Farnborough: Chalet Wars

So with a large F-35-shaped gap in our copy at the Farnborough Air Show, journalists have focussed on filling it with the second most important thing. Not discussions about the Oxford comma, but the unofficial competition about which company has the best chalet.

Despite repeated attempts to downsize, they just keep getting bigger and are apparently some of the largest temporary structures in the world. The award for the tallest has been edged by Thales which offered wonderful panoramic views of the whole show and a large outdoor balcony area where one could have spent all day if there were not briefings to attend and writing to do.

BAE Systems provided a spacious media centre that did not require us honest hardworking hacks to negotiate a myriad of security protocols or garner invitations to access. Raytheon had a very nice outdoor picnic-style area and offered free sunglasses to make us all look even cooler than we already are.

A special mention goes to Airbus, which had a crowded but well-stocked bar with friendly staff that seemed especially keen to entertain themselves by plying us with Pimms and Prosecco and then watch the results.

Respect also goes out to MBDA with the second tallest building but with probably the best view; Saab which had the best food, alongside Thales; and Boeing who handed out some fancy model planes that excited the inner geek in us all!


Billy Fish testing out Raytheon’s sunglasses in extreme conditions!


Power walking: Journalists sniff out a nearby media reception…


The dizzying heights atop the Chalet de la Thales – I can see for miles and miles


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