Flight International, February 2024

Aviation safety was thrust into the spotlight as the new year began, with a Japan Airlines Airbus A350 destroyed following a deadly collision while landing in Tokyo, and an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 dramatically losing a door plug mid-flight. Our comprehensive review of airline accidents in 2023 shows that while flying remains exceptionally safe, carriers and authorities can still make significant and life-saving improvements.

Also this issue, we analyse last year’s orders and deliveries performance by the “big two” commercial airframers, with Airbus having bettered Boeing’s figures for a fifth straight year.

Plus, we have updates on the Lockheed Martin/NASA X-59, JetBlue Airways’ Sprit setback; GE Aerospace’s hypersonic advance; and Elysian’s all-electric vision. And our Singapore air show preview package looks at fighter acquisitions and airline activity in Southeast Asia.

Use the links below to access our latest issue’s content in web-optimised format, and subscribers can view our “page-turner” digital replica of the magazine and download a pdf version at the foot of the page. Subscribers can also access our archived issues by clicking on the filing cabinet drawer symbol next to the search icon.

Flight International February 2024

Cover story

IMG_0170

Japan beefs up air traffic control protocols after fatal Haneda collision

By

Japanese authorities have tightened protocols relating to air traffic control following a fatal collision between a Japan Airlines Airbus A350 and a Japan Coast Guard De Havilland Canada Dash 8. 

Analysis

Alaska 737 Max 9-c-Alaska Airlines

Boeing faces renewed scrutiny as quality issues resurface with Alaska Max 9 incident

By

Boeing’s quality-control and safety protocols have been thrust back into the spotlight following the early January in-flight failure of a 737 Max 9’s door plug, with regulators, investigators and lawmakers launching fresh probes into the company’s persistent troubles.

Boeing 737 Max Renton

Airbus widened order and delivery edge over Boeing in 2023

By

For the fifth consecutive year, Airbus in 2023 delivered more aircraft and landed more orders than Boeing, reflecting the US company’s ongoing difficultly in overcoming troubles with its aircraft programmes, most notably with the 737 Max.

uzr6tcty

‘Quiet’ supersonic X-59 demonstrator unveiled by NASA and Lockheed

By

With the drop of a curtain, NASA and Lockheed Martin on 12 January revealed the experimental X-59 aircraft that is intended to demonstrate the potential of “low-boom” supersonic flight.  

spirit jetblue spirit

US court blocks JetBlue’s acquisition of Spirit

By

A US district court ruled on 16 January that JetBlue Airways’ proposed $3.8 billion acquisition of rival low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines cannot proceed, blocking the deal on anti-competitive grounds. 

Boeing's MD-90 (N931TB) for conversion to X-66A

Boeing begins transforming MD-90 into NASA’s X-66A demonstrator

By

Boeing has started dismantling and scanning an old MD-90 as part of a multi-year NASA-supported project to transform the former passenger jet into the X-66A truss-braced-wing demonstrator.

Hypersonic render

GE Aerospace achieves breakthrough in hypersonic engine development

By , Albany, New York

Using a subscale demonstrator, jet turbine manufacturer GE Aerospace successfully ignited a dual-mode ramjet engine using rotating detonation combustion – a technique the company says holds promise for powering crewed hypersonic vehicles.

Elysian E9X render

Dutch start-up Elysian breaks cover and pushes potential of all-electric 90-seater

By

Dutch start-up Elysian Aircraft claims newly published research supports its ambitious plan to develop an all-electric 90-seater for service entry in 2033, arguing that the potential for battery-powered aircraft has previously been significantly underestimated.

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Safety

JAL A350 wreckage

Despite exceptional 2023 figures, airline safety faces scrutiny after wake-up calls

2024-01-19T12:31:00+00:00By David Learmount

The airline industry’s exceptional performance in 2023 illustrates how much safety has improved over recent decades – but the new year’s opening week delivered a stark wake-up call.

Women in aviation

Delta Air Lines' Emma Galarza

Interview

Why Delta engineer Emma Galarza is adding drone technology to carrier’s fleet

By

Senior engineer Emma Galarza is helping Delta Air Lines to revolutionise its aircraft maintenance processes by pioneering advanced inspection and machine learning technologies.