At every international air show, there's a race to garner the most headlines, the most orders, the best visuals and the best sound bites.
Usually, however, Europe's Airbus comes up the winner.
This is particularly true at the Paris Air Show (which starts Monday and runs till Friday), where Airbus always makes a special push to win the headlines war.
Airbus, of course, is headquartered in Toulouse, France, an hour's flight south of Paris.
Aside from the aggressive competitiveness of Airbus Chief Operating Officer John Leahy, who can't tolerate being second at any time and who rarely misses any opportunity to tweak Boeing, the French government is also known to pressure Airbus to make a great showing.
Boeing conceded the point long ago.
"We know Airbus sees this as a competition on their home turf. In terms of orders, we see this as one week out of 52," admits Boeing's Vice President of Marketing Randy Tinseth, the company's most visible communications counterpart to Leahy. (Leahy's actual counterpart, Ray Conner, CEO of Boeing Commercial Aircraft, tends to keep a low profile.)
"Despite the wave of orders our competition rolls out at air shows, the market has still been roughly split down the middle over the past decade," says Tinseth.
Leahy declined in a recent interview to predict how many orders he'll have to announce at the air show, but skipped the Airbus Innovation Days international media briefings on June 5 and 6 -- an unusual absence -- to go globe-trotting for orders in time for the show.
He's expected to announce hundreds.
The A350 XWB -- the new, composite rival to the Boeing 787 and aging 777 -- is widely anticipated to make a flyover at this year's event.
Some question the wisdom of even a flyby, as the A350 will have few test flights under its wing at that point.
But the French government wants to showcase the plane and so does Airbus.
Boeing strikes back
Boeing won't leave all its pizzazz at home.
The formal program launch of its 787-10 is expected (although Boeing won't officially say so) and scores of orders are expected to accompany the announcement.
Singapore Airlines has already said it will take 30 of the airplanes.
British Airways is also presumed to be a launch customer.
Boeing is also expected to announce several customers who have signed up for "commitments" for the 777X, although the program launch is considered likely for the Dubai Air Show slated for November 17-21.
Emirates Airlines (headquartered in Dubai) is assumed to be a launch customer for as many as 100 of the new version of the venerable airplane.
Thus, with two new airplane programs and hundreds of orders and commitments anticipated, Boeing could conceivably "win" this year's show.
But video footage and pictures of the flyby of the A350 will be hard for Boeing to beat with artist renderings and sound bites.