Last Updated: 11/20/2013*
One hundred and ten years after the Wright Brothers brought powered flight to the world, the next chapter of global aviation is being written at the Dubai Air Show.
By any measure, everything about the five-day gathering starts with a string of superlatives: biggest, fastest, best, loudest. More than 1,000 companies are exhibiting, tens of billions of dollars in deal-making are under way and visitors are flocking to the show from more than 50 countries.
Planes soar in line overhead at 2011 Dubai Air Show. Photo courtesy of F&E Aerospace/Dubai Airshow
“It’s as if the United Nations building were set down right in the middle of a runway,” said Matt Riddle, president of Raytheon International, Inc. “This is as big a stage as aviation gets.”
Raytheon’s red-and-white show headquarters is showcasing many of the technologies that make aviation work, including the air traffic management software that safely guides planes on the most efficient routes from Point A to Point Z and everyplace in between.
Raytheon’s next generation AutoTrac III air traffic automation system entered service in Dubai – one of the world’s busiest hubs – earlier this year. It now guides all planes in and out of Dubai International, Dubai World Central, Al Maktoum International, Sharjah International and Minhad Air Force Base, as well as Ras Al Khaimah International.
Raytheon is a global leader in air traffic management and a driver of the modernization in the world’s airspace. With systems in more than 60 countries helping control more than 60 percent of the world's airspace, Raytheon’s technologies help increase the capacity and efficiency of airways. They also reduce aviation’s environmental impact at many of the busiest airports by allowing more direct routes.
A commercial plane takes off over the 2011 Dubai Air Show. Photo courtesy of F&E Aerospace/Dubai Airshow
There’s plenty more to see under Raytheon’s roof this year, including:
- 3D audio and imaging technology that gives pilots unprecedented situational awareness.
- The Center Display Unit, the U.S. Air Force’s “glass cockpit” upgrade for the F-16.
- Small Diameter Bomb II, a gliding weapon that can hit targets from as far away as 40 nautical miles.
- Patriot, the world’s only combat-proven and most famous air and missile defense system.
Technology like this doesn’t just happen overnight. It starts with solid engineering, which is why Raytheon is launching a raft of new education projects in the Middle East to encourage the next generation of technological talent.
MathAlive!®, the company’s interactive educational exhibition, will be on display through Nov. 23 at the Abu Dhabi Science Festival, a strategic initiative by the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee. From there it will travel to other sites around the Middle East.
Engineering is Elementary®, a program designed for young children in partnership with the Museum of Science, Boston, and the pan-Arab educational organization Injaz, will debut its “The Little Engineer” curriculum in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In Dubai, Raytheon will host students from Qatar University at the air show to give them up-front, hands-on demonstrations of technologies that have made Raytheon a powerhouse of innovation.
The company is also partnering with educational organizations in Kuwait and Qatar on exciting engineering initiatives that directly target high school and college students. It plans to announce details later this year.
“We all share a goal of providing our youth with the education and skills to thrive in a global innovation economy,” said William H. Swanson, Raytheon’s chairman and chief executive officer. “By expanding MathAlive! and Engineering is Elementary to the Gulf region, we hope to inspire young students to pursue exciting and rewarding careers.”
Planes leave a cloud trail of smoke colors honoring the colors of the United Arab Emirates national flag. Photo courtesy of F&E Aerospace/Dubai Airshow
The Middle East is going to need all that engineering brainpower as aviation growth is expected to soar.
By 2016, the region is projected to have the third-fastest passenger growth rate, while international freight demand will post the strongest growth among all the regions of the world, according to the International Air Transport Association.
From a global perspective, there are two other milestones on the horizon. Worldwide annual passenger numbers are expected to exceed three billion for the first time this year. And January 2014 will mark the 100th year of commercial aviation.
From Orville and Wilbur Wright’s wooden flying contraption to today’s supersonic jets, the superlatives just keep flying for aviation. From the biggest to the fastest to the best, they’re all on display in Dubai.
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