Best of the Web: The 2012 Farnborough Air Show

Some of the best coverage in the blogosphere of the 2012 Farnborough Air Show has come from both David Cenciotti (the blogger behind the Aviationist blog) and Randy Tinseth (the blogger behind Randy’s Journal Boeing) but here is a quick wrap-up of all coverage of the air show:

Why the Farnborough Air Show Remains Important. CNBC has an article discussing why the Farnborough Air Show remains important despite the emergence of new air show venues in other parts of the world where aviation continues to have high rates of growth.

What You Should Have Paid Attention To at Farnborough. Likewise, Damien Lasou, the managing director of the Aerospace and Defense business within Accenture’s Electronics & High-Tech industry group, has written a blog post for the Thirty Thousand Feet blog that listed the five key stories to track at the Farnborough Air Show. These stories included:

1) Concerns about fleet delivery delays, cancellations of orders, and the latest news from major manufacturers; 2) Russia’s unrealized potential; 3) Revisiting China and Brazil; 4) Tablets in the cockpit and cabin; and 5) Austerity – a challenging foe for the defense sector.

The Dark Side of Farnborough? However, the Street has an article that extensively quotes Tom Buffenbarger, the president of the International Association of Machinists, about the dark side of Farnborough. Tom was quoted as saying that when he first went to the air show:

“I was shocked at what I saw, in the sense that our employers from here were over there trying to pimp our products to other countries with lower wage rates and more onerous labor laws.”

He also added that some US states were at the air show touting their low unionization rates.

The Airbus vs. Boeing Price War. The unions do have something to worry about as Reuters has a great analysis of how Airbus and Boeing have found themselves locked in a bitter global price war.

Jet Engine Made Out of Legos. On a lighter note, Rolls-Royce unveiled the world’s first jet engine made entirely out of Legos at Farnborough. The Lego replica is half the size of the Trent 1000 which is currently being fitted into the new 787 Dreamliner planes.

Branson’s SpaceShipTwo Debuts. In addition, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic “spaceship” made its debut at Farnborough and The Telegraph has reported that a total of 529 people, more than the number of humans who have ever ventured into space, have put their names down on a waiting list for the $200,000 (£130,000) trips – which will only last for around two hours and travel 60 miles high. Aviation Week also has a very thorough article about the debut and the steps going forward.

The British Aerospace Industry Makes Big Gains. Science minister David Willetts also took the opportunity at Farnborough to announce that the British aerospace sector was worth 9 billion pounds ($13.95 billion) to the UK last year and employed 29,000 skilled workers. The British aerospace industry grew 7.5% last year and the government has set a goal of 100,000 aerospace jobs by 2030. In addition, the government will invest around £120 million into the British aerospace industry, including £40 million to support research in advanced low-carbon engines that is currently being led by Rolls-Royce.

Video Tour Inside Qatar 787. Meanwhile, Flight Global’s Graham Dunn, Airline Business managing editor along with the head of web content Michael Targett got a chance to explore the Qatar Airways 787 interior:


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