A close-up on Berlin (II)

The ILA Future Lab

This year, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has its own ILA booth for the first time, where the exhibits reflect the future concept of the air show held in Germany every two years. As Bernhard Gerwert, President of the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI), which organizes ILA, said: Innovation is paramount to the success of the German aerospace industry. Accordingly, the event is set to increasingly become a forum for innovation. 

In the same hall as the leading representatives of the German aerospace industry, the BMWi will be presenting innovations developed under its government-supported research projects, such as the Aeronautical Research Program. MTU features under the headline of “Digitization” with an interactive presentation that demonstrates the use of simulators in development. “We’re doing extremely well when it comes to the industrial application of simulators,” says Dr. Gerhard Ebenhoch, Director, Technology Management at MTU (TETM) and project manager for the exhibit MTU is contributing to the Future Lab. The presentation illustrates what can already be simulated in engine construction today without the need for costly testing, he continues. “We’re demonstrating how we use options available to simulate physical processes in engine design.”

As Germany’s largest aerospace company, Airbus has a strong presence at the booth, where several of its projects are featured. For example, it is presenting the fuel-thrifty Bluecopter, cockpit and wireless connectivity innovations, the Mantis robot capable of independent movement that can help improve workplace ergonomics. Using a 3D display, Lufthansa Technik is showcasing sharkskin coating, innovative aircraft paint that imitates the drag-reducing surface structure of sharkskin. Liebherr-Aerospace is exhibiting developments in additive manufacturing; Premium AEROTECH and Airbus contribute aircraft components made of carbon fiber composites; and Diehl is presenting digitally-printed cabin lining parts. 

Mark Schäfer, who works in MTU’s technology management and is in charge of the MTU exhibit, summarizes his impressions: “It’s interesting how many different disciplines come together under the aeronautical research program, which is represented by the Rosetta Mission right down to cabin equipment suppliers.”

Impressions of ILA, Day 2