ILA: Pioneering Aerospace since 1909
Every two years, ILA Berlin brings the global aerospace industry to the heart of Europe - the next edition will take place from 5-9 June 2024. For five days, Europe’s leading aerospace trade fair transforms Berlin into an international aerospace hub. Industry representatives, policymakers, armed forces and academia come together under the motto #PioneeringAerospace to discuss current challenges and opportunities. Exhibitors from all over the world present their latest developments, innovative solutions, and research projects around the three key topics Innovation, New Technologies and Sustainability.
ILA features the entire value chain and every tier of the aerospace industry, from Aviation, Space and Defence & Support, to Advanced Air Mobility and the Supplier sector. Guiding question is how the transformation of civil aviation to climate neutrality can be achieved. The unique Space Pavilion showcases the vital contribution of space travel for life on Earth - from climate protection and digitalisation to security and mobility The significance of mission-ready armed forces for the defence of our democratic values and the sovereignty of Europe lies at the heart of the military display. The Advanced Air Mobility exhibition is dedicated to the entire spectrum of unmanned aerial systems and electrically powered vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs). In the International Supplier Center (ICS), the deep-rooted supply chain meets buyers from OEMs and tier-1 suppliers. Central topics discussed on the ISC STAGE range from climate-neutral flying and digitalisation to the stability of the supply chain.
The European Commission has been a strategic partner of the ILA since 2018. This unique collaboration contributes to strengthen Europe's technological leadership and pave the way for a sustainable future of aerospace under the motto “Airborne in Europe”.
In 2022, ILA Berlin welcomed around 72,500 visitors, 550 exhibitors from 80 countries, and 800 journalists, who reported on site. The programme of the novel five ILA STAGES featured 360 speakers in expert talks, panel discussions, debates, and science slams on the future trends in aerospace. With the CareerHub, ILA brought together students, young professionals, and experienced professionals, thereby providing meaningful networking and career progression opportunities, and helping aspiring pioneers prepare for a career in the exciting world of aviation and aerospace.
Thanks to the newly created platform, ILA DIGITAL, aerospace pioneers also had the opportunity to follow a large part of the daily onsite programme virtually. This novel virtual space features product presentations, matchmaking, lead generation, and personal meetings in online cafés and dedicated digital exhibitor spaces, allowing for a maximum of outreach and interaction.
ILA is organized and hosted by the BDLI (the German Trade Association of Aerospace Industries) and Messe Berlin. The next edition will be held from 5 to 9 June 2024, as always in Berlin.
113 years reflecting the history of aviation and aerospace The ILA stands for tradition and innovation in equal measure. It is the oldest and most traditional aerospace trade show in the world. Today, it is one of the most important trade show events in
Cradle of Aviation in Berlin/Brandenburg
The history of the ILA begins with the first international air show, held in Frankfurt am Main from July 10 to October 17, 1909. It was not only the world's first independent air show, but also the first international platform for aeronautical communication in the still young aviation industry. After only one year of preparations, a comprehensive overview of the state of airship construction and aviation technology in Germany was presented to the fascinated public and the experts in the summer of 1909: Over a period of 100 days, 500 exhibitors displayed airships, airplanes and balloons that captivated 1.5 million visitors. The star of the exhibition was an airplane built by the Wright brothers, which was brought to Frankfurt for a week from display flights in Berlin.
Following the first ILA, numerous flying clubs joined together to form the German Flying Federation in April 1910 at the suggestion of August Euler. One year later, the Association of German Aircraft Industrialists was founded in Frankfurt am Main. This also established a direct link between the ILA and the later German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI), which still exists today. The history of Berlin-Brandenburg has always been closely linked with developments in national and international aviation since Lilienthal's first flight experiments. With this background, the follow-up event to the first ILA took place at the "cradle of human flight", in Berlin.
