On the second day of the Farnborough Airshow, 50 km ( 30 miles ) west of London, one of the 73 aircraft on the tarmac was the Boeing M.S.A. (Maritime Surveillance Aircraft), a less costly version of the current P8-A Poseidon, in service since late 2013. Based on the Bombardier Challenger 605, it has surveillance radar, optronic and radio interception equipment, and through a hatch at the rear, the M.S.A. is able to drop survival equipment. Its first delivery could take place in early 2018.
Boeing has also taken advantage of the show to reveal a few details of their future 777-X's cabin, which will have bigger windows than than those at present, to provide more natural light to the interior. Cabin noise will also be reduced thanks to its new GE9X engines from General Electric, and nacelle design.
On their stand, the engine manufacturer Snecma, has highlighted the LEAP engine that will power the next generation of single-aisle aircraft such as the A320-neo and 737-MAX. Together with the CFM-56 engine, this show is an ideal opportunity for the Safran Group subsidiary to pick up orders.
Marc Ventre, Deputy Managing Director Operations - Safran Group : "At the end of June, between the LEAP and the C.F.M., we recorded more than 2,000 combined orders. I remember, at the end of last year, we had 2,700, so in just six months, we are already close to last year's figure, and my objective is to reach 3,000 by the end of the show."
And until the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning, grounded following a fire in one of its engines last June, makes its first appearance overhead in the English skies - normally within the next few hours - here is a demonstration flight of a much slower and quieter, but certainly less polluting 'plane : the E-fan. An all-electric, all-composite construction, two-seater, twin-engined aircraft developed by Airbus Group for marketing in 2017.