Archive | September, 2007

Japan’s Kawasaki P-X flies!

Call me a sad old ex-engineer, but I still enjoy it when a new aeroplane flies. This time its Japan’s Kawasaki P-X maritime patrol aircraft – now officially called the XP-1. Looks like a scaled-down DC-8 to me…

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Pictures of the week – the US Air Force at 60

In recognition of six decades of boring holes in the blue sky. Jet set (F-86F Sabres over Korea in 1954 – USAF photo) Heavy metal (USAF air display at Nellis AFB in 1959) I have trolled through the Defense Visual Information Center website to find some pictures of USAF fighters through the years. I will […]

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Fujino-san’s HondaJet – more than a little potty

Not every aircraft designer gets the chance to put their creation into production, and Michimasa Fujino is making to most of his opportunity to build a new company, Honda Aircraft, to produce his design, the HondaJet. The HondaJet is bucking convention in several areas: its overwing-mounted engines, laminar-flow aerodynamics, and composite fuselage. Now Fujino-san is […]

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Fuelling the news – biofuels hit the headlines

Try as I might to track developments in alternative jet fuels, there is a bewildering array of initiatives under way and it can be hard to separate the hydrocarbons from the hogwash. But if Boeing is involved, you have to assume there is something more than hype in the tank. Boeing, Air New Zealand and […]

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NBAA: supersonics – which boom is the problem?

With all the manufacturers busy working on new products to appear over the next year or so, proponents of supersonic business jets are struggling to get a hearing. It’s particularly tough for the two independent teams that need an OEM to get their designs off the drawing board. There are essentially three players with three […]

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NBAA: Epic, Kingfisher…and Airbus

It was slightly surreal to see executives from a US kitplane maker, European airliner manufacturer and an Indian airline seated side-by-side on the podium in a press conference room at a business-aviation show. But this can be an odd industry at times. The catalyst bringing the three together was not there – Indian brewery billionaire […]

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NBAA: Swearingen’s SJ30 finds a saviour

The latest trend in general aviation is to certificate your aircraft then fumble getting it into production. Sino Swearingen certificated its fast-but-light SJ30 at the end of 2005 after decades of effort, but has delivered only two so far – the second one here at the show. After pouring an estimated $700 million into the […]

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NBAA: Winglets give Cessna’s Citation X a new look

The Citation X was already a text book study in aerodynamics, and Cessna is writing another chapter with the addition of winglets. They seem like overkill on an aircraft already so highly swept and area ruled that, at Mach 0.92, it is the fastest commercial aircraft flying today. No other Cessna’s have them, but the […]

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NBAA: Embraer invites interest in concept bizjets

Embraer took the wraps off its ideas for new medium-light and mid-size business jets today at the NBAA show in Atlanta. It was careful to make clear this was not a launch – they are just concepts. But if you want to sign a letter of interest and put down a $90,000 refundable deposit you […]

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Iran’s F-5-based fighter – signs of progress?

Steve Trimble has posted new pictures of the Iranian-developed Saegheh fighter over on his blog, The DEW Line. Look past the Blue Angels colour scheme and you will see subtle but significant differences between the two aircraft featured that suggest Iran’s “Lightning” is more than simply a reverse-engineered Tiger with two tails. The first aircraft, […]

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