Farnborough Air Shows
50 imagesBritain's 60th Farnborough International Airshow is being held over seven days to demonstrate both civilian and military aircraft to potential customers and investors. In 2010 this biennial international trade fair for the aerospace business hosts 1,500 exhibitors from 40 countries - from governments to small aerospace companies - who gather under an austerity theme where cuts was the unspoken word. Cocktails and kerosene took a back seat to plain water and biofuels. Many defence companies including to Pentagon planners have cut back on their visible presence at the aerospace gathering. But Farnborough is nonetheless, a freak landscape of aviation graphics and red carpets; anonymous buyers in shades inspecting military muscle for their governments. 2010 sees the arrival of Boeing's carbon-composite 787 Dreamliner, making its first public appearance outside the U.S. following production delays of over two years. Made from composite material but with leaked news of further delivery delays, the low-cost, low fuel consumption airliner thrilled those lucky enough to climb on-board to see its self-tinting windows and glass cockpit of LCD screens. Military delegations from repressive regimes and countries in conflict also attend and Unmanned Airborne Vehicles (UAVs) are more prominent than before, their secretive technology more in demand than ever by states eyeing the world of high-altitude surveillance with low-cost flying time. Boeing's UASS programme showed seven prototype models - some full-sized - showing us that unmanned, pilot-less airborne vehicles are what to watch in the next decade.