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At Farnborough, Airbus' lightest and heaviest planes (pictures)

The French aircraft maker brought its hulking 550-passenger A380 and its diminutive electric E-Fan to the UK airshow, a major sales event on the aviation industry calendar.

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Stephen Shankland

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An Airbus A380-800 ascends steeply at the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK.
1 of 16 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Airbus A380 ascending

An Airbus A380-800 ascends steeply at the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK.

The Airbus A380 is a massive two-deck aircraft that can hold up to 550 passengers.
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Hulking A380 fuselage

The Airbus A380 is a massive two-deck aircraft that can hold up to 550 passengers.

Airbus plans to sell its all-electric E-Fan in 2017 as a training plane. Its engine has 60kW of power, and it'll fly for one hour with 15 minutes after that in reserve.
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Airbus electric E-Fan

Airbus plans to sell its all-electric E-Fan in 2017 as a training plane. Its engine has 60kW of power, and it'll fly for one hour with 15 minutes after that in reserve.

The Airbus E-Fan's twin engines are powered by a 120-cell lithium polymer battery.
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Airbus E-Fan propulsion

The Airbus E-Fan's twin engines are powered by a 120-cell lithium polymer battery.

The Airbus E-Fan weighs just 500kg (1,100lbs). It's got a cruising speed of 160kmph (100mph) and a top speed of 220kmph (137mph).
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Airbus E-Fan in flight

The Airbus E-Fan weighs just 500kg (1,100lbs). It's got a cruising speed of 160 kmph (100 mph) and a top speed of 220 kmph (137 mph).

​The Airbus A400M, a military transport craft, has four counter-rotating TP400 turboprop engines.
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A400M propellers at Farnborough

The Airbus A400M, a military transport craft, has four counter-rotating TP400 turboprop engines.

The Airbus A400M flies in a steeply banked turn.
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A400M banked turn

The Airbus A400M flies in a steeply banked turn.

​The A400M can carry up to 37 tons of cargo, including trucks or two helicopters. But when it's empty, as in this moment after takeoff over the Farnborough International Airshow, it can ascend steeply.
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A400M after takeoff over Farnborough

The A400M can carry up to 37 tons of cargo, including trucks or two helicopters. But when it's empty, as in this moment after takeoff over the Farnborough International Airshow, it can ascend steeply.

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Airbus Atlante drone

Airbus got out of the drone market but is re-entering it with this Atlante drone, intended for use in intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR). It'll be certified to fly over civilian areas.

The Airbus A350 XWB, able to carry between 300 and 400 passengers, is an energy-efficient model to rival Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.
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Airbus A350 XWB at Farnborough

The Airbus A350 XWB, able to carry between 300 and 400 passengers, is an energy-efficient model to rival Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

The A350 XWB (exra wide body) has upwardly curved "winglets" to improve wing aerodynamics.
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Airbus A350 XWB at Farnborough

The A350 XWB (exra wide body) has upwardly curved "winglets" to improve wing aerodynamics. Its fuselage is made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic for lighter weight and therefore better fuel economy.

The DA36 E-Star 2, an two-seat hybrid electric motor aircraft can glide with its propeller stopped, then restart the propeller as it flies.
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DA36 E-Star 2 at Farnborough

The DA36 E-Star 2, a two-seat hybrid electric motor aircraft, can glide with its propeller stopped, then restart the propeller as it flies.

The DA36 E-Star 2, flying here above the Farnborough International Airshow, is a joint project with Airbus, Diamond Aircraft, and Siemens.
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DA36 E-Star 2

The DA36 E-Star 2, flying here above the Farnborough International Airshow, is a joint project with Airbus, Diamond Aircraft, and Siemens.

Four-engine jets are a relative rarity in the skies today. Airbus hopes its newer A380 will eat into the market share of Boeing's decades-old 747.
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A380 banking left

Four-engine jets are a relative rarity in the skies today. Airbus hopes its newer A380 will eat into the market share of Boeing's decades-old 747.

And Airbus A380 begins takeoff at the Farnborough International Airshow.
15 of 16 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Airbus A380

And Airbus A380 begins takeoff at the Farnborough International Airshow.

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Airbus A380 lands at Farnborough

Clounds of burnt-rubber smoke appear as an Airbus A380 lands at the Farnborough International Airshow.

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