THE names Boeing, Airbus, British Airways and Rolls-Royce, to pick a few, are well known in China as all have played key roles in the mainland's aviation boom. But watch out for the ''green'' revolution, and it has nothing to do with the environment. Ireland is making a push to grab for its own fast-growing aviation industry a stake in the China aviation ''gold rush''. In September at least 10 Irish-based companies will be represented in Beijing at the Aviation Expo China '93 in a pavilion sponsored by the Irish Trade Development Board. This follows a trade delegation to China in April, headed by Ireland's Minister for Tourism and Trade Charlie McCreevy. The industry employs around 5,000 in Ireland, and earns more than US$200 million a year in products and services. It is hoped that in the next five years the number of jobs will rise to close to 12,000 as more international companies become involved. At the core of Ireland's aviation industry are the national airline, Aer Lingus, and leasing company GPA - both of which have had their share of troubles in recent times. However, there are also many thriving satellite industries springing up around Dublin Airport, Shannon Airport and, to a lesser extent, in Cork, where SIFCO Turbine Components - which has a number of its customers in Southeast Asia, including Cathay Pacific, Thai, Philippine Airlines, China Airlines and Qantas - has opened a second large plant. SIFCO has already done work for Air China and is looking to build on that. Diversity is the name of the game in Ireland, whether it is refurbishing engines, servicing Boeing 747s, spare parts, the latest navigational systems or on-board audio-visual equipment. To draw investment to Ireland, the Government offers a number of incentives - none more so than the expertise of the workforce. ''Fifty per cent of the population is under 25 years old. We have a very large pool of well educated and dedicated young people,'' the Irish Trade Board's overseas director David Strahan said. China is a priority market for its industry. ''We have been to China and we have invited China to Ireland,'' said Mr Strahan, pointing out that a hurdle for the industry was the lack of outside knowledge of the extent of the aviation sector. However, major companies like Boeing, Pratt and Whitney, Lufthansa and Swissair are involved in joint ventures in Ireland. Lufthansa and Swissair teamed up with GPA to launch Shannon Aerospace almost three years ago. Shannon Aerospace's US$32 million training programme is the largest in Ireland. Close by the airport, Shannon Development has opened the Shannon Aviation Park, custom designed for aviation companies. Down the road, nestled in some of Ireland's prettiest countryside is Esso Collins, the company that makes radomes, the big ''golf balls'' that protect radar equipment. Back in Dublin, the major players are TEAM Aer Lingus with it major maintenance and support facilities, and Aer Rianta, Ireland's Airport Authority, which opened the first duty-free shop in the world more than 50 years ago. Today its technical and engineering arm Aer Rianta Technical Consultancy (ARTC) is involved in designing, constructing and managing airport operations all over the world. Peter Gibert, the president and chief executive of the Harper Group, one of the two largest air freight companies in the US, was in Hong Kong this week en route to inspect his company's expansion in China. The San Francisco-based Harper Group, through its Circle Freight International company, recently opened an office in Shanghai and was considering other offices in Shenzhen, Beijing, Wuhan and Xiamen, Mr Gibert said.