Best seller " Yellow dog"
In 1912, the Allgemeine Luftfahrtausstellung (ALA) in Berlin presented a showcase of German aviation technology. For the first time, aircraft predominated: 25 flying machines were on display and seven airships. All the well-known aircraft manufacturers of the time were represented in Berlin. One highlight was August Euler's "Gelber Hund" biplane, to which a sign was attached after only a short time with the inscription: "Sold eight times in one day.
"Oktoberfest" under the radio tower
In 1928, the first International Air Show after the end of the First World War took place. The venue was again Berlin. At that time, the public was still enthusiastically celebrating the first east-west crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by a Junkers W 33 "Bremen" with the crew Köhl, von Hünefeld and Fitzmaurice. This event also brought the achievements of German aviation technology to the attention of the American public. The event was organized by the Reich Association of the German Aviation Industry in conjunction with the Exhibition, Trade Fair and Tourist Office of the City of Berlin. The aviation industry from 19 countries presented itself in three exhibition halls. All the top-ranking German aircraft manufacturers displayed their latest developments, from the BFW M 21 light sport and training aircraft to the four-engine Dornier Superwal. A special attraction of the ILA in 1928 was a star flight of 40 aircraft bound for Berlin-Tempelhof.
Athletic aspects of flying in the spotlight
The next aviation event in 1932 focused on the sporting aspects of flying. Highlights of this exhibition were the prototype of a "flying car", designed by Ludwig and Mertens, as well as the "weekend aircraft of the future" - a flying boat with a spacious cabin. 100 airplanes from all parts of Germany took off for the "great Dela flying day with airplane races" at Berlin-Tempelhof Airport. For a long time, the Dela was the last major air show in Germany. There was no ILA during the period of National Socialist regime. It was not until a quarter of a century later that aviation industry products and technologies were exhibited again.
After the Allied Control Council imposed a ban on the development and production of aircraft in Germany in 1945, it took ten years for Germany to regain its air sovereignty.
On April 1, 1955, Lufthansa was flying again after being reestablished. The foundation stone for rebuilding the civil and military aviation industry had been laid. On May 5, 1955, the Bundeswehr was founded. The beginnings of space flight coincided with this period. Parallel to this industrial development, the ILA also made its comeback in the mid-1950s with a presence at Langenhagen Airport in Hannover that lasted for more than 30 years.
A new beginning in Hannover-Langenhagen
When Germany regained its air sovereignty after World War II in 1955, the foundation was laid for an "International Touring Aircraft Show", which was displayed at Langenhagen Airport in 1957 as part of the industrial trade show. It was the forerunner of a more than thirty-year ILA tradition in Hannover. Although only 17 exhibitors were represented at the industrial fair, the show was a success: 24 aircraft were on display; around 20,000 visitors were counted over the four days of the fair and business was good. The decision was taken to hold an annual air show - the way was paved for the post-war ILA.
At the end of the 1950s, the resurgent German aviation industry wanted a forum that extended beyond mere cruising aviation. With this goal in mind, the BDLI, which was founded in 1955 as the successor to the Reichsverband der Deutschen Luftfahrtindustrie (Imperial Association of the German Aviation Industry), launched the "Special Show Aviation Equipment, Aviation Equipment and Accessories" in 1958, parallel to the German Industry Fair. 54 companies came to Hannover-Langenhagen Airport. The Germans presented 13 post-war sports and touring aircraft, two gliders, and the Fouga Magister, the first licensed German-produced jet trainer for the Luftwaffe. Foreign exhibitors brought 15 sports and cruising aircraft to Hannover. The Autoflug company attracted attention with the demonstration of an ejection seat.
German Aviation Show
The exhibition of the year 1959 was opened by the Federal Minister of Economics Ludwig Erhard. From then on, it was called the "German Aviation Show". Visitors paid an entrance fee of two D-marks and were able to admire 16 German sports and touring aircraft - for example the Dornier Do 27 and the RW 3 from Rhein-Flugzeugbau - as well as 15 foreign aircraft such as the Italian Falco F8L and the American Helio H 391B "Courier". However, several large companies were still missing as exhibitors at the first "Deutsche Luftfahrtschau".
