Archive | November, 2005

In defence of Chapter 11

Two months ago, former British Airways boss Sir Rod Eddington used his valedictory speech at the Aviation Club in London to rage against Chapter 11, the US legal mechanism that allows, in his view, badly-run airlines to limp on when they ought to be put out of their misery, dumping capacity on the market and providing unfair competition for […]

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British Airways’ cool characters

It takes a lot to impress British Airways. Losing all your flight instruments at night, for example, hardly merits a mention. Respect! So, in this story an A319 crew is climbing out of Heathrow on a clear night when suddenly everything goes dark. No flight instruments at all, a standby horizon that it seems almost […]

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Virgin shows why fuel surcharges may be smart

Few commodities are viewed more differently across the Atlantic than petrol (gas). In Britain, I suppose uniquely, it’s priced in garages (filling stations/on the forecourt/gas stations) in pennies per litre. The way the maths (math) works, we’ve recently been heading for the incredible figure of 100p – 」1 – per litre for the first time ever. […]

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Of dorks and dweebs

I just had the great privilege to listen to some Google folks explaining some of the do’s and don’ts of making money out of web-publishing – something that Flight Group’s ultimate owners – Reed Elsevier – are rather keen on. They addressed the UK Association of Online Publishers, which organises some terrific little events like that. […]

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A340: not bad for something that didn’t work

The world’s august body of visceral Airbus-haters (and some more considered souls) is already queuing up to dance on the grave of the A340. Four engines just aren’t necessary, they say, we always told you so. Well, unfortunately for Boeing’s sales team, some very sophisticated airline purchasing execs were a long time learning how ‘wrong’ […]

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kliper mockup.jpg

Europeans await ministers’ Kliper December decision

A year ago Russia’s calls for international co-operation to develop its proposed Kliper spacecraft seemed fruitless and likely to end as another initiative from a space faring nation that would only ever appear as a graphic in a powerpoint presentation, but 2005 has seen the situation change dramatically.

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Fighting for safety

There’s an interesting tension at each year’s International Aviation Safety Seminar (IASS) nowadays, and this years’ session – in Moscow – was no exception.   The IASS, originally a modest affair run by the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) for its member airlines, manufacturers and organisations was, more than a decade ago, merged with the annual […]

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SpaceShipOne proves nothing

Reaching space was a great achievement for SS1 and its strong evidence that an SS2 could reach 100km and beyond again but for how much? When Space Exploration Technologies Falcon 1 rocket developer and internet billionaire Elon Musk is asked why he got into the space business he answers, “to turn a large fortune into a small one.” How deep are your pockets Mr Branson?

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As inevitable as gravity

Under the framework agreement governing the international partnership that is the International Space Station (ISS) the US was to become responsible for crew emergency return after Russia had supplied 11 Soyuz capsules to transport crew and do the escape capsule job. When the X-38 was cancelled in 2001 it was clear that the US would not have its own vehicle to do the job come April 2006 when the last Soyuz fell to Earth.

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What’s in a name?

One of the big announcements here at NBAA yesterday was the naming of Embraer’s new light jet and very light jet as the Phenom 300 and Phenom (See Flight Evening news on www.flightinternational.com). Now it gave the editors on Flight Evening News an easy headline – Phenom-enal – but where did the name come from? Embraer […]

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