International aerospace exhibition Berlin

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ILA logo since 2010

The International Aerospace Exhibition Berlin (officially ILA Berlin Air Show since the 1990s ) in Brandenburg is the most important trade fair for the aerospace industry in Germany and, along with the Paris Aerosalon and the Farnborough Air Show in England, is one of the largest and most important air - and space fairs in the world. It has mostly taken place in an even two-year cycle since 1912 . The ILA scheduled for May 2020 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic .

The first two (until 2014 three) days, the ILA is only open to trade visitors. The exhibition will be open to the public the following weekend. The fair is accompanied by an extensive conference program as well as flight demonstrations by aerobatic pilots or historical models. Major segments of the ILA are commercial aviation , space travel , defense and security, equipment, engines, materials and general aviation .

The organizers of the ILA are the Federal Association of the German Aerospace Industry . V. (BDLI) and Messe Berlin GmbH. Until 2010, the ILA took place on the southern area of Berlin-Schönefeld Airport , since 2012 it has been held at the Berlin ExpoCenter Airport area in the Selchow district of Schönefeld on the western edge of Berlin Brandenburg Airport .


International Aviation
Exhibition Frankfurt 1909 with Parseval airship PL3
International Aviation Exhibition Berlin 1928 with a Farman aircraft
German Aviation Show Hannover 1972 with Tupolev Tu-144

Frankfurt 1909

The history of the ILA begins with the International Aviation Exhibition from July 10 to October 17, 1909 in Frankfurt am Main . 500 exhibitors showed airships , balloons and airplanes . 1.5 million visitors came during the event. The airship exhibitors included Zeppelin , Parseval , Franz Clouth and Hermann Ruthenberg .

Following the first ILA, in April 1910, at the suggestion of the aircraft designer August Euler, numerous flight clubs joined together to form the German Aviation Association . Shortly afterwards, the Association of German Aircraft Manufacturers was founded in Frankfurt am Main. This created the direct connection between the ILA and the later Federal Association of the German Aerospace Industry e. V. (BDLI), which has existed since then.

Berlin 1912, 1928 and 1932

Due to the great success, took place almost three years later, 3rd – 14th April 1912, the General Air Vehicle Exhibition (ALA) took place in the exhibition halls at the Zoo in Berlin . Here the aircraft already outweighed the airships. The First World War put an end to the aviation exhibitions.

Only ten years after the end of the war, 7–28 October 1928, an international aviation exhibition took place in Berlin in the exhibition halls at the Berlin radio tower . Around 150 aircraft from 19 countries were exhibited. The highlight was a star flight of 40 aircraft to Tempelhof , which only 21 pilots successfully completed. From October 1 to 23, 1932, the German Air Sports Exhibition (DELA) took place in the exhibition halls at the radio tower .

Hanover 1957 to 1990

With the Paris Treaties in 1955, the Federal Republic of Germany achieved almost complete sovereignty, including air sovereignty , so that aviation exhibitions could again be held. In 1957 the International Airplane Show took place at the Hannover-Langenhagen Airport as part of the Hannover Industrial Fair . In 1958 the exhibition was repeated on a larger scale as the Deutsche Luftfahrtschau . In 1959 it became independent and took place every two years from 1960.

Due to the increasingly international orientation, the event was given the name International Aviation Exhibition in 1978 (for the 50th anniversary of the 1928 exhibition) and the traditional abbreviation ILA, which has been used since 1909 .

In the course of the 1980s, space problems arose. The airport expanded and regular flight operations could not be disrupted. Despite the increasing number of participants and visitors, the exhibition space therefore had to be reduced in size. For this reason, the organizers decided to move the event to Berlin, so that the ILA took place in Hanover for the last time in 1990.

During the show in Hanover, the Royal Air Force aerobatic team ( Red Arrows ) performed regularly ; on May 3, 1978, April 25, 1980, May 22, 1982, May 25, 1984, and for the last time on June 13, 1986.

Exhibitions on the southern area of ​​Schönefeld Airport

ILA logo until 2008


After the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification, there was an opportunity to hold the ILA again in Berlin. So after 64 years, the ILA returned in 1992 with a new concept. The BDLI and Messe Berlin presented the event as a hub between East and West on the southern area of Berlin-Schönefeld Airport from June 15 to 21.

Innovations were the Airbus A340-200 and the Russian passenger aircraft IL-114 and Jak-42F . Poland was represented with several versions of the W-3 “Sokół” helicopter . Military aircraft from a total of 18 European air forces were also on display. An AWACS E-3 "Sentry" aircraft was shown for the first time in eastern Germany . The MiG-29 completed flight demonstrations, the MiG-31 was only presented on the ground. The presentation of the Eurofighter mock-up caused controversy .

