Airframe is -- for better or for worse, depending on your point of view -- exactly what we've come to expect from a Michael Crichton novel. There's a big-budget action sequence to get us going, a myriad of technological details, a mystery to be solved, a conspiracy driving things in the background, one well-developed protagonist, and a cast of supporting players that really don't exist beyond their role in the plot.
Having said all that, it's also a novel I finished over the course of a weekend.
The technology is, as always, intriguing without being overwhelming. Crichton doesn't just spew facts at the reader. Instead, you feel as if you're discovering and understanding along with the characters in the story. The mystery is a simple one -- what caused the disaster? -- with more than enough suspense to keep the reader interested. The conspiracy may be a little too obvious for readers of his other works, but it still works.
Overall, Airframe is certainly no Jurrasic Park or Disclosure, but it's much better than weaker efforts such as Sphere or Congo.