There is just one big story this week and we sum it up with the coverline GROUNDED…CONFOUNDED over a photograph of the ANA Boeing 787 forced to make an emergency landing after a battery malfunction. We examine the catalogue of events that convinced regulators around the world to ground the Dreamliner and ask what happens now?
There are countless questions to be asked. Among them: what went wrong with a certification process that saw fit to pass an aircraft design as safe to fly passengers, and then one year later ground these same aircraft. It is one that we attempt to answer in this week’s leader (see separate blog entry: Raised stakes).
Also in the 22 January issue, how a late A320 deal pushed Airbus past the 900 gross order mark for 2012, well above its original target of 650 units; the latest on the Red Wings Tu-214 accident investigation; and why the Pentagon is dropping the F-35′s performance bar.
In our features section, we look at how the NH Industries NH90 performed in its Italian combat debut in Afghanistan, and the possibility of the USA commissioning a new military helicopter programme, a decade or so after the cancellation of the Boeing-Sikorsky Comanche.