One of the trickiest decisions each week on Flight International is deciding what to put on the cover.
The most obvious criterion is the image has to be strong. It has to be impactful and of a sufficient resolution. It has to be relevant too. Tempting though it is to adorn the cover with a fantastic image of Keira Knightley or Tiger Woods, the average Flight International reader usually wants to see an aircraft or at least something aviation-related on there (not that we never depart from that rule...but when we have the covers have often not been particularly successful).
But the hardest decision often comes when we have a brilliant and timely image - the first shot of a new aircraft, for example - but do not have enough material to back-it up inside. It is this classic "overpromising and underdelivering" that can get certain readers upset.
This week, we could have gone for the Bell 429 helicopter. We had a striking image and had a whole civil helicopters package to accompany it. However, the same aircraft was on the cover of the February edition of one of our competitors - Business & Commercial Aviation.
Instead, we went for an exclusive first flight shot of the Boeing 747-8F over the clouds and mountains of Washington State. The cover story is a one-page report of the maiden sortie and prospects for the reborn jumbo (pictured).