By the end of June, Le Bourget will be transformed, once again, into the aviation industry’s largest trade show. Helicopter manufacturers including AgustaWestland, AVIC, Bell, Boeing, Enstrom, Eurocopter, HAL, KAI, Russian Helicopters, Sikorsky and others will join the many service and equipment suppliers from the rotorcraft industry, in addition to the miles of fixed-wing aircraft displays and space-focused exhibits.
According to Paris Air Show Chairman and CEO Emeric d’Arcimoles, exhibit space at the 50th iteration of the event – which first launched in 1909 – sold out in January, with a total of 580,000 square feet (54,000 square meters) of stands. Through mid-March, upwards of 2,000 exhibitors (from 44 countries) and 110 aircraft had registered, with another 30 aircraft or so expected by the time the show kicks off in mid-June. There will be more than 340 business chalets, totaling 430,000 square feet (40,000 square meters) of covered space. Outside space comes in at around 460,000 square feet (43,000 square meters), with 2 million plus square feet (192,000 square meters) dedicated to aircraft static displays. Paris will feature 27 national pavilions, with the top six countries represented coming from the host country France first, followed by the U.S., Germany, UK, Russia and Italy.
The projections for 2013 stack up against the record-breaking 2011 version, which saw 2,113 exhibitors (from 45 countries), 150 aircraft on display, 151,000 trade visitors and 204,000 attendees from the general public, according to figures from d’Arcimoles. Organizers claim that 1,400 aircraft were sold during the course of the last Paris Air Show, adding that 7,000 people were involved in the setup for the weeklong undertaking. That number is set to jump north for the 2013 version, with more than 20,000 expected to join the setup effort this year.
Organizers have invested more than $60 million in the show since 2003, according to d’Arcimoles. Some of the new services available for 2013 include free wi-fi service in the halls, chalets and static displays; exhibitor events and new products posted online; and a radio station dedicated to information about air show traffic. The hours of operation are expanding, as exhibitors can start the day at 6:30 am and visitors at 8:30 am. Paris will play host to a number of business-to-business (B2B) meetings with a special emphasis on training, employment and career advancement.
Monaco-based Avinco is marking 10 years in business at the Paris Air Show, fresh off a transaction with CHC Helicopter. Avinco, which primarily deals with Eurocopter models, arranged an AS365 N3 for CHC, following transactions involving an AS332 L2 and EC155 B1 in early 2013.
“What makes us unique is we have the ability to move helicopters from one segment to another, and we have the technical expertise to do that,” Avinco CEO Francois Gautier told Rotor & Wing during an interview at Heli-Expo in March. Started as a financing and support company for large fixed-wing aircraft, Avinco has found recent success in the rotorcraft sector, setting up transactions involving more than 220 helicopters over the past decade.
Gautier remarked that the helicopter leasing business “will grow up to a certain point – I don’t think it will reach what you see on the fixed-wing side – but operators need to manage their balance sheet in a way that they need to lease more and more. They need the ability to get capacity quicker.” Brazil, Southeast Asia, India and Russia are some of the emerging markets that Avinco is seeking to expand in, according to Gautier, who founded Avinco in 2003 and previously worked for Airbus, ATR and Aerospatiale (now EADS).
Innovation will be the theme of Eurocopter at Paris this year, as it will be across the whole EADS group. One of the highlights of Eurocopter’s participation will be the static display of its X3 technology demonstrator, which toured the U.S. last summer. Also on display will be some of the latest members of the Eurocopter family, including the EC645 T2, the AS565 MB Panther and the EC135.
There is a new CEO at the helm, Guillaume Faury, 45, who succeeds Lutz Bertling after his move to Bombardier Transportation. Faury already has a decade of previous management experience with Eurocopter (1998 to 2008) in posts that included chief engineer for the EC225/725 program, head of the heavy helicopter flight test department, executive vice president for commercial programs and executive vice president for research and development.
According to Pierre Fabre, Chairman and CEO of Snecma (Safran), 2013 will be a “pivotal year” across the majority of the organization’s programs.
On June 21 and 22, Safran is using the airshow to recruit new employees. Named “Talent2Days,” the event hopes to attract more than 100 new employees for specific jobs within the group.
In terms of helicopter engines, Bettina Frey, vice president of communications, said that Turbomeca will be showing its Ardiden 3, Arrius, Arriel and the newly introduced turboshaft Arrano. The latter was launched at Heli-Expo in March. It is a 1,100-shp engine designed to power four-to-six ton helicopters and fits between the Arriel and Ardiden performance ranges.
At its launch, Turbomeca Chairman and CEO Olivier Andries explained the reasoning behind the name. “Traditionally, our engine names have links to the Pyrenees mountains, near where Turbomeca has its headquarters. Arrano means “eagle” in the region’s Basque language.”
Helicopter Stuff: OEM Stops at ParisThe following is a list of booth numbers at the Paris Air Show for rotorcraft original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). For a complete list of engine and avionics providers, as well as exhibitors offering helicopter support equipment and services, visit www.paris-air-show.com