All Eyes to the Sky As Paris Air Show Kicks Off

11 June 2009 (Last Updated June 11th, 2009 18:30)

On Monday, the eyes of the world's aerospace industry will on Le Bourget, where the Paris Air Show will kick off for the 100th year in its proud history. For those not lucky enough to attend the event, aerospace-technology.com will be featuring all the latest news from the show, as wel

On Monday, the eyes of the world's aerospace industry will on Le Bourget, where the Paris Air Show will kick off for the 100th year in its proud history.

For those not lucky enough to attend the event, aerospace-technology.com will be featuring all the latest news from the show, as well as an image gallery on our homepage with highlights from each day.

In 1908, leading French aircraft manufacturers Blériot, Breguet and Voisin joined forces to establish France's first aerospace industries trade association, the Chambre Syndicale de l'Industrie Aéronautique.

The following year the very first air show was held indoors at the Grand Palais in Paris, marking the start of a biannual tradition that has become the world's most famous air show.

To mark its centenary, the 48th International Paris Air Show is preparing to display the very best innovations and aircraft from world's aviation and aerospace industries next week – from 15 to 21 June.

In keeping with its reputation as a global showcase for the aerospace sector, the 48th Paris Air Show will this year be exhibiting the finest achievements from throughout the sector.

The most highly anticipated launch at the show is expected to be the Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

Although not yet confirmed, the aviation community will be waiting in anticipation to see the Dreamliner make its first flight, which has been delayed by a myriad of issues.

The debut of Russia's Sukhoi Superjet 100 airliner is also expected to draw record crowds.

The Sukhoi is a medium-haul passenger aircraft built by Russia's Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company, as part of a consortium with US and European Aviation companies.

And it couldn't be a modern-day airshow without mention of the A380.

Although progress has been slow on the long-range mid-size airliner, Airbus has announced significant progress on several fronts over the last few months.

Visitors will no doubt be lining up to see the progress that has been made in critical areas such as maximum take-off weight and thrust rating.

Airbus will also be exhibiting new features made to the A380 double-deck, wide-body airliner, prior to its upcoming delivery schedule with Air France.

On the military front, several new innovations will be on show including Thales Rafale aircraft.

Thales has announced it will display the new active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, Spectra electronic warfare systems, the front-sector optronics, the Damocles optronic multi function pod and the AREOS new optronic stand-off recce system all onboard what the company calls 'the leading combat aircraft of its generation'.

Northrop Grumman will be demonstrating the Global Hawk high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) together with a demonstration of the company's intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities through a real-time airborne video link to a US Navy Fire Scout.

Eurocopter, for the first time will present a full-scale mock up of the EC175 16-seater civil helicopter.

Sadly two of the biggest military aircraft of the 21st century – the A400m transport tanker and the F22 strike fighter will not be taking to the skies at the Paris Air Show as previously hoped, but visitors can be assured that the companies involved will be throwing everything they have at prospective and current investors to convince them that the programmes are still worth investing in.

This year's Paris Air Show is expected to once again pull in a record crowd and with more than 2,000 exhibitors from more than 48 countries already listed as well as 143 aircraft, this year's event will certainly be one not to miss.

By Daniel Garrun.