Boeing Blinks, Airbus Takes Lead

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With the home-field advantage, France-based Airbus appears to have vaulted ahead of Boeing in terms of aircraft orders thanks to some large contracts signed at the Paris Air Show. USA Today is pegging Airbus's 2007 order total at about 600, including a staggering 400 announced at Le Bourget. Boeing has gathered about 510 orders in the first six months of the year. Many of Airbus' orders are for older narrow-body designs like the A320 and A330. The majority of Boeing's orders are for the ubiquitous 737 but its latest project, the 787 Dreamliner, might be just starting to gather steam.

The first Dreamliner will be rolled out in less than two weeks and is sold out until 2013. Airbus' rival for that market, the A350XWB, won't even be ready for delivery until at least 2013. Airbus continues to feel the effects of delays with its A380 Super Jumbo, which is about two years behind schedule.