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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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No harm in dreaming

This first appeared as a Comment in the 12 November issue of Flight International Lockheed Martin seems to have revived a long-dormant enthusiasm for aerospace gadgetry with the unveiling of the hypersonic SR-72 concept. The aviation media – sensing record web traffic –went big on the story. And reports of the SR-72 spread like wildfire […]

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A broader perspective

This first appeared as a Comment in Flight International 5 November issue Airbus’s greatest opponent in the cabin war, on which the airframer has just opened a new front, isn’t old adversary Boeing but those in the cheap seats. Even if you accept the results of a scientific study based on just six people in a […]

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State of the union

This first appeared as a Comment in the 5 November issue of Flight International Europe’s favourite bad-boy airline chief executive Michael O’Leary is back in the news again. The recently formed Ryanair Pilots Group (RPA) has thrown down a gauntlet to the Ryanair chief executive, who picked it up and tossed it over his shoulder […]

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Rotary risks remain

This first appeared as a Comment in the 29 October issue of Flight International The probe into August’s helicopter crash off Sumburgh, Scotland, is far from complete, but investigators are confident that, when the aircraft hit the water on short final approach, it had entered a vortex ring state. With less than 200ft (60m) height […]

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Variations enigma

This first appeared as a Flight International Comment in our 29 October issue Double-stretching an airframe might be something of a mug’s game, according to Airbus’s John Leahy, but that hasn’t stopped the whispering campaign centred on an imaginary aircraft unofficially labelled, at least by outsiders, as the A350-1100. Airbus already exudes confidence that its […]

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Divided loyalties

Flight International Comment 15 October Brand loyalty means precious little to a modern airline. Just ask Boeing, which this week saw longtime customer Japan Airlines defect to arch-rival Airbus.With its first Airbus order – one for 31 A350s at that – JAL has helped the European airframer break into one of the last remaining markets […]

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