APEX Insight: Airbus and Boeing win the race in aircraft sales, Bombardier’s CSeries debuts quietly, E-Fan is electrifying and a viral takeoff video – all from this year’s Paris Air Show at Le Bourget.
Attendance at the 51st Paris Air Show rose among exhibitors, trade visitors and the general public totaling to 353,000 people on the Le Bourget tarmac – an 11 percent increase from the last event in 2013. This year, aircraft manufacturers pulled in billions of dollars in sales, the future of electronic aircraft looked promising (and sleek) and the signature flying displays did not fail to impress. The only drawback? The sprinkling of rain throughout the week and the shuttling of PAS15 attendees between Charles de Gaulle and Le Bourget, a 7.5 mile distance that apparently took more than two hours to cover by taxi.
Here is the biggest buzz from the week-long exhibit:
1. Airbus Scores the Most Sales of Aircraft Manufacturers at PAS15
Airbus received 421 orders on its national home turf at the Paris Air Show, worth $57 billion in sales. The biggest order came in from Wizz Air for the A321neo, but there were none for its double-decker wide body A380, the world’s largest passenger plane, which has been struggling to sell. Second in sales at the Air Show was Boeing with 331 aircraft orders amounting to $50.2 billion, including Ethiopian Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Qatar Airways and Korean Air.
2. Bombardier Debuts CSeries
Bombardier’s CSeries program, which have been suffering delays, turned up at the Paris Air Show but received no orders for either CS100 or CS300 jets. The Montreal-based aircraft manufacturer which says its jets are beating efficiency caps in the industry says it met with 98 percent of its targeted customers and believes the orders will eventually come. The sole Bombardier order came from WestJet for six additional Q400 turboprops.
3. E-Fan 2.0 Makes a Life-Sized Appearance
Previous sightings of the E-Fan 2.0 were only models of the two-seater electric plane. It wasn’t until the Paris Air Show that Airbus showed off an operational version of pilot-training plane. On the ground, attendees were able to admire the aircraft’s sleek body, while in the air, the absence of a traditional jet engine was audibly apparent. E-Fan 2.0 has a take off speed of 68 mph and crusing and top speeds at over 124 mph. A fully charged plane has 45 minutes to one hour of flight with the possibility of reloading its battery. Production of the two-seater electric aircraft is expected to commence next year, with hopes for four-seater and 100-seater versions down the road.
4. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Vertical Take-off Goes Viral
The video of a Vietnam Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner hauling itself from the tarmac into the sky at an almost perpendicular angle received more than three million views in the 48 hours after it was uploaded. The video was filmed prior to the Paris Air Show during a rehearsal over Moses Lake, WA. Domestic passengers traveling between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will be the first to fly in the airline’s new aircraft, with London being its first international destination. For more footage of the stunt, Boeing released follow-up video taken from inside the cockpit.
5. Oman Air chooses Thales AVANT in-flight entertainment system for its new fleet
The Android-based AVANT in-flight entertainment system by Thales will be installed on 25 new Oman Air aircraft including Boeing 737s and 787s, and Airbus 330s. The IFE system uses Thales’ award-winning Touch PMU handset to navigate the large selection of on-demand entertainment. The airline is in the midst of an expansion that will see 70 jetliners in service by 2020.