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Graham Dunn

“The new FlightGlobal.com makes it easier than ever to connect you with the news and analysis you are looking for.”

Graham Dunn

Executive Editor, FlightGlobal

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Supersonic flight is the future, just as it was in the past

Although over 50 years have passed since Concorde proved commercial supersonic flight was possible, the industry is once again looking to ride a wave of interest in the concept

Emirates A380s in storage

Why things are looking grim for the A380

Doubts about size and shape of many fleets as operators plan their coronavirus crisis recovery strategies

F-35A

F-35 programme still lacking agility

For seasoned observers of the Joint Strike Fighter programme, the revelation that Lockheed Martin’s Block 4 modernisation effort for the F-35 is already running two years late and $1.5 billion over budget will come as no surprise.

Ryanair 737 tail

Why carriers cannot rush return from coronavirus

Quarantine might not completely kill any tentative recovery in air travel, but it would certainly limit its appeal to the few passengers who are either booking a one-way journey or do not mind spending time cooped up like a dog suspected of rabies.

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Why strong supplier chain could save Boeing

With the world’s number one aerospace manufacturer facing a barrage of problems, from the Max grounding to the Covid-19 collapse in demand, Alex Krutz, manging director at Patriot Industrial Partners, considers whether a supply chain that is much more robust than in the past can be crucial to getting it through the crisis?

First ACJ320neo final assembly – Hamburg, Germany

For SMEs, the crisis is only beginning

The situation could hardly be worse for Airbus, Boeing and first-tier suppliers. But for companies further down the supply chain it is. Highly geared and often dependent on a single customer, small- and medium-sized enterprises face a fight for survival as demand dries up. Their only hope is some sort of airline revival before it is too late

FedEx Airbus A380-800F

Years after cancellation, A380 freighter’s time may have come

FedEx’s crystal ball was clearly having an off-day when it churned out predictions for the Airbus A380 freighter 15 years ago. The US express cargo giant, once the launch operator of the A380F, expected to take delivery of the aircraft in 2008, enthused about a -900 stretched cargo variant, and forecast that passenger-to-freighter A380s would arrive by 2020.

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Why hypersonic developers have narrow window to enact arms controls

A forthcoming generation of missiles capable of travelling at Mach 5 threaten to overwhelm defences and upset the global power balance.

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Embraer must present convincing ‘Plan B’

Collapse of merger with Boeing leaves the Brazilian airframer needing to detail an alternative.

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Boeing’s structural reboot vital to prepare for rebound

Management changes at US airframer are required as it seeks stability ahead of any recovery

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Modernisation is key for US Army’s helicopter fleet - but not at any cost

Despite its platform modernisation efforts, the US Army’s helicopter inventory is increasingly showing its age.

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Adapting to coronavirus means removing its power to frighten

The airline industry is effectively being held hostage by organisms a tenth of a micron wide. In future, we may have to live alongside them, as is the case with other diseases

Cathay jets grounded

Will pandemic prompt a green reset for aviation?

The coronavirus crisis will abate before too long, but how will its impact change the nature of air travel?

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Hailing the A310’s lasting legacy

Airbus invented the original widebody twinjet more than half a century ago, so it seems appropriate that a Toulouse product looks set to be the first of the breed to become extinct.

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Student pilots may be worried, but better times will return

Who would be a pilot now? The crisis will have a profound effect on the prospects of the would-be aviators of today, and tomorrow

Airbus assembly line Tianjin China

Aerospace industry must prepare for the new normal

Before the coronavirus crisis, airlines were forecast to take thousands of new jets. Now, how the industry copes with a wave of deferrals is the next question.

F-35B landing vertically

US Marine Corps backs away from tailor-made aircraft - and their expense

Expeditionary demands have honed the US Marine Corps into a unique force with enviable equipment – but its Pacific pivot means much could change

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IATA is not crying wolf with airline ‘apocalypse’ warning

It is a mark of how quickly the global coronavirus crisis has escalated that when IATA describes the airline sector as being in an “apocalypse now” scenario, no-one is accusing the industry association of hyperbole.

