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EAA Presence Grows at AERO Friedrichshafen

NOTE: This is the first report by EAA contributor Kent Misegades from AERO Friedrichshafen 2010, Europe’s largest GA-dedicated trade show running April 8-11.

April 7, 2010 — Ideal flying weather and a breathtaking view of the snow-capped Alps greeted arriving aircraft at the 18th AERO Friedrichshafen 2010, Europe’s largest GA-dedicated trade show that runs April 8-11. EAA, an AERO partner, has a strong presence here, highlighted by a large exhibit in building B3 where visitors can learn more about the organization from EAA Oshkosh staff members and local EAA volunteers.

Friedrichshafen, Germany, is located in the border triangle between Germany, Austria and Switzerland on the shores of Lake Constance. Residents include such iconic aviation names as Zeppelin and Dornier. Unlike AirVenture, AERO is not a major show for homebuilders or restorers, but is a showcase for a wide range of GA products and services.

Demo flights are possible at the adjacent Friedrichshafen airport, on which resides an enormous hangar for the Zeppelin NT airship that’s in constant use for area sightseeing flights. Air shows are scheduled on Saturday and Sunday, featuring the Flying Bulls P-38 and Bo-105 helicopter and a variety of Europe’s best air show performers.

EAA staff at AERO include Earl Lawrence, vice president of industry and regulatory affairs; Jeff Kaufman, director of business development; and Katrina Bradshaw, director of advertising. Lawrence will also be meeting with European policy-makers, a continuation of an effort begun last year to coordinate certification and regulatory policies on either side of the Atlantic.

Wolfgang Köhle, spokesman for the Friedrichshafen Messe exhibition center, announced  that participation in this year’s event includes 497 exhibitors from 26 countries, 45 percent from outside Germany. The largest contingent is from the U.S. (36), followed by the Czech Republic (27), France (26), and Italy (24).

Aircraft from virtually every sector of aviation fill nine expansive halls and a wide outdoor display ramp. On display are hang gliders, trikes, powered parachutes, sailplanes, homebuilts, and the largest group of aircraft - factory-built sport airplanes certified under LSA and similar European “ultralight” standards. Larger GA aircraft on display include examples from Diamond Aircraft, Cessna, Beechcraft, Piper, Cirrus, Extra, Embraer, Tecnam, Pilatus, and others.

Special events this year include the second e-Flight expo, focusing on alternative propulsion, and the first-ever European Air Ambulance Meeting. Rotorcraft, including gryocopters, are again well represented.

During pre-show preparations, I traveled the halls looking for new aircraft. Watch for more detailed reports in the coming days. This gallery of images provides a “sneak peek” at what is new in sport aviation in Europe, on display at AERO Friedrichshafen 2010.

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