Optimism high for AERO 2012

Friedrichshafen, Germany — With more than 500 exhibitors expected to attend, AERO will continue to be the largest trade show for general aviation in Europe in 2012. Although the number of airplanes sold in general aviation during the past 12 months has decreased, the downward trend has slowed compared to last year, and numerous new models are sure to stimulate demand among customers, officials say. What’s more, in 2012, exhibitor demonstration flights featuring airplanes, helicopters and gyrocopters will be offered on three days of the exhibition.

Messe Friedrichshafen CEO Klaus Wellmann and project manager Roland Bosch report that as of the end of November, 60% of the exhibition space at AERO 2012 has been booked. “We’re experiencing a particularly high level of demand,” says Bosch. “However, the market recovery and upswing has been less pronounced in general aviation than in other industries. Nearly all of our exhibitors and contacts in the industry have expressed cautious confidence and optimism, barring any additional disruptions in the market.”

“Everything that flies” will once again be the theme at AERO in 2012, which will include ultralights, single and multi-engine airplanes, helicopters, gyrocopters, turboprops and jets. The exhibition will also feature new engines and a wide range of aviation accessories.

Two special exhibitions will once again take place at AERO in 2012: The E-Flight-Expo has become an established part of the exhibition and will be offered for the fourth time, featuring alternative drive concepts under the theme “Electrical, Ecological, Evolutionary.” This event has also received a boost from the news that the Slovenian aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel, a longtime exhibitor at AERO, won a prize in a competition hosted by NASA in the fall of 2011. The goal of the competition, which offered a total of $1.65 million in prizes, was to develop and fly a highly efficient multi-seated airplane. Pipistrel’s Taurus G4 Electric, which is powered by an electric motor, placed far ahead of the other combustion engine airplanes in the competition.

The Helicopter Hangar also continues to expand each year, and in 2012 it will once again feature models in every price range and configuration, from small ultralights to twin-turbine helicopters. Additionally, the Helicopter Hangar will offer information for young people about training and career opportunities in the helicopter industry.

In order to make AERO even more attractive in 2012, the organizers have decided to offer exhibitor demonstration flights on Wednesday through Friday, giving exhibitors the chance to show off their airplanes, helicopters and gyrocopters in flight. The hour-long demonstration flights will begin at 1:30 p.m. each of the three days.

AERO 2012 will also feature the new Engine Avenue, a special area for modern aircraft engines from a variety of manufacturers, including electric, internal combustion and hybrid models. In light of the continued rise in aviation fuel prices, many new developments are expected to be shown, officials said. Furthermore, numerous informative lectures and symposia on current topics in aviation will once again be offered at the AERO Conferences in 2012.

Finally, the exhibition will be rounded out by a market for used airplanes located in a separate area.

As in previous years, visitors interested in flying to AERO will be able to book a time slot online. More information will be available in the spring. The exhibition will also offer a new option for visitors who decide to make a trip to AERO but prefer not to book a hotel: Rothaus Hall A1 will house the Tent City, where attendees arriving by plane or car can rent a tent to sleep in right at the exhibition grounds for a small fee. They only have to bring their own sleeping bag.

AERO 2012 takes place from April 18 through 21, 2012. For more information: AERO-expo.com

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