The 50th edition of the Paris Air Show kicked off with a bang on Monday, but rather than the rumbling of huge jet engines the din came courtesy of thunderstorms and torrential rain. Thankfully the dark skies cleared quickly and despite more bursts of wet weather throughout the week, there has been plenty of blue sky to provide a backdrop for the daily aerial displays. Here's our look at the highlights from Le Bourget airport, both on the ground and in the air.
Much talk has surrounded the smaller than usual US presence at the show and the growing strength of the Russian defense industry. The Russian contingent was led by the Sukhoi Su-35, which put on an amazing display of strength and grace ... think of a gorilla doing ballet and you start to get the picture. The Yakolev YAK-130 and local representative, the Dassault Rafale, also had all eyes turned skyward with impressive demonstrations of fighter jet prowess.
The commercial aviation giants of recent times were also on show as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A380 took to the skies. Boeing also announced the third member of the 787 family – the 787-10 – at the show and Airbus raked in orders for its new A350 XWB.
On the ground we had our first close look at the radical AgustaWestland Project Zero and EADS unveiled its vision of future aviation in the form of E-Thrust. The time-traveling DeLorean of Back to the Future fame was even on hand to help us ponder what the future might hold for the aerospace industry.
Scroll through our Paris Air Show gallery to see some of the other gems we discovered among the 2,200-odd exhibitors as well as best of the daily flight displays above Le Bourget.
The Paris Air Show runs until June 23.
Official site: www.paris-air-show.com
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