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Should Japan be twice shy on domestic airliner development?

National and industrial ambitions could prompt Tokyo to back the development of a new commercial airliner via a major investment – but things didn’t go so well the last time it tried.

737 fuselages

Would reunion with Spirit revive Boeing’s fortunes?

Faced with continued missteps by one of its largest suppliers, Boeing is contemplating rebuilding its union with a company it divorced decades earlier. That move is not without risk, but doing nothing is also not an option.

C919s at Singapore air show

C919 debut in Singapore highlights China’s hunger for success

The Singapore air show was notable for featuring the first international displays by China’s homegrown C919 airliner. Is it time for the ‘big two’ western airframers to start worrying?

Akasa Air 737 Max 8

Can Boeing plug narrowbody sales gap to A321neo?

Boeing lost out to its great rival for the fifth straight year in 2023 – but more worryingly for the US airframer, it saw Airbus extend its narrowbody sales lead.

Emirates A380 SAF wide

Time for action as more airlines back introduction of sustainable fuel

Support for the widespread adoption of ‘drop-in’ sustainable aviation fuel is gaining momentum, as milestone flights take off. Now governments and oil companies must get on board.

Tim Clark

Will Emirates stick to its renewed 777-8 pledge?

Despite a development timeline that does not foresee deliveries before 2030, Gulf carrier Emirates has decided to revisit smallest variant of Boeing’s new 777X family.

MRH90 Taipan

Can Europe’s troubled NH90 programme salvage its reputation?

Stripping Australia’s unwanted NH90 fleet for parts will be a pragmatic move to help address the multi-role helicopter’s major sustainment issues. But European industry must also learn from the programme’s past mistakes.

GCAP flags graphic

Will harmony continue as GCAP fighter partners discuss workshare terms?

A ‘spirit of equal partnership’ and harmonious relations between Italy, Japan and the UK have given their GCAP fighter effort a smooth start – but can that continue as all-important workshare discussions advance?

Parked Air France jets

Aerospace's slow road to a bright recovery

The largest aerospace firms’ latest financials show a muted recovery in 2022 – but long-term there is little to worry about.

Belgian F-16

Why F-16 ‘fighter coalition’ taking off matters for Ukraine

Ukraine’s journey towards NATO membership has been boosted by a ‘fighter coalition’ offering pilot training for F-16s – but don’t expect a transfer of such aircraft to end the war.


US air-travel system failed this week - after airlines insisted they were ready

Over and over this year, executives at US airlines insisted they were taking steps that would ensure their operations run more smoothly this summer. They spoke far too soon.

IndiGo A320neo

Le Bourget’s Indian summer for mega-orders

Large order commitments for narrowbody products dominated the headlines at Le Bourget, but be in no doubt – the aerospace industry is powering towards a more sustainable future.

Paris air show 2019

Will new-look aerospace industry soar as Paris air show returns?

Returning after a four-year absence, the Paris air show will celebrate an industry that has seen seismic changes since the Le Bourget event was last staged: expect issues relating to the supply chain, climate change, and defence to dominate.

737 Max assembly

Why Boeing must halt its recent run of production hiccups

Boeing must hope the latest manufacturing quality issue to hit its commercial portfolio is the last – and not a continuing trend.


The element of doubt around future propulsion

No-one disputes the technical feasibility of hydrogen- or SAF-powered commercial aircraft, but quite where these next‑generation fuels will come from is an open question.

Ethiopian 737 Max wreckage

How omission of human failings undermined Ethiopian Max report

Although investigators examining the Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max crash are rightly critical of Boeing, their failure to adequately probe the pilots’ actions leaves us with an incomplete picture.

B-21 Raider

Why sixth-generation combat aircraft programmes are flying high

A tantalising batch of next-generation combat aircraft programmes are powering up for the USA and multiple key allies – now it is critical that such efforts can deliver success.

737 Max line

Can Boeing deliver against its ambitious growth targets?

While ambitious goals are commendable, Boeing has a great deal of work to do if it is to clear a path to reaching them.


Is the time right to start A220-500 family planning?

Airbus might not have a stretched A220 on its drawing board yet, but given the frequency with which the so-called ‘-500’ is mentioned at the airframer’s briefings, there is a sense that the aircraft is practically being willed into existence by journalists, investors and perhaps one or two airline customers.


Does Aeroflot’s domestic aircraft order mark progress for Putin?