For the first time since 1909 and 1928 an exhibition of historical aviation equipment was presented on 1200 m². Represented were u. a. the Me 163 rocket fighter and the Grunau Baby IIb glider . Flight demonstrations took place with the replica of a Fokker three-decker , with the STOL aircraft LF1 "Wren" and with the Spanish license construction of a Bf 109 .


The ILA 1994 took place from May 28th to June 5th. 422 exhibitors from 30 countries presented 251 aircraft and 140,000 spectators attended the fair. The Ukrainian D-27 prop drive was shown on a flying test carrier IL-76 for the first time . The Russian high-altitude aircraft M-55 "Geofisika" was exhibited as well as the two commercial aircraft Jak-142 and Tu-204 and the fire-fighting version of the helicopter Mi-14 . Sukhoi presented its Su-30MK and Su-35 fighter aircraft in the flight program.

The Lufthansa took advantage of the event framework to their new concept, along with United Airlines resume flights community from 1 June 1994 more than 400 destinations in 90 countries to announce. For this reason, a three-man team, consisting of the A320 , A321 and the company's Ju-52 traditional aircraft , was flown over . Also as part of the ILA, two engine test rigs were put into operation in a ceremony on May 31 in the development and assembly center of BMW and Rolls-Royce GmbH in Dahlewitz .

An incident occurred on May 31st when a French Mirage 2000 brushed against an ILS mast during the show . However, the damaged aircraft was safely landed by the pilot.


The ILA 1996 took place from May 13th to 19th and was attended by 216,500 people. 578 exhibitors from 30 countries were represented on the 120,000 m² site. The event was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the death of the aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal , to whom attention was drawn through an exhibition by the Society for the Preservation of Sites in German Aviation History . 266 aircraft and helicopters took part in flight demonstrations. The Russian jet trainer MiG-AT , the heavy transport aircraft IL-76 , An-124 and A300-600ST “Beluga” were on display . The Eurocopter Tiger , a German-French attack helicopter of the latest generation, was presented as well as the civil rotary wing aircraft EC 120 and EC 135 . The Airbus A319 had its trade fair premiere, as did the Extra 200 aerobatic aircraft and the Extra 400 business jet . Other exhibits were the regional aircraft Do 328 and Falcon 2000 . The Bundeswehr was also present and demonstrated the EF-2000 in flight. Russia presented the Su-30 , Su-35 and MiG-29 combat aircraft . 16% of the demonstration flights were carried out by military aircraft.


The ILA 1998 took place from May 18th to 24th and was under the sign of the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift . For the first time, the ILA was officially opened by a head of state, Federal President Roman Herzog . Almost 227,000 people attended the event, which was attended by 825 exhibitors from 32 countries. There were not only novelties to be seen, but also many old timers such as the B-17 "Pink Lady" and C-54 "The Spirit of Freedom". A week earlier, a C-17 Globemaster III was christened "Spirit of Berlin" by US President Bill Clinton and flew its laps over the field at the ILA. The American aircraft manufacturer Boeing was represented at the trade fair for the first time and presented a model of the dummy cabin of the commercial aircraft B 717-100 . For the first time the An-70 transporter was shown outside the CIS countries . Other innovations were the IL-76MF , the Airbus A330-200 and the Do 328JET . Pre-flown military aircraft included the Su-37 , the Eurofighter and the Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopter . The upgraded Russian MiG-29SMT was only presented on the ground, as was the mock-up of the Bell 609 tilt rotor aircraft .

One of the flying highlights was the flyby of the largest An-2 formation to date over Germany on May 23 . Eight of these biplanes took part in the group flight.


The ILA 2000 took place from June 6th to 12th. Was demonstrated u. a. The F-117A Nighthawk the US Air Force . For the first time since the Ramstein air convention disaster in 1988, a military aerobatic team , the Patrouille de France , performed again at the ILA under the strictest security requirements.


The ILA 2002 took place from May 6th to May 12th. Airbus presented two innovations, the A318 and A340-600 . The Airbus Beluga was also represented with its large nose hatch. Russia presented the Beriev Be-200 amphibious aircraft . In 2002 Patrouille Suisse was a guest at the ILA.


The ILA 2004 took place from May 10th to 16th and counted around 200,000 visitors. Were shown u. a. Airbus A340-600 , Airbus Beluga transport aircraft , Lockheed Super Constellation , one of the Bundeswehr's first Eurofighters EF2000 , Boeing E-3 ( AWACS ), the first series aircraft of the Eurocopter NH90 and the Luftwaffe's first Airbus A 310 MRTT tanker .

