Saturday, February 23, 2008

Singapore Air Show 2008

Singapore Air Show is being held for the first time, this year. The air show that was organized in previous years was by a different organization and was called the Asian Aerospace Expo. That event has now moved to Hong Kong. The show was from the 19th of Feb to the 22nd, it is the last day today and a public day. The two days of the weekend were for public days and judging from the sheer volume, it is a hit with the public, attracting over 40,000 people per day. The trade days were for delegates, customers (such as myself), sellers, exhibitors and so on.

(Selvam, me, representatives for Cessna in this region Ms Chong and Dato Lee)

Here are some positive things to say about the air show. Firstly, the venue is great, plenty of space, a purpose-built indoor exhibition space, huge by any standards and well organized. The tarmac area is more than adequate. The show is very well connected by MRT/Bus, Taxis, own transport and so on.

(Fighters and bombers made their presence felt as always)

Here are some not so positive things to say about it. This show was really small compared to Dubai. At least it seemed that way. There were for sure, a lot less Aircraft on static display. Vast area of the tarmac was absolutely empty. Dubai was leaps and bounds bigger and better in terms of deals and sales concluded. However, Dubai was poorly connected, no buses running round the clock during the show, severe shortage of taxis and really expensive taxis. The exhibition hall in Dubai and the layout was confusing unlike Singapore. Dubai had great volume and poor organization. Singapore had poor volume and great organization. So there.

(The Cessna 400 single engine seen from the cockpit of the Citation Sovereign)

I had promised all, in my last blog post, that I'd post pictures, so here they are. The Singapore Air Show for me was a good one. I had plenty of work with Cessna Aircraft. They are the manufacturers of the Citation Mustang Jet and as mentioned earlier, my new company will acquire two this year. One Aircraft is due in late March and I had meetings related to this at the show.

(Citation Sovereign outside and with me inside)

Cessna also reported large orders from Indian promoted Singapore operator BJet. The TATAs' have a stake in it and some jets are likely to be based out of Seletar Airport here. A flight school in India ordered a large number of piston engine Cessna 172 training Aircraft and Cessna reported that single engine piston Aircraft sales were at record levels this past year and looking good for this year as well. The all-new Cessna Columbus also made the news here. It is a new large Cabin concept Jet to be designed and built by Cessna. This is a product many Cessna faithful were looking for, from a long time. The largest they had ever built is the hugely successful Citation X, the World's fastest biz jet. Let's hope the Columbus gets off the drawing board and into production real soon. Other maufacturers such as Gulfstream had brought in their G150, 200, 450 and 550 large executive jets. Here's a picture of a G450 with the clergy also evaluating the Gulfstream line and why not?

Falcon had brought in their new Falcon 7X whose pictures I have in my Dubai Air Show article. Embraer had their Legacy 600 and Eclipse had their Eclipse 500 VLJ, again these photos also appear in the Dubai Air Show. As in the recent past, Indians almost dominated the show in numbers, or at least seemed like it. India had a pavillion with the same old H.A.L and defence exhibits. Chinese and Indonesian operators also made their presence felt, ordering large number of transport Aircraft.

(The Airbus A380 super jumbo)

The flying displays were the usual standard that one gets to see at every air show. The Republic of Singapore Air Show put up a grand display with their F-16 aerobatic team. The Airbus A380 made another appearance, on the ground as well as in the air. As always it's great fun to see this big bird make fantabulous displays in slow flight. The show ends this afternoon and I'm looking forward to the next one in two years time. A new air show is planned to be organized in Hyderabad, India this year. Farnborough U.K. has announced that it will partner that event. The chances of me being there with one of my Mustang jets on display, is very high. See me at the show, October of 2008.