It's that time again, folks, when I get to put you through your annual check ride of aerospace brain-teasers. So settle into your favourite armchair with a stiff glass of something appropriate, and find out how you rank in the illustrious Total Aviation Person stakes.

Maximum score is 165, so more than 130 and you qualify for an in-flight shower on Emirates' A380. Below 30 and you get a candlelit dinner for two with Ryanair's 13th calendar babe (see the answers page). When you've answered the questions below, don't forget to try the photo section of the quiz.

Good luck and chocks away... 

 santa airplane


In the News

1. Which carrier threatened to impound any Iraqi Airways aircraft that landed in "non-friendly" jurisdictions? (1pt)

2. Which chief executive of which well-established airframer announced his retirement in 2008? (2pt)

3. AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes tried unsuccessfully to do an unconventional sponsorship deal with the UK's football Premier League. What did he want to put the AirAsia name on? (2pt)

4. A US Airways pilot found a novel way of refreshing the air in an A319 cockpit during a 23 March flight from Charlotte to Denver. What happened? (2pt)

5. Who is the new owner of French general aviation aircraft manufacturer and aerostructures company Socata? (1pt)

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Air Transport

1. Name the airline that changed its mind about being an A350 launch customer and switched to 787s in 2008 (1pt)

2. According to this year's World Airliner Census, who is the largest operator of the Boeing 737-800 and Fokker 100? (2pt)

3. Which new airliners made first flights in 2008? Extra points if you can name any that were supposed to fly but haven't! (4pt)

4. Keeping with the maiden flight theme, why was the Bombardier CRJ1000's first sortie in September not all it seemed? (2pt)

5. What was the landmark adjustment that Airbus made to its orderbook this year that ended an 18-year saga? (2pt)

6. Which Latin American airline switched global alliance allegiance in 2008? (1pt)

7. Who announced plans for a big Dreamliner fleet this year, and how many? (2pt)

8. And why did the 787 suffer its first net cancellation this year? (2pt)

9. Who turned back time in 2008 with revived turboprop airliner programmes? (2pt)

10. Which airliner became the latest member of the 1,000-order widebody club this year? Bonus points for any existing members you can name (4pt)

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1. Boeing secured two new customers for its C-17 strategic transport in 2008. Who are they? (2pt)

2. One of the US Army's major helicopter programmes was cancelled earlier this year. Name the rejected manufacturer and its scrapped product (1pt)

3. Pilatus delivered its first PC-21 trainers during 2008. Which two nations were the recipients? (2pt)

4. The US Air Force suffered what was probably the most expensive single aircraft loss ever earlier in 2008. Which of its assets was involved in the non-fatal crash, and where did it happen? (2pt)

5. The UK Royal Air Force celebrated a significant anniversary in 2008. How old is the service? (1pt)

6. Brazil's air force flagged its intention to become the launch customer for Embraer's new tactical transport design. What is its name? (1pt)

7. Which Falklands War-era veteran returned to the UK's air show circuit in 2008? And what is its military registration? (2pt)

8. Australia's new government lost patience with a long-delayed helicopter acquisition. Which deal did it cancel? (1pt)

9. Saab performed the first flight of a testbed for its planned next-generation combat aircraft. What is the trials platform called? (1pt)

10. The US Navy took delivery of its first new electronic attack aircraft: what is it? (1pt)

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Business and General Aviation

1. Name any three of the new business jet programmes launched in 2008 (3pt)

2. Which outspoken aviation visionary and inventor of the very light jet concept was ousted from the top job at Eclipse Aviation in July? (1pt)

3. Which aviation family is planning to re-enter the flourishing seaplane market after a seven-year absence? Can you name the aircraft? (2pt)

4. Which light jet manufacturer became insolvent in September after its leading investor pulled the funding plug? (1pt)

5. Which two single-engine turboprops underwent a major revamp this year? (2pt)

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1. What synthetic fuel did Airbus test on its 3h A380 flight between Filton and Toulouse? (2pt)

2. What did Sir Richard Branson drink before the Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 flight trial between London Heathrow and Amsterdam? (1pt)

