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Analysis and Comment (8)

More than 100 vessels and aircraft from eight countries looking for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared on Saturday with 239 people on board. More than 100 vessels and aircraft from eight countries looking for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared on Saturday with 239 people on board. EPA/Ahman Yusni

Why some air crash investigations remain mysteries of the deep

The missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has some similarities to the disappearance of Pan Am flight 944, which disappeared into the Pacific Ocean almost 50 years ago. Late in the afternoon of November…
Looking for flight MH370. Looking for flight MH370. EPA/Malaysian Maritime Agency

What could have happened to flight MH370?

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 – with 239 people on board – is unusual in that two days after the plane lost communication there is no reliable evidence of debris. No radio calls were…
So many questions but few answers for Malaysia Airlines. So many questions but few answers for Malaysia Airlines. EPA/AHMAD YUSNI

Clock is ticking on Malaysia Airlines in crisis management

For Malaysia Airlines, every hour counts as it deals with the loss of flight MH370 with 227 passengers and 12 crew on-board. The first 48 hours of a crisis are the most critical for an organisation as…
More like a bird. More like a bird. NASA

Morphing is one way to make aircraft more efficient

It is estimated that by 2050 there will be a six-fold increase in the number of flights there are today. This is going to be an environmental problem, and it will need radical change in aircraft design…
If we assume that demand for in-flight internet is going to increase, it’s time we did something about it. If we assume that demand for in-flight internet is going to increase, it’s time we did something about it. Damian Shaw/AAP

Qantas drops in-flight Wi-Fi – the NBN to the rescue?

The trial of in-flight Wi-Fi on six Qantas Airbus A380s flying between Melbourne, Los Angeles and London has ended, following an announcement by the carrier last week. So why does this matter? And could…
More than 50% of the Airbus A350 is made of composite materials. More than 50% of the Airbus A350 is made of composite materials. EPA/DB/EADS

Let’s stick together: composite materials, aeroplanes and you

What do Novak Djokovic’s tennis racket, Mark Webber’s F1 car and the new Boeing 787 have in common? They all extensively rely on composite materials. A composite material is a strategic combination of…
When you’re swimming at an unpatrolled beach, a UAV could help keep you safe. When you’re swimming at an unpatrolled beach, a UAV could help keep you safe. opacity

Eyes in the sky: how unmanned aircraft could patrol our beaches (and more)

For the past hundred-odd years, commercial aviation has relied on a human pilot sitting behind the controls of an aircraft. Today, designers and engineers are beginning to ask: “Is it even necessary to…
All 68 of the world’s Airbus A380 have to be inspected. All 68 of the world’s Airbus A380 have to be inspected. Telstar Logistics

The Airbus A380 wing cracks: an engineer’s perspective

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has ordered the inspection of all Airbus A380 superjumbos following the detection of cracks in the wings of several aircraft. Cracks were first discovered in…