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ILA Air Show takes off in Berlin

DPA/The Local · 20 May 2014, 15:15

Published: 20 May 2014 15:15 GMT+02:00

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Now in its 105th year, the biennial event presents modern aircraft, new air and space technology and features a program of displays and conferences that target both experts and the public. It runs until Sunday at Berlin ExpoCenter Airport

Claiming to be the longest-running air show in the world, this year's event will host 1,203 exhibitors from over 40 countries. The ILA predicts over 200,000 visitors will attend.

On Monday the ILA welcomed vendors and VIPs, and several planes took to the skies to warm up for the show. On Tuesday it was officially opened by Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

Aircraft enthusiasts can ogle at more than 300 aircraft both on the ground and in flight. Crafts on display range from an Airbus A380, the largest passenger airline in the world, to the Messerschmitt M 17, the first powered aircraft to be designed by aviation pioneer Willy Messerschmitt in 1925.

CLICK HERE for pictures of the aircraft

Also on display is the A350 Airbus long-haul jet which is expected to take its first flight later this year. Merkel expressed hope in her opening address on Tuesday that the craft would indeed be ready to fly as planned. "This airplane is proof of successful European cooperation," she said.

During her opening remarks, Merkel stated her confidence that the ILA would succeed in increasing cooperation and building new business relationships. "The air and space travel industries play a strategically key role in our economic welfare," she said.

The German Bundeswehr has a strong presence at this year's show. They plan to inform show-goers of their latest projects and display Eurofighter and Tornado fighter aircraft, as well as Patriot, their ground-based air defence system, and four drones.

The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) also has a large display which includes an A320 ATRA aircraft and the EC 135 ACT/FHS Flying Helicopter Simulator.

The DLR also plans to introduce the TORO robot which, according to a DLR statement, can "sense its surroundings, respond sensitively to influences from its environment and move around it autonomously".

ILA 2014 is organized jointly by the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI) and Messe Berlin GmbH.

SEE ALSO: Berlin's airports reach capacity

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DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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