Astronomic proportions

Globetrotter Monty Orangeball asks just how tall will Dubai World Central International airport's new control tower be? The emirate is already notable for being secretive about the final height of another structure, the extraordinary Burj Dubai skyscraper. Billed as the tallest in the Middle East, World Central Airport's control tower will officially be 300ft (100m). But Monty says the press blurb suggests this might be a conservative figure: the building will feature technical rooms, operational facilities - and a "meteor observation cabin".

Yuck speak (series of 1,000,000)

Deployable hybrid integrated shelter solution = tent

straight & level: 27 March 2007

Megaplanes review

With the increasing tempo of development work on the Megaplanes Big Boy and the recent visits of the Hairbrush Super Fatty to the USA, your uncle thought it was time for a quick update on what's been happening out there in Widebody World.

To most Brians the world over the term "748" will forever be affectionately associated with the aaahh Hawker (nee Avro) 748 "Budgie". However, drastic changes are afoot as short form for the new 747-8 is, of course, 748. In this case, nephew Paul Burch wants to know, might we call the new Megaplane "Norwegian Blue". Any more Parrot/Parakeet suggestions?

Eco-friendly 747 driver and nephew David Harlow meanwhile is aghast that the GE flying testbed has to deliberately convert power from the GEnx engine into waste heat. "Would that be the world's biggest electric fire?" he asks.

Budgie News, asking a Hairbrush sales executive at a conference in Los Angeles if he had flown over using the Super Fatty testbird MSN001 that arrived the day before: "Of course not. I didn't fly it out because there were no business class seats!"

Super Tanker?

Talking of which:

UAE inks initial deal to buy three Airbus A380s

ABU DHABI, 21 February (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates armed forces have signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus parent EADS to buy three A380 air refuelling tanker aircraft.

"EADS is the best bidder so far so we have signed an MoU with them," Obeid al-Ketbi, the spokesman at the IDEX international defence fair said late on Tuesday, but declined to give further details.

(I'm not surprised, and thanks to nephew Robert Czachor for spotting it and pointing out, correctly "now, that's a lot of gas!")

Bizarre headline of the week winner

"Compact Twin Rod Series Packs Superior Power in Smaller Footprint"

Yes, I'm sure it does.

(Sorry, your poor old Uncle cannot recall where this came from.)

and the runner-up:

"Helicopter and gunmen to control pig population" (Associated Press).

50 years ago inverse colors TN Read Flight from 1956 or read Uncle Roger's web log.

Source: Flight International