In case you missed the week’s headlines, here’s a synopsis of the main events.
Aviation record-setter Steve Fossett went missing on 2 September after taking off from Reno, Nevada in a Citabria. He was first to fly round the world in a balloon, in 2002; and first to fly solo round the world without stopping or refuelling, in 2005. Chances of finding him alive – diminishing.
Boeing announced the 787 first flight had slipped to between mid-November and mid-December, from late August, but it still plans to deliver the first aircraft to launch customer All Nippon Airways. That will compress the certification flight-test schedule from nine months to less than six. Chances of the making the schedule – debatable.
DayJet and Linear Air were approved by the FAA to begin air-taxi operations using very light jets. Massachussetts-based Linear, with a single Eclipse 500, plans to fly its first paying customer by mid-September. Florida-based DayJet will be hard on its heels with a dozen Eclipses. Chances of making it work – improving.
The US Air Force acknowledged that a B-52 unknowingly carried six nuclear warheads across the USA. The bomber flew from Minot AFB in North Dakota to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana carrying Advanced Cruise Missiles that mistakenly still had their W80 warheads installed. Chances of a nuclear accident – negligible. Chances of extreme embarrassment – certain.