The 2011/07/06 at 10:48
Set up in 1909, the Paris Air Show is the key meeting place for professionals in the sector. For its 49th edition, 2,100 exhibitors from 45 countries filled out 130,000 m² in exhibition space while 150 aircrafts were featured over 192,000 m². 150,000 professional visitors and 200,000 members of the general public thronged to Bourget to admire around twenty daily demonstrations, each more spectacular (and noisier) than the last. Guest of honour at the Show was Solar Impulse, the Swiss zero-fuel plane. At the size of an Airbus A-340 (63.40 metres in wingspan), Solar Impulse is a featherweight plane (1,600 kilos): endowed by 11,628 solar cells, it can fly at night as well as during the day, at an average speed of 70 km/h.
Following its flight over 26 hours long on 8 July 2010, it aims to undertake a world tour by 2014. Other ways of limiting pollution while saving fossil energy were presented during the exhibition which, this year, devoted a space to alternative fuels that are beginning to confirm their performance in the aeronautical sector. In this way, a Gulfstream G450 executive jet flew from Morristown (United States) to Le Bourget thanks to a fuel half composed of camelina oil – a solution allowing 5.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide to be saved according to the plane’s manufacturer Honeywell. Meanwhile, the Zehst – a hypersonic plane that EADS is dreaming of launching in around 2050 – will fly up to 32,000 metres in altitude (10,000 metres for traditional planes) thanks to a seaweed-based fuel, then set off hydrogen-based rocket engines: flying in the stratosphere, it is expected to travel from Paris to Tokyo in 2.5 hours (as opposed to 12 hours today). As in previous editions, the Paris Air Show once again features French small and medium-sized businesses.
Almost 400 SME/SMI suppliers for the aeronautical industry, federated by various Chambers of Commerce or regional players (CCI Rhône-Alpes, Centreco, AREX Picardie…) were represented in the French Aerospace Suppliers space, stretching out over 54,000 m², promoting their innovative techniques and products. In addition, the whole of Hall 4 was handed over to French aeronautic SMEs which were able to organise confidential individual business meetings with large ordering parties on pre-defined themes, thus optimising their chances of settling partnerships or even signing contracts. Three competitiveness clusters were present at the French Aerospace Suppliers space. Firstly, the ASTech Paris Région, created in 2006, has over 200 members today. As France’s leading job pool in the aeronautics, space and embedded systems domain, it gathers over 100,000 persons and represents a majority of jobs in French R&D. Entrusted the mission, by the Île-de-France and the State, to head up the network of the Île-de-France aeronautical and space stream, the cluster has drawn up, in partnership with the network of Paris-Île-de-France Chambers of Commerce, an action plan aiming to create a new growth dynamic in terms of markets, job creation and sustainable economic development, and to improve relations between SMEs-SMEs and large ordering parties.
In the space of four years, 141 million euros have already been invested in 27 projects, benefitting 183 industrial partners. Secondly, the Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrénées regions – territories of excellence in the aeronautical sector – were also represented at the Paris Air Show via Aerospace Valley. This competitiveness cluster is the leading European job pool in the sector, with 567 members including 283 SMEs (97 of which were present at the stand), 120,000 jobs, 1,600 establishments, 8,500 researchers and two out of the three French aeronautical schools. Thirdly, the EMC2 cluster, specialised in advanced materials, has already brought about the labelling of 110 projects, or almost 350 million euros in global investments in R&D: over two-thirds of projects have already been financed, totalling a value of around 270 million euros, with the public sector representing over 90 million euros. Like businesses grouped into regional pavilions, the SMEs integrated into these competitiveness clusters benefited from improved visibility and exhibited their complementariness with their colleagues from the same territory. This is a decisive factor for ordering parties which – even in the aeronautical and space sectors – keep their feet firmly planted on the ground.