Air Transport World

Russian window to world markets; Farnborough '92, with CIS aircraft in dominance, mirrors the post-Cold War trials and economic tribulations. (Commonwealth of Independent States; includes a related article on Sukhoi Su-29)

The 1992 Farnborough Air Show served as an interesting barometer of the change that is taking place throughout the industry, as manufacturers attempt to sort out the ramifications of the post-Cold War era for their traditional markets, where new markets might be and their competitive situations.

Society of British Aerospace Companies officials who sponsor and organize the Farnborough show report that attendance was down only slightly, about 3,000 fewer people attending the trade days than the 170,000 who attended during trade days in 1990. Exhibitors were noticeably fewer, however. SBAC officials say only 670 had stands this year, compared with the 800 at the 1990 show. The aisles in the four huge exhibit halls seemed a little wider and space was unused at the far ends of some halls.

The static displays seemed as large and varied as in the past, however. SBAC claims that 100 different aircraft types were at the show and that some others had to be turned away for lack of room. Could be. But the static displays were completely dominated by the 21 aircraft from the CIS, several of which were making their first Farnborough appearances; some appearing for the first time at any major air show outside Russia.

Russian aircraft have dominated the static and flying displays at the Farnborough and Paris air shows for the past few years but never in quite the manner that they did this year.

The large Russian presence also helped mask the reduced commuter/regional transport-manufacturer participation. Saab's new 2000 flew for the first time at Farnborough, as did British Aerospace's Jetstream 41. In addition, Bombardier's Canadair Regional Jet, resplendent in Lufthansa CityLine markings, made its first: appearance at Farnborough, flying often during the displays and in after-hours demonstrations.

In one interesting commuter/regional sidelight, Saab officials saw a silver lining in AMR Eagle's effort to postpone or renegotiate Saab 2000 deliveries, pointing out that the U.S. …

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