The breakthrough came in 1960: "All expectations were exceeded by the success of the German Air Show in Hanover," reported the German Press Agency. Touring and sports aircraft manufacturers, military aviation, helicopter producers, engine builders, equipment suppliers: 170 companies from eight countries - and more than 100,000 visitors - came to Hannover. German Defense Minister Franz-Josef Strauß opened the show. More than 50 travel and sports machines were sold at the show. The Lockheed F-104 "Starfighter" jet fighter climbed tirelessly into the sky, and a Lufthansa Boeing 707 circled the runway almost daily. After the exhibition, the BDLI decided to hold the show every two years, alternating with the Paris Aérosalon "Le Bourget".
In 1962, the success of the "German Air Show" was consolidated. The organizers were pleased to welcome 237 exhibitors from nine countries; around 175,000 visitors were counted. While sport and travel aviation set the tone on the open-air grounds, the focus in the halls was on military aviation. There was also plenty of space for the up-and-coming space industry, with models of the third stage of the Black Prince satellite launcher, whose development work was later incorporated into the Ariane rocket.
In 1964, the "Deutsche Luftfahrtschau" continued to grow: 280 exhibitors from 15 nations presented their products - and more than 100 aircraft. The construction of a third hall provided an additional third of covered exhibition space. The "German vertical take-off aircraft" VJ 101 celebrated its premiere; the experimental aircraft of the Entwicklungsring Süd attracted a great deal of international attention. The HFB 320 Hansajet from Hamburger Flugzeugbau GmbH, the first German jet-powered commercial aircraft to be built in series, was also on display. Space enthusiasts came across a 1:2 scale model of what was to become the European launcher Ariane, then still called Europa 1.
Joint stands by the French Aerospace Industries Association and the British Ministry of Aviation in 1966 foreshadowed that the European aerospace industry would cooperate more in the future than it had in the past. 94 of the "most modern and interesting aircraft in the world," as one newspaper report put it, were gathered in Hannover in 1966: Dornier's "Skyservant," for example, a multi-purpose work aircraft for transport and special tasks, or the new C-160 Transall military transporter. As a special attraction, the organizers announced daily formation flights by the French, Italian and British air forces.
The undisputed star of the 1968 show was Dornier's experimental Do 31 E aircraft. The world's only transport aircraft that could take off and land vertically thanks to its swiveling engines, it was flown in Hannover before an astonished audience. No less spectacular was the demonstration of the VFW-Fokker VAK 191 B reconnaissance and combat aircraft, which also took off vertically.
For the first time after World War II, the Soviet Union came to Hannover in 1970 with two aircraft: The Russians showed the Kamov KA-26, a light multi-purpose helicopter with two counter-rotating three-bladed rotors; also the Yakovlev Yak-40, a three-engine short-range passenger jet. In all, nearly 460 exhibitors from 14 countries traveled to Hannover. In the flight program, the British high-flyer Hawker Siddeley "Harrier Mark 1" thrilled the crowds. Another premiere in 1970: unmanned aircraft for special civil and military missions were presented for the first time.
The attraction of 1972 was the supersonic passenger aircraft of the Russian designer Tupolev. Its Tu-144 remained in Hannover for the entire exhibition - the British-French Concorde, on the other hand, made only a one-day guest appearance. In the flight program, the MBB Bo 105, the first multi-purpose helicopter to be mass-produced in the Federal Republic of Germany, caused a sensation: a test pilot flew three loops in succession - something that was otherwise only possible with propeller and small jet aircraft.
