Aero Friedrichshafen Reports 20 Percent Growth

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Aero Friedrichshafen, the European general aviation expo that has been growing fast in recent years, announced this week that next year's show, April 2-5, 2009, already is showing a 20-percent rise in exhibitor bookings over the last show, held in 2007. Starting next year, the show will be held every year, instead of every other year as in the past. "In these turbulent times, it is evidently important for most [exhibitors] to maintain their marketing efforts in order to create a basis for future growth," said Thomas Grunewald, project manager for the show. The event includes a wide range of aviation sectors, from parachuting and paragliding, ultralights, gliders and motorized gliders to single- and twin-engine piston aircraft and business jets. In 2009, the show will also add helicopters and a green-flying exhibit. Grunewald said he is seeing a rising number of bookings from Eastern Europe, especially the Czech Republic, as well as a sharp rise in interest from the U.S. In addition to many new exhibitors such as Hawker Beechcraft, he said he expects a significantly bigger presence from many returning exhibitors, such as Cessna, Cirrus, Diamond, Embraer, Pilatus and Piper.

The green exhibits will include aircraft with electric motors, new solar technology, products by high-end battery manufacturers and innovative propulsion concepts.