Image: Singapore Air Show

The Singapore Air Show, the biggest aerospace event in Asia, was held last week and many of the exhibits focused on the future technology of the industry.

The A*STAR Aerospace Technology Leadership Forum 2018 kicked off the show with presentations from industry leaders. The topics covered a range of technological innovations including electric aircraft, pilotless planes, and the latest manufacturing methods. These conversations very much set the tone for the air show. Here we share the top civil aviation, military aviation, and aftermarket sector stories from the show.


Civil aviation

With the continued and rapid growth of the industry, there was particular interest in the decisions that manufacturers are taking concerning future airliners. Airbus showed off its twin-aisle A350-1000 test aircraft saying that demand for these larger aircraft will be driven by growth in Asia’s air traffic industry. Boeing is looking at engine options for its new mid-market aircraft.

When it came to actual airliner sales, Airbus and Boeing went home empty-handed. However, with reports of pilot shortages globally, it does make some sense that the biggest deal was for 152 trainer aircraft for a Chinese training school.

Military aviation

There was a large focus on military aircraft and innovation at this year’s show, especially as the Republic of Singapore Air Force took the opportunity to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Airbus is to develop the military version of the A320neo and several new maritime patrol aircraft are on offer from the likes of Saab and IAI. There was much talk of VR and AI technologies and discussion of ‘self-aware’ jet engines.

Aftermarket sector

An area where both Airbus and Boeing did manage to land deals was in the aftermarket sector. With Singapore being such an important MRO centre for Asia, this was bound to be a highlight of the show. Hong Kong Airlines signed up for Airbus’ Tailored Support Package for its 21 A350 XWB aircraft. This contract includes a range of repair and maintenance services. Boeing announced nearly $1bn-worth of services orders from several airlines.


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