Le sourire de la Joconde

It’s been a challenging couple of weeks, as you can imagine. But I wanted to make sure - before we get too far removed from Le Bourget - to share some final sights, sounds and thoughts from the Paris Air Show.

A French colleague of mine observed that assessing the results from Paris is a little like trying to interpret le sourire de la Joconde, the smile of “La Joconde” (the Mona Lisa). That sounds just about right.


Crowds gaze upon La Joconde - the Mona Lisa - in all her glory at the Louvre in Paris during air show week. She is beguiling and yet mysterious as ever. Much like this year’s air show and the state of the industry in general.

The Economist had an interesting take recently on some of the issues around Boeing and Airbus coming out of Le Bourget and beyond if you’re looking for an overall view.

I came into the Paris Air Show expecting that the hot issues would be: today’s economic and market challenges, the future of aviation (CMO), the 787, and the environment. From that perspective, there were really no surprises. And obviously those issues remain.

I did get more questions than I expected around product strategy and what will be Boeing’s next new airplane - and when. We heard a lot of questions in particular about the 777. That sounds like a good topic for a future blog.

But for now, and speaking of the 777, I wanted to show you a little more of the Air France 777 Freighter which was on display at Le Bourget.


The Air France 777 Freighter was clearly a “hit” at the show. We got a look inside the cargo area, as well as the flight deck, and the pretty cool cargo door video display console.

Also at Paris we had the usual “orders race” focus again. Although somewhat muted, orders were touted, and tallies added up. As always, some of the supposedly large orders attributed to the competition were not firm orders at all.

As we’ve pointed out many times before in many venues, Boeing doesn’t attend air shows in order to enter into some sort of competition. Our customers announce orders with us when they are booked. This activity takes place all throughout the year, and is disclosed weekly on Boeing’s Web site.

Anyway, before we push on into what is guaranteed to be a dynamic summer ahead, I want to leave you with a photo gallery of sorts from Paris.


Paris is lovely, by day or by night.


Striking imagery confronts you at every turn at Le Bourget.


The competition on display: A350 cutaway model (top), and Sukhoi Superjet in flight.


Traffic jam: I couldn’t resist this photo of the daily “rush hour” along chalet row at the end of the show each afternoon.

Finally, something a little different for Randy’s Journal. A couple of video “tours” we put together on the ground at the air show. The first is an overall look at the variety of activities Boeing engaged in during the week. The second, taped as things wound down, includes a walk through the exhibit halls at the Paris Air Show.


Click above to view a video tour of Boeing activities at the show.


Click above to view my video visit to the Le Bourget exhibit halls.

Taping those videos at the show was interesting, for sure. But I think I’ll hold on to my day job.

Comments (12)

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

Great videos, great shots of the Superjet 100 and the A350, I like the model of the A350 but their is scant little information on the shape of the A350 after the remodel of the nose and glareshield.

With 700 pounds of weight savings from the steel brakes, the new carbon brakes certainly improves on the 737's fuel efficiency, weight, and range. The 787's landing gear looks impressive and the seats look comfortable.

Cary Bacon (Eastern Shore, Millington, MD, 21651):

Very good video and interesting. This is the wave of the future. Thanks

Jim Hasstedt (Everett, WA, USA):

Thanks for sharing your insight and great photos & video! You have a way of making things like this personal and enjoyable for those of us who have never been there and only have a vague idea of what goes on.

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

This is a great post - thanks :)

Kinbin (Taipei Taiwan):

Cool vids. I digg this! Kudos to you posting this.

It is a temp relief from the firefighting on the Dreamliner front.

Alessandro (Sweden):

At least the Sukhoi 100 is flying which Boeing is involved in.
I doubt we see the B787 in 2011 Le Bourget, perhaps the B748 will make a visit?

Chris C (South Africa):

As Mr. Paulo M says, this is a great post!!

Very neat photos, and I love the photo of the 777F's freight-hold! Thanks for sharing all this; very interesting.


Thanks for the tour Randy. I am hoping you will do more of that next year at the Farnborough. Actually, I wouldn't mind seeing a monthly video update of the all exciting people, place, and technologies that you have come across for the month. I like reading about it in your weekly journal, but seeing it in video gives it added depth. Not only that it helps to raise your profile and that of Boeing as well.

Hernan Saldana (Lima, Peru):

It was a great idea of you and your team to post the two videos about the Paris Air show. I was there on June 19th for the first day of the show for the public and, as you said, it was "an absolute sea of people". Crowds of people waiting to see the displays and exhibits, plus the flight demostration.

I do regret that I did not have the chance to see the B-777F as it was not on the static display on Friday. I also wanted to see Boeing stand, as the one you presented in Santiago last year, with the Dreamliner display.

It was my first Paris Air show and from what I have seen, I can definitely say that it will not be the last one!!

keesje (Netherlands):

Randy presenting from the Airbus stand. Way to go! Next Paris show the 787 will be the Star and everybody will have a toast on it.

Kazu (Tokyo, Japan):

After dissapointed by the news on 787 test flight postponement, it was really encouraging to see ZA001 ship maneuvering in Paine Field. And I will be waiting anxiously with great expectation to see the updated video on the progress of 787 project.Thank you for providing interesting informations and pictures.

Charlie Gouge (Seattle, WA. USA):

Well, well, well. Looks like we have a new reporter in line for KOMO 4. Looks like a ton of Fun!

Welcome back, see you in the hood!

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