ILA Berlin: Overall Thoughts From Last Week

Photo Credit: Emil Bree/AviationSource

BERLIN – As the ILA – or International Aerospace Exhibition came to a close last weekend, we want to give you a small insight into what the show was all about, the highlights, and a few personal thoughts.

This year‘s ILA was special in the sense that it was the first time it took place after the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic in 2020.

The concept of the show revolved around technologies and innovations to make the future of aviation more sustainable and climate-friendly.

This and the fact that Berlin-Brandenburg Airport, where the fair takes place, now operates both its runways simultaneously led to a heavily reduced static- and flying display.

Some Interesting aircraft that did show up included the ever-impressive Airbus A380 of Emirates Airlines, Airbus‘ own A350 XWB also known as “Airspace Explorer“, the A330-743L variant, more commonly known as “BelugaXL“ and a wide variety of military aircraft such as Fighters, Transports, and Helicopters.

As usual, the German armed forces had a big presence on the fairgrounds as well in hopes of attracting potential future military personnel.

During the public days on the weekend, the Emirates A380 was the biggest crowd-magnet, having people queue for hours to get a glimpse of how only the wealthiest travel the world.

I did a tour myself and was left speechless. People of the press and industry delegations were also able to get behind the fences of the Airbus static-display area to learn all about Sustainable aviation fuel, new drone projects, and of course to get up close and personal with a few breathtaking aircraft.

Getting the opportunity to Visit the A350 Airspace Explorer, which focuses on a digitalized information flow toward the passenger, was also one of my personal highlights!

For those who are more interested in military aviation, the show also held some surprises. For example the all-new C-130 Hercules of the German Airforce.

This Aircraft and her sisters will be operated by a mixed crew of German and French airmen in the future, underlining the fact that the future of armed conflicts lies in unity between states.

You could also get a look inside a German Airforce Airbus A319 which is used under the open-skies treaty to conduct patrolling flights over partnering nations as a measure of trust-building.

If you love seeing aircraft in the sky, this year’s ILA was quite an embarrassment, to say the least.

During weekdays you have presented with 3 10-Minute display flights and during the weekdays the same 3 displays took place with the addition of a mere overflight of a NATO-Tanker aircraft and two instead of one Eurofighter displays.

The Airport and the Organizer of the fair took the concept of the show and the operation of BER airport as a reason for the reduced flying activity but in my personal opinion, it’s mostly political decisions which made this show objectivly worse than the prior ones.

Despite the disappointing flying displays, it was still a great experience for me personally simply because you were finally able to get together again to celebrate aviation, meet new people, and get up to speed with the latest innovations for a sustainable aviation future.

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Emil Bree

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