Russian President Vladimir Putin once expressed his dissatisfaction with Aeroflot Group’s fleet choices while grilling then-chief Vitaly Saveliev, who was forced to explain why the flag carrier was overwhelmingly using Western rather than domestically-built aircraft.

Piled up luggage

Why aviation sector is struggling to scale up after pandemic woes

Although aviation is cheering the return of customer demand, scaling business up again is proving harder than planned.

Farnborough 2022 pilot with ice cream

Why sustainability topped Farnborough air show agenda

While previous editions of the Farnborough air show have been dominated by orders, the theme at this year’s scorching event was clearly sustainability.

Farnborough 1962

Why aerospace needs Farnborough air show amid changing times

Many love it and probably as many others loathe it, but there is no doubt that the Farnborough air show – returning after a pandemic-enforced four-year break – remains among the aerospace industry’s marquee events.

Airbus A320neo-family jet

Airbus and the great rate wrangle

Faced with a backlog for the A320 family that as of the end of April was within touching distance of 6,000 aircraft, Airbus has a problem: how does it deliver all those aircraft to customers in a timely fashion?flight 

Aeroflot 777

Is Russian regulator putting politics before safety?

Russia rejects charges that civil regulator Rosaviatsia will be unable to cope with the addition of hundreds of new aircraft to its purview, but questions regarding its capabilities remain.


Why a return to normality remains a work in progress for some flightcrew

Where did the last two years go? It seems only yesterday that we were talking about the discovery of a new virus in China. And while markets across the globe have since broadly re-opened, for Asia-based flightcrew like myself, Covid-19 and its disruptions to life are still an ever-present reality.

Vladimir Putin

Putin sets course for new Cold War

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to bring war to Europe has had terrible consequences for Ukraine – now Moscow must pay the price for its aggression.

Qatar Airways Boeing jets

Can Boeing deliver under new pact with Qatar Airways?

Boeing’s 777X freighter launch was no surprise. But making sure the new jet delivers will be vital to maintaining the airframer’s rekindled relationship with Qatar Airways.

Passengers with masks

Has passenger behaviour become the biggest threat to airline safety?

Although 2021 was another largely safe year for commercial air transport, the real danger on board may no longer come from the airframe or the crew but from other passengers.

737 Max with A320s

Why Boeing must act fast to tackle rival’s narrowbody lead

Stung by two recent major airline defections from its 737 operator family, the embattled US airframer needs to cut the advantage held by Airbus with its hot-selling A321neo-model twinjets.


Dubai delivered welcome lift for industry - but sustaining momentum will be key

There was a pleasant sense of a return to normality at the Dubai air show, with triple-digit orders once again unveiled, but whether this recovery will endure remains to be seen.

Planet Earth

Who foots the bill for aviation's environmental transformation?

Commercial aviation is promising to re-invent itself as a less-polluting industry, with 2050 as a goal to reach net-zero carbon. But no-one has worked out who picks up the tab.

ANA 787

Can Boeing revive Dreamliner magic?

As the first decade of service from the 787 nears an end, can Boeing overcome sluggish demand and production snags to revive its early magic experience with the Dreamliner?

RAAF C-17 in Kabul

Is US coalition right in leaving Afghanistan’s forever war?

Almost 20 years after US and coalition forces arrived in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, the Taliban’s crushing return to power has plunged Afghanistan into fresh instability.

Boom Supersonic's conceptual airliner Overture in United Airlines' coloursBoom Supersonic's conceptual airliner Overture in United Airlines' colours

Can Kirby deliver on United’s vision of the future?

United Airlines has been on an order spree, assembling the building blocks it thinks will be required for 21st century air travel. Is chief executive Scott Kirby a visionary or a gambler?

Max wreckage-c-STR_EPA_EFE_Shutterstock

Why 777X certification push-back may be sign of change at FAA

US regulator deviated from its role with the certification of the 737 Max, ceding too much responsibility to Boeing, but reform is not impossible, argues safety expert John Goglia.

Flight International Comment

Why industry must RISE to take environmental action

While CFM International has set out its plan to deliver a 20% fuel saving from its next engine, only the entire aviation ecosystem working in concert can speed up decarbonisation.

A400M Rafale Eurofighter formation

Can Europe’s FCAS partners stay in formation?

Apparent accord between three European nations on their future fighter project is positive, but a lack of detail on the agreement’s practicalities leaves many unanswered questions

Flybe Embraer 175

Helping pilots to remain resilient

We hear from an anonymous UK pilot made redundant in the pandemic about further stress caused by the loss of mutual licensing recognition after Brexit – and how to find support.

