- KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images
- The Dubai Air Show starts Sunday in the United Arab Emirates, bringing together the world’s largest plane, helicopter, and defense companies to make announcements and sign deals to shape the industry.
- The show is expecting almost 90,000 people. It is exhibiting 165 planes and will include aerial displays where passenger planes, fighter jets, and helicopters will soar above attendees’ heads.
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One of the world’s largest airshows kicks off in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, where the world’s largest aviation companies will show off their flagship jets, unveil new technologies, and announce new deals.
Huge firms like Airbus and Boeing will gather at the Dubai Air Show to display their civilian and military products alongside smaller companies, government bodies, and other industry players. In total, 165 aircraft will be on display.
Themes likely to loom large in the minds of plane makers will include:
- The push from airlines and travelers to reduce fuel consumption and cut carbon emissions.
- Expansion plans in the growing Middle East market.
- Boeing’s performance particularly, as the 737 Max jet remains grounded for an eighth month.
The show is expecting almost 90,000 attendees over five days to watch aerial displays, tour private jets, and see the future of aviation.
Here’s what to expect at the show.
The show will offer a close look at some of the most iconic planes in the sky today. Airbus’ huge jet, the A380, will have one of its last hurrahs.
- Pascal Le Segretain/Getty
The largest passenger plane in the world, the Airbus A380, is dubbed the superjumbo. Airbus is stopping production of the plane after 2021.
It can hold 800 passengers.
A Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will take flight as part of the show, while a Boeing 777-300ER, the world’s largest twin-engine jetliner, will be shown by Emirates.
- Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images
The 787-9 Dreamliner is the middle variant of three: the 787-8 is smaller and the 787-10 is larger.
Airbus will also bring some of its flagship planes, like the A330 Neo and A320 Neo.
Airbus will also show off other passenger jets like the A350-900 and the A220-300.
Smaller plane makers like Embraer, De Havilland, and Dassault will also show off their jets, as will defense companies like Lockheed Martin, which makes the F-35.
- Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider
And smaller jets will be on display too, like Honda’s private jet, which starts at $5 million.
- Sinéad Baker/Business Insider
The elite version of the jet can hold seven people and, unusually, has engines mounted over the wings to create a quieter cabin and more fuel efficiency.
The show will be filled with flying displays, including from the aerobatic demonstration section of the French Air Force.
- Tony Barson/Getty Images
The French Air Force “Patrouille de France” is performing, as well as the UAE’s Al Fursan, its aerobatics display team, and UK-based civilian display team The Blades.
The show will feature the world’s largest defense companies show their wares. Boeing will display military products like its CH-47F Chinook Helicopter, used by the US Army.
- Daniel Brown/Business Insider
Airbus will display some of its defense products, like the C295 twin-turboprop transport aircraft.
- Marina LystsevaTASS via Getty Images
The US Department of Defense will show off fighter jets and transport aircraft, including its F-22 Raptor.
- US Department of Defense
Its aircraft on display include the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, the F-15E Strike Eagle, and the A10 Thunderbolt.
There will also be the C130J Super Hercules, a four-engine supply plane.
The UK’s Royal Air Force will bring along a Eurofighter Typhoon, which was designed by a host of European companies, including Airbus and BAE Systems.
The show has a focus on helicopters as well, including Russian Helicopters showing its new Mi-38 helicopter abroad for the first time.
Airbus Helicopters will show its H225, a helicopter tailored for police in Kuwait.
The show is a good chance to show groundbreaking technologies. The 2019 show includes prototype electric plane engines which will be used in the world’s first electric air race in 2020.
- Air Race E
Air Race E, together with Airbus, is holding the race in 2020, billing it as the “world’s first all-electric airplane race.” It will have teams from Europe and North America.
Event organizers say: “Air Race E will see electric airplanes race directly against each other on a tight 5km circuit just 10m above the ground and at speeds faster than any land-based motorsport.”
The industry will be watching closely for deals between aircraft makers and airlines, militaries, and leasing companies. The last Dubai Air Show, in 2017, saw some of the largest deals in history.
- Aviation-images.com/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Here are some of the major deals that we’ve seen at the show in previous years:
- In 2017, one US private equity firm placed an order for almost $50 billion worth of Airbus jets.
- Also in 2017, Boeing received one of the biggest-ever orders for single-aisle jets, worth $27 billion.
- $37.2 billion worth of deals were struck the 2015 show.
Just how big this year’s deals are and what the aviation companies reveal, remains to be seen.