crash of a Fairchild-Hiller FH-1100 helicopter at Le Bourget killed the pilot.[34]

1973 crash

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.


A Mikoyan MiG-29 crashed during a demonstration flight with no loss of life.[23]


A Sukhoi Su-30MKI crashed during a demonstration flight with no loss of life.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "52nd International Paris Air Show Paris-Le Bourget 19-25 June 2017" (PDF) (Press release). GIFAS. 28 June 2017. 
  2. ^ Peter Shaw-Smith (November 8, 2017). "2017 Dubai Airshow Expected To Be Largest Yet". AIN. 
  3. ^ Bill Carey. "U.S. Military a No-show At 2013 Paris Air Show". AIN Online. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  4. ^ "The First Paris Aeronautical Salon" Flight January 2, 1909.
  5. ^ "Paris Flight Show -First Impressions of an Artistic and Fascinating Display" Flight October 2, 1909
  6. ^ "Show History". Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "special paris | salon | side entrance | 1912 | 0990 | Flight Archive". Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  8. ^, Agence Minit-L,. "Le Salon du Bourget, témoin de l'histoire de l'aéronautique et de l'espace -". Retrieved 4 April 2018. 
  9. ^ "1945 à 1960". Retrieved 4 April 2018. 
  10. ^ a b "De Gaulle Opens Air Show in Paris". New York Times. New York, New York. UPI. May 27, 1967. p. 15. 
  11. ^ "Salon du Bourget - Salon international de l'aéronautique et de l'espace". Retrieved 4 April 2018. 
  12. ^ a b c Mooney, Richard E. "Soviet Competes with U.S. in Paris." New York Times. May 26. 1967. 92.
  13. ^ "Replica of Famous Plane Sent to Paris". Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. May 15, 1967. p. 24. Retrieved September 19, 2018 – via  open access publication – free to read
  14. ^ Jones, Jack (May 14, 1967). "Base Pilot Taking F-111 to Paris". Dayton Daily News. Ohio, Dayton. p. 56. Retrieved September 19, 2018 – via  open access publication – free to read
  15. ^ Witkin, Richard. "Supersonic Concorde Airliner Successful in 28-Minute Maiden Flight." New York Times. March 3, 1969. 1.
  16. ^ "Boeing 747 Jumbo Jetliner Flown to Paris Air Show". New York Times. New York, New York. June 4, 1969. p. 94. 
  17. ^ "Concorde Flies Over Paris". New York Times. New York, New York. May 30, 1969. p. 40. 
  18. ^ "Soviet SST, in Its First Flight to the West, Arrives in Paris for Air Show". New York Times. New York, New York. May 26, 1971. p. 3. 
  19. ^ "Soviet SST Arrives for Paris Air Show". Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. May 26, 1971. p. 6. Retrieved September 23, 2018 – via  open access publication – free to read
  20. ^ "'74 Service Due for Both Soviet and Concorde". New York Times. New York, New York. May 29, 1971. p. 46. 
  21. ^ Angove, Rodney (May 27, 1971). "Soviet. British-French SST Compared". Tampa Tribune. Florida, Tampa. p. 73. Retrieved September 23, 2018 – via  open access publication – free to read
  22. ^ "World's Biggest Aircraft Now At Paris Show". Times Record. New York, Troy. UPI. May 26, 1971. p. 2. Retrieved September 23, 2018 – via  open access publication – free to read
  23. ^ a b c dodmedia id:DF-ST-90-07206 Archived 2011-06-14 at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ a b "Preparing for Paris". Flight International. 10 May 1995. 
  25. ^ Barry James (June 12, 1995). "U.S. Bomber Steals the Paris Air Show". The New York Times. 
  26. ^ "Religious ceremonies for the victims of flight AF 447". Air France. 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  27. ^ "Salon du Bourget 15/21 juin 2015". Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  28. ^ Un A380 heurte un bâtiment au Bourget ("A380 clips a building") Archived 2011-06-22 at the Wayback Machine., TF1 News, 19 juin 2011.
  29. ^ a b L'A380 volera tout de même au salon du Bourget ("A380 will still fly at Paris Air Show"), La Tribune, 20 juin 2011.
  30. ^ "2015 Show report". GIFAS. 
  31. ^ Airbus Reveals Super Puma Successor
  32. ^ "Aircraft orders report - Paris Air Show 2017". Flightglobal. June 2017. 
  33. ^ E. F. Rybak, J. Gruszczyński: Convair B-58 Hustler. Cz.II, in: Nowa Technika Wojskowa 3/1999, p. 38 (in Polish)
  34. ^ "Pilot Killed As Copter Crashes at Paris Show". Cincinnati Enquirer. Ohio, Cincinnati. AP. June 6, 1969. p. 38. Retrieved September 20, 2018 – via  open access publication – free to read

External links

Media related to 2007 Paris Air Show at Wikimedia Commons

  • GIFAS, organisers of the Paris Air Show
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