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Boeing is too big to fail, but any rescue will be conditional

Eleven years after the end of the 2007-2009 Great Recession, the USA is again having “too big to fail” discussions, with the airframer at their centre.

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End of illegal charter would be best tribute to Emiliano Sala

More than a year has passed since the tragic crash off the coast of Guernsey of the Piper Malibu that ended the life of the young Argentinian footballer and pilot David Ibbotson yet unlicensed flights continue.

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Leaving EASA is not in UK’s national interest

Significant changes in relationship with EU will only be complicated by changes to regulatory regime

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Coronavirus overtakes 737 Max as airline industry’s biggest concern

Covid-19 has seen airlines slash schedules and supplanted Boeing’s 737 Max as the industry’s big story. But what happens when the jet is cleared to fly again?

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Airline bail-outs are rarely a good idea

Is there ever a case for a government bailing out a failed airline – even when its commercial shareholders judge it a bad bet? Plenty of people – including trade unions and politicians representing employees and passengers affected by Flybe’s collapse – believe there is. Particularly when the carrier in question has been providing vital transport links between underserved UK cities.

XQ-58A Valkyrie

Military powers must keep control over machine AI

Not so long ago there was a good chuckle to be had in thinking about how the PC on your desk could outperform the room full of big metal cases with flashing lights and whirly tape reels that was the supercomputer of days gone by.

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Why Boeing's venerable Chinook keeps on winning

It may have been a stalwart of military aviation since the Vietnam War, but the Chinook’s appeal seems undiminished.

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Boeing’s stealthy approach could yield armed scout win

For the congested US rotorcraft industry, the chance to build the US Army’s next armed scout helicopter is a tantalising prospect and the US airframer’s reatlive silence suggests it has something unique up its sleeve.

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Bombardier’s rail sale is last roll of the dice

The mansion that Laurent built is down to its last room. Bombardier – transformed by Pere Beaudoin from humble snowmobile manufacturer to world leader in aviation and rail transportation by the time he handed the chief executive reins to son Pierre in 2003 – will soon be known simply for business aircraft.

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Why Boeing must end NMA indecision

Critics joke that Boeing’s New Mid-market Airplane (NMA) launch is taking almost as long as NASA did to get Apollo 11 off the pad, following JFK’s famous man-on-the-Moon declaration.

Black Arrow

Can UK fund its space-launch ambitions?

The year 1962 dawned with two space powers: the USA and the USSR. Come that spring and the UK also joined the club with its Ariel 1 satellite, sadly lost not three months later to a US high-altitude nuclear detonation.

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Why fighter contenders must keep cool in Finnish HX battle

Buying a new fleet of fighters is a huge decision for any nation: not only due to the high capital cost of making such an acquisition, but also because of the heavy responsibility of selecting the right type to defend its citizens for 30 years or more.

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Bribery scandal recovery a bitter pill for Airbus

Airbus insists that it has learned vital lessons from big bribery scandal, but to avoid a repeat will require cultural change, not simply a box-ticking exercise

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Why smooth 777-9 test campaign is vital for Boeing

Boeing would surely have liked to celebrate the 25 January first flight of the 777X as a comprehensive and overwhelming victory for the company. A big win for the big twin, if you like.

Kobe Bryant crash

How high-profile crash put helicopter safety in spotlight

If the Helicopter Association International (HAI), the organiser of Heli-Expo – the world’s largest rotorcraft trade event – was hoping for a quiet few days focussed on the industry’s positive aspects then they will have been sorely disappointed.

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Could return to the Moon prove a step too far?

By the end of this year or early next, we should get a look at the future of deep-space travel. It will not carry a crew, but NASA’s Artemis I around-the-Moon-and-back flight will demonstrate the capsule, life-support system and mighty Space Launch System rocket being designed and tested to carry ...

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Why jet stalwart Embraer is embracing the turboprop

If the stars align, the world could have the first all-new large turboprop passenger aircraft for four decades within five years.

