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A tower far, far away

This first appeared as a Comment in the 7 January issue of Flight International En-route and regional air traffic control is provided remotely, and nobody thinks twice about that. But aerodrome ATC has to be on site because it’s visual. Or at least that used to be true until now. Saab Sensis, backed by LFW, […]

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Brazil’s F-X redemption

This first appeared as a Comment in the 7 January issue of Flight International With its complex plot elements having included political and military infighting, financial crises  and a jilted European partner, Brazil’s lengthy saga of selecting a new fighter has at times read like the script for one of the nation’s popular soap operas. […]

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The unremarkable pilot

This first appeared as a Comment in the 17 December issue of Flight International.   A senior regulator at EASA crystal-ball gazing about the prospect of pilotless – or at least remotely-­piloted – airliners says: “It may happen in 50 years, but I won’t bet on it.” All experts believe the automation of the pilot’s […]

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Can EADS cut enough?

This first appeared as a Comment in the 17 December issue of Flight International   EADS unveiled two surprises last week. One was the plan to cut 5,800 jobs from its defence and space divisions. The other was that A350 costs won’t dent profits as much as the market expected. The job cuts surprise was […]

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Time to deliver unmanned civil airspace

This first appeared as a Comment in the 10 December issue of Flight International Amazon founder Jeff Bezos made big headlines last week by revealing that his online retailing empire is experimenting with the delivery of packages by small unmanned aircraft. It may be easy to think up reasons why it won’t work, but given […]

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Braveheart defence plan will never fly

This first appeared as a Comment in the 3 December issue of Flight International If only William Wallace – the 14th century freedom fighter immortalised in the film Braveheart – could have called in an air strike. Wallace’s successors in the Scottish National Party-led administration in Edinburgh may not be planning a rerun of the […]

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No contest

This first appeared as a Comment in the 3 December issue of Flight International South Korea’s decision to obtain 40 Lockheed Martin F-35As brings a degree of closure to F-X III – one of the most hard-fought fighter competitions in recent years. Leaving the door open to a possible buy of 20 ­additional fighters, Seoul […]

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Flying blind

This first appeared as a Comment in the 26 November issue of Flight International The Tatarstan Air crash at Kazan is yet another piece of evidence that the kind of risk airlines face is changing. Perfectly serviceable aeroplanes are crashing because of pilot misjudgements or ignorance, claiming the lives of their crew and passengers. This […]

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Shifting sands

This first appeared as a Comment in the 26 November issue of Flight International How powerful are the Gulf carriers over the definition of new widebody commercial aircraft? It is not a new question, but it has never been more relevant. It’s worth remembering that it was only two years ago when Boeing hailed an […]

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Bluffers beware

This first appeared as a Comment in the 19 November issue of Flight International Ask any poker player: calling someone on a bluff is always a risky bet. Boeing’s machinists in Seattle have now made themselves clear. The vast majority of them are willing to risk losing the 777X assembly line, tens of thousands of […]

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