AeroTime has been closely tracking, plus reporting directly from, the Paris Air Show. The event has showcased numerous aircraft, technological innovations, and captivating presentations, along with impressive flight displays, significant deal announcements, and has even gave rise to some intriguing speculation (so, did China kick Russia off the CRAIC CR929 program?). Now, let’s delve into the highlights of the week that caught our attention the most.
eVTOL Aircraft Take Center Stage
One of the most striking features of the Paris Air Show 2023 was the overwhelming presence of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Prominent eVTOL airframes included a mockup of the eye-catching Archer Midnight, Boeing’s Wisk Aero, with its CEO, Brian Yutko, holding a media briefing to explain the latest developments in this intriguing autonomous flight project.
Embraer’s EVE, Volocopter, eHang and Autoflight also had a significant presence in Paris, with either real aircraft or full-scale mockups. Lilium, in turn, presented a mockup of its six-seater cabin, having already presented a four-seater version at the EBACE air show the previous month.
These futuristic designs generated a good deal of excitement and captured the public’s imagination.
Boeing made a strong impression at the event, unveiling its highly anticipated 777-9 airliner. The Boeing 777X stole the spotlight during the thrilling flight displays, leaving spectators in awe of its size and quietness. Boeing also provided an exclusive glimpse inside the test cabin, showcasing the innovative features that set the aircraft apart. On the other hand, its main rival Airbus also had its new A321XLR as well as the flagship A350-1000 present, exhibited in the static display.
Luxurious business jets
Gulfstream and Dassault demonstrated their exceptional business jets. Gulfstream brought the G500, G700, and G800 models, captivating the public with their elegance and advanced features. Dassault’s Falcon 10X made a strong statement with its impressive mockup, revealing a modern and luxurious interior that resembled a high-end designer apartment rather than an aircraft.
Indian airlines’ record-breaking orders
Indian airlines appeared to be competing for the largest aircraft order announcement in history. Indigo set the stage by placing a remarkable order for 500 Airbus A320-family aircraft. Not to be outdone, Air India followed suit, announcing two deals totaling 540 Airbus and Boeing jets. These monumental orders underscored the significant growth potential and ambitions of the Indian aviation market.
Given the show’s French location, it came as no surprise that the Rafale had a strong presence. Not only was Dassault prominently featured, but many subcontractor booths also showcased the aircraft. This increased focus on Rafale can be attributed to its recent commercial success, starting from the sizeable sale of 80 aircraft to the UAE in December 2021 and many smaller orders since.