In 1974, the German Air Show celebrated several premieres: for example, the European wide-body Airbus A300, built with significant German participation. The Alpha-Jet jet trainer, developed in a Franco-German co-production by Dornier and Dassault-Breguet, also made its debut. Just how capable the German aviation industry had become was demonstrated by another highly regarded debutant: the VFW-Fokker VFW 614 short-range jet airliner. In demonstration flights, test pilot Leif Nielsen showed the capabilities of this compact jet. After a rapid steep takeoff, the Airbus A300 and a Fokker F 28 suddenly appeared on either side of the aircraft at an altitude of about 400 meters. German expertise in space flight was demonstrated by two full-size mock-ups of the Spacelab space laboratory, which had been designed for use on the U.S. Space Shuttle.
The main object of visitor interest in 1976 was the new Panavia Tornado multi-role fighter, of which two aircraft were on display. Its brilliant flight demonstrations thrilled the spectators. Old-timer fans were delighted by Dornier's Do 335A-02 twin-engine piston fighter: the aircraft with the distinctive tail propeller had been brought back from the USA and painstakingly restored.
In 1978, the air show regained its traditional name: ILA. Separating the International Aerospace Exhibition from the Hanover Fair gave it more independence. German President Walter Scheel personally inspected the latest developments in Hannover. Nearly 60 sports pilots gathered at Braunschweig Airport, from where they took off on the last leg of an ILA star flight. Nearly 51,000 people came to the big ILA flying day on May 4. The organizers counted a total of 230,000 visitors and 352 exhibitors from 13 countries: The old and new ILA was a complete success.
364 exhibitors, visits by large delegations from the USSR and the People's Republic of China, an extensive conference program: in 1980, the importance of the ILA continued to grow. The giant Lockheed C-5 Galaxy transporter and NATO's AWACS system captivated the public. In civil aviation, Dornier attracted attention with its E-1 (later Do 228-100) and E-2 (later Do 228-200) turboprop projects. The BK 117 multi-purpose helicopter, the product of a joint venture between MBB and Kawasaki of Japan, also attracted a great deal of attention.
In 1982, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt was the first German head of government to open the ILA. Among other things, he witnessed the world premiere of the shortened Airbus A310 widebody aircraft. The Diamond I business jet from Mitsubishi Aircraft International and the T-1040 commuter from Piper also made their debut. Particularly impressive was the demonstration by the Patrouille de France aerobatic team, which painted the Tricolore in the skies over Hanover with eight Alpha Jet fighters.
Once again, the show events attracted the crowds at the ILA in 1984. Fascinating were motorized aerobatics and formation parachuting, as well as the skills of five different aerobatic squadrons. One of the biggest technical attractions drew on age-old ideas: Gyroflug Ingenieur-Gesellschaft presented the two-seater "Speed-Canard," a so-called duck plane that at first glance seems to contradict conventional notions of aircraft.
In 1986, the ILA was dominated by a German-Chinese project: MBB signed a contract in Hanover with the People's Republic of China for the joint construction of a regional transport aircraft. The 75-seater MPC-75 was to be equipped with Propfan engines, computer controls and plastic wings. However, it was never built. The first quattronational presentation of the "Jäger 90" also attracted a great deal of attention: The new fighter was presented with a full-size model. The real star of the show, however, was already 50 years old: the legendary Junkers Ju-52 circled over Hannover with its typical roar. Only a few days earlier, the "Aunt Ju" had started her new phase of life after more than a year of restoration.
At the ILA 1988, the German premiere of the "small" Airbus A320 for short and medium-haul routes was extensively celebrated. The revolutionary electronic fly-by-wire control system was presented. There were new developments above all in sports and touring aviation: Beechcraft presented the Starship, the prototype of its new generation of aircraft, and Ruschmeyer unveiled its recently completed plastic four-seater MF-85 to the public. The stand of the European Space Agency (ESA) became a magnet for visitors, with a full-size model of the European space glider Hermes enthroned there.