Last A380 for Emirates

Future dreaming as A380 nears the end

Once thought of as the future of air travel, the A380 is already heading into retirement, but aviation is keenly focused on the next big thing.

RAF A330 Voyager with F-35Bs

Is UK’s latest defence review fit for purpose?

Although long awaited, the UK’s defence review has left many unanswered questions when it comes to future capability.

Ukraine separatists MH17

Should Ukraine have identified airliner threat before MH17 loss?

Whether Ukraine should have closed upper airspace – saving flight MH17 – depended on its view of separatists’ capabilities.

Amelia Earhart

Why does aviation still have a man problem?

Competence, not gender, should be the only factor to affect success, says Pilar Wolfsteller.

Stored Lufthansa A380

Will aerospace prospects brighten in year to come?

The coronavirus pandemic had a devastating impact in the year just gone, and 2021 might not have too much cheer held in store either.

New Generation Fighter FCAS

Why future fighter designs will retain human pilot

Don’t expect future combat aircraft projects to eject human crew, says Douglas Barrie of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.


Looking past the pandemic to gauge future fleets

Cirium’s latest long-term market forecast reflects the impact that the coronavirus crisis is having on the industry, but still foresees strong demand for airliners over the next 20 years.

UAE F-16E with F-35A

Why UAE F-35 deal makes sense to Washington - and Israel

The UAE’s unexpected approval for an F-35 buy can be seen as just part of a US strategy to strenghten all of its allies in the Middle East region.

Zero Emission Comment-c-Airbus

Airbus has shown its green vision, but can Boeing follow suit?

While the European airframer is betting on hydrogen to deliver cleaner air travel, its rival in Seattle has yet to reveal its strategy for a sustainable future.


Why Big Data will be key to successful airline recovery

Analysing travellers’ behaviour online to gauge demand is the way forward for network planners, as new research has found


Pay and perks may be reduced, but being a pilot remains a labour of love

Although commercial aviation is currently being battered by the coronavirus crisis, there are plenty who still regard flying for a living as the best job in the world.

B737 Max hat

Boeing’s challenge to address the reputational crisis around Max brand

Seattle’s marketing strategy is in the spotlight amid renewed speculation about its commitment to the name. But is a rebrand the right solution?

HongKong-c-Ash Ram

Returning to the cockpit is not without risk, but it is a manageable one

While many pilots believe they are born aviators, prolonged downtime means refresher training is essential before recommencing flight operations.

Boieing 777-9 777X in flight gear down

Why 777X certification could be just part of Max crisis collateral damage

Alarming details that emerged in the aftermath of the 737 Max grounding about Boeing’s behaviour during the certification process has created a crisis of confidence unparalleled in the aviation industry. And no one – not just Seattle – should underestimate the extent of mistrust and the time it could take to heal the deep wounds.

Richard Branson models VG astronaut outfit

Why Virgin Galactic is still attracting investment despite continued losses

Having taken 15 years and counting to get its rocketplanes in service, Virgin Galactic is now talking about supersonic jet travel; don’t book a flight just yet, but keep an eye on the share price

Clear skies

Safety must not be allowed to slip during the ‘new normal’

Aviation safety depends in part on a stable operating environment, but a pandemic and growing geopolitical tension will undermine some longstanding assumptions


Next generation of pilots may be another casualty of coronavirus clampdown

Closed and sterile cockpits could be required to deal with Covid-19, but this may remove a source of inspiration for future aviators


The art of reinvention is vital for ‘discarded’ flightcrew

The downturn hitting airlines across the globe will mean fewer pilots will be required in the short term, but for those made redundant, there are always choices. 

smartwings livery Boeing 737 Max

Logic behind bad decisions underpins Smartwings 737 incident

Although an airline captain’s decision to proceed on a flight from Greece to Prague with just one engine may seem incomprehensible from the outside, his reasoning is likely to be all-too familiar

Boston Logan Airport coronavirus 1

Scale of Covid collapse raises questions about what comes next

Consider this: On a Friday in July 2019, 11 airlines operated 66 flights from Washington DC to New York City-area airports. Fast forward: on Friday 17 July, carriers operated just 15 flights on those routes.

