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Excellent Farnborough for Midlands

Bustling Farnborough Airshow for MAA and its member companies

The attention at the Farnborough Airshow 2016 may have been taken by more aircraft and engine orders, and by a flying display featuring the F-35 Lightning II for the first time, but the show was equally positive for supply chain companies belonging to the 300-member Midlands Aerospace Alliance.

Prime Minister David Cameron opened the airshow on the first day.  He was joined by Sir Richard Branson who signed a deal with Airbus for 12 Airbus A350s. In total, 191 orders were announced for civil aircraft across the show, totalling £12bn – worth £2.5bn to the UK aerospace industry. Meanwhile, 55 aerospace companies with operations in the Midlands exhibited at the show, 23 of them presenting themselves on the grand MAA stand which was very busy with meetings and discussions for four solid business days.

The Midlands presence at Farnborough generated a significant amount of promotional publicity for the MAA and for member companies in regional media. The MAA team worked hard behind the scenes during the week setting up future business opportunities for MAA members – with our Italian partners Torino Piemonte Aerospace and the Czech aerospace industry, thinking ahead to the new "Aero Engine Forum Birmingham 2017" event next April, and to the Paris Airshow next June – so “watch this space!” 

MAA stand at Farnborough 2016


Highlights of business for Midlands companies

Twenty three companies exhibited on the MAA stand making the Midlands regional presence one of the largest at the entire show. More than 120 MAA member representatives worked on the stand at one time or another during the week. In addition to the MAA core team, 8 of the MAA's 16 directors worked on the stand over the course of the week to talk business with our exhibitors.

At least 30 other MAA members were present at the show with their own stand and many other MAA members worked hard at the show as trade visitors. The MAA exhibitors and team enjoyed networking with them all on an MAA stand which drew many admirers for its sense of spaciousness and openness to business. In addition, our NATEP supply chain technology team were on hand to explain a variety of Midlands projects which are currently benefitting from NATEP funding. New NATEP-supported technologies were presented in a fabulous showcase display. The MAA highlighted all its members to visitors with the new printed MAA Capabilites Directory and on our now-traditional MAA members' "wall of fame" (see image below).

According to MAA chief executive Dr Andrew Mair:

“Yet again at Farnborough, our Midlands aerospace stand was busy with meetings for all four trade days, and that is good news for our companies and our cluster. It was great to observe the mutual support all members of the Midlands aerospace community give each other at events like this, whether large firms, small companies or our other partners like the universities and local government bodies.” 


Neil Holmes Columbia Precision

Meetings on the MAA stand

MJ Sections

More meetings on the stand


Feedback from exhibitors

Initial reactions from MAA exhibitors included:

  • A well organised, professional yet comfortable stand which enabled our company to ‘reach’ the show easily and support client visits onto our own section of the stand.
  • The show was great. It’s a fantastic opportunity to network with companies from around the globe all in one place. The MAA ‘trade mission’ over to the Czech aerospace pavilion was particularly good as we got to introduce ourselves and give a brief overview of what we do which we later followed up.
  • As always the stand position and design, the organisation pre show and the support from the MAA personnel during the show was exemplary.
  • The airshow was great for us. Our aim was to increase our business interactions beyond the “usual suspects” and we certainly succeeded.
  • We had a really good Farnborough -- in fact probably our best ever.
  • We had meetings with 11 existing customers plus we met a number of potential new customers.
  • We found this year to be even better for us than 2014; it was good to catch up with our customers and to hear about the projects they have up and coming which we hope to help them with in the future.
  • Alloy Wire International enjoyed another successful Farnborough Airshow, receiving over 150 visitors including a number of existing and potential new customers discussing exciting projects. Angus Hogarth – Sales Director commented “This is the third time we have exhibited at the Farnborough Airshow and by far the best ever, visitors were keen to discuss how our nickel alloys could be used in high temperature environments in the aerospace and many other industries. We look forward to exhibiting in July 2018 at the next Farnborough Airshow linking again with the Midland Aerospace Alliance.”
  • We decided to have a presence at the Farnborough Airshow this year quite late in the day and the MAA made the process very easy. IPI Solutions has three more shows this year both in the UK and the States making seven in total, Farnborough so far is one of the highlights in terms of leads generated and updating current customers on our roadmap ahead.
  • I have to say that the MAA stand was extremely impressive and we were proud to be a small part of that. Well done to the MAA and personal thanks for all the help that you gave to us in particular.
  • The MAA once again showcased top Midlands suppliers to the aerospace world. As well as presenting ourselves to the thousands of Farnborough customers we networked with our fellow MAA exhibitors and entertained customers on the stand. Well done to the MAA team.
  • We had some very constructive meetings as a result of having a presence at the show and received some interesting enquiries resulting from the display of samples.
  • CW Fletcher found the show to be a great success and were particularly impressed with the Midlands Aerospace Alliance stand and set-up. This provided a great networking environment and was a significant draw for a wide range of customers.

Members list

MAA members visiting the stand admiring the members list

NATEP showcase

NATEP projects on display on the stand

Activities organised by the MAA

The MAA organised a series of business opportunities for exhibitors over the course of the week:

  1. Technology meetings with the MAA’s twin Italian cluster Torino Piemonte Aerospace -- on their stand and on ours.
  2. Presentations and networking event with the Czech aerospace industry on their stand -- with the Midlands featuring as their special guests.
  3. Coffee mornings and project presentations every morning to promote National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) projects.
  4. Networking event with Netherlands Aerospace Group.


CW Fletcher pod

CW Fletcher ready for visitors

ITC pod

ITC ready for visitors


 MAA members exhibiting on the Midlands stand: 

Alloy Heat Treatment



Alloy Wire International

Electro Discharge

Maycast Nokes

Aluminium Special Products

Forward Composites

MJ Sections

Columbia Precision

G & O Springs

Sigma Precision Components


IPI Solutions


Coventry & Warwickshire 
Aerospace Forum

Industrial Tooling Corporation

University of Leicester

CW Fletcher


Valbruna UK


Jonathan Lee Recruitment


Future trade shows with the MAA

It seems early but if you are interested in exhibiting with the MAA at Paris 2017 register your interest now - space will be limited. Contact emma.burgess@midlandsaerospace.org.uk.