Twenty-first Century Developments (1988-2017)

The driving factors of the most recent airliner developments have been communications and cockpit technologies, structural techniques and materials and, perhaps most importantly, the vital necessity to reduce fuel burn and minimize the environmental impact of air travel. Airbus and Boeing followed very different strategies for their new airliner development plans, initially addressing different markets,…

Air France 447: Investigation, Search and Recovery

  Surface search Flight 447 was due to pass from Brazilian airspace into Senegalese airspace at approximately 0220 (UTC) on 1 June, and then into Cape Verdean airspace at approximately 0345. Shortly after 0400, when the flight had failed to contact air traffic control in either Senegal or Cape Verde, the controller in Senegal attempted…

The Boulton Paul Defiant

  The 1930s were an age of aeronautical experimentation. All around the world air forces were trying new and fascinating designs, searching for the perfect combination of deadly force, ease of use, and affordability. During this period the Supermarine Spitfire, Messerschmitt BF-109, and Mitsubishi A6M- Zero were all developed. But at Boulton Paul Aircraft, a…

Women Aloft and Hanna Reitsch

Farther, faster, higher For German women, it was not easy to even attempt record flights during the years between the Wars. Under the terms of the Versailles Treaty, Germany was prohibited from having aircraft that might conceivably be employed for military purposes. Fliers were generally restricted to gliders or small sport planes, and they were…