Originally published in General Aviation News magazine… AERO, held in Friedrichshafen, Germany is the most elegant and upscale of global shows for general aviation. AERO is where a dressed for business crowd gathers to see everything related to flying that is non-commercial aviation. In its spacious and modern halls, the show caters to comfort and the sophisticated senses of European buyers and sellers.
There’s a bit of military and police aviation thrown in, and now UAV/drones have joined in the spectacle, but at AERO the highlights are all General Aviation (GA). This year’s 25th anniversary event was no exception, and there is strong evidence that this segment of aviation is growing throughout Europe, being pushed in particular by advancements in Ultralight (UL), Very Light Aircraft (VLA) and Light-sport Aircraft (LSA).
The atmosphere at AERO is a combination of relaxed, à la AirVenture Oshkosh and Sun ‘n Fun, with the formal flare of a National Business Aviation Association on the cabin class end. It’s an appealing mix, highly amenable to conducting business. This year featured an airshow, drawing crowds outdoors midday Saturday. On each of the four days, there was a steady flow of traffic through the 12 indoor exhibit halls. With sunny weather on both Friday and Saturday, crowds flowed into the courtyard where the newly constructed Messe Alm catered to guests with Swabian and Bavarian specialties from an authentic Alpine structure, typical of the region’s mountain pastures.
Full photo captions (left-right, top-bottom):
The widely recognized Cub is ever-popular in Europe. This Savage Cub, based in the same Baden-Württemberg region as Friedrichshafen, provides training, rundflug (“round trip” or sightseeing flights), and banner towing.
Special guests were invited to get an up-close look at the 18-rotor electric Volocopter from Germany’s e-volo.
Looking like it came straight out of the movie Planes, the Stream Turbo TP100 by TL Ultralight, in partnership with Wezel Flugzeuge, was flying high in desert cammo.
One of many replicas in the ultralight class, this JH Corsair by JH Aircraft offered an example of experimenting in lightweight construction with recognizable styling on the exterior.
A highly polished 1947 vintage Cessna 140 was on sale for 59,000 euros (roughly US$ 63,000). Plane Fun Inc. of Snellville, Georgia, offers a way for non-US citizens to operate N-registered aircraft abroad.
A Messerschmitt KR 200 Super, a.k.a. Cabin Scooter, was featured in the Streamline special exhibit at the Zeppelin Museum situated on the waterfront of Lake Constance.
In its mock-dirty paint scheme the Shock Cub by Zlin Aviation drew a lot of attention.
Occupying the courtyard with “Messe Alm,” an Alpine style hospitality hut and beer garden, were a pair of Pitts S1-D Specials, part of the Trig Aerobatic Team.
An Italian built Cub look-a-like is the Groppo Trail, sold complete and in kit form. It’s compactible with folding wings.
Siemens displayed its all-electric Magnus eFusion aircraft including the recent world speed record setting Extra 330LE.
The Junkers F13 replica is a meticulously accurate copy of the 1920s all metal German passenger aircraft. Undergoing flight testing in Switzerland, it is expected to make is way to the U.S. soon.
The highly prized Stampe was a French and Algerian primary trainer that is now available in replica form from Belgium, with three engine options.