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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” Boosts Avionics Demand

Every air show features its industry “buzz,” and this year's Farnborough is no exception. As usual, the rivalry between aerospace giants Airbus and Boeing figures front and center. Internal turmoil, delayed product schedules and unexpectedly fierce competition from the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” are only adding to the pressing woes of once-highflying Airbus. Stumbling from a top management shakeup that came in the wake of delays in its flagship super-jumbo jet program, Airbus unveiled at the show a long-awaited revamp of its mid-sized A350, dubbing it the A350XWB for "extra-wide body." But Boeing seems to have the upper hand. Case in point: Alteon Training, a Boeing subsidiary, inked at the show a multi-million deal with Thales U.K. to buy additional Boeing 787 training suites, including full-flight simulators and flat-panel trainers. The move reflects the market’s growing confidence in the “Dreamliner,” which features advanced composites and is designed as a fuel-efficient wide-body with significantly lower operating costs.

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