It is the first Paris Air Show since 2019.
Four long years but who is counting? Not much has happened since then…oh wait…I forgot the 737Max, Covid, supply chain meltdowns, more Covid, the Raytheon/United merger, the sunsetting of the Jumbo, Russia's war on Ukraine, and too many other elements to mention,
There is a big crowd here with some 2500 exhibitors and of course the massive static displays and fly-overs by multiple -often deafening- aircraft.
Business-wise, there is a big move towards more efficient engines and bridging the gap to possible widespread electric power trains. Sustainability is a key message at PAS 2023.
Attendees this week have already been bombarded by a flurry of announcements on green/sustainable/carbon-cutting technology as aviation endeavors to polish its green credentials.
The show daily on Day 1 boasted about the “Bonanza at Le Bourget”. According to IBA, the aviation consulting company orders at the show may reach up to 3,000. This is an astonishingly high number although it might realistically be around 2100 but even that is a great number. One big announcement is that Indigo has placed an order for 500 planes from Airbus. That beats the previous largest deal by a good margin. The rebound is clear.
Some select highlights:
- Raytheon Technologies have moved towards hybrid, electric flight by the completion of a rated power test of a 1 MW electric motor generator developed by Collins This will be most likely combined with a Pratt & Whitney thermal engine to form the core of a new hybrid propulsion system.
- JetZero has a blended wing body aircraft, which is aimed at the midmarket -think 767/787. They are estimating thousands of sales for their 9260 km range model with a fuel-saving design.
- VoltAero says that it is going to use a Kawasaki 150 kW thermal engine before moving to a full electric power train.
- Embraer plans a joint venture with Nidec the electric motor specialist
- Lillium signed deals with two Chinese companies to support sales and development in Asia. Hong Kong and Macau is planning to order 100 jets for its EVTOL.
- Project Hecate out of Cork Ireland (hybrid electric regional aircraft technologies) has funding for the development of an ultra-efficient high-voltage, electrical distribution system for regional aircraft. This isn’t as sexy as engines or bigger structures, but mastering high-power electric distribution is vital for future regional aircraft designs that are thinking of hybrid, or hydrogen-electric power trains.
- Eve- one of the front runners in the eVTOL segment is on track to test-fly its first prototype aircraft next year with a possible service date in 2026. As of late May Eve had secured letters of intent for up to 2,770 aircraft.
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Read a related article on product benefits on ThomasNet