BA 747-400 with Red Arrows-c-British Airways

Bidding goodbye to BA’s ‘Queen of the Skies’

While BA’s move to retire its fleet of 747s because of coronavirus makes perfect sense, the business of aviation runs on romance as well as jet fuel

fia-2018-c-Farnborough International

FIA Connect was innovative move, but real air show is missed

Although virtual Farnborough event brought industry together, summer is not the same without seeing old friends and new aircraft up close

Aircraft refueling

Why aviation should burn hydrogen, not time, to repair reputation

While aviation deals with the immediate fall-out of the coronavirus pandemic, longer term it must also face up to its environmental responsibilities; hydrogen power could help it meet those challenging targets

F-15EX pair

How Boeing’s F-15EX contract win was dogfighting masterstroke

Boeing’s defence unit is celebrating a modern-day dogfighting masterstroke, after securing its first US Air Force (USAF) orders for the venerable F-15 in more than two decades.

Comac ARJ21 tails Big Three

Why Comac is playing long game with ARJ21

Measuring the success of China’s first domestically developed regional jet is not as easy as it seems.


Why piston pilots should have a modern cockpit canary

Some safety issues are only solvable with sophisticated solutions, but the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning in general aviation are easily abated

Max on ground c Shutterstock

Boeing takes one step forward and two back on 737 Max rehabilitation journey

Airframer’s recertification flights are positive, but critical US government report and order cancellations show there is still much to do


Can Tempest and FCAS projects both succeed in Europe?

Can Europe afford to support two next-generation air combat projects amid the downturn – or would joining forces merely clip a future fighter’s wings?

F-35 P-51

Can fighter designers keep delivering the right stuff?

In the realm of aerial combat, the ability to see further and strike faster than an adversary is in most cases the difference between death or glory.

Comment1-c-Frederic Legrand_Shutterstock

London has much to learn from French aerospace bailout

While France has taken a multifacted approach to rescuing its aerospace industry, there is little sign of action on the other side of the English Channel

A Finnair A330 with seats for crew at rear

Why cargo will no longer be boring in the new normal

Passengers sharing airliner cabins with freight? That could be just one legacy of an aviation industry turned upside down by coronavirus and feeling its way to recovery

Emirates cabin crew PPE masks

Why airline industry can only trust instinct to beat coronavirus

Tim Clark has delivered his view on the coronavirus pandemic with his usual succinct style: “A $15 trillion torpedo has hit the global economy.” And the fundamentals for the industry’s recovery are largely outside its control.

X-59 landing_001 c

NASA boom reduction project should be left to private sector

NASA does wonderful things, and wonderful things often cost big money - but should supersonic flying without big booms be one of them?


SpaceJet waiting game plays on at Mitsubishi

True patience involves bearing what is unbearable, according to a Japanese proverb. By that measure, it is fair to say that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), the parent of Mitsubishi Aircraft, has displayed that quality in spades. 

B747F-lufthansa-c-Frankfurt Airport

Why freighter strategy is a loaded question for Boeing

Seattle faces some crucial decisions if it is to sustain its dominance in the freight sector


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


What’s next for airline pilots?

Being an airline pilot in May 2020 is an unnerving experience. A workforce that thrives on mobility is largely furloughed, with many also awaiting redundancy; a small minority, meanwhile, are still operating what few flights remain.


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.


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.

Notional Common-Hypersonic Glide Body

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.

E195-E2 First Flight

Embraer must present convincing ‘Plan B’

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

Comment 2 Boeing Renton-c-Thiago B Trevisan_Shutterstock

Boeing’s structural reboot vital to prepare for rebound

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

Vietnam Hueys-c-ap_shutterstock

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.

Parked Brussels-c-Brussels Airlines

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?


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.


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

Parked aircraft-c-Lufthansa

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.


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.

SalaMemorial-c-Ray Morgan_Shutterstock

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.


Leaving EASA is not in UK’s national interest

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


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Gripen E Pirkkala

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.

TransAsia A330

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


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.

human_landing_system c NASA

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 ...

Comment1-c-Andre Cros-Ville de Toulouse-WikimediaCommons

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.


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.

Bek Air crash4

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.

Tehran 737 crash

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.


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.

Dennis Muilenburg - Jim Young/AP/REX/Shutterstock

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.


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.


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.

Thomas Cook

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.

Thales future cockpit - Thales

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.


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.

Emirates Boeing signing

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.

A330 MRTT - Airbus Defence & Space

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.

El Al 787 - AirTeamImages

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.

Air France A318 - Air France

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.

Emirates 777-9

Manufacturers must heed Emirates chief's rebuke

Tim Clark never knowingly pulls his punches, but the Emirates president has clearly run out of patience over the seemingly endless inability of aircraft and engine manufacturers to deliver service-ready hardware.