Archive | April, 2012

Movie Monday: The Beeb’s all-access tour inside Rolls-Royce

Pratt & Whitney Media Day is this week, which is a perfect excuse to post this excellent BBC documentary of Rolls-Royce. (Editor: Eh?) Bear with me, please. We are not suggesting it’s appropriate only due to the fact we can find no comparable documentaries on Pratt & Whitney, and not even because we are enthralled […]

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Sonic Cruiser returns, quietly

Image courtesy of Boeing You thought the Sonic Cruiser was dead — sacrificed more than nine years ago for the 787-yielding Super Efficient. Maybe you also thought Boeing was never really serious about the Sonic Cruiser anyway, unveiling the M0.98 speedster in 2001 only to distract the industry from its decision to drop the 747-X […]

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MRJ stumbles out of the block

In this decade’s great narrowbody race, Mitsubishi became the first runner to publicly stumble — again. The Japanese airframer warned us in February that first flight of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) would be delayed from the second quarter this year. This morning, the MRJ programme announced first flight is indeed postponed 15-18 months to […]

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Movie Monday: A master aircraft designer on his highest achievement — the SR-71

One of the biggest anniversaries on the aerospace calendar comes up later this week. On 24 April, 1962 — 50 years ago on Tuesday — Lockheed test pilot Lou Schalk climbed into the A-12 Oxcart, the CIA-funded precursor of the SR-71, and attempted a brief hop at the end of a high-speed taxi test. He […]

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CHARTS: An order book for an “American Airways”

“American Airways”, the fictional combination of American Airlines and US Airways, does not exist. But American Airlines unions’ endorsement this morning of the US Airways take-over bid allows us some license to speculate. You can read my colleague Ghim-Lay Yeo’s news coverage of the breaking story here and here. Meanwhile, Flightglobal Ascend analysts have provided […]

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How reliable so far is the 747-8?

Photo courtesy of Boeing Six months after entry-into-service of the 747-8 Freighter, we now have the first hard indications of the new type’s technical dispatch reliability, a rating that measures the number of flights canceled because of a technical problem with the aircraft. It does not count cancellations due to weather or staffing delays. With […]

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Post-script: A farewell to Discovery

Photo by Stephen Trimble Watching the Discovery riding piggy-back aboard an equally ancient 747 over the Potomac River this morning was moving, especially after it was gone. It felt like seeing the last of something. NASA’s space shuttle came from the same era as the Concorde and the SR-71, the Discovery’s magnificently impractical new neighbors […]

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SPOTTED: Discovery’s last ride … right over our office!

Photo by Stephen Trimble As seen over the Alexandria (Virginia) waterfront about 15 minutes ago … Space Shuttle Discovery atop the Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft on its final flight to Washington-Dulles, where it will join the collection at the Udvar-Hazy annex to the Smithosonian Air and Space Museum. The Discovery replaces the Enterprise, which […]

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Mitsubishi’s mysterious wire cutter returns?

  Japanese newspaper the Mainichi is reporting that police in Nagoya are investigating a severed electrical wire found in a Boeing 787 centre wing box (pictured above) made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The wire, which the paper said powers a light that is used to illuminate the fuelling port on the main wing, was apparently cut on 4 […]

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Rebuilding begins at Spirit AeroSystems [Updated w/new picture]

All photos courtesy of Spirit AeroSystems Spirit AeroSystems has released several images of the destruction at its sprawling plant in Wichita, Kansas. Its production facilities for Boeing commercial aircraft and other airframers were hit by a Category 3 tornado on 16 14 April. Importantly, nobody in Wichita was killed, and no Spirit AeroSystems employees were […]

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