In case you were in any doubt, it is definitely on between Boeing and Airbus with both showing the next generation of aircraft at the Paris Airshow.
Of course Boeing have a huge headstart, even with the problems experienced by the Dreamliner it will be years before it is challenged in the skies by the A350.
However orders for the A350 are rolling in and Airbus have done well to get the A350 in the air and flying very carefully over the Airshow. Apparently it was only the third time that the craft had been in the air, and it was something of a surprise that it attended the Airshow. The fly past was part of a test flight of the craft which, we are told, is functioning exactly as expected.
The craft which is about 70% composite materials in flight showed off its lovely composite wings as it banked and then flew off into the clouds. Airbus claims the plane is around 8% more efficient than the 787. Bring it on, on we say, we would really like to see more energy efficient aircraft in our skies very soon, particularly at BA which has ordered 18 of the “mini-jumbos”. Energy efficient planes are a win all round as they are more profitable, and of course greener.
Here is a link to our coverage of the first flight.