Airbus' Star Jet Grounded After Air Show Flub

Airbus faces series of setbacks at Paris Air Show
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 20, 2011 6:14 AM CDT
Boeing CEO Jim McNerney smiles as he walks next to a Boeing 747-8 aircraft at the Paris Air Show, Le Bourget, east of Paris, Sunday, June 19, 2011.   (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
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(Newser) – The world’s biggest air show begins today, but Airbus won't be showing off the gem of its fleet—the superjumbo A380 has been grounded after it collided with a taxiway building, damaging its wingtip. It’s just one of several Paris Air Show embarrassments for the Boeing rival, the AP reports: Airbus also canceled the demo of its A400M military transport plane due to a gearbox issue, and the company on Saturday announced that two versions of its A350 jet would be delayed two years.

The A350-1000 is now expected in 2017, as Airbus waits on an improved motor from Rolls Royce. Still, both Airbus and Boeing are likely to announce a crop of new orders at the show, including Qatar Airlines' $1.7 billion purchase of six Boeing 777 planes. Meanwhile, greener planes are expected to be a hot topic at the week-long show, with Airbus expecting to bag bountiful orders for its A320neo, which has been reengineered to be 15% more fuel efficient than the standard A320. To compete, Boeing is considering a redesign of its 737, or possibly a whole new plane.

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