Jets And Jetpacks: Paris Air Show Begins

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The Paris Air Show starts June 15 and it’s looking like a more subdued event this year than in recent memory. Neither Airbus nor Boeing is expected to announce any blockbuster deals but there will certainly be sales announcements. The planemakers are hyping their new single-aisle offerings (a re-engined A320 and a 737 with the trappings of a 787) and since the aircraft sell for less money than the wide bodies that have been in the spotlight in recent years, the numbers aren’t as big. Nevertheless, Bloomberg’s sources are predicting orders for more than 200 aircraft worth $23 billion. Neither company has a major product debut this year but a Canadian company is hoping the delayed introduction of its flagship airliner will translate to orders.

Bombardier’s CSeries was supposed to have its air show debut at last year’s Farnborough Air Show but an engine explosion resulted in the grounding of the test fleet for three months. The company has two of the fly-by-wire small airliners (100-160 seats) on display and will be flying the bigger one. At the other end of the aviation spectrum, Martin Aircraft will show the latest version of its “jetpack,” which uses a ducted fan arrangement to allow controlled vertical flight. The founder of the company, Glen Martin, who demonstrated a prototype of the device at AirVenture, will not be making the trip. He suddenly resigned last week citing differences with the board of directors. The company recently went public with stated goals of producing a first-responder version of the device and an unmanned aerial system. Boeing put some effort into preparing its 787 flight display. See the video below.

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