Le Bourget air show awaits 500,000 visitors

More than 2,000 companies will be exhibiting their latest achievements during the increasingly popular air show at Le Bourget airport near the French capital Paris. The biannual event is now opening its doors for the 47th time.

One of the main attractions of the show is the tradition of having afternoon flying displays.

The air show is expected to attract about 500,000 visitors over the course of the week and particularly next weekend when it is open to the general public. The exhibitors will be showing off about 140 different aircraft. It is thought the focus this year is yet again going to be on the trans-Atlantic rivalry between Boeing and Airbus.

There will be a massive Russian presence. Russians will be showcasing their latest MIG fighters, in particular one with an upgraded engine allowing for more vertical thrust. 

The Russian side will also exhibit models of their rockets and other spacecraft dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the start of the Sputnik space programme.