AIRCRAFT COMPETITION HEATS UP BETWEEN US AND EUROPE

Airbus Industrie's newest jetliner will compete with the Boeing 757, sharpening the battle between European and US commercial aircraft builders.

The A321, unveiled March 3, has the fly-by-computer technology sought by airlines because it cuts staffing needs. Airbus executives touted the jet for being fuel efficient and low in harmful emissions.

Boeing's 757 has a computerized cockpit that permits a two-person crew, rather than the three that is normal. Both planes carry 190 to 210 passengers, have similar ranges, and cost just under $60 million each.

The four main Airbus partners are Deutsche Aerospace of Germany, Aerospatiale of France, British Aerospace, and Casa of Spain.

The company has grown to become the world's second-largest aircraft maker behind the Seattle-based Boeing.

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