In the post-reunification year of 1990, Russian companies presented many innovations in Hannover: Tupolev presented its Tu-155 experimental carrier with an engine that could be powered by either hydrogen or methane. Antonov impressed with its huge An-124 "Ruslan" transporter, and Ilyushin with an Il-76 equipped with a propfan. Domestic companies also attracted attention; Grob, for example, presented the G 520 Egrett reconnaissance aircraft. It was the last ILA in Hannover. The BDLI decided to relocate the ILA to the old and new German capital, Berlin, and to realign it conceptually as a leading international trade show and congress event for the entire aerospace industry.
In 1992, 64 years after the last ILA in Berlin, the aerospace exhibition returned to its original home. The serious political and economic changes in Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall made it possible to move the ILA back to its historic location. Held at Berlin-Schönefeld Airport, the 1992 ILA emphatically proved its claim to be one of the world's most important aerospace exhibitions. As the easternmost aerospace trade show in the West and the westernmost trade show in the East, ILA was given a special hub function for East-West contacts in the aerospace sector. 517 exhibitors from 23 countries showed 134,281 visitors the current range of products and services. Airbus did not miss the opportunity to present the showpiece of European commercial aircraft construction, which is still in the flight test program, at the ILA: Piloted by Airbus test pilots Udo Günzel and Bill Wainwright, the Airbus A340 soared into Berlin for three days. Dornier presented its ultra-modern 640 km/h 30-seater Do 328 for the first time at an air show. CIS forces aircraft such as the Sukhoi Su-24 or the MiG-29, as well as Tornado fighter jets from the German Air Force, impressed in the flight program, which has been subject to the strictest regulations since the Ramstein accident in 1988.
The business and market-oriented focus of the International Aerospace Exhibition led to the development of the "ILA means business" concept at the ILA 1994. In addition to the actual trade exhibition of the national and international industry with 422 exhibitors from 27 countries, this included an extensive conference program as well as the worldwide unique East/West Aerospace Center, which was launched at the ILA 1994. An East-West shuttle from Moscow was set up especially for trade visitors from Eastern Europe, enabling them to travel to Berlin and back again in a single day. At the same time, with the slogan "Airlebnis ILA", the ILA offered the 141,000 visitors an extremely crowd-pleasing information and show program. For example, the Russian design bureau Myazishchev displayed its high-altitude research aircraft M-55 Geofisika for the first time in the West. In the Space Action Hall, visitors were able to experience the landing approach of a spacecraft on Mars or Venus thanks to optical tricks. During a safety acceptance flight for the flight program the day before the ILA opening, Russian pilot Alexander Viatkin lost his life. His death led to the establishment of the Mayday Foundation, which has been supporting airmen in distress and their families ever since.
With a record 578 exhibitors from 30 countries, the 1996 ILA showcased the full range of aerospace technology products and services. The wide-ranging conference program included 59 congresses by national and international organizers. The East/West Aerospace Center again proved its worth as a catalyst for East/West business. With 240 aircraft on the ground and in the air, the ILA presented the largest range of aircraft at comparable trade shows. On display, for example, was the Airbus A300-600 ST "Beluga. The Eurofighter EF 2000 was shown for the first time at an air show in a demonstration flight. The Airbus A319 and the new NATO NH 90 multipurpose helicopter also made their debut at the show. 216,500 visitors, including 75,000 trade visitors, flocked to the exhibition grounds at Berlin-Schönefeld Airport.
With 825 exhibitors from 32 countries, more than 226,000 visitors (82,000 of them trade visitors) and 278 aircraft, the ILA 1998 was the largest event to date and the one with the largest number of participants. No wonder, because it was even advertised in space: During the space shuttle mission STS-89 in January 1998, NASA astronaut Bonnie Dunbar greeted visitors after the space shuttle Endeavour had docked with the MIR station their Russian colleagues with an ILA flag. On the ground, the ILA confirmed its status as the central marketplace for all aerospace business segments, including the announcement and signing of business deals worth tens of billions of euros. The star of the flight program was Boeing's giant C-17 military transporter. The special exhibition "50 Years of the Berlin Airlift" paid tribute to what is still the largest air transport operation of all time in a special hall covering 1,500 square meters. Finally, the highlight for space fans was a walk-through model of the European space laboratory COF (Columbus Orbital Facility) on a scale of 1:1.
