The Farnborough International Airshow has thus far been dominated by Richard Branson’s SpaceShipTwo (SS2).

The trade exhibition part of the airshow, traditionally a chance for the big manufacturers to take orders, draws to a close today (Friday). However, this year’s show has definitely been stolen by the Virgin boss and a mock up of his space craft, amid a ‘star-studded’ presentation.

Branson took the opportunity to tell industry professionals and members of the media that he, plus son Sam and daughter Holly would be on the inaugural space flight, due to blast off next year.

Thus far, 529 passengers have signed up for the £128,000 service, which takes six passengers and two pilots 60 miles into space. claims that actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are among those on the list.

Elsewhere, Boeing have managed to ‘rack up some orders’ for its 737 Max narrowbody, according to, through United Airlines which requested 100 aircraft in a deal worth $9 billion. Aside from that, the air show has been described as relatively subdued.

Airbus announced several small deals including a $4.2 billion order from Cathay Pacific and another for 36 A320 aircraft for China Aircraft Leasing. Finance and leasing group CIT also made an order of 10 long-haul A330s.

The public airshow, a favourite with those passionate about live air traffic, commences tomorrow (Saturday 14 July).

A380 Malaysia Airlines
Photo from Farnborough 2012 – David Slater,

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