The great Airbus-Boeing battle burst into life at Farnborough ‘96 only hours before the show was due to open, with the American giant laying into its rival's flying display.

Speaking minutes after Airbus Industrie chief test pilot Bill Wainwright had described the company's flying programme, Bill Cashman, Boeing's chief 777 test pilot, declared at the pre-show pilots' press briefing: "We don't believe the best way to market jet transports is by doing low-altitude manoeuvring. It's not what the customers want."

With a ‘battle royal' joined between the two airliner producers over wide body sales, it was only a matter of time before sparks started to fly.

Wainwright struck back. "The Boeing 777 couldn't do as well as our aircraft so they don't try," he said.

Cashman said it was Boeing policy not to do flying displays. "We can do the same thing as Airbus and probably more," he said. "The 777 can match Airbus manoeuvre for manoeuvre."



Source: Flight Daily News