Korean Air's second Airbus A380 soars above the Paris spectators, rescuing Airbus from an embarrassing faux pas after its original display aircraft was grounded by a taxiing collision.
After landing at Le Bourget on the eve of the show, one of Airbus's test A380s was cleared by ground control to manoeuvre along taxiway Victor. But at about 15:50 on 19 June the jet, commanded by a test pilot, struck a building belonging to French airports operator Aeroports de Paris.
Although the A380 had been "on the centreline" of the taxiway, said Airbus, the collision sheared off its starboard vertical wing fence. Quelle horreur...
There was less damage to the A380 than to Airbus's pride, after it was forced to withdraw its flagship from displaying. "It was a left-footed start [to the flying display]," Airbus (chalet S3 418) admitted. "But we looked for an alternative solution."
With another test A380 unavailable, because of modification to fly the Trent XWB engine, the alternative was Korean Air's newest A380 - hastily recruited to spare Airbus's blushes while the bent jet was quietly tucked out of the way.
And after the distinctive turquoise jet lifted some of the rainy Paris gloom with an impressive display, it taxied back to its parking place. Very carefully.