Archive | June, 2007

The $2bn supersonic question

There is interest in supersonic business jets, no doubt. The question is whether anyone will build one anytime soon. And the next question always is: who would buy one? At $2 billion to develop an SSBJ and $80 million to buy one, these are good questions. Gulfstream and Dassault are studying SSBJs. Even Cessna is […]

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A little more on little jets

The idea of a small “personal jet” is far from new. Perhaps the first was the French SIPA S.200 Minijet, which flew in 1952 and was designed for training and other general aviation uses. It was – is, as two are still flying – powered by one of the first small jet engines, the 350lb-thrust […]

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On the starting blocks – India’s next fighter

More than three years in the making, India’s long-awaited request for proposals for 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft is on the streets – almost. The RFP was approved by the government’s defence acquisition council today (22 June) and is expected to be issued within weeks, kicking off the biggest competition yet between US, European and […]

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Cirrus or Salamander – the people’s jet?

Cirrus Design, maker of the popular SR22 piston single, has taken the wraps off its first jet – which it calls simply “the-jet” – and Flight correspondent Jeff Decker was there. We have all been wondering where the single Williams turbofan would be located – in the fuselage, like Diamond’s D-Jet, or at the base […]

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KC-Airbus vs KC-Boeing

Based on a Seattle Times report, Airbus-vs-Boeing pundit Scott Hamilton speculates on his website www.leeham.net that changes made by Boeing to its KC-767 for the US Air Force’s KC-X tanker competition may actually improve the chances of the rival Airbus A330-based KC-30. Hamilton’s argument revolves around the newspaper’s report from Paris that the “KC-767 Advanced” […]

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Superconductors key to all-electric airliner?

Ideas are popping out of the woodwork now that aviation is beginning to understand the threat global warm-gaming* poses to its reputation and livelihood. The latest has been published in the UK Institute of Physics’ journal Superconductor Science and Technology, where researchers say the technology is available to build a non-polluting all-electric aircraft using superconducting […]

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And this week’s Anorak Award goes to…

Anyone who looks at this picture and immediately sees a Southwest Airlines 737. US Air Force CV-22s take off from Albuqerque (USAF photo)

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What is it about winglets?

Business jets have them, more airliners are getting them, now the US National Research Council says the US Air Force’s KC-135 and KC-10 tankers would benefit from them. Developed by NASA in the 1970s, winglets are becoming a hot item in the hunt for fuel savings. An NRC committee was asked by the USAF to […]

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Vipers, always

So the US has retired its last operational F-16A, the first version of the Electric Jet, just shy of 30 years after it entered service and just as Lockheed Martin is about to sign a contract for the first two production F-35As – the aircraft that is to replace the F-16 in US Air Force […]

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Picture this

Now that Uncle Roger has hung up his flying helmet, and Straight & Level is in for a respar, who is going to provide us with whacky pictures and witty captions? Global warming? What global warming? (Simulated attack provides a backdrop for Thunderbirds F-16s – USAF photo)

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