The ILA 2000 met the high expectations of the industry with trend-setting decisions in the European aerospace industry and offered the private public the entire fascination of flying with a top-class flight program: During three and a half trade visitor days, a total of 212,000 visitors flocked to the southern grounds of Berlin-Schönefeld Airport. By the halfway point of the show, exhibitors had already signed contracts and options worth a total of more than DM 50 billion. The ILA 2000 thus impressively demonstrated its role as an important European trading center for the entire aerospace industry. With a record attendance of 941 exhibitors from 38 countries, the ILA showcased products, systems and services from the entire aerospace technology sector for seven days, in addition to 316 aircraft. In the flight program, the Patrouille de France aerobatic team wowed the audience, as did the unprecedented U.S. stealth bomber Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk.
With business deals and cooperation agreements worth billions, 1,067 exhibitors from 41 countries, 102,680 trade visitors from Germany and abroad and the total number of 215,150 visitors, the International Aerospace Exhibition ILA 2002 once again confirmed its status as an important European trading center for the entire aerospace industry. A new record of 340 registered aircraft and a top-class flight program rounded off the picture. The Russian Beriyev Be-200 amphibious aircraft was on display in Berlin for the first time. In the ILA flight program, the world's largest and most modern airship, the 75-meter Zeppelin New Technology (Zeppelin NT), soared above an astonished audience.
The ILA 2004 was dominated by the eastward expansion of NATO and the European Union, and was attended by more high-ranking delegations than ever before: 120 members of parliament from 22 European countries were welcomed at the air show. Top representatives from the new EU and NATO countries also used the ILA 2004 to exchange information. For example, the defense ministers from Bulgaria, Georgia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Turkey also took part in the "International Workshop on Global Security". The four ministers responsible for the Airbus program from France, Great Britain, Spain and Germany met for the Airbus Ministerial Conference. Some 6,000 experts from all aerospace business segments discussed current issues at 65 conferences. For seven days, 987 exhibitors from 42 countries displayed the latest range of aerospace technology products and services on the southern grounds of Berlin-Schönefeld Airport.
The ILA 2006 ended with an impressive record number of visitors. More than 251,000 visitors were registered from May 16 to 21, including 115,000 trade visitors. For the first time, 1,014 exhibitors from 42 countries displayed products, systems and processes from all areas of the aerospace industry over a period of six days. The focus of interest was the Airbus A380, the largest commercial aircraft ever built in the world, which was presented daily on the ground and in the air.
Around 120,000 trade visitors came to the ILA 2008 to find out about what was on offer at Germany's largest temporary exhibition center, covering 250,000 square meters, and about the latest trends at the more than 100 conferences that accompanied the show. With a record participation of 1,127 exhibitors from 37 countries, products, systems and processes from all areas of the aerospace industry were on display for six days. The ILA 2008 was opened by German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel. 331 aircraft of all sizes and categories were presented on the ground and in the air, including numerous premieres. India, the partner country, used its largest appearance at an aerospace trade show outside the country to explore business opportunities and showcase its range of services - for example, with an elaborate flight demonstration of its "Sarang" helicopters.
At the ILA 2010, 1,153 exhibitors from 47 countries presented an impressive showcase of products and services from all areas of the aerospace industry. Some 235,000 visitors were registered during the course of the show. Contracts and business agreements totaling at least $16.5 billion (about €14 billion) were signed during the show. The largest order came from Emirates airline, which ordered 32 A380 aircraft from Airbus for a total list price of around $11.5 billion. This business agreement represented the largest single order to date in the history of commercial aviation.
Nearly 300 aircraft were presented on the ground and in the air. Among the world, European and ILA premieres presented were the new A400M military transporter, the CH-53GA (German Advanced) transport helicopter equipped with state-of-the-art avionics, and the DLR-H2 Antares, the world's first manned aircraft to fly completely CO2-free thanks to its fuel cell propulsion system.
