Week on the web 15 April

What, wonders The DEW Line, is a Phantom Badger? Not, apparently, an elusive mustelid but a modular, Boeing-built Jeep-like vehicle (pictured) that can now be carried by a Bell-Boeing CV-22 Osprey. No more odd than Rivet Joints or Speckled Trouts. And, Learmount wonders, what if we had been able to track MH370? Fighter intercept would have been feasible but, if the Malaysia Airlines 777 was on autopilot or in the control of pilots determined to fly on, fighters would have been unable to stay with it for want of fuel – so eventually it would have disappeared anyway. Satellite tracking would have depended on the equipment being turned on. Ultimately, the ability to isolate all electrical equipment is an essential protection against fire, the risk of which is historically greater than that of an aircraft being taken over by people with malign intent.

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