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.

Hawker Hunter T7
Podcast: Can Airshow and Demonstration Flights Be Made Safer? 61
Aviation Week pilots explore why things sometimes go wrong at airshows and what can be done to improve safety.
2017 Lifetime Achievement Laureate: Boeing Composites Chief John Tracy
John Tracy, a composites guru whose career touched commercial, defense and space applications, is a 2017 Philip J. Klass Lifetime Achievement Award honoree.
Boeing’s John Tracy Receives 2017 Klass Lifetime Achievement Award 2
Tracy’s career crossed space, defense and commercial applications, and he was an early proponent of composites.
Podcast: What’s Coming In Rotorcraft? 18
Leonardo and European researchers have big plans for civil tiltrotors. And new helicopters are coming in the next few years. Listen in as our editors discuss the state of the market and what’s coming next.
Podcast: Flying The C Series. Our Pilots Report 1
Our chief aircraft evaluation pilot, Fred George, flew the CS300. Our avionics and safety editor, John Croft, has done simulator runs. Executive Editor Jim Asker quizzes them on their impressions of Bombardier’s newest airliner.
Podcast: Developments In Stealth And Counterstealth 11
Stealth technology and counterstealth techniques are part of an age-old cat-and-mouse game between military adversaries. Our editors discuss the latest developments and what is coming soon.
Podcast: Why Carter, Work and Kendall Are Aviation Week's 2016 Persons of the Year 4
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, his deputy, Bob Work, and procurement czar Frank Kendall have squeezed procurement costs and reached out for new technologies. Will their reforms last? Listen in as our editors discuss.
Podcast: What to Look for in 2017 3
Aerospace & Defense 2017 is the latest version of our annual predictor of trends to watch across all the fields we cover. With that issue in the bag, we talk with our top editors about what to look for in 2017.
Podcast: SpaceX’s Road to Recovery 2
What the space-launch upstart thinks went wrong in September, what the delay means for its customers and how the company has handled losses in the past. Plus, Orbital ATK’s Pegasus launch and a John Glenn remembrance.
Podcast: What Will Trump Do For Aerospace And Defense? 2
U.S. president-elect Donald Trump is just beginning to form his team. What will it mean for aerospace, aviation, NASA, trade and the economy?
Podcast: Can A Robot Be Your Co-pilot? 26
Automation is reaching the point that it may be possible for artificial intelligence and robotics to take much of the routine workload of cockpit crews—and “remember” things no humans could in an emergency. Is this the future?
Podcast: Will Airplanes Ever Fly Themselves? 24
Self-flying aircraft are even further off than self-driving cars. But technologies that assist pilots are advancing—including one that will take control of the aircraft to avoid a collision if humans do not react quickly enough. Our editors bring you up to date and explore what might be possible.
What Trump Or Clinton Would Mean For Aerospace And Defense  51
At the Pentagon and on Wall Street, they are beginning to consider the possible impacts from Trump vs. Clinton. On Capitol Hill, there is blow-back from Boeing’s Iran deal.
100 Top Technologies: 'Tipping the Wing' to 'Printing the Future'  2
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.​
A Look At 100 Years Of Aviation Week History  4
Starting 13 years after Kitty Hawk, Aviation Week has been there to document almost the entire history of the aerospace industry.
John Glenn—What Makes A Hero?
December 28, 2016

You are right. Thanks for setting us straight.
--Jim Asker, Executive Editor.

Editorial: What The Next U.S. President Should Do In Space
November 3, 2016

That was an editing error. I've changed it back to "Earth is a planet."

Jim Asker
Executive Editor

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,...

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