Paris Air Show

Paris Air Show
Salon international de l'aéronautique et de l'espace, Paris-Le Bourget

The first day of the 2007 Paris Air Show
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 (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) is the world's calendar-oldest air show.[1][2] Established in 1909, it is currently held every odd year at Le Bourget Airport in north Paris, France. The 2015 Paris Air Show, from 15–21 June 2015, became 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 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
Antonov An-225 with Buran at Le Bourget, 1989
Mirage 2000-5 at the Paris Air Show, 2005
A Boeing AH-64 Apache at the 2005 Paris Air Show
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 again in 1946 and since 1949, has been held in every odd year.

The air show continued to be held at the Grand Palais, and from 1949 flying demonstrations were staged at Paris Orly Airport. In 1953, the show was relocated from the Grand Palais to Le Bourget. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the show emerged as a powerful international rival to the Farnborough Airshow. Among major accidents, there were two crashes of Convair B-58 Hustler bombers, in 1961 (during aerobatics) and 1965 (during landing).[9]

1973 crash

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 manoeuvreto outshine the Concordethat was beyond the aircraft's capabilities.


The 38th show featured a variety of aerospace technology from NATO and Warsaw pact nations.[10] A Mikoyan MiG-29 crashed during a demonstration flight with no loss of life. The then Soviet space shuttle Buran and its carrier aircraft the Antonov An-225 were displayed.[10]


American fighter jets were not on display for the first time in more than two decades because of defence budget sequestration.[11]

See also


  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. E. F. Rybak, J. Gruszczyński: Convair B-58 Hustler. Cz.II, in: Nowa Technika Wojskowa 3/1999, p. 38 (in Polish)
  10. 1 2 dodmedia id:DF-ST-90-07206
  11. "Long-haul jets get boost at Paris Air Show". Yahoo News. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
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