This weeks Flight International (7 February) is out now with ‘Rampant Rafale’ as the main coverline this week: and that must perfectly capture the mood of the Dassault-led French team which have snatched the $20 billion Indian medium multi-role combat aircraft contest over European rivals Eurofighter. It was a contest the Rafale - still without any other export contracts - needed to win. If the deal is signed off - not a foregone conclusion - it will make the French fighter a more successful aircraft than the Typhoon, which has won several, but small, export deals beyond its four home-nations' air forces.

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Our cover story looks at how the decision changes the landscape in the European aerospace industry, where three latest-generation fighters - including Saab's single-engine Gripen - continue to compete. We examine the process within India - the path to final delivery of an aircraft programme in that country can be tortuous as past experience has shown, even after a type has been selected. We also detail Eurofighter's reaction to their loss.

Elsewhere in the magazine, there is news on upgrades to GE engines, a further blow to the Lockheed Martin F-35, this time in Italy, and the latest on the sharklets row between Airbus and Aviation Partners.

In features, we take a spin into the world of civil helicopters ahead of Heli-Expo, with a flight test of the Sikorsky S-76D, a piece on how the global thirst for oil and gas is driving product development at the big five manufacturers, and a visit to the Niagara Falls, where one operator of sighseeing flights is pioneering new safety procedures in an area where there have been a number of tragic incidents involving tourists

Source: Flight International