The Singapore airshow is held every two years and is Asia's largest aerospace and defense event. Held at the Changi Exhibition Center next to Singapore's airport, it brings together some of the world's biggest military, commercial and business aircraft manufacturers, who are seeking to tap Asia's high-growth market.
The last event in 2010 saw deals worth about $10 billion signed. This year, too, major manufacturers have been showcasing some of their most important products.
Click ahead for highlights from the show, including some new planes, some old ones and a few unusual models.
By: Deepanshu Bagchee
Posted: February 15, 2012
The Dreamliner is the showcase plane at this year's event. But a week before the airshow, a new manufacturing glitch was discovered on the aircraft. Boeing says the problem with the fuselage won't delay deliveries and will be fixed within days.
Japan's ANA is the launch customer for the aircraft and has already taken its first delivery. Japan Airlines is the next carrier waiting for its deliveries.
Boeing has in total 870 orders for the plane, which is made largely from carbon composites. But the project has faced a number of delays and glitches.
The Dreamliner doesn't just offer airlines greater fuel efficiency, it also promises passengers greater comfort. Among the advances: windows that are 65 percent larger than the industry standard which can be dimmed at the push of a button (no need for pull-down shades), LED lighting in the cabin, a higher ceiling and larger bathrooms.
The configuration of the Dreamliner delivered to Japan's ANA has only two classes: business and economy. There are only 12 business class seats (pictured), creating more economy class seats needed for domestic Japan routes.
Airbus' Multi-Role Tanker Transport made its debut at the airshow this year. Used to refuel planes in mid-air, this model is a version ordered by the U.K. Air Force.
A total of 28 planes have been ordered so far by four customers including the Australias, Saudi Arabian, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom governments.
The plane can also be used as a pure transport aircraft and can carry 300 troops or 130 stretchers for medical evacuation or a payload of 45 metric tons/245,000 lb.
Based on the American Black Hawk helicopter, the Sikorsky Seahawk is operated by a number of navies in Asia including the U.S., Taiwan, Australia, Japan, Thailand and Singapore. They are used for search and rescue missions and to hunt for submarines. This model displayed at the airshow is a Singapore Air Force S-70B.
Asian nations are increasing military spending to replenish aging equipment. That's made the the Singapore Airshow particularly important for defense companies.
According to a new report by research firm and publisher IHS Jane's, China's military budget alone will soar to $238 billion by 2015, from $120 billion last year. The report also predicts defense spending rising in both India and Japan.
The Beriev Be-200 from Russia is one of the more unusual planes on display at the show. The multi-purpose amphibious aircraft can be used to fight forest fires and carry fire brigades and fire extinguishing equipment.
The plane is also able to carry up to 72 passengers. Plane-maker Beriev was founded nearly 70 years ago during the Soviet era and specializes in amphibious aircraft.
This Bombardier Global Express business jet is on sale for a list price of $26 million. The 2001 model was once owned by Korean Air and is now being sold by a private seller.
The plane can carry 14 passengers and was recently refurbished. Asia's growing wealth has created plenty of demand for business jets. Leasing companies, charter operators and aircraft brokers have all been looking to cash in.
The Phenom 100 jet made by Brazil's Embraer is among the more reasonably-priced business jets on offer at the show. Listed at $4 million, the jet is cheaper than the company's larger Phenom 300, which sells for $9 million.
Embraer has sold 230 Phenom 100 planes worldwide.
The Phenom 100 can carry up to five passengers and fly about 1300 miles in total. Embraer and other business jet makers have been focusing on emerging markets, especially BRIC nations, where growth remains strong and companies have cash to spend.
According to a 2011 estimate from Honeywell, $230 billion worth of new business jets will be sold worldwide between 2011 and 2021. Global uncertainties however hurt sales in 2011, with Honeywell estimating 600-650 deliveries, compared to 732 in 2010.
This Lockheed Martin F-35 looks extremely realistic, but it's actually a mock-up meant to show visitors the latest in American fighter jet technology. Japan has committed to buy 42 of the jets, as it seeks to match China's growing military strength and risks from North Korea.
With its stealth characteristics, the jet is the most expensive defense project ever. In all, the U.S. will buy 2,443 of the planes for $382 billion, but international partners such as Italy have been cutting back on their orders, which could drive up the total cost of the program.
Italy's Piaggio Aero says this unusually-shaped aircraft offers cheaper operating costs than jet powered business planes, while offering a quiet and spacious cabin. The company also says it's the fastest turboprop in production.
The company's backers include the Ferrari family, Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Aerospace and India's Tata Group.