Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II gave its first public aerial demonstration at Le Bourget for the 2017 Paris Air Show (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

Originally published by Paul Ridden on June 21st, 2017 for New Atlas

The 52nd edition of the Paris Air Show has taken over Le Bourget Airport in Paris this week, with aircraft makers big and small trying to secure business deals before the gates open to the public on Friday. Between handshakes and champagne lunches, trade visitors could look to the skies above the exhibition center for thunderous acrobatics or visit static displays to get a close-up look at all that the industry had to offer. Join us as we look at some show highlights.

Boeing and Airbus are currently battling for the top sales spot at Le Bourget, with the former notching up healthy orders for its 737 MAX family of passenger planes while Airbus has countered with A320 series success. Both companies have taken aircraft to the skies above Le Bourget, too, with highlights including demonstration flights from the Max9 and the A380plus.

However, the real aerial showstopper was the stomach-churning debut of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II fighter. This year has also seen a new contender in the flying quadbike space, an autonomous helicopter and the menacing multi-mission Nightwarden UAV.

Be sure to check out the Paris Air Show photo gallery for the best of what’s on the ground and in the sky.

To view the complete photo gallery, follow this LINK.