Even though spectacular contract signings had been missed at this year's ILA and announcements were nearly drowned out by the discussion where the next ILAs will take place due the extension of Schönefeld to the new Berlin-Brandenburg International (BBI) airport it was once again a very impressive event. Fortunately it was decided already at the beginning that ILA will stay in Berlin, but also that the fairground will move to the North of the runway what will make good photography even more difficult than it is today with the huge distance of the display line.
Where? Flughafen Berlin-Schönefeld (SXF) -Germany
But back to the presence:
Despite the reduction from 7 to 6 show days (Tuesday-Sunday) it attracted more than 250.000 visitors that had the possibility to have a look at around 340 aircraft, of which several could be admired during the flight displays.
Whereas these presentations were sparse during the trade days the flight program on the public days from Friday until Sunday was packed with aircraft and/in action.
Dieter Thomas and his team did very well in compiling a diversified and exciting show in the sky above the Berlin-Schönefeld airport.
The main highlight and point of attraction for the general public was surely the mighty Airbus A380 that presented its habitual display together with two other members of the Airbus family, namely the A318 and A340-600. Among the enthusiasts his show was only stolen by the replica Messerschmitt Me262. Shortly after its first flight in Germany the aircraft was just ready for the ILA and was the first one to land during the show on Tuesday morning. Rehearsals by Horst Philip and EADS Chief Test Pilot Wolfgang Schirdewahn were performed on the evening that same day and the aircraft subsequently presented in flight every day, as well as the Bf 109 G-6 of the Messerschmitt Stiftung.
Another highlight were the several tactical demonstrations of the German Army and Luftwaffe:
The Luftwaffe demo started with a take-off of a E-3A AWACS and an interception of an adversary F-4F Phantom II by two Eurofighter Typhoons. It was then followed by several overflights of Tornados depicting their bomber and reconnaissance roles.
The Army (Heeresflieger) demo brought up 9 Sikorsky CH-53G(S) heavy-lift helicopters and 6 French HAP and German UHT Eurocopter Tigers up in the air that showed the debarkation of ground troops and securing a specified area. Hostages were rescued as well with Bell UH-1D helicopters and flown out with a C-160D Transall.
Besides that the thrust vector controlled MiG-29 OVT was most impressive, and though a bit far away it was very nice to see the Russians back in the sky at ILA once again.
To get an impression of the rest of the show feel free to browse through the photos on the following pages!