All the movers and shakers of the aerospace industry were there; the latest aircraft to fly and those in concept form were there; there was rain and sun  - it can only be the Paris Air Show              

And what a week it has been. The mood was set with France's president, Emmanuel Macron, joining defence ministers from France, Germany and Spain to commit to a framework to unveil the new European future combat air system. Ministers gave Dassault and Airbus the go-ahead to jointly take the project to the demonstration phase.

They won't have it all their own way, though. Just along the static park, TAI took the wraps off a full-size mock-up of the Turkish Fighter, the fifth generation TF-X.

And wrapping up the unwrapping, Leonardo brought out the Falco Xplorer, the largest drone manufactured by Leonardo. It should make its first flight later this month. It will carry a 350-kilogramme payload with and offers more than 24 hours of flight time endurance.

Deals

It wouldn’t be an air show without a celebration of orders. Embraer roared in with a sale of 35 of its E2 Profit Hunter jets to KLM Cityhopper.

Airbus launched the extra-long-range version of the A321neo and brought in a raft of orders, outnumbering all other deals. The aircraft will be capable of flying 200 passengers some 4,700 miles.

Boeing was given a vote of confidence with an order for 200 737 Max aircraft from IAG among a total of 232, including freighters and widebodies, and senior vice president of sales and marketing, Ihssane Mounir, made his feelings clear.

 “Our focus is to make sure we return to service,” he said.

Franco Italian ATR looks certain to go ahead with a short take-off and landing variant of the ATR 42-600, following advance orders from Elix  Aviation and Air Tahiti.

Sustainability

Sustainability has been one of the biggest issues at this year’s Paris Air Show, with Chief Technology Officers agreeing to work together to share data and information to drive change.

Signs of this change are already appearing. The all-electric, zero-emissions regional commuter Alice aircraft from Eviation will carry nine passengers at a cruise speed of 275 mph with a maximum range of 650 miles, with a half-hour recharging time for every hour in the air.

Competitor VoltAero was showing its hybrid-electric Cassio aircraft which should fly later this year. It should achieve 200kts and features both push and pull propellers. It will come in four, six or nine-seat configurations

And in the rapidly growing urban air transport market, Boeing's technology development unit, NeXt, is showcasing its prototype two-passenger electrical vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft at Paris. 

In the air

Of course, air shows have flying displays and while we saw business aircraft, gliders and the latest passenger jets take to the skies, most impressive was probably Russian United Aircraft Corporation which was making a splash with its firefighting amphibian, the Beriev BE-200.

The company announced additional sales to Chile at the show and confirmed 200 of the type would be delivered to US Seaplane Global Air Services.

That’s all from us at this year’s Paris Air Show but look out for all our individual interviews and programmes made at the show coming soon.

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