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Paris Air Show

Paris Air Show
Salon international de l'aéronautique et de l'espace, Paris-Le Bourget
The first day of the 2007 Paris Air Show
Genre Commercial air show
Dates June
Frequency Odd years
Venue Paris – Le Bourget Airport
Location(s) Le Bourget, Paris (since 1953)
Country France
Established 1909
Attendance 380,000 (2009)
Activity aerobatic displays
static displays
Organized by SIAE (GIFAS)

The Paris Air Show (Salon international de l'aéronautique et de l'espace, Paris-Le Bourget) is the world's calendar-oldest air show.[1][2] Established in 1909, it is currently held every odd year at Le Bourget Airport in north Paris, France. The 2015 Paris Air Show, from 15–21 June 2015, became the 51st.[3]

The format is similar to the Farnborough International Airshow in Britain and the ILA Berlin Air Show, which both next happen in 2016. The Paris event starts with four professional days closed to the general public, and then Friday, Saturday and Sunday the public, including children, are allowed in.

The Paris Air Show is organised by the French aerospace industry's primary representative body, the Groupement des industries françaises aéronautiques et spatiales GIFAS. According to Gifas, the 2011 Paris show attracted 151,500 professional visitors and 204,000 members of the general public, and 3,250 journalists from 80 countries.[4]

It is a large commercial event, with a major purpose being to demonstrate military and civilian aircraft to potential customers. It claims to be the most prestigious aircraft exposition in the world. Major aircraft sales contracts are announced by manufacturers during the show. All major international manufacturers, as well as representatives of the military forces of many countries, attend the Paris Air Show.

It is a contrast to the Airventure event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA. That event, the world's largest airshow, with attendance of over 500,000 and 12,000 airplanes, does not primarily focus on sales of military and commercial airliners.


  • History 1
    • 1973 crash 1.1
    • 1989 1.2
    • 2005 1.3
    • 2007 1.4
    • 2009 1.5
    • 2011 1.6
    • 2013 1.7
    • 2015 1.8
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


The first Salon de la locomotion aérienne, 1909, Grand Palais, Paris.
SNCASE SE-212 Durandal experimental jet/rocket fighter aircraft at the 1957 Air Salon

The Paris Air Show traces its history back to the first decade of the 20th century. In 1908 a section of the Paris Motor Show was dedicated to aircraft.[5] The following year, a dedicated air show was held at the Grand Palais[6] from 25 September to 17 October, during which 100,000 visitors turned out to see products and innovations from 380 exhibitors.[7] There were four further shows before the First World War.[8] The show restarted in 1919, and from 1924 it was held every two years before being interrupted again by the Second World War. It restarted again in 1946 and since 1949, has been held in every odd year.

The air show continued to be held at the Grand Palais, and from 1949 flying demonstrations were staged at Paris Orly Airport. In 1953, the show was relocated from the Grand Palais to Le Bourget. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the show emerged as a powerful international rival to the Farnborough Airshow. The 1971 show featured a full-scale mock-up of an Airbus A300 while the new DC-10 and Lockheed Tristar were present at the 1973 edition. Among major accidents, there were two crashes of Convair B-58 Hustler bombers, in 1961 (during aerobatics) and 1965 (during landing).[9]

1973 crash

At the Paris Air Show on June 3, 1973, the second Tupolev Tu-144 production aircraft (registration 77102) crashed during its display. It stalled while attempting a rapid climb. Trying to pull out of the subsequent dive, the aircraft broke up crashed, destroying 15 houses and killing all six on board and eight on the ground; a further 60 people received serious injuries.

The cause of this accident remains controversial. Theories include: the Tu-144 climbed to avoid a French Mirage chase plane whose pilot was attempting to photograph it; that changes had been made by the ground engineering team to the auto-stabilisation circuits to allow the Tu-144 to outperform Concorde in the display circuit; and that the crew were attempting a manoeuvre—to outshine Concorde—that was beyond the aircraft's capabilities.


