50. International Paris Air Show, Le Bourget
  Business as usual, or maybe not”


Andy Herzog


Guido E. Bühlmann

As expected, Airbus and his rival Boeing, once more, fighting a gigantic sales-battle at this year's air show in Le Bourget, near Paris. Otherwise, there were just a few firsts, equal to the previous year in Farnborough, or even at the Le Bourget edition, 2011. Even the never-ending problems with the Boeing B787 „Dreamliner“ were talking point at the Air Show in Paris. My statement is not entirely true, however. While U.S. military aircraft showed there entirely absence (military cuts in the household budget), the Russian producers of civilian and military products showed a large presence at this years edition! The highlight of this year's show, however, was the fly-past of the Airbus A350 prototype, the latest flagship of the house of Airbus Industries.


British Airways A380-800 makes it first appearance at Le Bourget Air Show (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

Airbus A320-214 (WL) Sharklets of Brazilian national carrier TAM (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

Airbus versus Boeing

It is probably already "normality" that the two great rivals (Airbus and Boeing) try to get the full attention to their side and overbeat there competitor on every Air show around the world. Strategically planned sale announcements, regarding their current orders and letters of intent of the various airline customers, are a major part of an aggressive sales & marketing strategy. This year, Airbus was the “sales-winner” and could announce by the end of the exhibition a contract volume of 466 aircraft ordered worth in value of U.S. $ 69 billion. Only a few days before our online-report Japan Airlines (JAL) confirmed a major deal with Airbus to order the Airbus A350 in different versions. A remarkable achievement, considering that the Japanese airliner market has been dominated for years exclusively by Boeing!
Boeing is therefore with 442 aircraft sold (U.S. $ 66 billion), slightly behind his competitor Airbus and ranking place 2. However, such figures are always to be treated with caution, as there are many variables in such statements.
Without doubt, Airbus could attract a lot of attention, with the flyby of its new flagship, the Airbus A350.
Much to the regret of many interested parties, including journalists and aviation enthusiasts, the A350 could not be seen at the ground and in the static display. Only a few days before the maiden-flight took place and therefore the A350 prototype is involved in a tightly planned test-program that does not allow a single day o
f absence. Anyway; we are convinced to see the A350 more often when the first few airlines will receive the A350 by the end of 2014. 
Despite further problems with the "Dreamliner", Boeing sent a B787-8 in the livery of Air India to the Show in Le Bourget. As in previous years the A300-B2 "Zero-G" was on static display as well. This aircraft is used for parabolic flights. Airbus also showed two of its new A320 (WL) Sharklets in the exhibition, one in livery of Air New Zealand (ZK-OXA) and one in the colors of Brazilian TAM (PR-TYA).
As usual, also an Airbus Military A400M "Atlas" could be admiring on the ground and in flight demonstrations.


Early bird; Airbus A300-B2 used for parable-flights for air crews and astronauts in their trainings (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

SAFRAN A320-214 (F-HGNT) used in corporation with Honeywell to test electrical taxi for airliner aircrafts to safe fuel during ground operations. (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

One of the most challenging aircrafts is the DLR (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt); Airbus A320-232 used for their test flights. (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

One of the most far away carriers, Air New Zealand, has ordered some Airbus A320-232 (WL) Sharklets; here seen (ZK-OXA) for their fleet. (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)


Airbus A400M “Atlas” Transporter; a new generation of airlifters in Europe and around the globe (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

Problem-airliner “Dreamliner” B787-8 this time in Air India color livery (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

Russian Federation

As already mentioned, the Russian and Ukrainian aircraft industry was particularly well represented this year. Apart from the Sukhoi Su-35 and Yak-130, they showed a Sukhoi Su-100 Superjet, a Kamov Ka-52 attack helicopter of the latest generation, an An-74T, An-158 and the latest revised version of the tactical transport aircraft Antonov A-70 with four counter-rotating propeller turbines at the Show in Paris.


Suchoi Su-35 latest technology of this Russian fighter (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

Suchoi Su-35 latest technology of this Russian fighter (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

Yakolev Yak-130 light attack aircraft of the Russian Air Force (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

Kamov Ka-52 attack helicopter of the newest generation (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)


Kamov Ka-52 attack helicopter of the newest generation (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

Suchoi Su-100 Superjet of the Italian airline Interjet (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

Antonov An-74T (UR-74010) of Antonov Design Bureau (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

Antonov An-158 medium range airliner from Russia (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)


Antonov An-70 Transporter with his counter-rotating propeller blades will hopefully going soon to production. (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

Pure nostalgia!

This included the only airworthy Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation (HB-RSC) of “Super Constallation Association” sponsored by Breitling, in the northern hemisphere. But also the affectionately restored Douglas DC-3 (F-BBBE) in the retro livery of Air France was an eye-catcher! Almost forgotten, the "Association de Noratlas Le Provençal" showed a wonderfully restored. Nord - 2500 Noratlas (F AZVM), painted in a special livery, at the exhibition.


Very rear is this Douglas DC-3 of Air France in their old, retro livery around 1950’s (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

Always an eye-catcher is the fabulous Lockheed L-1011 (HB-RSC) of the Super Constellation Association from Switzerland (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

Another rare bird was the Nord-2500 “Noratlas” of the Association Le Noratlas de Provençe that gave his debut at Le Bourget Aero salon (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)


Besides Airbus of course there were other representatives of the European aircraft industry as follows:

  • Alenia Aermacchi M 345

  • Alenia Aermacchi C-27J "Spartan"

  • PZL-Mielec, Sikorsky S-70i "Blackhawk (Polish license built)

  • CASA C-295 transport

  • ATR 72-600 in the colors of AVIANCA, Colombia

  • Agusta / Westland AW-189 helicopter

  • Eurocopter NH-90 TTH

  • The Dassault Rafale

  • A320-232 from the DLR (German Aerospace Center)


Alenia Aermacchi M-345 jet-trainer (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

Bristow helicopters (UK) ordered several Agusta/Westland AW-189 (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

Under license build by PLZ-Mielec of Poland this Sikorsky S-70i appeared at Le Bourget (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

Eurocopter NH-90-TTH seen In-Flight at the show (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)


Dassault “Rafale” in a spectacular display!  (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

Spanish CASA C-295 in special camouflage. Note the six blade propellers (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

US registries (N359PL) Alenia Aermacchi ATK C-27J “Spartan” on display (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

ATR-72-600 of Colombian airline Avianca for short-haul routes (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

South American visitors

Embraer of Brazil, one of the major key player in aircraft industry worldwide, showed their civilian and military products to the many interested customers. Among other things you could see a:

  • EMB-190 in the colors of Air Astana

  • ERJ-135 of the company "eccleasing.com"

Certainly the highlight of the Brazilian Company was an Embraer A-29B "Super Tucano" in the camouflage of the Mauritanian Air Force, soon to be delivered to his owner.


Embraer EMB-190 of Air Astana “Amina” (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

Embraer EMB-135 belonging to the company “eccleasing.com” (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)

One of the highlights at the show was this Embraer A-29B “Super Tucano” of the Mauritanian Air Force; soon be delivered to his owner  (Picture courtesy Guide E. Buehlmann)


To talk about an excellent year (as with wine) would be exaggerated. Some news and new technologies could be seen, but lots of things we already sew in previous times. The industry, specially the airlines, is now looking forward to Farnborough 2014 where the new flagship from Airbus, the A350, will surely give his first debut!



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