Executive Aviation: Impressions from RUBAE 2018
It is a well established fact that Moscow boasts one of the largest billionaire communities anywhere in the World, add to this quite a few multi-millionaires and you will see why the Russian market features prominently in the executive aviation industry agenda.
Like every September, the major players in the industry gathered at Vnukovo 3, the VIP section of Moscow’s 3rd largest airport, to showcase their wares at RUBAE (previously known as Jet Expo).
So there I went, for the customary visit.
My first impression is that the show has downsized a bit since last time I visited, in 2016.
The number and range of aircraft on static display was less. For example, no ACJs or BBJs (although Airbus held a media event the day before the opening of the show where it provided a comprehensive overview of its products and novelties), also, no helicopters whatsoever, same for smaller models, such as the HondaJet, that we admired last time.
Nevertheless, it remains an interesting show to visit and one that you can comfortably see in one morning without feeling overwhelmed as in larger shows like EBACE.
The exhibition is divided between an indoors hall, located right next to the so-called VIPPORT, Moscow Vunkovo’s executive aviation terminal, and an outdoors side apron area, where the static display is.
Interestingly, one of the firms that stood out in its visibility and presence was Dassault, that not only boasted one of the largest and busiest stands, but brought also several jets, among them a Falcon 8X, that we had the chance to visit.
Dassault offered visitors to its stand the chance to walk through the different cabin configurations and aircraft models thanks to a virtual reality set.
The experience, that even allowed you to walk outside the plane and onto the (virtual) wings, provided a full size feel of the cabin and the different interior designs on offer.
A representative of the French aircraft maker explained that this is the same VR set that they use to show would be customers.
Dassault has its own mock-up center at Le Bourget airport, near Paris, but the amount of possible combinations that a customer can choose from makes it practical to have the help of such technological tools.
And here is the Dassault Falcon 8X that was on display at the static
Besides its beautiful lines and iconic tri-jet configuration, one of the novelties Dassault is currently promoting really hard is the FalconEye.
The FalconEye is a tool to help pilots in low visibility conditions, it features a HUD display such as the one in the photo below, that gives an unusual perspective, to call it somehow, of the environment in front of the aircraft.
Although the Falcon 8X is currently the French firm’s flagship product, Dassault is gearing up for the upcoming launch of the Falcon 6X, that will have a wider cabin diameter (contrary to what the name might suggest, wider than the Falcon 7X and 8X! range, in turn, will be similar to that of the Falcon7X although a bit less than the 8X)
In fact one of the take-aways to the Airbus media conference the previous day was that the market favours larger cabins).
There were, of course, other executive jet firms represented at the display, here are couple of Bombardier Challenger 350 and 650 in the background
And of the few smallish jets at the show. The Piaggio Avanti may not be the largest or the fastest, but it is possibly the cutest!