James R. Asker

James R. Asker
Executive Editor,
Aviation Week & Space Technology

Jim has covered aerospace for more than 20 years and won numerous awards for his reporting and commentary.

 

He directed Aviation Week's coverage of the Columbia space shuttle accident, which was recognized with a 2004 Jesse H. Neal Award, the trade press equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, and was finalist in 2005 and 2012. And in 2006, Jim won Journalist of the Year honors from the Royal Aeronautical Society and has twice won a McGraw-Hill Corporate Achievement Award.

 

Jim began covering space programs as a science reporter for The Houston Post, where he led the paper's prize-winning coverage of the Challenger shuttle accident and its aftermath and was a finalist in NASA’s Journalist In Space program. Jim is a graduate of Rice University and was a Knight Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At MIT and Harvard, his studies included arms control, the Soviet military and U.S. defense planning and budgeting.

Articles
A Look At 100 Years Of Aviation Week History 
Starting 13 years after Kitty Hawk, Aviation Week has been there to document almost the entire history of the aerospace industry.
100 Top Technologies: 'Aerodynamic Experiments' to 'Modern Monoplanes' 
Aviation and aerospace advanced rapidly in the first decades after the Wright brothers’ 1903 flight. Wind tunnels brought understanding of lift and drag, wood-and-wire biplanes gave way to the stressed-skin monoplanes, wing warping to hydraulic-boosted flight controls.
100 Top Technologies: 'Aerodynamic Experiments' To 'Modern Monoplanes' 
Aviation and aerospace advanced rapidly in the first decades after the Wright brothers’ 1903 flight. Wind tunnels brought understanding of lift and drag, wood-and-wire biplanes gave way to the stressed-skin monoplanes, wing warping to hydraulic-boosted flight controls
100 Top Technologies: 'Protecting the Pilot' to 'Keeping it Together' 
World War II and the years immediately before and after were ones of soaring sophistication in aviation. Aircraft gained retractable gear, pressurized cabins, high-lift systems, ice protection, and eventually airborne radar, inertial navigation and digital computers. Pilots gained ejection seats and G suits. Propulsion technology advanced from turbocharged pistons to afterburning turbojets and bypass turbofans. They were decades of transition, the airship fading away and swept wing becoming dominant. They also heralded the future, from unmanned aircraft to solar-powered spacecraft.
100 Top Technologies: 'Protecting the Pilot' to 'Keeping It Together' 
World War II and the years immediately before and after were ones of soaring sophistication in aviation. They were decades of transition, the airship fading away and swept wing becoming dominant. They also heralded the future, from unmanned aircraft to solar-powered spacecraft.
100 Top Technologies: 'Bonded Structures' to 'Automated Throttles' 
Two technology thrusts that continue to reshape aerospace—materials and computers—began to have a major impact in the 1950s and '60s.
100 Top Technologies: 'Tipping the Wing' to 'Printing the Future' 
What technologies lie ahead for aerospace? Reusable spacecraft and additive manufacturing for sure, but what about flying cars, jetpacks or another attempt at nuclear-powered aircraft? Only the future will tell.
100 Top Technologies: 'Tipping the Wing' to 'Printing the Future' 
What technologies lie ahead for aerospace? Reusable spacecraft and additive manufacturing for sure, but what about flying cars, jetpacks or another attempt at nuclear-powered aircraft? Only the future will tell.​
100 Top Technologies: 'Bonded Structures' to 'Automated Throttles' 
Two technology thrusts that continue to reshape aerospace, materials and computers, began to have a major impact in the 1950s and 60s. Computer-aided design became crucial as airframes moved from bonded-metal structures to carbon-fiber composites. Computational fluid dynamics became the key to advances in aerodynamics.
Podcast: 100 Key Technologies For Aviation And Space
What are the most important technologies, innovations and novel ideas that have made aviation and space what they are today? What will be important in the future? Listen in as Aviation Week editors debate the key 100—and which should make it into the magazine’s 100th anniversary issue.
Podcast: The Silicon Valley-Aerospace Mating Dance
After years of shunning aerospace as too slow and too expensive, venture capitalists are suddenly interested—and investing. Meanwhile, big aerospace corporations and the U.S. Defense Department are looking to bring “disruptive” commercial thinking in house. Executive Editor Jim Asker, Senior Business Editor Michael Bruno and Graham Warwick, the managing editor for technology, discuss whether the two cultures can ever mix.
Podcast: Pilot Mental Health 10
The mental health of pilots and the privacy of their records and consultations with doctors is back in the news following the report by French air safety investigators on the crash of a Germanwings A320 in the Alps last year. Jim Asker, Jens Flottau and John Croft discuss the issues and what might be done to prevent such tragedies.
Podcast: Next Stop, Cuba
The race for routes to Cuba by U.S. carriers is on. Will there be enough demand for flights to cities other than Havana? Is Cuba ready for a rapid increase in tourism? Join our editors as they discuss the possibilities for this new market.
McCain’s Russian Engine Offensive | 757 Fuel Tanks  18
The Arizona senator accuses United Launch Alliance of “manipulative extortion” on RD-180 engines; cargo carriers fight FAA fuel tank AD; NASA ponders how to use funding windfall; U.S. nuclear weapons seem here to stay.
Podcast: Air Safety Innovations 2
Aviation is, by and large, an incredibly safe mode of transportation. But it wasn’t always so, and there are challenges coming soon. Join Editors Jim Asker, John Croft and Bill Sweetman as they discuss the history and future of aviation safety and read the special report.
Comments
Editorial: SpaceX, Artificial Intelligence And The Innovation Imperative
December 29, 2015

Good point, Joe. Nobody has reused a space launcher yet (other than NASA with the sorta-reusable, extremely expensive space shuttle system). Maybe we should have said the age...

Person Of The Year: Delta Air Lines’ Richard Anderson
December 21, 2015

Thanks. We'll fix those.

--Jim Asker
Executive Editor

Opinion: A New Bomber For $550 Million? Not Likely
November 13, 2015

Bill and I will have to have an inside-Av Week food fight on this point. Here we go:

Of course, the cost per copy of B-2 went up because the buy was cut. But, Bill,...

An Appreciation: Pierre Sparaco—1940-2015
August 17, 2015

Thanks for that input! Like many of us in journalism, Pierre started dabbling in the craft before he figured out how to make a living doing it. And making that work takes...

Remembering Pierre Sparaco
August 3, 2015

Aerospace will never have a more knowledgeable and charitable critic than Pierre Sparaco. It was a privilege to work with him and have him as a friend.

Jim Asker
...

 

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