Act now on air traffic surveillance gaps

This first appeared as a Comment in the 1 April issue of Flight International. The unexplained disappearance of a modern airliner is cause for deep reflection by the aviation industry. Five years ago, Air France flight 447 disappeared relatively briefly into a known gap in air traffic surveillance over oceans. Malaysia Airlines flight 370 was […]

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Delay upon delay

This first appeared as a Comment in the 1 April issue of Flight International A disturbing script is being repeated on a Bombardier aerospace programme. The narrative now focuses on the Learjet 85; one of five technologically ambitious aircraft launched by the manufacturer since 2007. Bombardier currently offers no schedule for first flight of the […]

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It’s what’s inside that counts

The 1 April issue of Flight International has as its theme airliner cabins, ahead of the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg next week. In a special feature section, we look at Airbus’s call for a standardised 18in seat width and ask: true campaign for cabin comfort or publicity stunt? We also ask whether titanium holds […]

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Straight & Level 25 March

Barnes Wallis’s Cold War fridge Brooklands, that fine museum on the grounds of the old racetrack and aircraft factory, has unveiled the restored Stratosphere Chamber, built back in 1946 as part of Sir Barnes Wallis’s research and development department at Vickers. The 15.2m-long atmospheric lab, designed to test aircraft at high altitudes and extreme temperatures, […]

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Week on the web 25 March

In his Ariel View blog, Arie Egozi discusses how the Israeli air force’s decision to equip its Heron 1 (Shoval) unmanned air systems (UAS) with an automatic take-off and landing system will make the task of the external pilot – take-off and landing – redundant. “This first happened in commercial aviation,” he says. “Now the […]

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Time to fix certification structure

This appeared as a Comment in the 25 March edition of Flight International If doubt still remained, the US Federal Aviation ­Administration confirmed this week that its ­certification process for commercial aircraft in an age of a globalised and distributed supply chain is broken. A decade ago, Boeing adapted how it designs and builds commercial […]

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To neo or not to neo

This first appeared as a Comment in the 25 March edition of Flight International Airbus has a small-widebody quandary. The -900 and -1000 variants of its A350 are selling well, but the smallest -800 is not.  In fact, its prospects are going backwards as customers up-gauge to bigger aircraft. This up-sizing partly suits Airbus – […]

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Offshore all-star

The AgustaWestland AW189 features on the cover of the 25 March edition of Flight International with the coverline OFFSHORE ALL-STAR. Peter Gray test flew the super-medium helicopter in Anaheim and believes that it will prove a winner in the oil and gas sector. You can read his impressions and see extensive images from the flight […]

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Straight & Level 18 March

Spotting returns to Heathrow Many a plane spotter’s heart was broken when Heathrow’s Queen’s Building was demolished in 2009 as part of the terminal 2 redevelopment. The building had been home to a rooftop viewing gallery – for many years out of use – and forums at the time were full of nostalgia for the […]

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Week on the web 18 March

With the world’s media clamouring for answers after the loss of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on 8 March, operations and safety editor David Learmount argues on his eponymous Learmount blog: “It’s bad enough for a widebody jet to go missing with 239 people on board, but then for the responsible country’s government and aviation agencies […]

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