Posted by John McHalePARIS AIR SHOW BLOG, 24 June 2011. The Paris Air Show opened to the French public today who were fortunate enough to get views of the Airbus A380 in flight -- after a small delay earlier in the week. They also poured into the various exhibition halls with mothers clutching babies while checking out huge jet engines -- not an image you see every day. The big A380 test aircraft returned to flight duty mid-week in time to wow the kids and aviation fans after a minor ground collision parked it for the beginning of the show. The credit for the photo on the left of the A380 in flight today goes to Angel Bennett of FLIR Systems. Thanks for sharing, Angel.I like staying for the final day of the Paris Air Show even though most of the newsmakers and big company executives are long gone, because it reminds me of why I like or remembered liking air shows -- to see really cool planes fly. As journalists we sometimes get jaded -- yeah, I know hard to believe isn't it -- but it's true. Every
time the Eurofighter blasted by overhead you could hear a lot ofcursing in the press room and pleading to the powers that be to "ground that thing so we could concentrate!"Even though they're loud, fighter jets are damn fun to watch. How soon we forget what it's like to be a kid.The kids at the show -- and the adults too -- were really "wowed" by not only the planes flying, but by many of ones parked on the ground. What kid from 6 to 60 doesn't love getting in the cockpit of a military attack helicopter. Hey, it makes for a great Facebook profile picture.A number of teenagers and techies also were crowding AR Drone's booth in the exhibition hall to see the French company's small unmanned aircraft called Parrot. The little drone can be usd as a video game and be controlled through an Apple iPad, Iphone, or iPod Touch.
However, the most disappointing sight today, was the U.S. Pavilion in the exhibition hall, where most of the booths were taped off in a way that gave me the impression that this is a crime scene -- DO NOT CROSS. I understand the need to get home and protect your stand from the masses, while it's empty, but come on guys! That's a really lousy image.Aside form that it's a beautiful day to watch airplanes fly, so I'll stop blogging and try and catch the final flights before I leave.