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It’s a testament to the odd alliances and unlikely partnerships of the early Cold War that the final aircraft designed by the legendary Willy Messerschmitt — indeed his only supersonic design — was manufactured not in Europe but in the industrial city of Helwan, just outside Cairo.

Quite remarkably, in the 1960s Egypt was on the cusp of self-sufficiency in fighter aircraft, about to ride the wave of rapid development in an era...

Rolls-Royce is concentrating on three areas to make future aviation more sustainable, these are: developing advances in the gas turbine engine; collaborating on the use of sustainable alternative fuel; and exploring radical alternatives such as electrification.

Hard on the heels of last month’s proposed acquisition of Siemens’s electric and hybrid-electric aerospace propulsion “eAircraft” business, Rolls-Royce entered an agreem...

One of the most challenging tasks African aviation faces is getting its importance recognised by the governments of all 54 states in Africa.

The recent remarks by Muhammad Ali Albakri, IATA’s Regional VP for Africa and the Middle East are essential reading for policymakers. Discussing the contribution of air transport, Albakri said that aviation has an extremely important strategic role in supporting Africa’s socio-economic dev...

Is Africa still five times as dangerous?

In 2013 Tony Tyler, then IATA’s Director General and CEO, speaking at the IATA AGM held in Cape Town  said that safety is one of the issues preventing Africa from reaching its full potential. The total accident rate for all jet airliners in Africa during 2012 was 10.85 accidents per million flight hours, compared to a world average of 2.00. in other words African airlines are more than f...

Daher, the French builder of TBM turboprops, has announced that it will purchase Quest Aircraft, builder of the Kodiak 100 utility turboprop.

Daher says the acquisition strengthens two of the company’s strategic pillars by boosting its market position in the turboprop segment and growing its footprint in North America. “The Quest Aircraft Company’s acquisition represents an additional step in our development in the United State...

Fifty years ago, at the 1969 Paris Air Show, Airbus launched itself with the Airbus A300. In the intervening 50 years the company has grown into a massive airframe, defence and space conglomerate. The A300 turned the airline industry on its head. But it took a while.

The A300 was the first European twin-aisle twin-engine jet for medium-haul air travel. What is arguably far more significant was that Airbus managed to integrate p...

Worldwide the airline industry is having an unprecedently good run, as it is now entering its tenth year of profits and is covering its cost of capital – an excellent achievement for a capital intensive industry with thin margins.

However, in stark contrast, African airlines are still failing miserably – and if you take the privately owned airlines and outlier Ethiopian airlines out of the mix, then the picture is disastrous. A...

SA Flyer January edition featured an in-depth look at the Saab Gripen. While lauded for its agility, diverse ordnance load, and ability to use short runways, one aspect of the Gripen that makes as big an impact on its combat performance is its world-leading integration and use of digital tactical data links. It’s worth taking a dive into the history behind how Sweden developed the Gripen’s data link.

Sweden has long been a pion...

On its maiden flight, in February 1969, very few people were likely to have predicted that the Boeing 747 would spark a revolution in commercial aviation, but now, fifty years later, no-one can dispute that it did. Yet the early story of how the Jumbo rose to become the most recognised aircraft in the world is far from smooth or trouble free.

You’re probably familiar with the concept of ‘The Butterfly Effect’. A classic example...

Ms Siza Mzimela has been enticed back to turn around SA Express (SAX) – which was run into the ground by a succession of disastrous management and crooked procurement activities. After three years as CEO of SAX, Ms Mzimela was promoted to CEO of SAA – where under difficult circumstances she turned a profit.

Guy Leitch interviewed her in December in her temporary office in a tatty annexe to SAA headquarters at Airways Park at OR...

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