FORT WORTH, TX-AeroTest America 2008 drew attendees to a region known for its aerospace focus.

The event was held at the Fort Worth Convention Center, November 18 to 20, with a welcome reception November 17. The event targeted the aerospace industry’s testing, R&D, evaluation and inspection professionals.

Six of the nine top global aerospace and defense companies have operations in Texas. The state also has more than 300 airports, making it the nation’s second largest state airport system. It also is home to three major airlines: American, Continental and Southwest.

More than 250 international suppliers exhibited at the event, offering the latest in test equipment, technology, solutions and services, including NASA, Boeing, GE Sensing and Inspection, Lockheed Martin, Olympus and Vought.

Attendees had a chance to hear more than 100 expert presentations offered in auditoriums on the show floor, including a panel session on future employment in aerospace, presented by Fort Worth’s Chamber of Commerce Workforce Development and Education, Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County, the Performance Review Institute and Lockheed Martin.

The session opened with a video aimed at middle school and high school students, encouraging them to take a look at a career in aerospace manufacturing. The panel then discussed ways to encourage the next generation in aerospace, including summer camps and specific coursework. The show also offered a student engagement zone.

Optional technical tours included Lockheed Martin Grand Prairie High Speed Wind Tunnel and Bell Helicopter XworX Flight Test Facility in Arlington. A full-size static display of the Lockheed Martin F-35 (JSF) Lighting II was also presented at the show.

The 2009 AeroTest America Expo & Forum will be held in Baltimore September 28 to October 1.