Published on May 2nd, 2018 | by Gabriel Desmond


ILA Berlin 2018

Berlin’s ILA  is a five-day trade and public International Aviation Exhibition held every two years. It promotes Germany’s huge aerospace and technological expertise with much support from Airbus and the Bundeswehr, the German military. These and the US military fielded a huge static display, augmented by this year’s partner nation France, other nations and a variety of historic aircraft. German and world  aerospace companies filled the exhibition halls. 

A daily airshow provided some magnificent flying despite the sometimes difficult weather. German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited on day one, followed next day by the German and French Defence Ministers who arrived in style in a Luftwaffe A400M, closely escorted in formation by German Eurofigther Typhoon and French AF Rafale fighter jets. 

Airbus had the A340, A350 and A380 on static display alongside their newly-acquired Bombardier CS300 in airBaltic colours. The company A350WXB F-WWCF flew most days with grace, agility, almost unheard!

Germany will soon award a contract to replace its ageing Sikorsky CH-53G military heavy lift helicopters. To that end an RAF Boeing CH-47 Chinook and Sikorsky’s latest CH-53K King Stallion which the US Marines have ordered both gave lively displays. 

From Japan’s Navy came two Kawasaki P-1 four-engined anti-submarine and maritime patrol aircraft. 

Daily Bundeswehr demos by aircraft and troops of fire-fighting and anti-terrorism scenarios provided dramatic rarely-seen action. 

The most interesting historical item was undoubtedly the Soviet WW2 Illyushin IL-2 Sturmovik ground-attack aircraft which flew daily. It was one of the most produced aircraft of all time, with over 36,000 built but only two recently-restored examples now flying. 

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About the Author

Cork based Gabriel Desmond has been documenting aviation in Ireland and around the world for over 50 years. A regular contributor to Flying in Ireland, his photographs and articles have been used in a wide range of aviation publications as well as news and corporate media

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