The Airbus A380 was on display for the first time at ILA 2006 from May 16 to 21 . It was also the premiere of a new model of the Ilyushin 76 (IL-76TD-90WD), the MiG-29 M-OWT , the B-1B Lancer, the SPn Utility Jet (a plastic airplane) and a replica of the Messerschmitt Me 262 and an original upper stage of the Ariane 5 rocket.

The shortening of the fair by one day was new. Nevertheless, the Berlin Air Show ILA 2006 ended with a record number of visitors; more than 250,000 visitors were registered, including 115,000 trade visitors. 1,014 exhibitors from 42 countries presented products, systems and processes from all areas of the aerospace industry for six days. 340 aircraft were seen both on the ground and in the air.


The ILA 2008 took place from May 27th to June 1st, 2008 on the southern area of ​​the Berlin-Schönefeld Airport, the future Berlin Brandenburg Airport. As one of the visitor parking spaces serving the east A113 location of the old north runway of the airport, which had been closed in the course of construction of BBI. On the opening day there was an aircraft accident in which a Messerschmitt Bf 109 came off the runway on approach after an air show and slipped into a green strip. For the first time a Lockheed C-5 Galaxy was a guest, and a Rockwell B-1B Lancer was also shown in the air. In 2008, over 241,000 people visited the ILA. In addition, deals worth over 5 billion euros were concluded.


At the ILA 2010 from June 8th to 13th, 2010, the Bundeswehr was the largest single exhibitor on the grounds of Berlin-Schönefeld Airport with around 40 participating aircraft. As in previous years, it performed a role demonstration. For the first time, the Airbus A400M , Boeing B-52 and the Dornier 228 NG could be seen at an air show. As in 2006 and 2008, the A380 was shown. An A380 from the EADS Group and one each from Lufthansa and Emirates were on display . The A400M and the airlines' two A380s were only shown on the trade visitor days. In addition, the EADS group was able to book contracts worth around 13 billion euros. In 2010 the exhibition had around 235,000 visitors.

ExpoCenter exhibition grounds

As part of the conversion of Schönefeld Airport to Berlin Brandenburg Airport, usable areas for the ILA were no longer available. The BDLI had therefore looked for alternative locations for the ILA from 2012; In addition to Berlin, the airports Hanover-Langenhagen , Cologne / Bonn , Leipzig / Halle and Stuttgart as well as the Oberpfaffenhofen airport had applied . At the beginning of June 2010, the BDLI decided to leave the ILA at the Berlin-Brandenburg location after 2010 and to relocate it to the specially built Berlin ExpoCenter Airport .


Site plan of the ILA site , 2012

The ILA 2012 took place from September 11th to 16th, 2012. Because of the opening of Berlin Brandenburg Airport, originally planned for June of that year, the ILA had been postponed for a quarter of a year. 1243 exhibitors, half of them from abroad (a total of 46 countries), showed over 270 aircraft and helicopters. Were shown u. a. the two largest passenger aircraft in the world, the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747-8 , the military transporter A400M , the cargo plane Airbus Beluga , the flight screwdriver Eurocopter X 3 and the new electric light aircraft Elektra One Solar . On the last day of the ILA, a Boeing B-52 flew one more traffic pattern. The new southern runway at Berlin-Brandenburg Airport was put into operation for the first time for the ILA and was only available to the aircraft at the exhibition. For the first time since 1988, a military association aerobatic team was allowed to demonstrate its program in Germany without restrictions. This was the Turkish national aerobatic team, Turkish Stars .

A competition called the DLR SpaceBot Cup was opened, in which, according to the DLR, typical scenarios from planetary exploration have to be mastered.


The ILA 2014 took place from May 20-25, 2014. A total of 1203 exhibitors from 40 countries were represented on the 250,000 m² exhibition site. According to the organizers, 270,000 visitors attended the event, 120,000 of whom were trade visitors. Over 300 aircraft were shown. The large-capacity aircraft were represented by an An-124-100 from Volga-Dnepr Airlines , the 48th A380 delivered to Emirates , both of which could be viewed , and a Boeing 747-8i from Lufthansa . The latter was christened Lower Saxony and presented to the selected specialist audience on just one day. The fourth prototype of the A350 XWB airliner, which is currently being tested, was presented for the first time, but only to the specialist audience and only on the opening day. Turkey acted as partner country of the ILA 2014, which was represented with numerous military aircraft, such as the T-129 attack helicopter , as well as the aerobatic team of the Air Force Solo Türk . Other aerobatic formations were the Breitling Jet Team and the Patrouille Suisse . The Bundeswehr also showed a strong presence and demonstrated various military equipment in the air and on the ground in the combined simulation Willfire 2014 . The Czech Air Force showed several planes and helicopters in flight, including the ALCA and Saab Gripen fighter jets .


