MAB 2017, Chambley, France, 21-30 July 2017 Report by Peter and Kim Davison This is now billed as the biggest hot-air balloon gathering in the world. Only Albuquerque, New Mexico comes close. Held every two years, this, the fifteenth such show in the Region of Grand Est, centred near Metz, birthplace of Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier, the world's first aeronaut. This French region has four international borders and over sixteen nations were represented in mass ascents at 0630 and 1830 each day subject to suitable weather conditions.
35th Anniversary event, Geilenkirchen Air Base, Germany, 1 - 2 July 2017 Report by Peter Davison The NATO joint base at Geilenkirchen is home to the NATO fleet of Boeing E-3A Sentry AWACS squadron that is shared by all the member states and provides Command, Control and active radar cover for NATO operations within strict guidelines in many theatres. This was a rare opportunity to witness their operational family of nations in one place. Although attracting numerous participants there was no flying display; the runway playing host to four of the eighteen based E-3s.
EFLEVA fly-in Sanicole, Belgium, 30 June - 2nd July 2017 Report by Peter Davison EFLEVA, the European Federation of light, experimental and vintage aircraft is now ten years old and brings together constructors, restorers and operators within the sector throughout Europe. This was their first gathering with around two hundred bookings from across the continent. Sadly the weather did not co-operate thereby reducing those able to make the journey but those that did found a hospitable greeting and numerous opportunities to share their experiences.
Paris Air Show, Le Bourget, France 20th-25th June 2017 Report by Peter Davison and Colin Coulthard Having visited every Paris Salon since 1973 I can confirm that this event enjoyed, or suffered, the hottest weather on record. This spectacular trade show brings together all the aviation nations to showcase their products both in the extensive exhibition halls and, in the air or on static display, their latest products. An amazing number of commercial orders were either negotiated or announced with Boeing's 737 MAX taking the top spot. This failed to distract from the massive lead Airbus enjoys having brought the A321 to market well ahead of the Boeing product.
AeroExpo and HeliUK Expo 2017 Wycombe Air Park, Buckinghamshire, England 1-3 June 2017 Report by Peter and Kim Davison This, the twelfth Aero Expo, was returning to Wycombe after a long stay at Sywell and what a great move. A more visitor friendly airport with improved viewing opportunities and increased hangar space for trade stands, seminars and facilities. The helicopter competitions were balanced and visible witout any conflict with the numerous GA visitors from across the country; the slight decrease in European visitors more due to weather warnings than the more southern location requiring navigation close to the London zone. Generally the weather was fine and warm over all three days.
Geneva Palexpo, Switzerland, 22-24th May 2017 Report by Peter Davison, Peter Gregory and Colin Coulthard This years European Business Event was blessed with warm sunshine and high visitor numbers. Now a mature global showcase for all aspects of Business Aviation, supported by the NBAA and EBAA, this provides a unique opportunity to witness new developments across the sector. A repositioned and enlarged static display was now served by an efficient shuttle bus service from the enormous indoor displays welcoming guests from across the continent.
Middle Wallop Army Aviation Centre, England 8th April 2017 Report by Peter and Kim Davison The Sud-Aviation/Westland SA.341 Gazelle helicopter, whilst looking contemporary, celebrated a 50 year anniversary at Middle Wallop in Hampshire. The base is home to Apache maintenance and the Army Air Corps Museum who hosted the event.