The Farnborough International Airshow is a week-long event that combines a major trade exhibition for the aerospace and defence industries with a public airshow. The event is held in mid-July in even-numbered years at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire, United Kingdom. The first four days (Monday to Thursday) are dedicated exclusively to trade, with the final three days open to the public.
The airshow is an important event in the international aerospace and defence industry calendar, providing an opportunity to demonstrate civilian and military aircraft to potential customers and investors. The show is also used for the announcement of new developments and orders, and to attract media coverage.
It is the second largest after Le Bourget, ahead of Dubai Air Show or Singapore Air Show. It is organised by Farnborough International Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of ADS Group. In 2012, it attracted 109,000 trade visitors over the first five days, and 100,000 public visitors during the weekend. Orders and commitments for 758 aircraft were announced, worth US$72 billion.
Farnborough in 2006
|Location(s)||Hampshire, Great Britain, United Kingdom|
|Organised by||Farnborough International Limited|
Flying occurs on all seven days, and there are also static displays of aircraft outside and booths and stands in the indoor exhibition halls. On the Saturday and Sunday most of the exhibitions halls are shut, but there is a travelling funfair and children are admitted.
The Farnborough Airshow has its origins in the annual RAF Airshow at Hendon from 1920 to 1937. On 27 June 1932, the Society of British Aircraft Constructors held an exhibition of 35 aircraft by 16 companies at Hendon as a showpiece for the British aircraft industry. After World War II, the show recommenced at Radlett (the site of Handley Page's airfield) in 1946 and was held there until 1948, when the show moved to its present location of Farnborough, Hampshire, home of the Royal Aircraft Establishment, about 30 miles (48 km) south-west of central London.
In 1952, 31 people were killed (twenty-nine spectators, one pilot, and one navigator) when a DH.110 jet fighter disintegrated in flight and crashed into the crowd.
The show was initially an annual event, but has been biennial since 1962. It has become an international event that attracts exhibitors from all over the world — with the exception, during the Cold War, of countries from the Soviet Union.