An-225 with Buran at Le Bourget, 1989

The "38th Paris International Air and Space Show" or "1989 Paris Air Show", featured a variety of aerospace technology from NATO and Warsaw pact nations.[10] A MiG 29 crashed during a demonstration flight with no loss of life. The then Soviet space shuttle Buran and its carrier Antonov An-225 was displayed at this show.[10]


Mirage 2000-5 at the Paris Air Show, 2005
An AH-64 Apache at the 2005 Paris Air Show

The 2005 show, held 13–19 June, was the 46th show, and witnessed the return of American companies in large numbers following the downscaling of their presence in 2003 in relation to the World Trade Organisation litigation, which involved action filed by the United States against the EU member states alleging WTO-inconsistent subsidies to Airbus.

The Airbus A380 opened the show with a flying display.


Paris Air Show 2007 - first day
Airbus A380 in flight, 2007

In 2007 the 47th show took place. At this show the Airbus A330 MRTT tanker/transport, Antonov An-148 regional jet, Bell/Agusta BA609 tilt-rotor, Socata TBM 850 and the S4 Ehécatl unmanned aircraft were presented for the first time.


Airbus A300 ZERO-G in 2009

The 48th International Paris Air Show took place in 2009 and marked a hundred years of technological innovation in aeronautics and space conquest. The event was held from 15 to 21 June, at Le Bourget. A memorial service was held for the victims of Air France Flight 447.[11]


The 2011 show was the 49th presentation, and hosted over 2,100 international exhibitors in 28 international pavilions. A total of 150 aircraft were on display, including the solar airplane Solar Impulse.[12] The show was marked by the presence for the first time of a Chinese manufacturer, COMAC; and by the arrival of three new Boeing aircraft, passenger and cargo versions of the 747-8 and 787.

A demo A380 was damaged the day before the exhibition opened and needed a replacement;[13][14] while the new Airbus A400M military transport aircraft had an engine failure, but could still perform some demonstration flights.[14]

A380 takes off for the crowds, 2011
Falcon 7X at salon du bourget 2011


American fighter jets were not on display for the first time in more than two decades because of sequestration.[15]


The 2015 show was held from June 15 to June 21, 2015 near Paris, France.[16] Airbus Helicopters announced a succestor to the Super Puma helicopter called the X6 during the show.[17]

See also


  1. ^ Bill Carey. "U.S. Military a No-show At 2013 Paris Air Show". AIN Online. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  2. ^ Allison Barrie. "Paris Air Show, the world’s oldest aviation expo, opens big in France". Fox News. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  3. ^ "Salon du Bourget - Gifas". Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Chiffres clés (salon 2011)" (PDF). Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "The First Paris Aeronautical Salon" Flight January 2, 1909.
  6. ^ "Paris Flight Show -First Impressions of an Artistic and Fascinating Display" Flight October 2, 1909
  7. ^ "Show History". Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "special paris | salon | side entrance | 1912 | 0990 | Flight Archive". Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  9. ^ E. F. Rybak, J. Gruszczyński: Convair B-58 Hustler. Cz.II, in: Nowa Technika Wojskowa 3/1999, p. 38 (in Polish)
  10. ^ a b dodmedia id:DF-ST-90-07206
  11. ^ "Religious ceremonies for the victims of flight AF 447".  
  12. ^ "Salon du Bourget – 15/21 juin 2015". Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  13. ^ Un A380 heurte un bâtiment au Bourget ("A380 clips a building"), TF1 News, 19 juin 2011.
  14. ^ a b L'A380 volera tout de même au salon du Bourget ("A380 will still fly at Paris Air Show"), La Tribune, 20 juin 2011.
  15. ^ "Long-haul jets get boost at Paris Air Show". Yahoo News. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  16. ^ Paris Air Show Dates and Times
  17. ^ Airbus Reveals Super Puma Successor

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

  • GIFAS, organisers of the Paris Air Show
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