2012 saw the inauguration of the state-of-the-art ILA event site, the Berlin ExpoCenter Airport, which is located next to today's major airport BER. At its premiere event at the new exhibition grounds, ILA 2012 made a precision landing: With the largest turnout in the ILA's more than 100-year history, 1,243 exhibitors from 46 countries put on an impressive showcase of high-tech products from all sectors of the aerospace industry. 282 aircraft were presented on the ground and in the air during the course of the show. Impressive demonstrations were offered for the first time at the ILA by the national squadrons from Turkey and the ILA partner country Poland.
The ILA 2014 presented itself as a showcase for all business segments of the aerospace industry as well as a strong crowd puller. With the second highest attendance in its history, 1,203 exhibitors from 37 countries showed the comprehensive range of their current high-tech products and research and development projects. Among others, the Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Sigmar Gabriel, paid a visit to the ILA from the Federal Cabinet. High-ranking delegations from Germany and around the world were guests at the ILA.
A particular highlight was the Space Pavilion, which vividly demonstrated the benefits of space travel for mankind to experts and the public alike. As an important individual exhibitor at the ILA 2014, the German Armed Forces presented their capabilities in a comprehensive display. The International Suppliers Center (ISC) was an efficient marketing platform for the entire supplier industry, with over 1,000 pre-registered customer meetings from top buyers. Over the course of the ILA, several thousand experts exchanged views on current developments in the aerospace industry at more than 60 conferences.
ILA 2016 was held for the third time at Berlin ExpoCenter Airport, where 1,017 exhibitors from 37 countries presented a wide range of their latest high-tech products and research and development projects. A total of 150,000 trade and private visitors flocked to ILA 2016 over the four days of the event, which was opened by Federal Minister of Economics Sigmar Gabriel. From the German Cabinet, Federal Minister of Defense Dr. Ursula von der Leyen and Federal Minister of Transport Alexander Dobrindt also paid a visit to the ILA. The world's two largest commercial aircraft, an Airbus A380 from Emirates and a Boeing 747-8 from Lufthansa, were on display on the ground. Airbus presented T.H.O.R., the first aircraft manufactured almost entirely by 3D printing.
With a targeted focus on future topics and technical developments, the ILA 2018 further developed into the leading innovation trade show for the aerospace industry. Around 180,000 trade and private visitors came to the airport from April 25 to 29, 2018, where some 1,100 exhibitors from 41 countries presented a wide range of their latest high-tech products and research and development projects. The German government was well represented: German Chancellor Angela Merkel accompanied by German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer, with a visit from Thomas Jarzombek, the German government's new coordinator for aerospace, and German Economics Minister Peter Altmaier. Visitors were able to marvel at some 200 aircraft this year, including Emirates' A380, the modern A350 and A340 BLADE commercial aircraft, Airbus' Beluga super transporter, Lufthansa's Boeing 747-8 or the largest existing transport aircraft with six turbines and the Antonov 225. Military aircraft included the Eurofighter, the A400M military transporter, the Tiger attack helicopter as well as the French Rafale, the Kawasaki P1 maritime surveillance aircraft from Japan and the state-of-the-art U.S. F35 multi-role combat aircraft from Lockheed Martin. Also in special focus were the CH-53K heavy transport helicopter (Lockheed Martin) and CH-47 Chinook (Boeing).
With the first edition of ILA Goes Digital taking place May-July 2020, the aerospace industry has once again set an example. More than 120 international exhibitors presented insights into the future of aviation via different formats such as videos, online seminars and virtual booths and matchmaking opportunities – just to name a few. Up to 30.000 visitors showed that in times of restrictions there is great demand for discussing important topics via new formats. We would love to hear your feedback and suggestions for upcoming editions of the show: firstname.lastname@example.org