It's no surprise the 49th edition of the Paris Air Show, the world's largest aviation and space industry event, was spectacular.
Taking place from June 20 to 26, 2011, at Le Bourget airport, near Paris, the Paris Air Show showcased some of the best flying machines conceived, built and operated in recent times.
This photo gallery presents a collection of the latest and greatest in both civilian and military aviation. Enjoy!
Aircrafts are going green
Green aviation was a hot topic at this year's Paris Air Show. As oil prices continue to be highly volatile and uncertain, manufacturers demonstrated environmentally-friendly biofuels, diesel power and electric power.
Presented as the 'Special Guest' was Solar Impulse, powered by solar cells with zero emissions.
"Solar Impulse was not built to carry passengers, but to carry messages. We want to show what can be achieved using clean technologies, to reduce our society's dependence on fossil energies. What we can achieve in the air, anyone can do on the ground, in their everyday lives," stated Bertrand Piccard, Initiator and Chairman of Solar Impulse.
. Solar impulse, the zero fuel airplane
Solar Impulse is a long-range solar powered plane project being undertaken at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg. The project eventually hopes to succeed in the first circling of the earth with a piloted fixed-wing aircraft using only solar power.
The first aircraft, bearing the Swiss aircraft registration code of HB-SIA, is a single-seater, capable of taking off under its own power, and intended to remain airborne up to 36 hours. This aircraft first flew an entire diurnal solar cycle, including nearly 9 hours of night flying, in a 26-hour flight on 7–8 July 2010. Building on the experience of this prototype, a slightly larger follow-on design (HB-SIB) is planned to make circumnavigation of the globe in 20–25 days.
. Wingspan: 63.40m
. Length: 21.85m
. Height: 6.4m
. Power source: 4 x 10 HP electric engines
. Solar cells: 11 628 (10 748 on the wing, 880 on the horizontal stabilizer)
. Weight: 1600 kg
. Average flying speed: 70 km/h
. Take-off speed: 44 km/h
. Stalling speed: 35 km/h
. Maximum cruising altitude: 8500m (27 900 ft)
. 3 world records in the solar-powered aircraft category: Duration (26h, 10 min, 19 sec); Absolute altitude (9235 m, 30 300 ft); Gain of height (8744, 28 688 ft).
Solar Impulse flying at the Paris Air Show on Sunday, June 26th at 10:00 am.
Source: Paris Air Show - Le Bourget Website
2010: First solar energy night flight
2011: European solar flights
2012: Multi-day mission flights
2013: Test Flights HB-SIB
2014: Attempting the round-the-world flight
. Boeing 747-8 Freighter
The Paris Air Show saw the international debut of Boeing’s newest commercial aircraft models – the 747-8 Intercontinental and 747-8 Freighter – together with the appearance of the 787 Dreamliner.
The new 747-8 Freighter flew to Le Bourget Airport with all four engines powered by a fuel blend containing 15 percent camelina-based biofuel, achieving the world’s first transatlantic crossing of a commercial jetliner with biofuels.
Boeing also proved its environmental commitment through an agreement with American Airlines, announced at the show, under which the airline will be the launch partner for the ecoDemonstrator Program, a Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft that will be used to flight test emerging technologies and accelerate their market readiness.
. Airbus A380
The double-deck A380 indeed provides seating for 525 people in a typical three-class configuration or up to 853 people in all-economy class configurations. The A380-800 has a design range of 15,200 km (8,200 nmi; 9,400 mi), sufficient to fly from New York to Hong Kong for instance, and a cruising speed of Mach 0.85 (about 900 km/h or 560 mph at cruising altitude)
The Airbus A380 has a very low fuel consumption of less than 3 liters per passenger per 100 kilometers.
The Airbus A380 generates as little as 75 g of CO2 per passenger kilometer, knowing that the European car industry aims at 140 g of CO2 per km in 2009.