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Behind-the-Scenes of 787 Pilot Report 

Aviation Week's Dec. 10 cover story featured a pilot report and a program review on Boeing's 787 by Senior Editors Fred George and Guy Norris, respectively. Norris also shot the video of the flight and has posted several pre-/during/post-flight photos on our Things With Wings blog. In the photo below, Fred George is in the left seat, 787 Assistant Chief Pilot Mike Bryan is in the right.

F-35 Defections: Do They Matter? 

In Senior Defense Editor Amy Butler's recent post on the Ares blog about Canada's possible F-35 defection, she notes: “While this is big news in Canada, and in the international realm, I do question what it means in the big picture for the F-35 program.” This thought-provoking piece elicited much give-and-take among our readers, including:

Atomic Walrus saying:

Maneuvering An X-47B UCAS 

How do you maneuver an unmanned aircraft around the carrier deck without a pilot onboard? By using a wireless hand-controller strapped to your arm. That's what the U.S. Navy is doing during testing of the Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air system demonstrator at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland. See the video on the Ares defense blog.

Mac says:

First Flight of Two-Seat Firebird UAV 

Los Angeles Bureau Chief Guy Norris writes on the Ares defense blog that “with temperatures hovering around zero, few witnesses were around Mojave, Calif., to see a new two-seat production derivative of Northrop Grumman's secretly developed Firebird make its first flight.

Enoiel notes:

Xcor Aerospace's Full-Scale Lynx Spaceplane Model 

Space Editor Sean Meade has posted on the On Space blog photos and a video of Xcor Aerospace's full-scale model of its two-seat Lynx suborbital spaceplane—which it intends to debut at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight.

DeweyW notes:

It looks like the pilot drives it with stick, not a yoke, and reads round analog gauges. With no head-up display and only two glass screens, maybe space tech isn't progressing as fast as we thought.

Candidates' Stances On Raptor 

Congressional Editor Jen DiMascio examines Mitt Romney's off-again, on-again position on the F-22 Raptor, noting it's not the first time during the presidential race that a defense message has been reversed. In July, President Barack Obama contradicted his own fiscal 2013 budget request regarding base closings. See “Up In The Air” on the Ares defense blog, and add to the discussion.

Talos 4 says:

Dennis Fetters has the final word: 

I was hired to design a helicopter for power-line patrolling and agricultural use such as spraying and seeding. That is what I did, and China was the place that needed it. This helo has no hardened components for military use; you can knock it out of the sky with a rock.

More Tributes To Neil Armstrong 

In the On Space blog, Senior Editor Guy Norris writes that though Neil Armstrong remained a deeply private man, one of the few arenas in which he seemed happy to speak was the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. In a talk at SETP's annual symposium in 2007, he covered the development and testing of the lunar landing research/training vehicle.

Redstone says:

Sequestration Smackdown 

Congressional Editor Jen DiMascio notes on the Ares defense blog the critique of sequestration made by former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. (ret.) Michael Mullen at a recent seminar held by the Center for Strategic & International Studies.

Dave-in-Rio-Rancho says:

We'd be in a lot less trouble aircraft-wise if Gates had continued F-22 production and development while reducing F-35 spending until the production configurations of the Joint Strike Fighter were more finalized.

RSF says:

Reaction To Northrop Grumman X-47B Video 

On our Ares defense blog, Associate Managing Editor Jefferson Morris posted a Northrop Grumman video of its X-47B in action, noting that it is well worth a look. Readers concur:

Reaction To Delta/Aeromexico MRO Plans 

On AviationWeek.com, Air Transport Editor Andrew Compart writes about Delta Air Lines' and AeroMexico's plan for a new MRO facility in Mexico:

Rich Wyeroski is skeptical:

We are fools to let this happen. Maintenance in Mexico is safe with no potential for terrorism? If you believe this, there is a bridge in N.Y. I would like to sell you.

Osroff responds:

FWeb_Topic_Webhead 

Senior Editor Graham Warwick writes about the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency awarding SAIC a contract to develop an antisubmarine-warfare continuous trail unmanned vessel (Actuv) that can shadow a submerged submarine throughout its patrol. Specifics about this “submarine stalker,” can be found on the Ares defense blog.

Marcase says:

Readers Weigh In On Likelihood Of Sequestration 

Web Editor Sean Meade asks Ares defense blog readers: “What do you make of the looming threat of sequestration in the U.S.—automatic budget cuts, half from defense—set to kick in at the end of the year if Congress doesn't intentionally cut from elsewhere?” Meade notes that “obviously, sequestration is a major political football, especially since we're gearing up for a nasty presidential election.” Many readers weighed in, including:

Pappy saying:

Responses To Canada's Cyclone Helo Delivery 

Aviation Week Senior Editor Graham Warwick's entry on the Ares defense blog about Canada receiving another Cyclone helicopter elicited several responses, including:

ghemago noting:

Paper Airbus Aircraft Available 

Rupa Haria, one of our London-based corespondents, provides some post-Farnborough, beat-the-summer-doldrums fun—Airbus's instructions for making a paper model of the A380—on the Things with Wings blog.

Aviation Week says:

Slow newsweek in London, except for Olympics-obsessed readers.

 
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