The difference could hardly be greater: Emirates, the Dubai-based airline, operates the largest passenger aircraft ever built - the Airbus A380. And not just one, but a whole 119 of them. A few steps away, at Dubai World Central Airport, flying cabs and mini cargo planes will soon be on display to a wider audience. We are talking about the Dubai Airshow 2023, which will take place at Dubai World Central (DWC) Airport from 13-17NOV23.
It can be expected that aviation enthusiasts will not regret attending the event, because here, at the Dubai Airshow, participants will gain an impression of what aviation will look like tomorrow and beyond. Suppliers of future generations of aircraft will be there to present and feature their products to a wider audience.
One of the fastest growing aviation markets
Even four months before the start of the show, one main trend is already emerging: the individualization of air travel and freight transportation in urban areas and over shorter distances. Aircraft models that improve the on-demand mobility of people and goods on the first or last mile, will dominate at the show, which will deliver a holistic picture of future air transportation, claim the organizers.
It is a gigantic and extremely fast-growing market which experts value at USD 16.81 billion in 2025, and expect to rise to USD 110 billion in 2035. Most likely, it will not be the household names dominating this business, i.e. Airbus and Boeing. Instead, no-names will set the trend and capture a share of this pie - particularly in the lucrative passenger sector, but also in the cargo sector.
Lilium is a highly versatile aircraft…
One hot candidate enhancing urban mobility, is the battery-powered Lilium Jet, which is a real eye-catcher with its engines integrated into the wing flaps. The developer claims that the aircraft is the first electric vertical takeoff and landing jet ever brought to market. It offers advantages in payload, aerodynamic efficiency, and noise, compared to its kerosene-powered competitors, according to the manufacturer. The aircraft offers a sophisticated cabin layout and can be fitted with 4 to 8 passenger seats, depending on the mission, but can also be converted into a cargo aircraft by removing the seats. It can therefore be used for a range of customers and applications, primarily for air travelers, but also for the cargo transport of smaller packages containing urgently needed high value goods or pharma products, for example.
… so is “Alice” from Washington State-based Eviation
Another attractive aircraft is Alice, launched by U.S. producer, Eviation. It is powered by two electric propulsion units and features an advanced battery system, emitting zero greenhouse gases. And it costs “a fraction to operate per flight hour compared to jets burning kerosene or turboprops,” Eviation claims. It can travel 400 kilometers at a velocity of max 480 km/h. However, this will not be the end of the line, the producer stresses, since its battery system is “endlessly upgradable”, which translates into additional range - provided however, that battery technology is further improved.
Vertiports are coming
During the upcoming Dubai air show titled “The Future of the Aerospace Industry”, a new pavilion dedicated to advanced aerial mobility (AAM), will be launched. It will allow participants to take a closer look at upcoming flight technologies which are expected to have a major influence on passenger and cargo air transportation over short and medium distances.
Further to this, it can be expected that Air Taxis and other use cases are to be announced at the show or already presented there in detail. As will the launch of a system of vertiports as part of the future air mobility infrastructure network.
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