Stratolaunch Systems announces world’s largest plane is close to flying – an annotated infographic

Stratolaunch Systems, the space launch venture backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, is planning to conduct the maiden flight of its giant carrier aircraft within the next few months. The six-engine, twin-fuselage aircraft, built by California-based Scaled Composites, is designed to carry rockets up to high altitude and launch them to space from there. The alternative to conventional rocket launches could provide an affordable and efficient way to place satellites in orbit. The aircraft has been through two taxi tests so far at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. If three more tests go smoothly, Stratolaunch will move … Continue reading Stratolaunch Systems announces world’s largest plane is close to flying – an annotated infographic

Russia’s aviation safety record – an annotated infographic

The crash of a Russian Antonov An-148 plane near Moscow earlier this month, which killed all 71 people aboard, is one of the country’s worst-ever aviation disasters. Russia has suffered 11 air disasters since 2008, claiming 893 lives, according to Airsafe.com. The chronology of tragedy among Russian carriers contains a number of recurrent themes. The leading cause of fatal accidents appears to be a combination of severe weather and poor pilot decision-making. Click on the graphic for an expanded view. Continue reading Russia’s aviation safety record – an annotated infographic

#USAF F35 Lightning II and Boeing 737 Max 10 to fly @ParisAirShow

The Paris Air Show is coming soon to the skies of our Gallic pals across the English Channel, with a couple of notable planes to be spotted. The US Air Force’s F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter is scheduled to appear at this year’s Show, with Lockheed Martin pilots performing the first aerial demonstration in the skies above Le Bourget. Click on the graphic for an expanded view. Another cloud-botherer to watch out for is Boeing’s 737 MAX 10, the aviation company’s new single-aisle workhorse people carrier, designed to counter strong sales of the Airbus A321neo. Boeing forecasts global demand for … Continue reading #USAF F35 Lightning II and Boeing 737 Max 10 to fly @ParisAirShow

Flying still statistically the safest way to travel – 2014 the best year ever – an annotated infographic

Good news for fans of flying: despite an apparent alarming tendency for modern planes to mysteriously drop out of the sky and collide with various unforgiving surfaces harder than was ever intended, aircraft accident rates are in fact at an historic low. Obviously, statistics are no comfort whatsoever to anyone that has lost a loved one in a plane crash, but the unemotional world of statistics decrees that despite a number of recent high-profile commercial aviation disasters, there has never been a safer time to fly. According to air safety analysts Ascend, the global airline fatal accident rate in 2014 … Continue reading Flying still statistically the safest way to travel – 2014 the best year ever – an annotated infographic