11:56 PM

Europe's Oshkosh

The more I read about the Paris Air Show, the more I want to pack up the Samsonite, Macbook and my cameras and catch a red-eye across the Pond in a couple of years to witness this monster show firsthand. 'Paris' is where the rich meet the famous, where million-dollar deals are considered chump change, and where the really, REALLY phat cats go to buy their flying hardware.

Here is a quick look at some of today's headlines from Le Bourget Airport, pulled from various sources across the Internets:

Billionaire pitches supersonic business
jet at Paris Air Show

Texas billionaire Robert Bass is bankrolling an effort to build the world's first supersonic private business jet – called the Aerion – to aircraft manufacturers and potential customers. "With this plane, you can have breakfast in New York, fly to London, stay for four hours, and fly back to New York for dinner," said Bass. He gets around these days in a Falcon jet that flies below the speed of sound, how boring is THAT? His $80 million needle-nose jet had drawn lots of interest worldwide from those among us who have far more money then they could ever spend. Anyone want to wager that some of those buyers have Saudi addresses? Just a wild guess...

Cessna Nets Billion Dollar Order At Air Show

Boeing and Airbus aren't the only makers cashing in at Le Bourget. On Wednesday, it was Cessna's turn as the Wichita-based company announced the sale of 96 Citation aircraft to NetJets. The company offers partial ownership or rental of business jets. The deal is valued at more than one-billion dollars. The order includes 50 Encore+, 37 XLS+ and 9 Citation X aircraft.

Better then the MU-2?

Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is also in Paris, touting its MRJ – for Mitsubishi Regional Jet – which it hopes to put into production at the beginning of next year. The company will make a decision about whether to launch the jet in the first half of next year after consultations with partners. Mitsubishi believes there is a market for 5,000 regional jets of 70-90 seats in the next 20 years. The MRJ is not a foray into an unknown market: the company is a key subcontractor for Boeing, making fuselage and wing parts for a host of the US company’s large jets.
The release from Mitsu said they “have lots of manufacturing experience but not with a whole plane,” which explains a great deal about their MU-2, which has a "rough" reputation when it comes to safety. The MU-2 reportedly has the single-engine flight characteristics of a brick, and the model remains the one flying machine I will never let take me airborne. Ever.

Before I make up my mind to go catch the 48th Annual Paris Air Show in 2009, I need to know one thing: Do they serve Brats in Paris...or will I have to bring my own?

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