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James R. Asker

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

Jim retired in 2017 after almost three decades with Aviation Week & Space Technology, where he 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.

Top Technologies: 'Protecting the Pilot' to 'Keeping It Together'  5
Here are some of the most important technologies, innovations and novel ideas that have made aviation and space what they are today.​
A Farewell: Our Executive Editor Reflects On A Great Three-Decade Ride 28
James R. Asker has flown in—and sometimes actually flown—a wide array of civil and military aircraft, and he can’t wait to see what amazing vehicles and creative businesses you will come up with next.
Podcast: The Cockpit of the Future 6
Curved touch screens, augmented reality, integrated smart systems that drastically reduce pilot workload—all these are coming in the no-to-distant future
Podcast: Pilotless Airliner—How Realistic? How Soon? 30
Will large aircraft ever fly with no pilot on board? It is inevitable, our panel says. But what about passenger acceptance?
Podcast: The Future of Heavy-Lift Space Launchers 20
Who will make it to Mars first? NASA, or the new entrepreneurs? Listen in as our editors discuss.
Podcast: Programs To Watch At Paris Air Show 1
There is a lot of intriguing activity in the aerospace industry than is not be apparent at first look.
Podcast: The State Of The Airline Industry
As the world’s airline executives gather in Cancun, Mexico, what are the most urgent issues facing the industry?
Podcast: Uber’s Flying Taxi Plan and Personal Aviation 13
Uber has announced plans for an air taxi service. How realistic are they?
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.
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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