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Your AERO 2018 highlights


The Aero2018 now closed it’s doors and most people are safe home. What are your highlights of the Aero exhibition? What were the flops?

Inside the sky.
EDXE, EDXF, Germany

My list of highlights would be (very difficult to put thel in order) :

  • a very interesting talk to the head of SMA engines, also former Head of Production of my company
  • sitting in the Elixir prototype, with their COO who seems a brilliant guy of my age
  • talking to the SONACA team in their prototype
  • the girls at the TOTAL booth
  • learning from PPL/IR that Basic IR is not dead ! Great news ! (sorry Peter, I betrayed EuroGA for a few minutes )
  • and, of course, meeting Dimme, Peter, Mooney_Driver, aart, Jamiltz and Jean !!!

Flops would be :

  • 65€ for a slot and 1 day parking on grass in a C172 (no night there)
  • Don’t go to the Cirrus booth if not 60 with a Ralph lauren polo They have business to do you know.
  • Once you seem to have seen the same UL from an unknown eastern Europe builder for the 47th time, you understand you’ve seen it all until next year.

So far, this weekend was one of my best aviation experience ever !! This weather was so perfect !


  • First time as exhibitor for the swiss aviation interest group so finally enough time to see it all.
  • Working with my dedicated bunch of volonteers at the exhibition.
  • Meeting lots of interesting people amongst which several from Euro GA and Pilot und Flugzeug Forum. Nice to put a face to the name.
  • Trying on the Cirrus Jet for size. I have to say, lovely cabin and it looks really nice inside.
  • Getting some new pilots hats for the Mooney Pilot group for a really nice price.
  • Spent some great time with the folks from the German Air Force UH1 and their support crew, I even got to try the UH1D for size :)


  • Traffic on thursday and friday was a horror due to road closures. Momnuemtal waste of time.
  • Watching the almost empty GA parking during an aviation fair is simply disturbing. Looks like most people do not come by plane due to the slottery and the cost.
  • Seeing the Panthera prototype completey covered up and without attendance all Sunday. What is going on? Have they given up on it? Then why bring it there?
LSZH, Switzerland

Hi Mooney Driver

I am sorry that we missed visiting you and the Swiss aviation interest group. What is it by the way?
Yes I agree, the “slottery” is such a pain in the neck that I have basically given up FLYING to EDNY.
I will refrain from any stupid racist jokes about the way this event is organized but fact is one does NOT feel welcome as a pilot.
If the AERO marketing people read this I think they should re-consider the concept and make it more of a pilot-friendly and welcoming fly-in event.
I happened to have a commitment in Zürich on Thursday so drove there on Th. night and escaped early on Friday, after a series of very successful exhibitor contacts.

We dodged most of the “Stau” on the way back by driving around Zürich: – SIngen, Basel, Brugg.
It was a long way with dense traffic but we had a convertible that made it a bit more pleasant.

It was great to meet Peter and a few other EuroGA people in person. All in all a nice experience, but I admit that after 5 hours of driving I missed the plane!

LSGG, LFEY, Switzerland

Jujupilote wrote:

a very interesting talk to the head of SMA engines, also former Head of Production of my company

Could you tell us more?

talking to the SONACA team in their prototype

Again would you be happy to share what they had to say

Last Edited by Bathman at 22 Apr 06:17

Watching the almost empty GA parking during an aviation fair is simply disturbing

Can’t agree on that. The south side was pretty crowded with piston props. One needed to be very careful during taxi because sticking to the yellow line wouldn’t guarantee any wingtip clearance ! The slottery is what it is. I have the feeling they could squeeze more IFR deps & arrivals in there. Never had the impression I had to be expeditious during landing or tkof…


Mooney_Driver wrote:

Watching the almost empty GA parking during an aviation fair is simply disturbing. Looks like most people do not come by plane due to the slottery and the cost.

