Trade-Oriented Aero Called Successful

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Organizers of Aero Friedrichshafen say a shift in focus to a trade show attracted business-oriented attendees and benefited exhibitors. The show wrapped up Saturday in the German city and the final tally shows that 33,400 people from 40 countries attended. There were 630 exhibitors in 11 halls. The show eliminated the airshow and shifted the dates to mostly weekdays (Wednesday-Saturday) to attract a more focused clientele. "Exhibitors widely reported making valuable contacts with many new customers from around the globe, as well as being greatly relieved that the level of interest from trade visitors at the exhibition exceeded all expectations," show organizers said in a news release.

GA in Europe tends to be focused on smaller aircraft in the LSA and ultralight categories and the event has become a showcase for the growing electric airplane segment. "Our new UL Taurus E, which is powered by an electric motor, was a major focus of attention for visitors," Vid Plevink, head of development for Pipistrel, is quoted by show organizers as saying. "The tendency toward electric drive systems in aircraft is clearly on the rise." More traditional offerings were also successful at the show. Cirrus sold at least one of its $725,000 tenth-anniversary edition SR22s and Hawker Beechcraft sold some King Airs. Next year's Aero is April 18-21, 2012.