LONDON — The slow global economic recovery and sharp cuts to national defense budgets are expected to blow a chill wind through the Farnborough International Airshow next week.
But there are some glimmers of light amid the austerity gloom as plane makers, government ministers and military top brass gather for one of the aviation and defense industry's premier events.
There's buzz about the debut of two of the world's most long-anticipated aircraft — the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A400M — and likely commercial plane orders from buyers in the Middle East and Asia.
More than 1,000 exhibitors from 38 countries have signed up to take part in the weeklong event showcasing both commercial and defense aircraft. Several Wichita firms and organizations will be represented.
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Delegations from Egypt, Taiwan and Morocco will be attending for the first time, while organizers also cited stronger interest from major players China and Russia.
Analysts expect the event to be more upbeat than last year's sister show in Le Bourget outside Paris as the global economy staggers back to its feet, but they aren't holding their breath for orders anywhere near the record-breaking $88.7 billion worth announced in Farnborough in 2008.