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Flight given exclusive access to materials proving CIA developed and flew robotic insect eavesdropping devices

Evidence of flight-testing of a long-rumoured robotic insect-like surveillance micro unmanned air vehicle (UAV) developed by the US Central Intelligence Agency has been demonstrated exclusively to Flight.

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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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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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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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Another a couple of decades of WIWOL (but not quite the same)

So the USA is going to call the Lockheed Martin F-35A the Lightning II. Great choice – but they’ll never be true WIWOLers. By now you either know exactly what I’m talking about, or you haven’t a clue. Existing WIWOLers can stop reading now. It works like this – at any bar in any RAF […]

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Out with the new, in with the new: John Reid moves on

So the rumours about the UK Labour Party’s strategy to drag itself out of a crisis of its own making have been proven right, with perennial safe pair of hands John Reid having been moved on to the Home Office after serving less than a year as defence secretary. A feisty Scot with a penchant […]

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Exclusive: Flying the Harrier

Ever wondered what it’s like to fly a multi-million pound fighter very low and very, very fast? I had too, until I got the opportunity to fly in – and take control of – a Royal Air Force Harrier T10 trainer yesterday. My invitation required me to travel to RAF Wittering in Lincolnshire; home to […]

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How BAE must loathe regional airliners

BAE Systems stock shot up yesterday, even by its own dizzying recent standards, and put on another 5% in the opening hours of trading today following confirmation of the UK-Saudi government-to-government deal that includes the purchase of 24 Eurofighter Typhoons. On this occasion the market’s reaction is fully justified – the deal is of huge […]

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The US Air Force’s newest fighter stands poised to enter operational service this week, but with a new name. The Lockheed Martin F/A-22 is renamed the F-22A. The USAF’s official explanation says the ‘F/A’ designation was invented three years ago as a marketing tool aimed at selling the Raptor as a multi-role fighter to a sceptical […]

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