By Paul Bertorelli, Editor-in-Chief
As the 20th European Aero show opens on Wednesday, organizers were expecting a strong event thanks to rebounding economies and a number of new products and events. Aero Project Director Roland Bosch told AVweb on Tuesday that more than 500 exhibitors have registered for the show. Although that's down a little from last year, he said one reason is that 2012 marks the first year that Aero has been conducted as an annual event rather than a biennial event, which it had been in the past. Some manufacturers stick to a two-year schedule and thus aren't represented. What is represented, however, is more North American companies than ever, according to Luann Alesio, Aero's U.S. marketing representative.
As company's like Cirrus, Lycoming and Continental expand their international footprint, more are considering Aero a must-do show. Indeed, Cirrus skipped Sun 'n Fun last month, but says it plans a major announcement in Friedrichshafen. Still, Aero remains a predominantly German show, with some 240 of the exhibitors displaying here being from Germany. The U.S. is a distant second, with the Czech Republic right behind. Aero runs through the weekend. Bosch told us although it's not specifically a fly-in, some 700 aircraft do fly into the airport, which is adjacent to Aero's spacious grounds and 12 large display areas.