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In with the old

This first appeared as a Comment in the 3 June issue of Flight International There was something rather surreal about the UK Ministry of Defence’s press release heralding the first Royal Air Force flight of an RC-135W Rivet Joint on 23 May. While at some level it was true, the choice of “RAF’s new surveillance […]

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The MH370 mirage

This first appeared as a Comment in the 3 June issue of Flight International Existence for the relatives of passengers and crew lost with Flight MH370 continues to be a nightmare. Every time information is released about the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 they comb it for something – anything – to provide either hope […]

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Give it time

This first appeared as a Comment in the 13 May issue of Flight International Of course, we’ve been here before. Ever since the ­global financial crisis knocked the stuffing from the business aviation sector, industry observers have searched mostly in vain for signs of recovery – whether Fortune 500 firms’ growing cash reserves, a slowing […]

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No more surprises

This first appeared as a Comment in the 13 May issue of Flight International There is usually some suspense when the US ­military announces a billion dollar contract for a new helicopter – but not this time. In a move that surprised nobody, the US Navy on 7 May gave Sikorsky a $1.28 billion contract […]

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Breaking the sound barrier

This first appeared as a Comment in the 6 May issue of Flight International One of the most intriguing highlights of the 2013 Paris air show was Airbus’s vision of a hybrid-electric airliner. With electric fan motors driven by batteries and gas turbine generators – and relying on advanced aerodynamics and cryogenically cooled cabling, to […]

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A plague of drones?

This first appeared as a Comment in the 6 May issue of Flight International There is no question that “drones”, at present very limited in what they are allowed to do and where, are going to be a big part of society’s future. One of the exciting and simultaneously frightening things about their future use […]

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Fresh challenge to unmanned ban

This first appeared as a Comment in the 29 April issue of Flight International. The US Federal Aviation Administration seems more interested in prosecuting a rapidly proliferating class of small unmanned air vehicle operators than it is in producing the regulations that would finally clarify how such systems should be used. The first set of […]

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Seeking commitment

This first appeared as a Comment in 29 April issue of Flight International To a casual observer, Australia’s confirmation of a plan to boost its future fleet of F-35As to 72 aircraft – announced by Prime Minister Tony Abbott last week – should give Lockheed Martin cause to celebrate. The fresh commitment for 48 of […]

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Shanghai’s business jet bonanza

This first appeared as a Comment in the 22 April issue of Flight International Minsheng Financial Leasing’s order this week for up to 70 Gulfstream and Bombardier business jets was a pivotal event in China’s tentative moves toward becoming the business aviation powerhouse that such a geographically large and increasingly wealthy ­country ought to be. […]

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Time to clear the air

This first appeared as a Comment in the 22 April issue of Flight International Cabin air contamination by engine oil fumes is an issue that will continue to hang around – like the bad smell it is – until the airline industry confronts it. A new challenge to the industry’s inertia on this issue begins […]

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