The ILA 2016 took place from June 1 to 4, 2016 with a shorter duration, with the first two days reserved for the specialist audience. Over 200 aircraft were shown, including various military and civilian drones , an Airbus A400M during a demonstration flight and the Boeing 747 used by the British band Iron Maiden . After its premiere in Paris in 2015, the Ukrainian An-178 transporter was presented for the first time in Germany in flight and on the ground. The new A350XWB was also demonstrated. The German Q01 reconnaissance aircraft developed in cooperation with Qatar made its debut, but only on the ground . The Patrouille Suisse showed an aerobatic program.


The ILA 2018 took place from April 25 to 29, 2018, with the first three days being reserved for the specialist audience. 180,000 visitors were counted. Among other things, flights by the Spanish aerobatic team Patrulla Águila and a Lockheed Martin F-35 as well as demonstrations by the Air Force were shown .

For the first time, the largest transport aircraft in the world, the Antonov An-225 , was on display throughout the fair. Other innovations were the Kawasaki P-1 maritime patrol aircraft from Japan and a Sikorsky CH-53K that was flown in from the USA for a large order from the German armed forces . The test aircraft A340-300 BLADE, an A300-600ST Beluga , A220 from Air Baltic , an A380 from Emirates, the tilt rotor aircraft Bell V-22 Osprey , a Boeing C-17 and the first Boeing 747-8 in the presented new Lufthansa colors. The requirements for the flight program were relaxed somewhat compared to previous years, so that the demonstrations could take place at a lower height. Rarities were an Il-2 Schturmowik from Russia that was able to fly again since 2017 and the only surviving Bücker Bü 180 . The Flying Bulls as well as the aerobatic team Patrulla Águila showed a flight program.

Airbus Beluga (A 300B4-600ST)


Due to the corona crisis and the associated cancellations of festivals and trade fairs, the ILA 2020 was canceled. A new date has not yet been set (as of May 12, 2020)

Web links

Commons : International Aerospace Exhibition Berlin  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ILA 2020 canceled , accessed on April 10, 2020.
  2. ^ Rainer W. During: The ILA celebrates its 100th birthday - the "mother" of all aviation trade shows. In: Fliegerrevue No. 6/2009, p. 36.
  3. See Fliegerrevue No. 5/1992, p. 4.
  4. Bernd Kuhlmann: Schönefeld near Berlin: One office, one airport and eleven train stations , Verlag GVE Berlin 1996, pp. 76–81, ISBN 3–89218–038–5
  5. ^ Matthias founder: ILA '92 - A new dimension. In: Fliegerrevue No. 7/1992, pp. 18–21.
  6. ^ Karl-Dieter Seifert: The historical exhibition at the ILA. In: Fliegerrevue No. 9/1992, pp. 18/19.
  7. Highlights from the ILA. In: Fliegerrevue No. 7/1994, p. 14.
  8. ^ Karl-Dieter Seifert: ILA '96 - Mediator between East and West. In: Fliegerrevue No. 3/1996, p. 15
  9. ILA '96 - Show, business and the fine art of flying. In: Fliegerrevue No. 6/1996, S: 10-12
  10. ^ Rainer Schmid, Karl-Dieter Seifert, Torsten Gemsa: ILA '98 - a festival for experts and visitors. In: Fliegerrevue No. 7/1998, pp. 10-19
  11. ILA Berlin - Strengthening positions for the future. In: Fliegerrevue No. 7/1998, p. 4
  12. ddp / dpa / hed / sh: ILA in Berlin: Historic machine crashed at air show. In: . May 27, 2008, accessed October 7, 2018 .
  13. Press release on ILA 2008
  14. Flight program 2010 . Messe Berlin GmbH. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  16. BDLI press release on the location of the ILA from 2012 , BDLI. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  17. a b The ILA, rbb
  18. ^ Berlin Air Show 2014. ILA again in spring. In: Fliegerrevue No. 2/2014, p. 16
  19. New space race begins at the ILA in Berlin - Article at Heise online , from September 4, 2012 (accessed on: September 5, 2012)
  20. ^ Volker K. Thomalla : ILA Berlin Air Show. Industry and show. In: Flugrevue No. 07/2014, pp. 16-19
  21. ^ Rainer W. During: ILA 2014 - Meeting of the Mega-Liners. In: Flieger Revue No. 07/2014, p. 12/13
  22. ILA 2016: Helicopters, jet jets and drones in packs of hundreds. In: heise online. Retrieved June 3, 2016 .
  23. ^ Rainer W. During: ILA Berlin 2018. Meeting of the giants . In: Fliegerrevue . No. 6/2018 , p. 30-34 .