Archive | September, 2005

The UK’s police helicopter muddle

The UK’s patchwork quilt of police helicopter operations continues to provide great value for the helicopter industry – less so for the local taxpayer and the UK government which must despair at not having a uniform airborne surveillance capability throughout the country at a time when the terrorist threat is so high. However, as yet, […]

Continue Reading

The valediction of Rod the god

So many people wanted to be there for Sir Rod Eddington’s farewell speech at the UK’s Aviation Club lunch at London’s Institute of Directors last Thursday that they had to squeeze in an extra place at each table. Someone joked that this was probably the first time the airline executives in attendance had experienced what […]

Continue Reading

From Fallujah to, Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Robots are often used in the media to instil fear with Frankenstein like stories of the scientist and corporation having gone to far with a humanoid machine destroying all before it. But on today’s battlefield, and for this US Army sponsored event, and for the war of tomorrow the robots will, apparently, look more like […]

Continue Reading

Jetblue in the goldfish bowl

Well, it finally happened. Passengers on the JetBlue A320 that landed with a cocked nosewheel in America yesterday were able to watch live TV coverage of themselves during virtually the whole incident. Fittingly enough this quintessentially 21st century event took place in the entertainment capital of the world - Los Angeles. For sheer in-flight weirdness this […]

Continue Reading

NASA’s SATS – success squandered?

NASA needs a few successes. Its aeronautics research is in decline and disarray; the Space Shuttle is again grounded and the Space Station out on a limb; and its Apollo-esque “back to the Moon” vision is being greeted by as much scepticism and derision as shock and awe. NASA had a success earlier this year, […]

Continue Reading

Apollo Reborn, almost

In comparison Griffin’s agency will only have four hundred million dollars this year and its budget for Exploration Transportation Systems, the catch-all term for the new launchers and spacecraft, will not increase substantially until the Space Shuttle fleet is retired in 2010. Then the agency will have about six billion dollars to play with. Even with that much money, and don’t forget Apollo was spending, on average, $13 billion a year, the original NASA plan to put astronauts on the Moon by 2015 and have a first test flight of the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) in 2008 have been dropped.

Continue Reading

Seeing red over branding?

From Ferrari to Armani, Vespa to Versace, the Italians take their brand names seriously, so it is interesting to see where Finmeccanica bosses have taken that brand since the company began to morph from anonymous Italian industrial holding company a few years ago to one of the world’s biggest aerospace and defence giants. Rumour has it […]

Continue Reading

European Commission needs clearer thinking on passenger rights

I absolutely support European Commission moves to protect the rights of passengers – it’s good for the passengers and good for the airlines. The fact is that entry hurdles to the airline industry are amazingly low, which is why so many go bust. It’s true that the constant flow of new entries keeps fares down, […]

Continue Reading

Parc life

Craig Hoyle / ParcAberporth You have to hand it to the backers of the ParcAberporth unmanned air vehicle centre of excellence in west Wales – they certainly have vision. Welsh Assembly first minister Rhodri Morgan proudly coined the flight demonstration at the site on 7 September as a “flyerless Farnborough” or a “pilotless Paris”. But […]

Continue Reading

Flying with the Flying Eye

Justin Wastnage / Stapleford A spillage from a paint truck as it overturned leaving Staines was the joke on Thursday’s breakfast show on London’s Capital FM radio show, inspired by a real blockage to the city’s ringroad highway, the M25. Capital’s aerial traffic reporters, the Flying Eye, were dispatched to investigate the real accident and […]

Continue Reading