Archive | August, 2006

The poisoned COTS chalice

There has for some time been a ground swell of opinion that the industrial structure of the US expendable space transportation industry and market is just all wrong – if you want the sort of reduce costs, increased volume, progress the automotive and mobile phone industries has made in the last few decades.

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Anyone seen my lost bag?

Almost three weeks ago, my hold-all and I were on our way to a holiday in the Dordogne. Instead, it and I parted company at the easyJet check-in at Gatwick on 11 August, the day after the new security clamp-down was launched. And, while I made it to Toulouse, my bag is still languishing under a mountain […]

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F-35A flyer - Lockheed Martin.jpg

Flight test ‘lite’: Qinetiq’s VAAC Harrier highlights capabilities of Lockheed Martin’s STOVL Joint Strike Fighter

It’s hard to believe the amount of time that has passed since Lockheed Martin won the USA’s Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) contest, but October will see the fifth anniversary of the company’s victory over rival manufacturer Boeing in the most spectacular of “winner takes all” contests. This October will be another massive month for the […]

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Labour: putting the ‘con’ into conference

I get to go to some strange and exotic places in the course of researching my stories for Flight International, but it looked as though I was going to have to make a rare step into the political arena next month to report on an interesting-looking aerospace event in the UK. I received an invitation […]

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Beirut runway 16/34 after Israeli bombing

Beirut: From out of the ashes

Pre-arrival flight deck briefings are usually innocuous affairs. Not today. “If it appears to be a bit of a heavy landing and rather abrupt braking,” advises BMed’s Capt Jason Holt, “that’s just me making sure we don’t go too far down the runway.” Going too far down runway 16 at Beirut Airport, of course, would […]

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United Federation of Pioneers?

Space tourism is a high stakes game and the difficulties its had historically with funding and technological credibility, and more recently with legislative battles and now the potentially market distorting impact of $478 million of NASA cash, could all reintroduce tensions into an industry that knows that a united front is a key confidence builder.

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Genuine success

In journalism cynicism and even paranoia are necessary for the job. So many people want to tell you the product they are pushing is the best thing since sliced bread and everyone seems ready to tell lies, damned lies and stretch statistics as far as they will go.So when people come along and demonstrably do […]

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Imagine an Avro Vulcan back in the air…

It would be pretty cool, although I’ve got my own doubts about how much money can be justified to keep large jets flying down the years. I love them as much as the next man, but if we want to keep many of them around we are talking millions of pounds, dollars or whatever you […]

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OK, what’s going on at our safety poll???

On our homepage we’ve been running a poll asking which manufacturer’s aircraft you believe are safest out of Boeing, Airbus, Embraer and Bombardier. For a while it ran pretty much neck and neck, then after a couple of days Embraer suddenly shot up to about 40% of people considering it the safest – and an awful lot […]

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Good luck in your new job at Embraer, Fred

When Mauricio Botelho announced that he would step down from the helm of Embraer I speculated here that Fred Curado (or Frederico Fleury Curado, as people have suddenly taken to calling him) would be the new CEO (hardly rocket science) – and I’m glad to see that he’s been chosen. Curado is currently executive vice president […]

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