The 50th Paris Air Show takes off (pictures)

Current and future aeronautics crafts go on display as commercial and military vendors trot out their latest technological innovations.

Charles Cooper
Stephen Shankland
1 of 23 Stephen Shankland

50th Paris Air Show

This Airbus A400M, a military-oriented cargo plane, banked steeply over Le Bourget airport for the 50th annual Paris Air Show.

Show organizers expect more than 350,000 visitors this year. Besides being a major venue for aircraft manufacturers to demonstrate their latest technologies to clients, the show is ground zero for deal-making.

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Dassault 'Rafale' fighter

A French Dassault "Rafale" fighter performs over Le Bourget airport. The Rafale is an omnirole twin-engine craft, which debuted in 2001. French Rafales saw action in 2011 airstrikes against Moammar Gadhafi's forces. France also deployed the aircraft this past January to help Mali's government beat back rebels.
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Fast and furious

The Dassault Rafale fighter can reach speeds of Mach 1.8+ with a range of more than 2,000 miles.

Rafale goes for a spin

The Dassault Rafale takes a spin in the sky for the cameras.
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Sukhoi SU-35 military jet

The pilot of a Russian-made Sukhoi SU-35 military jet presents his flying prowess. This multirole fighter craft is Russia's answer to the U.S. F-35. Here's the Sukhoi company's description of the plane's technical capabilities.
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Getting a tune-up

Russian technicians work in front of the Sukhoi SU-35 on the tarmac of Le Bourget.
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More than 1,000 miles

The Sukhoi SU-35 has a maximum speed of Mach 2.25 and a range of 1,940 miles.
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Ariane 5

The European Space Agency showed off a mammoth Ariane 5 heavy-lift rocket at the Paris Air Show. It's used to carry heavy satellites into orbit -- low Earth orbit or the much higher geostationary orbit -- and 50 of the rockets have been launched so far.
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Blast from the past

A "Back to the Future" DeLorean is used to draw crowds to a display at the Paris Air Show.
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French Tigre helicopters

A pair of French Tigre helicopters put on a coordinated display at the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport.
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Aerial acrobats

An acrobatic plane performs over Le Bourget airport on June 17, 2013, on the opening day of the International Paris Air show.
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Crowded grounds

It's a tough ticket for the 50th annual Paris Air Show. Here's an aerial view of the grounds at Le Bourget airport, near Paris.
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Rain at Le Bourget

Visitors walk in the rain at Le Bourget airport.
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'Neuron' military drone

Visitors looks at the "Neuron" military drone on the Dassault pavilion as heavy rain falls at Le Bourget airport.
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British Airlines Airbus A380

A British Airlines Airbus A380 flies over Le Bourget airport. Airbus is hoping that its latest planes can help close the gap against arch-rival Boeing. And on the first day of the show, Airbus indeed announced a memorandum of understanding with the German aircraft leasing company Doric for a deal worth more than $8 billion.
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Back in business

The Paris Air Show broke a losing streak for Airbus' A380 program, which had not failed to secure any new orders during the past year.
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Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner flies during a preparation routine. On Tuesday, the company signed up five more customers for its stretched version of the Dreamliner.
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UAV Predator B

View of a U.S. UAV Predator B on display. Also known as the MQ-9 Reaper, the craft has been in use since 2001. It received an upgrade in 2012.
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Eurocopter X3 helicopter

Technicians prepare a Eurocopter X3 helicopter with its four rotors and turboshaft engine. Earlier this month, the helicopter set a speed record of 472 kilometers-per-hour.
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'E-Fan' goes all-electric

Prototype model, called the "E-Fan," of an all-electric instruction two-seater aircraft from aerospace and defense corporation EADS. The plane includes battery packs in its wings. It also features an electrical taxiing system.
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Kamov Alligator helicopter

Russia's all-weather combat Kamov Alligator helicopter.
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'E-Fan' under wraps

Another view of the prototype "E-Fan."
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Birds of a feather

Apparently this kestrel didn't get the memo about all the aircraft at le Bourget. It was hovering in place, looking for prey in the grass around the runways.

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