The eighth Airshow China begins November 16, a reminder of how far China has come since the first event was held in 1996.

Back then, China's ambitious plan to build its aviation industry was viewed as rather optimistic by the rest of the world, with many analysts predicting that it would take decades to come to fruition, if it did at all. How wrong they were.

Earlier this year, Beijing International Airport overtook London Heathrow as the world's second-busiest and Comac, China's answer to Airbus and Boeing, is reportedly gearing up to announce a slew of orders at Airshow China.

From 2016, Comac believes that its C919 aircraft will represent a serious threat to competing models such as the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, particularly as it is likely to be sold to rapidly expanding Chinese carriers.

As well as being capable of carrying up to 190 passengers, the jet's CFM LEAP-X1C engines are greener than many on the market and Comac is believed to be aiming for double-digit improvements in fuel economy, making flights cheaper for both airlines and passengers.

Although Airshow China will be flooded by industry professionals, there's something for everyone else too.

Organizers have been heavily marketing the event in neighboring Macau, promising dazzling displays of aerobatics and more foreign aircraft than were presented in 2008.

Pakistan's "Sherdils" aerobatics team are already practicing at the site and are expected to perform alongside the USA's Red Eagles and the UK's ASB Aerobatic Team, although all are likely to be overshadowed by the displays by the Chinese Air Force.

The show is open to the public from November 19-21, with individual, family and group admission tickets available from the website.

http://www.airshow.com.cn

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