2008: A year in review - top 10 stories

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Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

1. PICTURES: Virgin Galactic unveils Dyna-Soar style SpaceShipTwo design and twin-fuselage White Knight II configuration (16 January2008)

The top story this year was published on 23 January when our technical editor Rob Coppinger reported that Virgin Galactic had unveiled a SpaceShipTwo (SS2) design, created by Scaled Composites.

The design he said "harks back to the NASA/USAF Boeing X-20 Dyna-Soar glider of the 1960s", while Scaled's carrier aircraft, White Knight II (WK2) has been given a twin-fuselage configuration.

 virgin-galactic-wk2
 © Virgin Galactic

 

The craft is making swift progress and on 16 December it sped down a runway during a high speed taxi trial at Mojave air and spaceport deploying spoilers and Rob obtained a world exclusive video. See some great images in a gallery on AirSpace.

2. VIDEO: Cathay Pacific 777 low-level flypast: Watch the withdrawn video (30 January 2008)

Flightglobal found a video of a Cathay Pacific Airways Boeing 777-300ER performing an unauthorised low-level flypast in Seattle during its delivery flight in December 2007.

 low-level-cp-777
 © Matt Cawby/www.microvaultradio.com

The incident took place on 30 January 2008 at Everett Airport immediately after Cathay took delivery of the new 777-300ER. It wasn't allowed, so what happened to the pilot. See number 8 in our list...

3.  SPY PICTURE: First image of Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo structure (21 June 2008) 

Flightglobal obtained what appears to be the first image of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo cockpit section.

The image showed a cockpit that, while it shares some of the features of the White Knight II (WK2) fuselage, cockpit structure seen in this blog entry, it differs in a number of respects.

4. VIDEO: Lufthansa A320 escapes after wing-tip strike in Hamburg storm (2 March 2008) 

A Lufthansa Airbus A320 suffered a wing-tip strike before executing a go-around during an attempt to land at Hamburg International Airport during high winds. 

5. PICTURES: BA Boeing 777 Heathrow crash evidence (17 January 2008)

Close-up photographs show the damage of the Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines of the British Airways Boeing 777 that crash-landed short of London Heathrow Airport's runway 27L.

6. NASA to test plasma engine on space station (5 August 2008)

Rob Coppinger wrote in August that NASA expects to sign an agreement to test a new propulsion system on the International Space Station.

7. PICTURES: Emirates A350 images reveal revised nose design (7 May 2008)

Emirates was the first A350 customer to release images of the XWB with the revamped nose and cockpit window arrangement adopted by Airbus as it refined the aircraft's design from the original 2006 concept.

8. PICTURES: Cathay chief 777 pilot fired after low-level flypast stunt (25 February 2008)

One industry source close to Cathay told Flightglobal that the aircraft was at just 28ft-30ft above the ground. And he was asked not to return to his duties.

Cathay confirmed that “the pilot in command of the flight concerned had been dismissed as he had not sought nor obtained the necessary company approval to undertake such a fly-by. A second pilot involved was also subject to disciplinary proceedings. Both disciplinary actions are subject to an appeals process”.

9. VIDEO: Miami police plans urban test of Honeywell's micro-UAV (20 February 2008)

Police in Miami, Florida want to find out whether a small unmanned air vehicle able to hover and stare can help law enforcement in urban areas.

To that end, Miami-Dade Police Department plans a four- to six-month evaluation of Honeywell's ducted-fan Micro Air Vehicle (MAV).

10. PICTURE: Airbus goes public with A350 XWB design (25 September 2008)

Airbus launched a A350 XWB publicity campaign that for the first time featured  an illustration of the amended nose design of the twinjet.

a350 publicity featuring new nose design

The airframer revised the original A350 XWB nose design, adopting a structure more in line with the A380, and ditching a four-pane cockpit windscreen for a six-window layout.