One of the most anticipated events in EUROAVIA, ILA Fly-In Berlin is organized by AS Berlin every two years corresponding to the ILA Berlin Airshow that takes place at Berlin ExpoCenter Airport, Schönefeld. This year, AS Berlin hosted the Fly-In from 24th April to 28th April 2018 for 20 of us coming from 10 different AS across Europe. Hence, two of us from AS-Toulouse got an opportunity to attend this event.
The event kicked off with a welcome dinner on the evening of 24th April where we met all of them and got to know the organizing team of AS Berlin. We were also provided with a welcome kit from the organizers to ease our stay in Berlin for the next couple of days. The next day i.e. 25th April, we visited TU-Berlin and were shown around the huge campus. In one of the auditorium inside, we had a lecture on “Mid-market segment aircraft” by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Bardenhagen during which he explained the existing range of aircrafts available in Airbus and Boeing with respect to different capacities and range. He further pointed out the void in that list and explained the lack of a suitable aircraft which could cater to the ‘mid-market’ requirement of carrying around 250 pax (passengers) over a range of 5000 nm (nautical miles). This was followed by an amazing flight simulator session at the Air Traffic Management lab of TU Berlin. In the afternoon, we had a soft skills workshop on leadership by one of their students who was an expert in this field. He took relatively simple ideas like leadership and human interaction to a completely different level by making an in-depth analysis of human behavior. Later, we were taken on a city tour where we caught glimpses of some iconic places like AlexanderPlatz, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, etc. and walked through some popular streets of Berlin. We ended the eventful day by having a ‘Spirits night’, keeping up with the glorious tradition of Euroavia events.
The next 2 days were the visit to ILA Airshow near the Schönefeld airport. We visited on trader days, so the entire atmosphere was bustling with activity with exhibitors from around the world showcasing their products and innovations. EUROAVIA had also organized special interactive sessions with a few companies especially for us. On day 1, we had presentations by Liebherr Aerospace and Eurojet. We got to see their famous Eurojet EJ200 engine which powers the Eurofighter Typhoon from up close. We also got a chance to sit in the cockpit of an actual Eurofighter Typhoon and a full mockup model of F-35 which were on Static Display. An impressive number of aircraft were lined up for static display this year. Among them was the modified Airbus A340-300 for the laminar flow demonstrator project funded by the European Union as a part of the “Clean Sky” initiative. We were able to go inside the aircraft and learn about the various sensors and measurement systems used in this exciting project. Also on display were Airbus A380, Antonov AN-225 “Mriya” (the world’s largest aircraft!), A400M airlifter, NH92 military helicopter, incredible v22 Osprey and the new Bombardier CS-300 to mention a few!
On day 2, we had more presentations by companies like MTU and IABG. There was also a dedicated area for ‘ILA Future Lab’ where major aerospace companies like Airbus, Boeing, Siemens, MBDA, etc. showcased their recent innovations. For example, Airbus had put up a mock-up model of their ‘City-Airbus’ vehicle which is their urban mobility solution and is expected to take to the skies in the next couple of years. Apart from the aeronautical displays, there was an area dedicated solely to Space with exhibitions and talks from ESA (European Space Agency), Airbus DS (Defense and Space), CNES (French govt. space agency), etc. There were also numerous conferences and panels during the 2 days on topics ranging from Electric Hybrid aircraft to Cyber Security in aviation. Coming to the most loved part of the airshow, the dynamic display of aircrafts were a delight to watch. The A350-XWB made an incredible display followed by a breath-taking display by the Eurofighter Typhoon of the Luftwaffe. We witnessed the thrilling performance by German Armed Forces air parade with 17 aircrafts showing a hostage-rescue operation. A firefighting demonstration of two Bundeswehr NH 90 helicopters and the civil fire department also showed how different departments co-ordinate in emergency situations. The other highlights were the Japanese Kawasaki P-1, Helicopter Tiger, etc.
It was finally time to bid adieu, the next morning. It was the end of an amazing event which gave us the opportunity to make several new friends from other affiliated societies and helped us obtain a few industrial contacts too. The entire event was organized flawlessly by AS Berlin. Every little care was taken by them to ensure that our stay was smooth and enjoyable. For instance, they packed special food for both of us during each meal since we were vegetarians.
We would like to thank the President Sertan Gul and the entire organization team of AS-Berlin for being such amazing hosts. Finally, we thank our local AS-Toulouse for helping us in taking this wonderful trip and having an enriching international experience.
Long live Euroavia !
- Kartik VENKATRAMAN
- Sagar Shenoy MANIKAR