Airbus’ decision, announced in February, to terminate the A380 after the 274th production example leaves a large hole in the Paris Air Show static display. But, while down, the superjumbo is not quite yet out.

On the Show’s public days, the Airbus “flying circus” will feature the big, friendly giant, while observant visitors might glimpse the fourth (but second to fly) aircraft preparing to take a place of honour in the co-resident Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace. This machine, F-WWDD, first flew on October 18, 2005, and was delivered to Le Bourget on Valentine’s Day 2017, after 3,360 hours of development flying.

Its preparation for public showing has taken some time, including removal of fuel, other fluids and pyrotechnics, as well as replacement of the engines with replicas and stripping out banks of test equipment. Full opening to public view is not scheduled until this October, although a privileged few will be shown around the aircraft this week.

But even before the assembly line falls silent, some A380s are history. Of the first five, two are earmarked for museums; one is in storage; and two have already been scrapped. Prototype F-WWOW is currently in storage at Toulouse, its birthplace; and No. 2, F-WWXL, is to be displayed locally at the Musée Aeroscopia alongside a Concorde, Aero Spacelines’ Super Guppy components transporter and much else.

Having failed to interest prospective customers in a lease, VAS Aero Services, at Tarbes Lourdes Pyrénées Airport, is reducing ex-Singapore Airlines aircraft Nos. 3 and 5 (once F-WWSA and F-WWSB, respectively) to components, from which it is reportedly expecting $45 million from parts resales. More A380s from the Singapore fleet might join them soon.