Aero 2014 is history now but sorting through all the discoveries and reviewing hundreds of photos I shot will consume more time. Just to give a flavor of the diversity in the halls, I present some images below with photo captions. As time allows I will provide several articles about aircraft and concepts contained in the great halls of Aero. One topic I will not cover is the large number of radio control or other model airplanes I saw. In some years, such can take an entire gymnasium-sized hall by themselves … fascinating! Yet the image you see nearby is a shot taken by a small quad copter (photo inset) with its wide angle lens. Such tiny flying machines are surely part of our future and seeing things below is part of their mission (for better or worse). My LAMA Europe associate and friend, Jan Fridrich, asked a vendor to shoot the image you see, which would not have been possible by any means other than a hydraulic lift. Instead, this took a few seconds and cost virtually nothing, which tells you all you care to know about the coming age of aerial surveillance.
In the images below, I offer you a further glimpse to accompany my first impressions piece and a couple articles presented since. Following these I expect to prepare articles on a variety of engines I saw at Aero plus a wider review of the many handsome gyroplanes one found in exhibit after exhibit. I took a look at several four seaters other than those I’ve already written about from leading LSA vendors (watch out Cessna, Piper, Cirrus, & Diamond!). I’ll write more about the wave of small, highly affordable aircraft being developed in response to lightened regulations … yes, rule writers actually loosen their grip on occasion, and when they do, innovation can blossom. I will also touch on aircraft from countries you hardly know exist, yet companies and their engineers in those nations have created some eye-catching aircraft. The world of aviation is rich at Aero. In their wrap-up news release, show organizers made these statements: “In global aviation, Aero has a strong standing; pilots and aircraft experts from around the world come to Lake Constance [in the very south of Germany].” At the end of the event facility CEO Klaus Wellmann and Aero project manager Roland Bosch gave a positive assessment of how the exhibition went for all participants, “With 606 exhibitors from 35 countries … a highly professional and international range of general aviation was present in Friedrichshafen [and an] audience from around the globe had the industry conference on its flight plan: 33,400 visitors came” representing a modest growth from last year.