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Jakarta Post

Farnborough International Airshow lacks military rivalry charm

Wed, July 25, 2018   /   03:59 pm
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    On cloud nine: The Boeing 737 MAX leaves a big impression during the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow, securing enough orders to make it one of the best-selling air-planes in history. JP/ R. Berto Wedhatama

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    Wide open: The new 747-8F is the most fuel efficient cargo plane and has a large capacity. JP/ R. Berto Wedhatama

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    Closer look: A visitor of the Farnborough airshow uses binoculars to check out civilian and military planes. JP/ R. Berto Wedhatama

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    Ready to fight: The Embraer E190-E2 is often considered the Airbus A220-300's main rival in the small jet market. The jet is unique for its shark paint job. JP/ R. Berto Wedhatama

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    Model planes: Visitors stand near miniature planes at the Farnborough International Airshow. JP/ R. Berto Wedhatama

R. Berto Wedhatama

The recent Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) in North East Hampshire, England, is this year’s largest civil and military air show. Around 600 aviation companies participated in the air show, and it featured around 150 civil and military aircraft.

Unfortunately, despite being the biggest air show of the year, the FIA lost some of its charm due to the absence of Russian military jetfighters. This really undermined the rivalry vibe between the Russian military aviation industry and that of the United States and Western Europe.

Only the US Air Force’s F-15E model was on static display, while sophisticated jetfighters such as the F-16, the Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35B only appeared for flybys. The rest were mostly civil planes with vast commercial markets.

The FIA is also famous for being an arena of intense competition between aviation giants — Boeing and Airbus — to secure new buyers for their civil aircraft, such as the B737 MAX and the A330neo.

The show lasted from July 16 to 20 for business visitors and from July 21 to 22 for the general public to enjoy the aircraft display and to watch the skills of well-known acrobatic aviation teams like the Blades and the Flying Bulls.

Hopefully, Indonesia will be able to host another international air show as the last one was held way back in 1996.