Paris Air Show

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Paris Air Show
Salon international de l'aéronautique et de l'espace, Paris-Le Bourget
Paris Air Show 2007 01.jpg
The first day of the 2007 Paris Air Show
Status Active
Genre Commercial air show
Dates June
Frequency Odd years
Venue Paris–Le Bourget Airport
Location(s) Le Bourget, Paris (since 1953)
Coordinates 48°57′20″N 2°25′57″E / 48.9555°N 2.4324°E / 48.9555; 2.4324Coordinates: 48°57′20″N 2°25′57″E / 48.9555°N 2.4324°E / 48.9555; 2.4324
Country France
Established 1909; 108 years ago (1909)
Attendance 315,572 (2013)
Activity Aerobatic displays
Static displays
Organized by SIAE (GIFAS)

The Paris Air Show (Salon international de l'aéronautique et de l'espace de Paris-Le Bourget, Salon du Bourget) claims to be the world's calendar-oldest air show.[1][2] Established in 1909, it has been held every odd year since 1949 at Paris–Le Bourget Airport in north Paris, France. The 2015 Paris Air Show, for example, held 15–21 June 2015, was the 51st.[3]

The format is similar to the Farnborough International Airshow in Britain and the ILA Berlin Air Show, both of which are staged in alternate years to the Paris show. The Paris event starts with four professional days closed to the general public; and then on Friday, Saturday and Sunday the public, including children, are allowed in.

The Paris Air Show is organised by the French aerospace industry's primary representative body, the Groupement des industries françaises aéronautiques et spatiales (GIFAS). According to GIFAS, the 2011 Paris show attracted 151,500 professional visitors and 204,000 members of the general public, and 3,250 journalists from 80 countries.[4]

It is a large commercial event, with a major purpose being to demonstrate military and civilian aircraft to potential customers. It claims to be the most prestigious aircraft exposition in the world. Major aircraft sales contracts are announced by manufacturers during the show. All major international manufacturers, as well as representatives of the military forces of many countries, attend the Paris Air Show.


The first Salon de la locomotion aérienne, 1909, Grand Palais, Paris.
SNCASE SE.212 Durandal experimental jet/rocket fighter aircraft at the 1957 Air Salon
Dassault Mirage 2000-5 at the Paris Air Show, 2005
Airbus A300 ZERO-G in 2009
A380 takes off for the crowds, 2011
Dassault Falcon 7X at salon du bourget 2011

The Paris Air Show traces its history back to the first decade of the 20th century. In 1908 a section of the Paris Motor Show was dedicated to aircraft.[5] The following year, a dedicated air show was held at the Grand Palais[6] from 25 September to 17 October, during which 100,000 visitors turned out to see products and innovations from 380 exhibitors.[7] There were four further shows before the First World War.[8] The show restarted in 1919, and from 1924 it was held every two years before being interrupted again by the Second World War. It restarted in 1946 and since 1949, has been held in every odd year.[citation needed]

The air show continued to be held at the Grand Palais, and from 1949 flying demonstrations were staged at Paris Orly Airport.[9] In 1953, the show was relocated from the Grand Palais to Le Bourget.[10] Since the 1970s, the show emerged as the main international reference of the aeronautical sector.[11]

The 2015 edition of the Salon broke all records so far, with 351,584 visitors, over 2,300 exhibitors, 122,500 square metres of exhibition space, 4,359 journalists from 72 countries and 130 billion euros in purchases, consolidating its leadership as world's biggest marketplace in aeronautics.[12]


Antonov An-225 Mriya with Buran at Le Bourget, 1989

The "38th Paris International Air and Space Show" or "1989 Paris Air Show", featured a variety of aerospace technology from NATO and Warsaw Pact nations.[13] A Mikoyan MiG-29 crashed during a demonstration flight with no loss of life. The then-Soviet space shuttle Buran and its carrier, Antonov An-225 Mriya, was displayed at this show.[13]


The 48th International Paris Air Show took place in 2009 and marked a hundred years of technological innovation in aeronautics and space conquest. The event was held from 15 to 21 June, at Le Bourget. A memorial service was held for the victims of Air France Flight 447.[14]


The 2011 show was the 49th presentation, and hosted over 2,100 international exhibitors in 28 international pavilions. A total of 150 aircraft were on display, including the solar-electric aircraft Solar Impulse.[15]

A demo A380 was damaged the day before the exhibition opened and needed a replacement;[16][17] while the new Airbus A400M Atlas military transport aircraft had an engine failure, but could still perform some demonstration flights.[17]


The 2015 show was held from June 15 to June 21, 2015 near Paris, France.[18] During the show, Airbus Helicopters announced a successor to the Super Puma helicopter, called the X6.[19]


2017 marks the 52nd Paris Air Show, which opens on June 18, 2017.[20] The 2017 show runs from June 18 to June 25, 2017.[21]


Among major accidents, there were two crashes of Convair B-58 Hustler bombers, in 1961 (during aerobatics) and 1965 (during landing).[22]

1973 crash[edit]

At the Paris Air Show on June 3, 1973, the second Tupolev Tu-144 production aircraft (registration SSSR-77102) crashed during its display. It stalled while attempting a rapid climb. Trying to pull out of the subsequent dive, the aircraft broke up and crashed, destroying 15 houses and killing all six on board and eight on the ground; a further sixty people received serious injuries.

The cause of this accident remains controversial. Theories include: the Tu-144 climbed to avoid a French Mirage chase plane whose pilot was attempting to photograph it; that changes had been made by the ground engineering team to the auto-stabilisation circuits to allow the Tu-144 to outperform the Concorde in the display circuit; and that the crew were attempting a manoeuvre — to outshine the Concorde — that was beyond the aircraft's capabilities.


A Mikoyan MiG-29 crashed during a demonstration flight with no loss of life.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bill Carey. "U.S. Military a No-show At 2013 Paris Air Show". AIN Online. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  2. ^ Allison Barrie. "Paris Air Show, the world’s oldest aviation expo, opens big in France". Fox News. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  3. ^ "Salon du Bourget — Gifas". Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Chiffres clés (salon 2011)" (PDF). Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "The First Paris Aeronautical Salon" Flight January 2, 1909.
  6. ^ "Paris Flight Show -First Impressions of an Artistic and Fascinating Display" Flight October 2, 1909
  7. ^ "Show History". Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "special paris | salon | side entrance | 1912 | 0990 | Flight Archive". Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b c dodmedia id:DF-ST-90-07206[dead link]
  14. ^ "Religious ceremonies for the victims of flight AF 447". Air France. 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  15. ^ "Salon du Bourget 15/21 juin 2015". Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  16. ^ Un A380 heurte un bâtiment au Bourget ("A380 clips a building"), TF1 News, 19 juin 2011.
  17. ^ a b L'A380 volera tout de même au salon du Bourget ("A380 will still fly at Paris Air Show"), La Tribune, 20 juin 2011.
  18. ^ Paris Air Show Dates and Times
  19. ^ Airbus Reveals Super Puma Successor
  20. ^ Ostrower, Jon; Patterson, Thom (2017-06-15). "What to expect at the Paris Air Show". CNN Money. Retrieved 2017-06-15. 
  21. ^ Nagl, Kurt (2017-06-14). "Michigan aerospace leaders to travel to Paris air show". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved 2017-06-15. 
  22. ^ E. F. Rybak, J. Gruszczyński: Convair B-58 Hustler. Cz.II, in: Nowa Technika Wojskowa 3/1999, p. 38 (in Polish)

External links[edit]

Media related to 2007 Paris Air Show at Wikimedia Commons