Singapore Airshow 2014 kicked off yesterday at Changi Exhibition Centre for a week-long run until Sunday (Feb 16), with the last two days open to the public. The show has grown by 10 per cent compared to two years ago, with 47 countries represented and 22 country pavilions. Here are four of the highlights you can expect:
The company Airbus
The star A350XWB
The sight Widely seen as the future competitor to Boeing’s Dreamliner, the A350XWB began its first test flight in June (see story). One of the two A350 XWB test aircraft currently in the skies, MSN3, has arrived at Singapore Changi to perform flying displays for the Airshow. Together with MSN1, this aircraft is fitted with heavy test instrumentation and is carrying out performance and system evaluations in extreme environmental conditions. Another two test aircraft, MSN2 and MSN5, will be fitted with cabins to carry out the early long flights and route-proving flights later this year. Another test aircraft MSN4 will be fitted with light flight test instrumentation to perform external noise and lightning tests and avionics development, as well as training for first customer pilots and maintenance teams.
The company ST Engineering
The star The intelligent airport
The sight One of the largest exhibitors with 2,000sqm of show space, this Singapore-homegrown engineering group is showcasing, among other things, the “intelligent airport” control panel and model. The system serves to connect the dots between different pieces of technology that are being used by airports today. What it hopes to achieve is to predict aircraft movements some two hours in advance, so that “choke points” can be identified beforehand and delays can be avoided by measures such as rearranging departure gates. It can also monitor movements of cargo and passengers, as well as taxis arriving and leaving the airport so that decisions can be made as to how to increase operational efficiency.
The company Silk Air
The star B737
The sight Last week, the regional sister of Singapore Airlines took delivery of the first of its 54 B737s on order (see story), which will gradually replace the current all-Airbus fleet. After a long “home coming” flight from Boeing Renton facility to Changi via Honolulu, Majuro and Guam, the new aircraft will be unveiled to the public on Friday. The aircraft will consist of 162 seats (150 in economy and 12 in business) and the Boeing Sky Interior with signature features such as pivoted storage bins that allow more overhead space when tucked away, sculpted sidewalls and redesigned window blinds that, when open, allow a broader view to the outside. The LED ambiance lighting can emulate soft blue sky and sunset colours.
The company Gulfstream
The star G650
The sight All of the major business jet manufacturers will be presented at the show, and Gulfstream Aerospace Corp, which has produced 2,100 aircraft since 1958, is one of the most well known names among them. One of the numerous models that are on display is the ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range G650. Introduced in 2008, this sophisticated jet is the manufacturer’s flagship product, capable of flying up to eight passengers and a crew of four on nonstop legs of 12,964 km, which translates to the capability to link Dubai with New York, or London with Buenos Aires. The interior cabin can be configured in different 12 floor plans, including one featureing a four-place conference table with two additional seats across the aisle for meals or meetings for up to 6 people.