MEBAA 2022: The future of aviation is now

Another year, another #MEBAASHOW. It was an exciting and bright event. To get a better and down-to-earth insight, I sat down with my colleagues Stan SavinOlga Goncharova Artem Isaev to get their impressions and insights.

Microavia: Hello team! Which themes and topics come to mind when you think back at MEBAA?

Stan, Head of partnerships: For this event, we opted to stay inside and not do any stunts with our drones. It seemed a much better choice with so many people and airplanes around. Besides, seeing our drone-port open and close was exciting enough for many. Modern drone capabilities are a novelty even on an aviation show, where many people are aviation professionals or deeply understand the field. Also, this led to many great conversations with customers and partners.
Drones provide many opportunities to both the civil and defense sectors.
Art, Services manager: I spoke to plenty of manufacturers, and one of the biggest concerns is still on supply chains. Our industry is very innovative and requires a lot of components, electronics, titanium, rare earth metals, etc. Those are sourced globally, and ongoing political issues are coming right after COVID, so the procurement managers have some tricky riddles to solve. On a similar note, various sanctions mean that every company needs to ensure that suppliers and customers are not under direct or secondary sanctions.

Olga, Partnership manager: A broad and exciting theme for me was the aviation industry's environmental impact. It is a well-known fact that air travel strongly contributes to global CO2 emissions. At the same time, the Persian Gulf is a region that has been one of the global leaders in producing fossil fuels, causing these emissions. Understandably, many regional players are hesitant to cut the branch they are sitting on, so to speak. But now, the narrative is changing, as the GCC countries actively contribute to CO2 reduction. One of the most noticeable projects is in the field of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which has the potential to reduce emissions dramatically.
Microavia: Which things sparked your curiosity the most? Something you haven't encountered before?

Stan: A part of my job is looking into the drone market, including competitors, and on MEBAA I have discovered a drone manufacturer which I haven't looked into before: Tupan. They are based in Brazil and create large drones capable of carrying hundreds of kilograms of cargo for hundreds or thousands of kilometers. Obvious usage is for military needs, but the company is also looking to use its capabilities for various missions. Microavia focuses on smaller loads, so it was interesting to see how someone solves a "heavier" issue.

I am a little bit of an aviation geek, so I just enjoyed visiting different plane manufacturers and looking at the new additions to their fleets. With this being a business aviation event, the focus for most has been on delivering comfort, speed and distance on a new level.

Olga: I travel a lot, and one of the things, which I've never gotten used to is the noise. Airplanes are pretty noisy, especially the smaller regional ones. So, it was fascinating to see the electric plane vision produced by Eviation Aircraft , and comments made by Gregory Davis. Not hearing engine noise sounds terrific. The big problem for electric flight is the weight of batteries, though, as aircraft needs to be as light as possible, unlike cars. Our engineers also spend a lot of time figuring out how to make a drone a few hundred grams lighter to allow for extra distance and payload.
Ortus drone waiting for a chance to fly again
Microavia: It sounds like you had an exciting event! Any parting words?

Stan: Even with the global situation being what it is, there is a lot we can see and learn. Innovation keeps going strong, and the entire region is buzzing with energy to become the center for aviation technology. Microavia is here to be a part of this trend and always open to cooperation opportunities.

There are also some great video highlights by Mark Pilling and Times Aerospace and a full gallery here