GA Makes Strong Showing At Berlin Air Show

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The Berlin Air Show, officially known as Internationale Luftfahrt-Ausstellung (ILA), opened on Tuesday with its biggest show ever, which should provide some reassurance to those who tend to worry about the future of aviation in an uncertain economy. More than 300 aircraft are on display, and over 1,100 exhibitors from 37 countries expect to welcome record-setting crowds. Visitors will see the world's largest aircraft, including the Airbus A380, an Antonov An-124 and a C-5 Galaxy. GA has a home of its own along General Aviation Avenue, where exhibitors include Bombardier, Cessna, Cirrus, Diamond, Embraer, Extra, Grob, Hawker Beechcraft, Piper, Liberty Aircraft, Pilatus, Socata and Stemme. "The ILA is the most important meeting of the year on the European continent for the industry -- which, in Germany, has become one of the few sustainably expanding industries and has bucked the current trend by actually creating more jobs," said Dr. Thomas Enders, president of the German Aerospace Industries Association, which organized the event.

"Once again the aerospace industry here at the ILA is demonstrating its innovative and productive capabilities with a combination of outstanding technological achievements, economic success and the fascination of flight," said Enders. India, which is a partner in the show, is hosting its biggest-ever aviation display abroad. A special "innovation" area with 24 exhibitors focuses on low-emission flight. The event also includes daily air shows, featuring the Patrouille Suisse team with six F-5 Tiger jets, military fly-bys, and demonstrations of ultralights, gliders, and aerobatics. The 60th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift will be commemorated. Among 50 historical aircraft on display are an Me 262, a PBY-5A Catalina flying boat, and Dornier Do 24ATT. The show runs through Sunday.