3. What is Europe's latest €1.6 billion green air transport initiative called? Bonus point for exactly how many million euros the EU citizenry will be asked to stump up to help rewrite the rules of aircraft design (2pt)

4. What girl's name does the Airbus-led effort for the smart dismantling of retired aircraft spell out? A bonus if you know what it stands for (2pt)

5. Boeing boffins flew a manned aircraft three times in February and March powered by a proton exchange membrane fuel cell, lithium-ion battery hybrid system. What was that aircraft? (1pt)

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1. India's Tejas light combat aircraft is seeking a new engine. Which indigenous design had been intended to power the fighter? (1pt)

2. What is the name of the engine that will power the core-stage of NASA's Ares V cargo launch vehicle and how many such engines will it have? (2pt)

3. What is unique about Airbus's flight-testing of P&W's GTF demonstrator? (1pt)

4. Name the supplier and powerplant for the following new business jets: Cessna Citation Columbus Dassault "Future Falcon", Gulfstream G250 and Learjet 85 (8pt)

5. Which four companies form the Europrop International consortium, responsible for developing the Airbus Military A400M's TP400-D6 turboprop? (4pt)

6. How did Diamond Aircraft carry on when its diesel engine supplier, Thielert, went insolvent? (1pt)

7. What is the name of the plasma engine that could be going to the International Space Station following its successful test this year? (1pt)

8. Which company makes the F135 engine, and what aircraft will it power? (2pt)

9. What was the name of the upgrade introduced on the IAE V2500 engine this year? (1pt)

10. Thinking engines, which is the odd one out and why: ATR 42, Embraer Brasilia, Saab 340 and Dash 8? (2pt)

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1. Name the new owners of: a) very light jet developer Adam Aircraft and b) light jet developer Sino Swearingen (2pt)

2. Trouble at which insurance company has been a headache for lessor ILFC? (1pt)

3. Alitalia was finally sold to which investment consortium? (1pt)

4. In net order terms what was the best selling turboprop and widebody during 2007? (2pt)

5. In July, how much did the European Regions Airline Association estimate the emissions trading scheme would cost European airlines over its first 10 years? (1pt)

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1. Which company bought UK small spacecraft specialist Surrey Satellite Technology? (1pt)

2. Whose rocket reached orbit on its fourth attempt? (1pt)

3. What groundbreaking aircraft was rolled out with nothing inside it this year? (1pt)

4. What European Space Agency spacecraft had its maiden flight to the International Space Station? (1pt)

5. Which Asian nation is planning its first human spaceflight in 2015? (1pt)

6. Which of NASA's Constellation vehicles suffered a 10-month delay to its preliminary design review? (1pt)

7. What is the new name for the European Union's Global Monitoring for Environment and Security programme? (1pt)

8. What was Japan's major contribution to the International Space Station? (1pt)

9. Which nation claimed to have successfully flight-tested a rocket allegedly capable of putting a satellite into orbit? (1pt)

10. On a more light-hearted note, what kind of being was Star Trek's Mr Spock? (2pt)

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1. Match the weapon and airframe: Red Top, Phoenix, Blue Steel, JP233 Vulcan, Tornado, Lightning, F-14 Tomcat (4pt)

2. Name the famous designers behind the following iconic aircraft: P-51 Mustang, DH98 Mosquito, Supermarine Spitfire, Lockheed Constellation (4pt)

3. Odd one out: F-14, Tornado, F-4, MiG-23, F-111 (1pt)

4. What mini-revolution began in the airliner world 20 years ago this year, and why? (2pt)

5. What are the numeric designations for the following: Raven, Intruder, Crusader, Thunderchief? (4pt)

6. Who commanded the first Apollo mission to fly to the Moon and what was its designation? Think carefully! (2pt)

7. What was the McDonnell 119/220? (2pt)

8. What was the name of the aircraft flown by Samuel Cody, the first man to complete a powered flight in the UK 100 years ago this year? (2pt)

9. What was the VFW614, and who made it? (2pt)

10. Name the aircraft: Do 28, AW650, EMB-121, F-27, HS121, L-1329, L-410, SA-226 (8pt)

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Now try the photo section of the quiz >>

Source: Flight International