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We celebrate our 300th episode with Bill Sweetman, Senior International Defense Editor at Aviation Week & Space Technology.
We talk about black programs, the Aurora, and the mysterious aircraft photographed in the skies over Texas. Also, F-35 program strategy and how adversaries respond to the long program length and a strategy that relies on one aircraft. We discuss developing programs in the black compared to in the white, and harvesting existing technology versus developing new technology.
We consider the F-22 program and if the line should have been kept open, and the cost to maintain stealth coatings. Bill describes his original recommendation on what to do with the A-10 fleet, and answers the question, “Is there a role for manned reconnaissance aircraft?”
The week’s aviation news:
ICAO makes global flight tracking a priority in MH370 aftermath
ICAO Delivers Agreement Between States, Industry Groups on Global Airline Flight Tracking Capability
The International Civil Aviation Organization is a UN-sponsored organization created in 1944 under the Chicago Convention. Working with industry, ICAO develops Standards and Recommended Practices which are used by the member States as they develop their own national civil aviation regulations. Recently, ICAO held a Special Meeting on Global Flight Tracking of Aircraft and the member states agreed to make the tracking of airline flights a near-term priority.
Brooksville to be hub for new saucer-shaped aircraft
Corporate Jet Solutions entered into a joint-venture agreement with Aerobat Aviation, with hopes of launching the Geobat FS-7, kind of a flying saucer. They hope to have saucers ready for the 2014 Airventure Oshkosh.
SoCal sonic boom: Calling card of the top-secret Aurora spy plane?
Southern California residents were shaken lately by what some thought was an earthquake. But the US Navy confirms it was a sonic boom by an aircraft 50 miles off the coast. But one witness says he knows sonic booms and this was no sonic boom. Is it the Aurora?
Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works is developing the SR-72 spy plane. Is this what has been spotted in the sky?
Become a Pilot, Family Day and Aviation Display
Join Max, Rob, David, and a whole community of Avgeeks June 14, 2014, at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, located in Chantilly, Virginia. The annual Become a Pilot day features aircraft and activities for the whole family.
In this week’s Australia Desk:
In amongst all the congratulations for episode 300, the boys take us back to Qantas as, after all, it’s been a couple of months since they last talked about them!
From lay-offs to “weekend departure charges,” there’s much to say as Qantas celebrates 60 years of flying across the Pacific.
Then, for a change of pace, it seems the Australian Government are considering buying the F35B as well as the 72 F35As they’ve already committed to?
Finally, we round out by chatting about Hobart’s runway being upgraded to handle A330’s & 777’s.
Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.
In this week’s Across the Pond segment:
With Pieter recently crossing a major milestone in life, his reminiscing seems to be overwhelming. And with the recent passing of the VC10, L1011 and DC10 into living memory it is a little further back that he looks for solace and he finds it in the project “Ode to Concorde” which aims to be a visual celebration of the aircraft that’s imprinted in our minds for its exquisite aesthetics and iconic status in aviation history. Pieter talks to Director Chris Purcell about the project and how the aviation industry and you can step in to help create this film.
Find Ode to Concorde on Twitter and Facebook, and support them on Indiegogo. Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.
- AvTunes – Sky High Songs That Fly
Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at www.brotherloverocks.com.