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Airbus wins the contest that never was

What’s wrong with a duopoly? Well, when one of the two protagonists drops out, it turns into a monopoly.

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Fatality-free aviation remains distant dream

After an encouraging series of airline safety figures recorded around the middle of the last decade, some observers pondered whether the prospect of a fatality-free year could be a realistic short-term ambition for the industry.

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737 crash response needs transparency from Tehran

Given the rock-bottom relations between Iran and the USA, it is inevitable that the 8 January crash of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 near Tehran has become ensnared by the tension between the two.

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Can Lockheed repeat F-35 production success in 2020?

One year ago, many observers doubted that Lockheed Martin would succeed in keeping its aggressive production ramp-up for the F-35 on track, given the programme’s troubled past.

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Changing leaders does not solve all Boeing’s problems

Dennis Muilenburg took the Boeing helm in the summer of 2015 during a relatively benign period for the manufacturer. But as he departs, there is a very different atmosphere at the firm’s Chicago headquarters, where the ongoing 737 Max crisis still has many more questions than answers.

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Next decade will bring more ‘unknown unknowns’ for aerospace

Predicting which surprises the coming decade might hold for the aerospace sector may well be a hopeless task, but the events that will unfold through the 2020s may be hard pushed to match some of the drama experienced over the past 10 years.

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The end of 2019 does not signal an end to Boeing's woes

Boeing had been hoping that its problems would be, if not be ended, then at least on the way to being solved as 2019 draws to a close, but that no longer appears the case.

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Despite 2019’s challenges, aviation continues to weather the storm

Boeing stockpiles undeliverable aircraft after a fatal crash grounds its most popular model and undermines confidence. Meanwhile, Airbus throws in the towel on the superjumbo era, Bombardier bows out of commercial aviation, Embraer nears the end of the road as an independent airliner-maker and Mitsubishi confronts reality – again.

A400M Airbus Military first flight

Ten years after debut, can A400M sales take off?

It has certainly taken a long time, but Airbus at last looks to be entering smoother air with its long-troubled A400M Atlas tactical transport.

Emirates A380 Dubai 2019

The weird parallel reality of the WTO spat

One of the most fascinating aspects of the World Trade Organization dispute has nothing to do with the boasts about penalties and tariffs, or the squabble over who gained the greatest advantage from government handouts – but rather the potential realities that might have materialised if the controversial financial support had never existed.

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Will technology transform efficiency of flight?

In his classic A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking freely admitted he struggled to visualise multiple dimensions – barely coping with two. If the physicist who upturned thinking about black holes, relativity and quantum mechanics could not quite grapple with the shape of the universe (or in his case, ...

737 Max 10 unveiling

Can biggest 737 Max variant be a perfect 10?

Amid the safety crisis enveloping the wider Boeing 737 Max programme, it has been easy to lose track of the progress of individual models.

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Saab's GlobalEye keeps seeking out sales

For the second time in four short years, Saab emerged as one of the surprise high fliers at the biennial Dubai air show – but its repeat sales success with the GlobalEye surveillance aircraft was just reward for a decade-plus relationship forged with the United Arab Emirates’ military.

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Emirates shows restraint in latest order spree

Emirates is renowned for its huge aircraft orders, and this year’s Dubai air show was no disappointment. But dig a bit deeper and it quickly becomes clear that the airline has actually been quite restrained in its spending.

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Ready for the next big tanker battle?

Much as an army cannot march on an empty stomach, an air force can have only limited effect without the range- and endurance-boosting support provided by in-flight refuelling tankers.

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Why Trent issues still rattle Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce’s admission that its final fix for problematic parts on the Trent 1000 TEN engine will now not arrive before 2021 brings to mind Lady Bracknell’s famous quote from The Importance of Being Earnest.

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Will Air France fleet renewal include stretched A220?

Air France-KLM chief Ben Smith summed up one of the French flag carrier’s problems to investors during a briefing on its modernisation strategy.