Euros Dominate Fast Jet Displays At Paris

As sister site DoDBuzz just pointed out the European fighter jet-makers are out in force today. In fact, the only fast jets I’ve seen make aerial demonstrations on this rainy day have been the Rafale about an hour ago, what appeared to be an AleniaAermacchi M346 advanced jet trainer and a Eurofigther Typhoon a half hour ago.

Wait a second, a USAF F-16 out of Spangdahlem Air Base is taking off as I write this. Bout time.

The only American planes I saw in the air before this were the gorgeous Breitling-sponsored Lockheed Super Constellation (pics from today’s flight here) and a U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules.  Read up on the history of the Super Connies in U.S. service. They did everything from troop transport duities to serve as early AWACS planes in the EC-121 variant.

And, sigh, no sign of the F-35 making a surprise appearance. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.

This fits with what a Boeing PR-guy told me last week when I was asking about the Chicago-based company’s presence at the show. He basically said big B was going to make a minimal appearance compared to previous years; heck, there wasn’t even a Super Hornet flying display today.

Stick around, we’ve got some cool videos for you later today.

  • Prodozul

    A380 lost a wingtip

  • brian

    If you get past the dazzle of fast jets, after the action in Libya, the Jets the Euros need most in the C130J since its become apparent all of europe combined cannot project power even a small distance over the Mediterranean on small backwards poorly armed 3rd world dictatorship. They need logistics more than they need fast planes, and the C130J can fill a huge void in that area as well as giving them a cheap gunship for CAS with the conversion kit the marines built.

  • Jay

    Fast shiny planes are nice but the Euros seem to have a hard time actually using their planes.

    Europe cannot even bomb a nutty 3rd world dictator into submission with their best planes – even when we provide the ordnance, refuel, and intel.

    They would not last a week in a real war.

  • brad

    If the US congress would stop restricting parts on a whim,to the ever growing list of countrys they dont like— then countrys may be brave enough to order planes from the USA ,insted of ordering from europe or russia ,who do not restrict spare parts .
    Would you take a chance, and order a plane with no spare parts.?

    • blight

      And here I was thinking our stuff was in all the wrong places. Paki F-16s for starters.

      The list of customers the United States has tends to be those who are strategically valuable and reliable customers. The NATO countries not on the F-16 now may be on the F-35 later, and keeping the source code for certain software components from them is kind of a secrecy-related move that may cost Lockheed customers.

      That said, customers who buy from Russia have this annoying trend of setting up their own production lines in the near future. It doesn’t sound like great business.

  • blight

    With helicopters, they’d be in a better position to tactically support the rebels on the ground. Gradual escalation time.

    Kosovo was one of the last wars where the United States was dropping regular dumb bombs, and we seem to be out of that business these days. A bomb that say, M-kills a tank allows for a vehicle to be recovered. Serb forces had better hides and a less UAV’ed environment than Libya presumably has (and Libya’s rebels might be more reliable spotters than the Kosovo Liberation Army?)

  • Bob

    Why would euros spend billions on “war” when they can just use the ridiculously unnecessarily expensive planes of the US air-force paid by our tax dollars (oops I meant debt to the Chinese)