2009 in review: Top 10 blog posts revealed

Flightglobal’s brilliant team of bloggers have traversed the globe this year to bring you all you need to know in the aviation world, and although the sun is quickly setting on another year, we felt it was fitting to celebrate the best stories from 2009.

From the Beast of Kandahar, to Ryanair calendar girls, 787 programme updates to a big debate sparked from a rather large passenger, our blogs have had it all.

Here’s a list of the top ten stories and some other notable blogging highlights:

10. United Airlines Boeing 767 trashed by firefighting system

In February, Kieran Daly posted some extraordinary pictures of a United Airlines Boeing 767-300 which got a little damaged while in mid-refurbishment after the firefighting system went off, for the third time in three weeks.

United Airlines Boeing 767-300

9. First Pictures & Video: 787 taxi tests underway

Undoubtedly the biggest aviation story of 2009 was the Boeing 787 programme and whether the aircraft would make its much anticipated first flight this year.


In July, Flightblogger Jon Ostrower gave us a first glimpse of the 787 in action by unveiling a video of the first taxi tests in Paine Field, Seattle. This of course was to prepare us all for what happened on the 15th December, when the Dreamliner made its first flight.

8. Boeing unveils the “stealthy” F-15 Silent Eagle

Boeing’s unveiling of the V-tailed F-15 Silent Eagle in March was big news for Stephen Trimble on the DEW Line, Who covered the unveiling of the “most significant refresh of the venerable air superiority fighter since the F-15E Strike Eagle”.

F-15 Silent Eagle

7. Growler Power: EA-18G boasts F-22 kill (PHOTOS)

It’s a David v Goliath contest, but as Stephen Trimble found out in February, an EA-18G took on the might of an F-22 and won:


According to Stephen, “the EA-18G kill was courtesy of a well-timed AIM-120 AMRAAM shot….the simulated combat exercise took place at Nellis AFB.”

6 & 5.  The Road to 787 First Flight

In May, Jon gave us a first glimpse at a newly painted ZA001 as it rolled out the hanger at Everett Seattle:

Boeing 787

After Boeing announced a postponement to the 787′s first flight in June, Jon Ostrower analysed the reasons behind the delay and looked at the structural implications of the required changes on the aircraft

Boeing 787 programme

4. Kandahar’s Loch Ness mystery plane returns

A mystery that matched the enigmatic creature in Loch Ness eventuallyrevealed itself as RQ-170 Sentinel, but for a while at least the mystery created plenty of debate on the DEW Line.

The Beast of Kandahar

3. Ten days of Oshkosh in five minutes

For the aviation enthusiast in us all, enjoy the highlights of Oshkosh 2009:

2. Crazy Ivans … or, what Russian Su-35 pilots will do for a buck


I will leave this to Stephen Trimble to explain:

“Here’s how it goes: A Russian movie company hires two Sukhoi pilots tofilm a couple of stunts. The pilots agree to take off without a canopy.

Apparently following a plot-twist in the film, the back-seat pilotejects from the aircraft while the front-seater keeps flying.”

1. Passenger creates big debate at American – I mean big!

large passenger

This story traversed the internet, landing on the New York Times andthe Telegraph website among others. It sparked the debate that the blogheading intimated, with 364 comments on this post alone.

Other notable stories from 2009:

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