Simple Flying was very lucky to attend the Paris Air Show this year, invited to special events such as the Rolls Royce Electric Engine conference, Boeing and Airbus order press briefings and tour brand new aircraft not yet on the market.
You can check out a quick montage of video of the 2019 Pairs Air Show here:
Here are some highlights from the show, and what you can expect if you go yourself as a member of the press.
The airshow is very big
An airshow takes place at an airport and features multiple aircraft. Obviously. However, what is not obvious is how big an airshow is and how long it can take to walk between different sites. This can be a problem if Airbus and Boeing have two conferences within 15 minutes of each other, as you will need to walk half the length of a runway to get between their different centers.
Many of the different companies featured at the airshow provide their team with golf buggies to scoot around. That is one of the key reasons why you want to maintain a good relationship with airlines as a member of the press!
On press days you can’t go on every aircraft
Surprisingly, the Paris Air Show is not actually a press event, but an industry event for aircraft manufacturers to present their wares to airlines. As such, many of the aircraft are locked away to keep them spotless for VIP tours.
Simple Flying did manage to get onboard a few aircraft (such as the amazing air Baltic A220-300) but only because of previous relationships and a bit of diplomatic backroom dealing.
The news happens fast
The airshow is also the place that airlines announce their latest aircraft orders, and as such some of the press rooms for bigger airlines (like Qatar) are flooded with reporters pushing their way forward. At Simple Flying, it is our role to release this breaking news as soon as it happens and thus we couldn’t attend every event.
Having half the team in the (air conditioned) press room during big events allowed us to write a story quickly before any of the other publications put pen to paper.
But generally, the press knows what the story is about before the reveal, as they have their own connections to the airlines and curry favors with them to get exclusive access.
The show features military products too
What was rather shocking was the amount of military aircraft and products on sale. The middle of the show seemed to be taken up by military paraphernalia, from bombs to missiles to air force jets.
And it didn’t stop there, with buyers able to buy mini-guns for their helicopters, rockets to launch thousands of miles and aircraft to fit out an entire nations armada requirements. Simple Flying saw many generals from unknown countries milling about and inspecting the next line of defense.
The future of aircraft is there too
But on the bright side, the airshow also features the next generation of commercial aircraft. In the shadow of two concords, the Paris Air Show featured Boom Aerospace. The Colorado-based company plans to bring back super-sonic travel later this year
Additionally, the new all-electric aircraft were also put on stage. These aircraft are designed for short trips under 50 passengers. Producing no emissions and a tiny fuel cost, these aircraft are the future of travel on tiny regional routes up to two hours.
Overall, Simple Flying was very lucky to be invited to the Air Show and we can’t wait until the Dubai Air Show in November this year.
What do you think? Are you planning to go to an air show this year? Let us know in the comments.