About Craig Hoyle

Author Archive | Craig Hoyle

British commanders: more helicopters for Afghanistan? No thanks!

The fact that the British armed forces don’t have enough battlefield helicopters to make ends meet has been a known fact for several years now, but it had looked as though troops on the ground in Afghanistan would benefit from prime minister Tony Blair’s late 2006 promise – albeit extracted like a bad tooth – […]

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So, are the British Army’s Westland/Boeing Apache attack helicopters any good?

They have been on the receiving end of terrible press from the general media for years due to contractual shortcomings which pushed up programme costs and delayed the availability of a suitable training package, but the British Army‘s Westland/Boeing Apache AH1 attack helicopters are now receiving rave reviews after nine months of activity in southern […]

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Bringing home the bacon: delivering Denmark’s latest EH101

As the first of the four Nordic nations to receive its new multi-role helicopters, Denmark is justifiably proud of its EH101 fleet. So much so, in fact, that its air force invited a trio of British journalists to ride aboard as its newest example was delivered last month. Too good an offer to refuse at […]

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Hitching a lift: flying in the UK’s EH101 Merlins

I fulfilled a long-held ambition a few weeks ago, when I got the chance to tick another UK military aircraft type – AgustaWestland’s EH101 – off in my flight log. Surprisingly though, it turns out that Merlins (as EH101s are known in the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy rotorhead communities) are a bit like London […]

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Wing and a prairie: flying BAE Systems’ Hawk with Canada’s NFTC

It was never going to end well. “You’re a tall, skinny guy, you’re tired and dehydrated, and your blood pressure is low,” the air force doctor told me, about four hours before I was due to strap myself into the back of a BAE Systems Hawk jet trainer for my first flight in the type. […]

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EADS’s Barracuda UCAV swims with the fishes

Sea food is well and truly off the menu at EADS this week, following the embarrassing loss of its Barracuda unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator to an accident. The 3t air vehicle – named after a long, slender fish – returned to the sea in a so-far unexplained ditching near the end of a […]

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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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Photos: onboard the Royal Air Force’s new BAE Systems Nimrod MRA4

Yesterday’s Farnborough air show saw a long-awaited and welcome boost for the UK Royal Air Force, with the confirmation of a production order for 12 of BAE Systems’ new generation Nimrod MRA4 maritime reconnaisance and attack aircraft. Announced by UK secretary of state for defence Des Browne and BAE chief executive Mike Turner, the milestone ceremony […]

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Arsenal versus the A380 – the Champions League grudge match

The UK aerospace community’s leading lights were out in force last night at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel to attend the Royal Aeronautical Society’s glittering annual banquet. Nothing unusual in that, you might think, but for a fair number of the guests there were other, more burning matters to consider beside the fine wine, oriental crab […]

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