Oshkosh All Wet as Farnborough Sweats
As the just-completed EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh floundered in the rain, the biennial flying event at Farnborough, England, broiled like a British breakfast tomato. Temperatures that topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit brought electrical systems down and sent event attendees searching for elusive shade, packing air-conditioned corporate chalets. Even the normally stiff-upper-lipped show exhibitors who welcomed the clear skies thought the heat a bit much. EADS Co-CEO Executive Thomas Enders cut a packed and sweaty press event short, saying, "So itís hot in here and it smells of dead fish. Letís try to keep it brief."
EADS, the parent company to Airbus, trotted out its planned competition to Boeingís mid-range 787 and long-range 777 aircraft, the A350 XWB group. Singapore Airlines put a good spin on the show unveiling by announcing it is purchasing 20 of the aircraft. But all is still not right with Airbus. Though the Euro-conglomerate has sold more aircraft than Boeing over the past five years, Boeing is seeing a big uptick in orders on its 777 and 787 models. Airbus is still working to recover from a 26% share loss the day it announced problems and delays with its super-wide-bodied A380. Though share prices have rebounded, company officials are speaking in cautionary tones, warning of "further slippage."