Straight & Level

The crude, the bad and the ugly What were the oddest-looking aircraft ever built? To celebrate the 20th birthday of the Airbus Beluga transporter – the flying whale – we have come up with what we call our quirky dozen. They include the insect-like Optica surveillance aircraft (below top) and a Cold War prototype described as […]

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Week on the web 23 September

Israel’s air defence ambitions seem to have suffered a setback with the at-least partial failure of a ballistic missile interceptor test. According to our man in Tel Aviv, Arie “Ariel View” Egozi, what went wrong with a test of the Arrow 2 system at the Palmachim test range in central Israel remains to be seen, […]

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No more Tom and Jerry?

National aviation authorities (NAA) face a dilemma. Aviation is getting much safer, implying big NAAs are not so necessary, but the industry is also getting larger and more technically and operationally complex, which seems to imply a need for more oversight. The one certainty is that NAAs will not get more ­resources in the future, […]

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In defence of Boeing

Qatar Airways’ Akbar Al Baker rarely holds back when pointing out suppliers’ shortcomings. Airbus and Boeing have both been publicly chastised when they have fallen short of the uncompromising standards set by the boss of the fast-growing Gulf airline. Indeed, although he was full of praise for Airbus and the “masterpiece” he collected at Hamburg […]

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Qatar A380 handover and South African air show report

For the 23 September issue of Flight International, I travelled to Hamburg and Doha for the handover and delivery flight of Qatar Airways’ first Airbus A380. The superjumbo may have been late – with the Gulf airline missing a prime opportunity to exhibit the double-deck airliner at Farnborough – but at the ceremony, colourful chief […]

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Straight & Level 16 September

The crude, the bad and the ugly What were the oddest-looking aircraft ever built? To celebrate the 20th birthday of the Airbus Beluga transporter – the flying whale – we have come up with what we call our quirky dozen. They include  the insect-like Optica surveillance aircraft and a Cold War prototype described as the […]

Continue Reading

Week on the web 16 September

Israel’s air defence ambitions seem to have suffered a setback with the at-least partial failure of a ballistic missile interceptor test. According to our man in Tel Aviv, Arie “Ariel View” Egozi, what went wrong with a test of the Arrow 2 system at the Palmachim test range in central Israel remains to be seen, […]

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O’Leary’s widebody wait

This article first appeared as a Comment in the 16 September issue of Flight International It is an absurdly great time to be selling widebody airliners. One look at the order backlogs of Airbus and Boeing confirms this point, but also consider this: there is a premier customer with ample access to financing – Ryanair’s […]

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Keeping it credible

This article first appeared as a Comment in the 16 September issue of Flight International The fuselage of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 operating flight MH17 was extensively punctured by “high energy objects” that entered from outside, says the initial report. The weakened hull then broke up, and wreckage was widely scattered over agricultural land […]

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Top 100 aerospace companies

Our Top 100 aerospace companies ranking, compiled in association with Pwc, each year throws up some fascinating facts. This year, for instance, that Boeing and Airbus Group (formerly EADS) are in positions one and two, in turnover terms, is not particularly surprising. But what is interesting is that, Boeing is ahead in overall revenue, thanks to […]

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