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AERO Friedrichshafen

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5 years ago
AERO Friedrichshafen

AERO presents the entire diversity of aviation

The 26th AERO will take off on April 18 to 21, 2018 with a comprehensive range of general aviation aircraft, products and services. Trade visitors will be invited to explore a new technical attraction for the first time, the Flight Simulator Area for professional pilot training. A wide selection of very diverse aircraft is at the center of the international aviation show. The colorful palette at Lake Constance ranges from ultralight aircraft to cruising aircraft, from helicopters to business jets. The range also includes unmanned civilian drones, which are playing a larger and larger role in aviation. The e-flight-expo is also taking an increasingly prominent role. Time-tested special theme areas like the Avionics Avenue, Engine Area, Be a Pilot and AERODrones/UAS Expo are making a strong appearance, as are the rotary wing aircraft dramatically positioned in the helicopter hangar.

Messe Friedrichshafen CEO Klaus Wellman and project leader Roland Bosch are optimistically looking forward to the 26th AERO. As a response to the constantly increasing relevance of electromobility, the e-flight-expo will continue to grow at the AERO 2018,” said Roland Bosch, appraising the situation in advance of the expo. The AERO team is also convinced that the establishment of general aviation China will also increase demand worldwide.

General aviation includes all civil aviation, with the exception of regularly scheduled and chartered airline service; it does not include military aviation. Within the European Union alone, there are more than 200,000 registered ultralights, gliders and powered aircraft. For example, a total of 6527 single engine aircraft with a MTOW of no more than two tons were registered in Germany, along with 3528 gliders, 4133 ultralight aircraft and 594 ultralight gyrocopters.

The AERO 2018 offers the largest possible diversity in the skies: The range of aircraft at the show stretches from civilian drones to ultralights, single- and multi-engine piston-driven aircraft, helicopters, gyrocopters and turboprops all the way up to jets. New aircraft engines, the most advanced avionics and aviation services and accessories will be additional focal points at the AERO 2018, as well as pilot training offers and information about further career opportunities in general aviation.

Powered aircraft

All of the established manufacturers of conventional aircraft will be presenting the broad spectrum of machines that they have on offer, starting with aircraft with piston-driven engines on up to turboprops. In addition, it will be possible to see the newest model year versions of established aircraft with a MTOW of up to two tons, such as those produced by Cirrus Aircraft, Diamond Aircraft, Piper, Pipistrel, Vulcanair, Robin and other manufacturers


Nowhere else is the diversity and variety of different aircraft larger than among the ultralights: there are gliders, powered aircraft and gyrocopters. In Germany, ultralight helicopters have been allowed since 2017. The trend towards ultralight gyrocopters, either with an open or a closed cockpit, also continues unabated. Numerous aircraft innovations, from side-by-side trainers up to a 330 km/h (205 mph) tandem seater, will be presented at Lake Constance, as will the economical 120 kg machines among the ultralights. With a single engine and only one seat, they are inexpensive to buy and maintain, yet still offering pure flying pleasure. In addition, an increase in the MTOW for ultralights from 472 to 600 kg is seen as increasingly likely. This could give yet another impetus to this class. A number of aircraft certified by the EASA as Light Sport Aeroplanes can also be seen at the AERO. These two-seat aircraft with an MTOW of up to 600 kg share common features with ultralights as well as with those aircraft that have an MTOW of up to two tons. In this context, the national pavilions of Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland are also adding weight to the show.

Business aviation

Business aviation will again be a focus of the AERO. Piston-driven aircraft, but above all turboprops and jets are at its core. Thanks to last year’s decision by EASA, the European aviation agency, to permit instrument flight of single-engine turboprops in commercial aviation, the manufacturers of these aircraft can look forward to rising order numbers. Classic twin-engine turboprops will also be on show at Lake Constance. After a few mixed years, signs suggest that stronger demand for single- and multi-engine business jets will return, strengthened by positive economic developments in the United States and Germany.


The e-flight-expo has long been well established and will again showcase alternative drive concepts in a hall all its own. Companies like Siemens, Bell Helicopter, Boeing and more and more startups are working on the development of electrically powered VTOL aircraft. This year, the first electrically powered taxi drones are being tried in places like Dubai and China and German manufacturers are sending their prototypes out on their first passenger flights. These efforts demonstrate the increasing significance that electric flight will hold in the future worldwide.


