FARN10: A350 and a Spanish inquisition

Set-up day at Farnborough and one of our own lobs a speculation grenade into the Flightglobal chalet. The EADS stand features a full-sized Airbus A350 XWB mock-up with a Spanish flag prominently positioned behind the cockpit window.


There’s a pressure wave of half-baked conclusions and outrageously premature headlines, mainly about Iberia long-haul orders, before we decide to sneak a photo for the record.


Sure enough, the A350 is there complete with Bandera de España…




…but what’s being concealed?


Nothing is obviously visible through the cloth so I sidle up to the flag and, feigning intense fascination with the coat-of-arms, slide my hand up behind it, feeling around as if there’s a front-page scoop written on the fuselage in Braille.


Still nothing. So there’s only one option. A glance around suggests the only people around are labourers putting the finishing touches to the stand, so I lift the free corner of the flag and look underneath.


Then I hear a voice. “You like the flag? It’s my flag,” says one of the workers, in a Mediterranean accent. “The World Cup!”


And with that, the red-hot Spanish A350 scoop flatlines.


“Are you from Holland?” beams the worker. I tell him I’m not. Although I still have to trudge back without the glorious prize.

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