Aviation

The origin of the phrase "have your ass in a sling" is a matter of debate. In his Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins , Robert Hendrickson suggests that the expression derives from "have your arm...
In 1995, Maurício Botelho embarked on a suicide mission. The engineer had been tapped to save Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica, a small, dying aircraft manufacturer in São Paulo, Brazil. The company...
The personal minijet now is on the arrival screen. Just as deliveries of very light jets (VLJs) are commencing, some of their makers are turning their attention to even smaller craft. Among them is...
Mike Van Staagen is a big man; he stands 6-foot-4, with broad shoulders and long legs. Not surprisingly, Van Staagen, vice president of design for the Advanced Development Group at Cirrus Design, has...
The fractional jet operator Bombardier Flexjet ( www.flexjet.com ), a recent Robb Report Best of the Best honoree, is giving you a chance to be an angel. When you purchase a Flexjet 25 flight card,...
We are hurtling toward rust-colored rocks. But John McAfee, sitting in front of me, seems relaxed enough. His fingers nudge the metal tube that controls the single, fabric-covered wing of this tiny...
There is a good reason why the business aircraft made by France’s Dassault Aviation resemble fighter planes: The company’s Falcon business jet evolved from its Mystère military craft, which first...
Three minutes after takeoff from runway 4 at Honolulu International Airport, at about 3,000 feet, the Gulfstream IV’s left engine catches fire. Seated in the copilot’s chair, I call up a checklist on...
As an instructor, Steve Saleen might be better suited for the Bob Bondurant racing school, for which he once worked, than for a driver’s ed class. Automotive editor Gregory Anderson reached this...
On a March afternoon eight years ago, Swiss native Bertrand Piccard, then 41 years old, flew the Breitling Orbiter 3 over Mauritania, completing the first nonstop circumnavigation of the globe in a...
The P-38 fighter plane known as Glacier Girl is expected to complete its mission to England in July—65 years late, but the circumstances that delayed the flight were extraordinary. The pilot...
Bombardier Flexjet (800.353.9538, www.flexjet.com ), the subsidiary of the manufacturer of Learjet and Challenger aircraft, is adding customers at a healthy clip: Share sales rose 12 percent last...
According to Dale Klapmeier, cofounder and vice chairman of Cirrus Design, customers are lining up to place $100,000 deposits on the company’s recently announced $1 million jet. Cirrus, which began...
Bombardier Flexjet ( see here ) offers two flight-card programs. Skyjet (888.275.9538, www.skyjet.com ) provides flight hours in Flexjet’s fleet of Learjet and Challenger aircraft, as well as in a...
Delta AirElite Business Jets, the jet charter operation owned by Delta Air Lines, continues to enhance its flight-card operation, which it launched in 2003. Most recently, the Delta AirElite Fleet...
As the plane readies for takeoff, a controller’s voice comes over the headphones: "We’ve got an experimental on the runway. . . Whoa! Did you build that yourself?" "About 51 percent," replies Mike...
Erik Lindbergh showed how far general aviation has progressed over the decades, when, five years ago, he retraced his grandfather’s most famous achievement, the world’s first solo transatlantic...
Private helicopter/airplane hybrids are winging our way. As of December, fliers had placed 65 orders for the two-pilot, nine-passenger BA609 Tiltrotor from Bell/Agusta Aerospace Co. ( www.bellagusta...
August Henningsen, the CEO of Lufthansa Technik, remembers the 2000 Olympics well. “That was when we refitted a Boeing 747 to take 10 horses to the games,” he says. Over the years, the Hamburg...
Five years ago, Honda Motor Co. engineer Michimasa Fujino wrote a technical paper in which he described a small jet with a bizarre design. At the time, engineers agreed that a jet’s engines could be...
In the sky above the Kalahari Desert, near the Jwaneng diamond mine in south central Botswana, one occasionally may spot an airship the length of a football field. The South African company De Beers...
For an Allied pilot in World War II, few sights were as fearsome as that of the German Messerschmitt Me 262, a speedy jet fighter known as the Swallow (because it is shaped like one). Rare is the...
Sentient’s Jet Membership program has tripled in the 22 months that CEO Steve Hankin has occupied the pilot’s chair, so it is not surprising that people tend to listen to him. “The commercial...
The Raytheon Hawker 850XP, which debuted last year, has been given new composite-construction winglets—vertical wing tips—to enhance both the performance and the appearance of the proven Hawker 800...
Since 1967, when the late Carl Hirschmann purchased some aircraft hangars in Basel, Switzerland, and named the outfit Jet Aviation, his company has bloomed into the world’s largest aircraft...
To build its high-performance, all-composite Spectrum 33, Spectrum Aeronautical pioneered a manufacturing process that involves a new carbon-graphite material called fibeX and superlight components,...
TAG Aviation, Cessna’s joint-venture partner in the CitationShares fractional-ownership program, also offers charter services, with more than 100 aircraft at over 50 locations throughout the world...
Bombardier’s Learjet, Challenger, and Global brands already have significant market share, but the company is not resting on its laurels. Its latest entry, the Bombardier Challenger 605, further...
In 1964, Clay Lacy was the first to fly a corporate jet, a Learjet 23, to the West Coast (from Learjet’s base in Wichita, Kan.). Forty-two years later, Lacy is still flying that plane, and his...
Embraer, a Brazilian company that had been building regional jets and military aircraft, branched into the executive-jet category last year when it introduced the Legacy 600, an ­aircraft that...

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