Paris Air Show

Poor Ted arrived in Taiwan today just about 48 hours after he left home. His plane was postponed for 28 hours – there was some problem with a part that had to be brought from elsewhere. He’s so used to the routine flights to Taiwan that apparently this really threw him off, because he called me at 3PM my time and said “Are you at work yet?” (We generally get in to work around 7:30 AM, for reference.)

My weekend was very calm, but one thing I didn’t do was to write about our previous weekend at the Paris Airshow. (Hey, with the Paris trip on the heels of the Budapest one combined with two frantic weeks at work, I needed to rest!)

Airshow photos first, since they were the best part:

We were actually a little disappointed. The think about the Paris Airshow is that it’s predominantly aimed at the aerospace industry; the public part of the show on the weekend is a bit of an afterthought. Most of the booths were deserted, not that most people there on the weekend were interested in buying landing gears or machined slabs of honeycomb anyway. (We did have an interesting discussion with a Snap-On rep; they now have a toolchest that tracks what tools you’ve taken out via a high-speed camera and image recognition software. You probably can’t afford one for your garage this year, though – but technology has a way of trickling down.)

The flying ran from about 12 to 5, but the first several routines were just fly-bys, not a real show. There was a good routine in an Extra 300 by the woman who runs the museum there, and we enjoyed the F-16, a Eurofighter, and a Dassault Raffaele. The three Eurocopters were also interesting, just because you so rarely see heli-batics (and look closely at that photo below, for the vortices off the prop tips), and I have to admit it’s impressive seeing an A380 lumber by at low altitude. But most of the flights were repeated twice in the day, and we were told that Sunday’s flights would be a repeat of Saturday’s. There also wasn’t much room to sit or stand at the flightline, because you couldn’t go in front of the buildings there, and no one was allowed in or in front of the industry “chalets” with an invitation. So it really wasn’t well-designed for watching.

We did get in close to some of the planes on static display, simply by asking to see them, and if they wanted to know why, telling them we were pilots. We stuck to ones we had a reasonable case for being interested in, like the Cirrus or a Euro equivalent of a Cessna Caravan.

We’d gotten the impression from the museum brochure that it was small, so we decided to just breeze through on our way out then leave Sunday morning, not bothering to come back despite our pre-purchased tickets. That was our mistake; the museum was huge and amazing, but by then we were too tired to see it well. We should have just stayed as close as we could get to the flightline, watched the flying on Saturday, then come back Sunday just to do the museum. Next tim we’ll know – or better yet, we’ll find a friend in the industry to invite us to the good parts.

One Response to “Paris Air Show”

  1. Kenny Says:

    The pic’s are cool. We go every year to the Atlantic City Air show. Really cool when the Thunder-birds strafe the beaches and fly just feet over the houses in Margate and Ventnor. I still remember going with you and your family to see my first Blue Angels show. : )

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