Italy special: Piaggio opens second front

Piaggio Aero makes one aircraft type, the unmistakable P180 Avanti II twin-pusher. Its high performance and distinctive looks have won it loyal fans around the world, although its commercial performance in the business aviation world could perhaps be best described as niche. But now the Italian manufacturer is opening a second front in its marketing […]

Continue Reading

Week on the web 29 October

From The DEW Line, we learn that the US Air Force pilots who fly remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) don’t much like them being called “drones”. Fair point, as there is a crew involved, but to expect the public to start calling these RPAs or UAVs or UASs, which the military distinguishes from things that get […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Dassault’s big secret

The Dassault SMS has been one of the industry’s best-kept secrets for several years. At NBAA in Las Vegas last week, the French airframer finally revealed the long-range jet it has been working on behind closed doors as the 5X, an aircraft         with the widest fuselage ever designed for a purpose-built […]

Continue Reading

Commander Chris Hadfield, all Canadian hero

It was a privilege to listen to Chris Hadfield at last night’s Canadian Aerospace Summit banquet, where he was guest of honour. Before then, I was aware of Hadfield as the  astronaut in that incredible YouTube video where he sings a version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity on the International Space Station. But in Canada, Hadfield, […]

Continue Reading

Straight & Level 15 October

Trans-world airliner Peter Martin was intrigued by our DC-3 story in Straight & Level from our 1 October issue, which suggested a Dutch training company is targeting “the handful of carriers that are still flying the old Douglas transport around the world”. “Glad to hear the old girl is still going strong,” he says. “But […]

Continue Reading

Week on the web 15 October

The DEW Line this week has something you don’t see every day – this photo of US Air Force chief of staff Gen Mark Welsh sitting in the cockpit of a Chinese combat aircraft. Welsh hasn’t gone over to the other side to escape the US government shutdown but, rather, was on a goodwill visit […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

All that glitters

Flight International Comment from 15 October. Look around the business jet industry today and, on the surface, the view is impressive. The marketplace abounds with a flashy array of major product upgrades and clean-sheet designs, while whispers hint at more aircraft launches still to come. Not since the ludicrous heyday of the very light jet […]

Continue Reading