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Ash costs cash

This first appeared as a Comment in the 2 September issue of Flight International When Icelandic volcanic ash visited Europe’s skies in April 2010, it cost the continent’s economy at least €5 billion ($7 billion) – just by grounding most commercial aviation for a week. With seismic rumblings beneath Iceland’s fragile crust gathering strength, how […]

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The age of the airship?

This first appeared as a Comment in the 2 September issue of Flight International The five decades from 1914 saw heavier-than-air ­aviation evolve from basic biplanes to the jet age.  The subsequent 50 years welcomed stealth, supersonic airliners, huge advances in aerostructures and mass air travel. However, lighter-than-air technology has moved somewhat more hesitantly in […]

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Le jour de gloire est termine

This first appeared as a Comment in the 26 August issue of Flight International Eurocontrol has just revealed that more than 13% of all the en-route delay in Europe’s skies during 2013 was caused by industrial action by air traffic control officers (ATCO) – mostly strikes by French ATCOs, which have more effect than they […]

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Room on the deck?

This article first appeared as a Comment in the 26 August issue of Flight International So far, unmanned aviation has changed warfare mainly by providing tactical units with a level of reconnaissance and targeting support unimaginable even 15 years ago – and that is only the start. The two-year deployment of the Lockheed Martin/Kaman K-Max […]

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Was BA pilot Richard Westgate poisoned by contaminated cabin air?

This article first appeared as a Comment in the 5 August issue of Flight International British Airways may be centre stage for this week’s report on a case of pilot and cabin crew illness, but it is an industry-wide problem not related to a specific airline or aircraft type. As more and more pilots and […]

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Risks and conflict zones

This article first appeared as a Comment in the 5 August issue of Flight International In the wake of flight MH17’s loss over eastern Ukraine, it is right that ICAO has called a high-level meeting to examine what, if anything, could be done to mitigate risks to commercial air transport in conflict zones. It not […]

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Do I do or do I don’t?

This first appeared as a Comment in the 29 July issue of Flight International. The most common category of airline accident all over the world is the runway excursion. It follows that, if the industry could identify the causal factors in detail, then find ways to mitigate them, this move would have the potential to […]

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Summary injustice

This first appeared as a Comment in the 29 July issue of Flight International The loss of flight MH17 is not about Malaysia ­Airlines. Everyone in the aviation industry knows what a cruel irony it is that this carrier has lost a second Boeing 777 with everybody on board – again apparently through no fault […]

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Airbus’s easy decision

This first appeared as a Comment in the 22 July issue of Flight International As recently as last month’s media briefing in Toulouse, smokescreens were being laid. Airbus was pondering re-engining the A330, but in “no hurry” to decide. So the confirmation of the A330neo as almost the first announcement of this year’s Farnborough got […]

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Lightning fails to strike

This first appeared as a Comment in the 22 July issue of Flight International Very seldom is an aircraft more conspicuous by its absence than the Lockheed Martin F-35, and the embarrassing saga that accompanied its attempted journey to the UK and the Farnborough air show. For Lockheed, in this instance the advertising proverb that […]

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