Our cover this week (11 March) features a Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon, and in the accompanying package Craig Hoyle looks at the track record of and export prospects for the European fighter, 20 years after its first flight and 10 years after it entered service. One of its best export hopes, with the UAE, was recently dashed. We also examine the Netherlands’ long battle towards bringing its first Lockheed Martin F-35s into operation.
In our news section: Qatar Airways’ unveiling of its first Airbus A380 cabin and how Boeing plans to use its 737 Max experience to manage the transition from the 777 to the 777X at the end of the decade. We assess how US budget plans will cause further pain for industry and whether Rolls-Royce can engineer a route back into the single-aisle market, something that remains its medium-term ambition despite the absence of a platform or any obvious breakthrough technology.
We also look at the shadow the troubled Xian Aircraft MA60 is casting over Chinese ambitions to bring to market its new-generation narrowbody, the Comac C919 narrowbody. And I have visited Cardington, historic home to British airships in the 1920s, where a new company, Hybrid Air Vehicles, is developing a modern airship, capable of carrying 50 tonnes of freight. One of its backers is Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, who I interviewed on video for our tablet edition (available on iPad).