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Video - The Paris Air Show now opens to the public

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After the four trade days, it’s time to take stock. For the two major aircraft manufacturers, this 2015 edition has not been nearly as good as the last one. In value terms, Airbus’ and Boeing’s firm orders stand at 50% those of 2013 (Airbus: $ 16.3 billion / Boeing: $ 18.6 billion).

The winner of the show, however, is CFM International. By supplying the jet engines for the Boeing 737, and half of those for the Airbus A320, the engine manufacturer could not lose, or almost. In four days, CFM has sold more than 800 engines, worth 14 billion dollars. Jean-Paul Ebanga, CEO of CFM International: "To put this into perspective, at the previous Paris Air Show in 2013, already a great event, we sold 660 engines. Asian customers and aircraft leasing companies are the main contributors to the current market growth, and represent 80% of the $ 14 billion worth of orders received at this show."

Looking now at the manufacturers, this year the Chinese company COMAC, is here again with a model of their C919. Launched six years ago, the programme is accumulating delays. The maiden flight of the first test unit is now announced for next year, with entry into service, not expected until, at best, 2019. To date, 500 units of the 190-seater twin-jet have been ordered.

The spotlight now turns to what Business Class passengers may soon look forward to. Developed over several years by Thales, BE Aerospace and BMW, this airplane seat is a marvel of technology. It has a side-mounted screen to project a virtual landscape, your vacation photos or images from the outside of the aircraft. The 24-inch Ultra High Definition display (UHD), can be controlled, not only at the touch of a finger, but especially by eye movement. When watching a movie, should you look away, to talk to a hostess for example, the film stops, and resumes when your eyes return to the screen ; and for audio, there’s no need to wear head phones. Brett Bleacher, Innovation Director - Thales Avionics IFE: "It has two speakers and it does face shifting to create immersive 5.1 surround sound. We also have transducers built into the seat. It gives you massage and gives you audio based feedback. When there is action on the movie, it will actually vibrate the seat." The price of this high-tech immersive seat is confidential, especially since it varies depending on the different options that the customer wants, or not. Several airlines have expressed interest.

The Paris Air Show takes on a green aspect from the 18 June. Six months away from the COP 21 climate conference to be held in Paris, the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius and his Ecology colleague, Ségolène Royal, visited a few of the show’s stands, in particular to praise the initiatives taken by the industry to fight against greenhouse effect gas emissions. After the trade days, the show is now open to the public. The organisers expect 180,000 visitors between 19 and 21 June. To stay with the theme, we’ll leave you then, with these images of the ecological flight demonstrations.

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