TODAY sees the opening of the 50th Paris Air Show for business and government visitors with the opening for the general public from June 21 to 23. This biennial event outside Paris will, as usual, feature flying displays and aircraft to enter and explore on the ground.
Here are five good reasons not to miss this year's event:
Daring daily flying displays: More than 40 aircraft will be showing off their aerobatic prowess all afternoon, including a Sukhoi Su-35 - the first time this Russian fighter plane has been flown abroad. The displays run for three to four hours. The Patrouille de France, the French Air Force precision aerobatic team, celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, will also be flying in full fancy formation at the Paris Air Show.
Explore aircraft: This is a rare opportunity to discover cutting-edge and futuristic aviation technology from inside the aircraft. An Airbus A380, a Boeing Dreamliner 787 and an Airbus A400M Atlas military transport plane will be this year's main attractions.
VIP seating: You can watch the flying displays from a huge 30,000sq.m lawn lining the runways. Or pay €10 per person for a seat in the open stands, which hold close to 3,000 people.
Flying displays on giant screens: Several giant screens posted at various spots in and around the airport will livecast the aerobatic displays, replete with close-ups of the aircraft in flight. And, for the first time, a mobile app compatible with any brand of smartphone will keep you from losing your way at the show - and keep you posted every morning of the day's aerobatics events.
Free admission to the Aerospace Museum: All Air Show ticketholders are granted free admission to the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace, also located at Le Bourget Airport. The museum has an exceptional collection of more than 400 aircraft, 150 of which are on exhibit, from the French transatlantic Super Bidon of 1929 to the first Concordes and the Spitfire.
However, after the first test flight of the new Airbus A350 on Friday it is still not clear whether it will be ready for a flypast of the show. Some reports have said that it will be flown north from Toulouse acting as a flying salesman on Friday – the day President Hollande is due to visit – but there was no response from Airbus today.
• 50th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport: general public admitted June 21-23. Open 8:30AM-6PM. Tickets €13.50. http://www.paris-air-show.com/GB.htm