July 15, 2008 Soaring oil prices might be putting the squeeze on margins for airlines around the world, but that hasn't deterred United Arab Emirates national carrier Etihad from splurging more than $20 billion on orders for Boeing and Airbus aircraft.

The order includes a firm contract for the purchase of 20 A320s, 25 A350 XWBs (Xtra Wide-Body) and 10 A380 superjumbos form Airbus along with 35 787-9 Dreamliners and 10 777-300ERs (Extended Range) aircraft from Boeing.

The massive deal could eventually top 40 billion when options and purchase rights for around 100 more aircraft are taken into consideration.

The first days of the show also saw the F-22 Raptor take to the skies above Farnborough along with the remarkably quiet and agile A380 and a host of other spectacular aircraft. Lewis Hamilton, fresh from an appearance at the the Goodwood Festival of Speed, took on a Bombardier Learjet 60XR in his McLaren Mercedes F1 car and won (though this result did seem to be down to the slow flight capabilities of the Learjet and its pilot Capt. Rod Lundy).

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