In Partnership With

March 29, 2016

100 YEARS AVIATION & SPACE TECHNOLOGY

Reshaping the Future

Inside Story

DEFENSE

Braced for Change

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100 YEARS AVIATION & SPACE TECHNOLOGY

Reshaping the Future

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Inside Story

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DEFENSE

Braced for Change

London Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) is preparing to reshape its combat aircraft fleet for a range of future threats and the imminent possibility of a long air campaign in the Middle East against the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Last year’s Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR) promised the capability upgrades needed for the Typhoon to replace the Panavia Tornado GR4 as well as acceleration of F-35 procurement, and the U.K. has now committed to buying its full complement of 138 Joint Strike Fighters.

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DEFENSE

Side by Side

MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina In 2018, Britain’s first F-35 squadron will emerge from within a U.S. Marine Corps training unit here in South Carolina. It may seem an unusual route to creation of a front-line capability, but the partnering of the Marines with their British counterparts has resulted in valuable lessons learned by both sides, as they build a greater understanding of how to use the new fighter.

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COMMERCIAL AVIATION

In for the Long Haul

Frankfurt Los Angeles Auckland It is not as if ultra-long-haul flights have not been tried before. Singapore Airlines worked long and hard to implement its very, very long flight from Singapore to New York. It ultimately failed because it was impossible to make money on such a marginal operation using a four-engine Airbus A340-500 with fuel prices on the rise.

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First Take

The first Airbus assembled in the U.S., an A321 for JetBlue Airways, made its first flight from the Mobile, Alabama, plant on March 21. The aircraft is scheduled for delivery after a few more weeks in final production. Improving airport landside security, as well as in publicly accessible areas is being prioritized after two terrorist bombs exploded in the check-in area of Brussels Airport on March 22, killing at least 13 and severely injuring more than 100.
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SPACE

Russia’s Rethink

Paris Moscow Falling oil prices and economic sanctions imposed by the West have forced Moscow to pare back an ambitious slate of robotic and manned space programs over the next decade. The 10-year road map funded at 1.4 trillion rubles ($20.5 billion) and approved by the Russian government in March will help lay the groundwork for a robotic campaign to explore the Moon, while continuing participation in the International Space Station (ISS), with the potential for Russia to develop its own orbiting outpost after 2024.

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DEFENSE

Deep Breaths

NAS Patuxent River, Maryland As the U.S. Navy waits longer for its F-35C Joint Strike Fighter carrier versions, the service is being forced to increasingly rely on its F-18 family of aircraft at the very time pilots, air crews and engineers are trying to find and fix the causes of extremely worrisome cockpit breathing issues in the jets.

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COMMERCIAL AVIATION

No Easy Solution

Brussels After the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon, security on board commercial airliners was significantly improved to secure the cockpit and prevent the use of deadly weapons. Attention then turned to securing airport airside access against unauthorized personnel.

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FACE TO FACE

‘Radical Change’

Aviation Week: Airbus’s John Leahy says that commercial aviation is no longer a cyclical business because the order backlogs at Airbus and Boeing are so huge. When new orders go down, you’ll just keep production motoring on through. Do you agree?
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AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING

Business Boom

Washington Richard Branson once offered to buy British Airways’ Concordes before they were retired. Now his Virgin empire is involved with a Silicon Valley-backed startup that wants to develop a small supersonic airliner. Boom Technology plans a 40-seat aircraft cruising at Mach 2.2 for the same ticket price as subsonic business class.

MARCH 28-APRIL 102016 APRIL 11-242016