Farnborough Air Show Opens Today

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The biennial Farnborough Air Show opens outside London today, with Airbus and Boeing competing to show off their latest designs and to battle for orders. A record number of U.S. companies will be there, including a healthy contingent from the U.S. government and the military, who spurned last year's Paris Air Show over political differences with the French. Bell will be pushing its revamped V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, and Raytheon Aircraft Co. will unveil a new version of its T-6 military trainer. Bombardier will have five aircraft on display, and is expected to announce that it will start building bigger airplanes, with 120 and more seats. Drones are also expected to attract a lot of attention this year, with an announcement expected for a British government contract worth $1.5 billion to build a fleet of unmanned reconnaissance aircraft. A new International Space Pavilion opens this week, to showcase space-related programs and products. The show is expected to have a dramatically different mood from two years ago, when the industry was still in the depths of post-9/11 trauma. This year's show is focused on recovery and growth. The show runs through next Sunday.