robots
The US Air Force’s New Robot Can Fly Any Plane and Turn It Into an Autonomous Drone

Unmanned aircraft are the future of military aviation, minimising the risks to human pilots during dangerous missions and hazardous operations. Autonomous planes have already been put into service but the US Air Force is now testing a robot that can pilot the military’s existing fleet of aircraft, making any plane autonomous with minimal modifications. Read More >>

apple
Airlines Ban Some Recalled MacBook Pro Models From Flying, Citing Fire Risk

The US Federal Aviation Administration has “banned select MacBook Pro” units from flying in the air after Apple issued a warning that some contained batteries that pose a fire risk, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. Read More >>

china
Eighth Busiest Airport in the World Shuts Down For Second Day Over Pro-Democracy Protests in Hong Kong

Hong Kong International Airport has been shut down for the second time in two days after pro-democracy protests disrupted normal operations. The airport, which handles 75 million passengers a year, is the eighth busiest in the world and a major international hub in Asia. Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam warned that Hong risked sliding into “an abyss.” Read More >>

news
Hong Kong Cancels All Flights as Thousands of Pro-Democracy Protesters Occupy Airport

Hong Kong International Airport has cancelled flights for the day after 6 PM local time as pro-democracy protests in the city rage on for the tenth consecutive week. Incoming flights will be allowed to land, but outgoing flights for the night have been halted and it’s not clear when air travel might resume. Read More >>

boeing
U.S. FAA Reportedly Delegated Oversight of Critical 737 Max Flight System to Boeing

A New York Times investigation into the Boeing 737 Max crisis—involving two crashes that killed a cumulative 346 people and the continued grounding of the entire line from global service—has found troubling signs that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration process to guarantee the planes’ safety was fatally flawed and bent to Boeing pressure when it came to potential hazards. Read More >>

technology
French Inventor Touts Rifle While Flying Turbine-Powered Flyboard at Bastille Day Celebrations

European leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron were treated to a demonstration of the Flyboard Air, a sort of gas turbine-powered jetpack/hoverboard/flying platform originally invented by jetski champ Franky Zapata, during Bastille Day festivities in Paris on Sunday. Read More >>

space
Virgin Orbit Carries Out Its First Successful Rocket Drop Test From Modified Boeing 747

Virgin Orbit, the sister company of spaceflight company Virgin Galactic, nailed its first-ever drop test on Wednesday using a dummy LauncherOne rocket deployed from a Boeing 747 carrier named Cosmic Girl, Space.com reported. Read More >>

science
Aeroplane Contrails Have Surprising Effect on the Atmosphere

The climate impact of flying isn’t just about carbon emissions. The contrails that aeroplanes create also influence the temperature of our atmosphere – and a new study finds that impact is set to grow in a big way. Read More >>

boeing
Delta CEO Calls Boeing 737 Max Problems a ‘One Off’ Despite Two Deadly Crashes on Other Airlines

Delta has never flown the Boeing 737 Max plane, which has been grounded worldwide in the wake of two crashes that killed 346 people in Ethiopia and Indonesia. But Delta still wants to assure people that Boeing’s problems aren’t a big deal, judging by the discussion that Delta CEO Ed Bastian had at the Code Conference in the US state of Arizona on Tuesday. Read More >>

boeing
Boeing Jet Sales Have Tanked in the Wake of 737 Max Crashes

After two crashes in the Java Sea near Indonesia and Ethiopia involving Boeing’s 737 Max line of passenger jets killed a total of 346 people, sales of 737 Max models have plummeted, CNN reported on Tuesday. Read More >>

aviation
Report: Boeing Insiders Called U.S. Civil Aviation Hotline to Report Issues With 737 Max Jets

At least four current or former Boeing employees called a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration hotline to report issues with the company’s 737 Max line of jets on April 5, the day after Ethiopia’s minister of transportation released a preliminary report on the crash of Ethopian Airlines flight 302 in March 2019 that killed 157 people, CNN reported this weekend. Read More >>

space
Stratolaunch, World’s Largest-Ever Plane by Wingspan, Successfully Takes Off on Maiden Flight

Stratolaunch, the world’s largest plane by wingspan and the brainchild of late Silicon Valley billionaire Paul Allen, finally took off at around 10:00 a.m. local time on Saturday for a two and a half hour inaugural flight, the Washington Post reported. Read More >>

air travel
Boeing’s 737 Max Fix Won’t Be Ready for Weeks

Boeing’s 737 Max line of jets won’t be flying passengers again for at least a few weeks as the company continues working on software and hardware updates deemed necessary after two air disasters, CNN reported on Monday, citing an updated timeline issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. Read More >>

boeing
Boeing May Be About to Lose a £3.7 Billion Order for Its 737 Max Planes

An airline in Indonesia just became the first in the world to try and cancel its order for Boeing’s Max planes in the wake of the two deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia within the past five months. And the move has the potential to cost Boeing billions. Read More >>

technology
Aviation Experts Have Predicted Automation Will Lead to Disasters Like the Boeing Max Crashes for 15 Years

The two tragic crashes of Boeing’s best-selling 737 Max planes increasingly look to be caused in part by a malfunctioning automated system—and the pilots’ lack of training around how to deal with it—that was designed to keep the aircraft from stalling out. The final reports aren’t in yet, but the similarities between the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that together killed 346 people, and the log of complaints from other pilots about the system, all point to trouble with the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS. Read More >>