The Farnborough International Airshow is a week-long event that combines a major trade exhibition for the aerospace and defence industries with a public airshow. The event is held in mid-July in even-numbered years at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire, United Kingdom. The first five days (Monday to Friday) are dedicated exclusively to trade, with the final two days open to the public.[1]

The airshow is an important event in the international aerospace and defence industry calendar, providing an opportunity to demonstrate civilian and military aircraft to potential customers and investors. The show is also used for the announcement of new developments and orders, and to attract media coverage.

It is the second largest after Le Bourget, ahead of Dubai Air Show or Singapore Air Show.[2] It is organised by Farnborough International Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of ADS Group. In 2012, it attracted 109,000 trade visitors over the first five days, and 100,000 public visitors during the weekend. Orders and commitments for 758 aircraft were announced, worth US$72 billion.[3]


Flying occurs on all seven days, and there are also static displays of aircraft outside and booths and stands in the indoor exhibition halls. On the Saturday and Sunday most of the exhibitions halls are shut, but there is a travelling funfair and children are admitted.

The airshow alternates with the Paris Air Show, which is held in odd-numbered years and has a similar format, and is held in the same years as the Berlin Air Show.


The Farnborough Airshow has its origins in the annual RAF Airshow at Hendon from 1920 to 1937. On 27 June 1932, the Society of British Aircraft Constructors held an exhibition of 35 aircraft by 16 companies at Hendon as a showpiece for the British aircraft industry. After World War II, the show recommenced at Radlett (the site of Handley Page's airfield) in 1946 and was held there until 1948, when the show moved to its present location of Farnborough, Hampshire, home of the Royal Aircraft Establishment, about 30 miles (48 km) south-west of central London.


On 6 September 1952, a DH.110 jet fighter disintegrated in flight and crashed into the crowd watching the airshow, killing 29 spectators, and the pilot and navigator on the DH.110.

On 13 September 1964, a Bristol Bulldog G-ABBB, marked (incorrectly) as K2227 and owned by the Shuttleworth Trust, crashed whilst performing a loop[4] - the pilot was only slightly hurt.

On 20 September 1968, a French Air Force Breguet Atlantic crashed into the offices of the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) while performing a display at the air show. One of the RAE's civilian maintenance staff was killed, as were all five members of the crew. [5][6]

On 11 September 1970, a Wallis WA-117 autogyro G-AXAR crashed, killing the pilot, J. W. C. Judge[7].

On 1 September 1974, a Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter crashed on the runway after a low roll, killing both crew[7].

On 4 September 1984, a de Havilland Canada DHC-5D Buffalo, crashed on the runway after badly judged steep approach to an intended short landing in a gusting crosswind with no casualties[7].

Complementary information

At the 1958 show, the Black Arrows executed a 22-plane formation loop.[8] This remains a world record for the greatest number of aircraft looped in formation.

The show was initially an annual event, but has been biennial since 1962. It has become an international event that attracts exhibitors from all over the world — with the exception, during the Cold War, of countries from the Soviet Union.

From 1996 the show has had its own official radio station operated by the staff and students of nearby Farnborough College of Technology, although it did not operate in 2012.

See also


  1. ^ "Farnborough International Airshow 2018". Farnborough International Limited. 7 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018. 
  2. ^ Peter Shaw-Smith (November 8, 2017). "2017 Dubai Airshow Expected To Be Largest Yet". AIN. 
  3. ^ "US$72 billion of confirmed orders at Farnborough International Airshow 9-15 Jul 2012". Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  4. ^ https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=202342
  5. ^ "British Air Show Crash Kills 6". St.Petersburg Times. 21 September 1968. 
  6. ^ "AIR 20/12163: Breguet Atlantique aircraft crash at Farnborough SBAC display 20th Sept 1968." The National Archives, Kew, 1968.
  7. ^ a b c https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/our-list-of-post-war-air-show-accidents-416034/
  8. ^ "display team 1958 1- - 0383 Flight Archive". Flightglobal.com. Archived from the original on 24 August 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 

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