Have there been any major changes this year? I was at AERO in 2015 and 2017 and both times the GA parking was packed.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

A regular visitor with some humour could summarise the show as

  • a great chance to meet up with people you haven’t seen for a year, or many years
  • a certified scene with little innovation except the SR22 getting a new paint job and a price rise
  • an uncertified scene with lots of innovation but with most products shown being “baloons” being floated to see if there is interest and which will never see production
  • loads of new engines which will never make it despite claims of “certification next year” (largely due to being massively overpriced to be relevant to the retrofit market except very busy FTOs and they are flying DA42s anyway)
  • especially with the big drop in visitors in recent years, an arrogant, heavy handed and restrictive system for the airport slots which is set up to let you know who is really in charge of the place and is not necessary for traffic management. Shoreham has more traffic density on any nice weekend. There are lots of indications that the airport doesn’t like the exhibition and they don’t miss an opportunity to tell everybody.

The main reason I went was to meet up with a lot of pilots who I have been in contact with but had never met. It was great to put the faces to the names, even if not to the forum names which embarrassingly I am very bad at A couple of people I had been contact with since I started flying 18 years ago but had never before met.

There were some specifically interesting products.

Trig were doing a little GPS box; the TN72. This appears to be a WAAS position source which is a requirement for any ADS-B OUT (and in some cases like the TAS605, ADS-B IN). It costs under €400 and is an interesting option for some scenarios where your main GPS is non-WAAS. The output is RS232. I wonder if it is compatible with non Trig products…

Peter Mundy, who runs a pilot shop, was showing a nice mike add-on – the Flightmic – for the Bose QC25 etc noise cancelling headsets. I was not really interested in this because I already have 4x Bose A20 but a quick test at the stand showed that the mike quality is really amazing and way better than the A20. Bose mikes have never been that good; the old and long gone Lightspeed Mach1 had a way superior mike too. So I picked up one and will test it in flight soon. I have the QC25.

I had a look at the Golze products, including the new ADL200. This stuff is great and there is nothing anywhere near it in the certified (or uncertified but neatly user-installable) scene. My ADL150 is working well and it was really interesting to watch the wx (which eventually became a TSRA) not quite making it to Shoreham by the time I got there.

One small thing was a company which can refurbish your seat belts and send it back with an EASA-1. There are probably several of these but this seems a much better option than paying thousands for new belts from the manufacturer.

I spoke to Pipistrel about the Panthera. The guy told me they stopped work on in for a few years but have now restarted. They have two flying, one with the original IO390 and one with the IO540. They won’t be making any IO390 versions. They have lots of orders for the uncertified version apparently. He expects certification in 2022. They have done many improvements to it. I didn’t see it; it was parked outside somewhere.

Another interesting one was this outfit which was showing some composite cylinders. This one is not far short of the large MH cylinder which a lot of people use, although at €1700 (inc VAT) it is almost 2x the price of the MH CFF-480 (but to be fair it includes the 1st stage regulator). Unlike the MH one, it has no life limit (the MH one can be tested only twice, limiting it to 15 years). They don’t sell demand regulators but you could use the MH O2D2 etc. To be fair to the price, they have an integrated 1st stage regulator which has an adjustable valve on the low pressure outlet, but I was unable to establish whether this controlled some orifice or whether it was another pressure regulator (most likely the former especially as the company owner didn’t know ) and the O2D2 needs a specific range of input pressure for its altitude compensation to work properly.

Whelen have a TSOd replacement for the common wingtip strobe. I can’t remember whether it is PMA also; if it was, nobody could stop you installing it to replace the original one. But clearly nobody should replace their old strobe and inverter box if these fail, since two of the new LED ones are about $1k.

Continental were showing a geared “300”-class 6 cylinder engine

HBK (Honeywell / Bendix King) were showing their KI300 which is now “certified”. Actually they seem to have abandoned it and redesigned it in a much shorter size

and as pointed out here it needs an extra box to emulate a KI256; total cost $6k!

Some funny stuff I could not resist:

and even though PC is not one of my virtues, it is hard to believe this sort of thing sells products nowadays

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Has anybody looked at the Quattro Cruiser, that was apparantly announced at the AERO by Czech Sport Aircraft?

Is this an interesting announcement, or is it another development that will never reach certification status?

EHLE, Netherlands

I thought this to be a little masterpiece of Italian design:

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