AIRCRAFT COMPETITION HEATS UP BETWEEN US AND EUROPE

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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.

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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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