Since I was in southern Germany anyway, I decided to visit one of Germanys’ major events in general aviation – the 25th Aero 2017 Friedrichshafen. As always it took place at Friedrichshafen Airport, right next to the wonderful Lake Constance. The exhibition features vast numbers of airplanes, from small single engine turboprops to large business jets such as Embraer’s Legacy 500.
Apart from that you can expect helicopters, drones (look at the video) and everything associated with aviation – jet engines, communication equipment etc..
Why did I visit Aero 2017 Friedrichshafen?
Everybody has different motives to visit the exhibition. You can see a lot of people, who are aviation specialists or hobby pilots, but also clients like airlines and HNWIs. Well, for me, as a shareholder of various companies in the business, it was a good opportunity to feel the sentiment in that market, to look out for new opportunities – and to have some nice days in Friedrichshafen. I love what I call “shareholder travel”, because you visit some of the most beautiful places in the world AND do something for your portfolio.
Drones, drones, drones – everywhere drones!
When I first entered the place, there were massive amounts of drones. Some for rescue, some for the police and some, yes, some were quite pointless, to tell you the truth. But one thing is for sure: There is a LOT of competition in the market now and UAVs have become a mass product.
Because of that, companies that want to survive have to come up with some sort of innovation. Judging from what I have seen there, I believe drones will become much more important in the field of security than they are now. There are many concepts of UAVs that stay at one place over a long period of time. This is ideal for surveillance, intelligence and security. Like it or not, but sooner rather than later camera drones will have the role of mobile video security systems.
The only differences: They are now able to cover much larger areas and with AI improvements it’s realistic they will have an “understanding” of the situation on the ground. So for me (yes, for me, YOU make YOUR own assessment!) it is cleear, that the market for UAV surveillance equipment will rise constantly. With all the things happening around the world, it is logical that governments and private individuals will use the new opportunities. UAVs will be around us all the time, they will watch us all the time.
Embraer – a company I have watched for a long time
Now back from Orwell’s 1984 to the more exciting and funny parts of Aero 2017 in Friedrichshafen. I was particularly interested in Embraer’s portfolio of corporate jets, since I consider to buy some shares of their company. While I have already made a fundamental analysis of their business, I think it is always a good thing to see the products of a company not only from glossy prospects and shiny websites, but in real life. Sure, I have already flown some time ago with an Embraer E-190 airliner, but I have never been in one of their business jets so far.
Having said that, I was determined to get my way into the nice Legacy 500 Embraer had there on display. That’s easier said than done, because they don’t let just anybody board their plane, apart from clients and accredited media. I know a sure way though, to clear every obstacle: be friendly, be kind – and everything will be allright :-))). At least in this case that was true.
Making my way aboard the Legacy 500
Embraers’ employees were kind enough to open their plane for me and let me take some photos. This was very, very nice! Thank you so much Embraer! Inside I could see a very modern cockpit, with state of the art avionics by Rockwell (another great company in my opinion). The flight cabin was obviously made with great attention to details, fine leather seats, gorgeous wood – and even a tall person as I am could stand there! Yes, that convinced me. Embraer is absolutely on a par with other manufacturers! And that’s what I am looking for as a shareholder: innovative, reliable businesses. My impression was that I found it right there. But remember, YOU have to make YOUR OWN assessment, and YOU are responsible for YOURSELF.
The most elegant plane showcased at the Aero 2017 Friedrichshafen came from… Italy, of course! But the P.180 Avanti from Piaggio is also very impressive from a technical standpoint. High cruise speed for a propeller plane, comparably low operating costs – that’s what everybody likes. As 100% of shares are controlled by the Abu Dhabi based Mubadala Development Company, Piaggio Aerospace is not relevant for me as a shareholder on the constant lookout ;-).
All things considered I enjoyed visiting the Aero 2017 Friedrichshafen. In a way it is similar to the Geneva Motor Show: You see many different products, you can ask specialists, you can see the topics that move the industry. The only problem: I liked the planes so much, especially the bigger ones such as the Legacy 500, that I want to fly one :-).
Next aviation exhibition I plan to visit: MAKS 2017. Looking forward to going to Moscow/Zhukovsky!