History meets innovation at ILA Berlin Air Show

Highlights for visitors at the largest airshow of the year are set to include items from aviation's past, present and future when it opens for its centenary next week.

The ILA Berlin Air Show returns bigger than ever on June 9, promising 1,150 exhibitors from 40 countries, an increase on the 2008 show of 23 exhibitors from an additional three countries.

As in previous years, the public show (June 11-13) offers a program of flying displays from aerobatic pilots and national formation teams, in around 250 fixed or rotary wing aircraft that range from historic aircraft to recently-released cutting edge models such as the Airbus A380.

For aviation enthusiasts, the show provides a rare opportunity to marvel at the newest military and civil aircraft up close, such as the giant Airbus A400M, the Dornier 228 NG from RUAG and the H-53GA helicopter by German Advanced.

However, for those with less specific interests, ILA Berlin offers something for everyone with a love of travel.

A whole section of the site has been set aside for the show's centenary exhibition, which will feature one aircraft from each decade of the show's history, including the Bleriot XI, the first aircraft to cross the English channel, Fokker DR-1 , the leading German aircraft of World War One, and the Douglas DC-6, the world's first modern long haul passenger aircraft.

With consumers increasingly concerned about the carbon footprint of flying, the show has an exhibition dedicated to innovation in the aviation industry.

Visitors to the "Path of Innovation" can find out more about what the industry is doing to lessen its environmental impact - everything from new types of materials to propulsion systems for eco-efficient flight - through graphics and virtual displays of products.

A space pavilion is also available for visitors who want to go that little bit higher, featuring an original rocket motor from the Ariane 5 launcher, a model of the International Space Station ISS and, for the first time, the humanoid service robot SpaceJustin.

If after all that, visitors simply feel the need to get away, excursion flights from the grounds are available daily on a Lufthansa "Tante" Ju-52 and Eurocopter AS-350 from €50 to €299 per person.

The ILA Berlin Air Show runs from June 8-13, with public days from June 11-13 at Berlin-Schoenefeld Airport in Germany.