The constantly growing AERODrones/UAS Expo special area and the introduction of a drone license are proof of the important role now played by drones in aviation. Accordingly, manned as well as unmanned aircraft from several different manufacturers, equipped with the most modern sensor and measurement technology, will be on display. Furthermore, inflight airfields for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) will again be available at the AERO, enabling exhibitors to present a wide variety of systems live and in real time. FPV drone racing will also return: Professionals will face off against each other in indoor competition.

Engine Area

The Engine Area at the AERO is also well-established. Once again, modern engines from a wide variety of manufacturers will be on display in their own special area, including electric, internal combustion and hybrid engines. In light of the development of efficient and unleaded fuel engines for propeller aircraft, new innovations are also expected in this area. Maintenance and engine management will also be in focus, as will alternative and sustainable developments in fuel.

Avionics Avenue

Avionics Avenue is another successful special show. Here it's all about on-board equipment for aircraft and helicopters related to piloting the aircraft, navigation, collision avoidance, flight planning and communication. Although the transition period for the introduction of the new 8.33 kHz radios expired in Germany on January 1, 2018, making the devices mandatory in German aircraft, other European countries such as Switzerland have extended their deadlines to change over to the new radios. This is certain to generate stimulate interest in avionics suppliers at the AERO.

Flight Simulator Area 

In 2018, the new Flight Simulator Area will make its appearance, the first at an AERO. In this area, everything will be centered around the topic of flight simulation, both in pilot training and for everyone who wants to see what it feels like to control an airplane or helicopter and get an impression of life in the cockpit. The Flight Simulator Area offers experienced VFR and IFR pilots training opportunities and the chance to fly the widest variety of aircraft in a simulator.

Helicopter Hangar 

With the special Helicopter Hangar area, rotary wing aircraft will be given increased prominence. In a series of expert presentations, the German helicopter association DHV will highlight the role of the helicopter as an important aviation workhorse. Single and multi-engine helicopters with piston as well as turbine engines are active in training, air rescue and work flights. The recent approval of the ultralight helicopter category in Germany, France and Italy has created a new gateway to the rotary wing segment, generating additional interest in it.

AERO strengthens recruitment segment

The lack of qualified personnel remains one of the central topics in aviation. The dynamic nature of the industry also poses an additional challenge. Correspondingly, the AERO, as the most important European trade fair for general aviation, is expanding its job fair offerings. For the first time, it has been able to secure an accomplished specialist in the recruiting field for the show: zk professionals, a high performance service provider for Germany’s top companies. The company employs highly qualified specialists and industry experts at several locations across Germany. Zk professionals is exhibiting for the first time at the AERO and will be the first stop for companies that need staff in any field.

Be a Pilot

In 2018, the successful Be a Pilot area will return, serving as a meeting place for pilots and anyone who is interested in learning to fly. According to a recent study, aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing expect strong growth to result in a need for about 245,000 pilots by 2035 among Asian airlines alone. Those interested in a career as a pilot will also be able to participate in a free, computer-supported screening process that tests the skills and capabilities essential in this field. In this way, graduates can get a first impression of whether they have what takes to train to be a pilot. In addition, Be a Pilot also provides information and offers from flight schools and colleges. The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (Federal Aviation Office), EASA, AOPA, DWD (German Meteorological Service) and DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH are also represented at this special theme area.

AERO Conferences 

More than 200 presentations, conferences and workshops on current aviation topics take place at the AERO Conferences. At the AERO Conferences, experts from pilots’ associations like the AOPA, regulatory authorities like the EASA and FAA, and the general aviation manufacturers’ associations GAMA and LAMA discuss and provide information about legal and political frameworks and the future of international standards in aviation. UAV Dach, the German association for unmanned vehicles, gives a series of presentations at the conferences. The schedule also includes a symposium on drones in the forestry industry, which is supported by the magazine Drohnenmagazin.

PPR slots for visitors

Once again, a PPR slot allocation system is planned for visitors arriving in their own aircraft. Pilots can reserve slots online. This will be possible starting on Saturday, April 7 at 9:00 a.m. local time at www.bodensee-airport.eu. Visitors arriving at the airport without a PPR slot will be assessed a post-slot fee. Every pilot who lands at EDNY in their own aircraft will receive free admission to the AERO. As an alternative, the Markdorf glider group, in cooperation with Messe Friedrichshafen, is offering ultralights the opportunity to land on their field without a slot assignment during the entire AERO, from Wednesday April 18 to Saturday, April 21. Operating hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time. Departures are also possible on Sunday, April 22. The landing fee in Markdorf is 15 euros; a free shuttlebus travels to the AERO every half hour. The AERO begins on April 18 and lasts until April 21, 2018.

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