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BEN SANDILANDS | September 02, 2015 | SPACE | 1 |

A space platform to pave the way to finding gravitational waves is ready for its rocket

LISA Pathfinder, a spec amid the stars, testing ways of finding spacetime ripples

In terms of using space to make discoveries about the way the universe works the scale of the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna or LISA project is far larger than planet Earth itself, but a micro sized pathfinder mission to test the technologies it will use has just passed all of the essential ground checks needed before it is launched from the Kourou Space Base in French Guiana this November.

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BEN SANDILANDS | September 01, 2015 | AIR CRASHES | 4 |

German researchers go vague about their ‘new’ MH370 theory

This GEOMAR drift model looks like the one the CSIRO later dropped

Anyone hoping for a breakthrough in the search for MH370 from much hyped new German research will be disappointed tonight, as the scientists involved have suggested looking at a much larger part of the Indian Ocean!

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 31, 2015 | AIR CRASHES | 26 |

MH370 theories might take a new drift from German study

False MH 370 finds on La Reunion, collected after the flaperon recovery

Tuesday morning German time several researchers from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel are to hold a media conference suggesting that the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 needs to be shifted closer to the equator and middle of the Indian Ocean.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 29, 2015 | AIR CRASHES | 30 |

MH370 wing part mystery defies resolution

Children once thought their parents on MH370 might come back

The New York Magazine has published a succinct article as to why the wing part of a Boeing 777 washed up on La Réunion in the west Indian Ocean late in July continues to defy positive identification as having come from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 28, 2015 | DRONES | 7 |

ATSB says radio interference caused MCG drone crash

In its first drone crash investigation report, the ATSB blames a potentially serious incident at the Melbourne Cricket Ground at the world cup cricket final on 29 March this year on radio interference.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 27, 2015 | AIR CRASHES | 3 |

MH 370 search seeks a clearer look into deep sea shadows

An example of a synthetic aperture sonar scan of a sunken tanker

There are ‘shadows’ and ‘holes’ in the depths of the south Indian Ocean that have defied the sonar scanners used by the searchers for MH370, but they may give up whatever it is that lies within them when a change in the sea seasons arrives after about October. 

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 27, 2015 | CABINS | 16 |

United to move to all 787-9s on Australia routes in 2016

 

The Dreamliner 787-9, a lovely cabin ruined by bean counters?

Routes Online has tweeted but not yet posted that United Airlines will operate the 787-9 Dreamliner on all of its Australian services during the northern hemisphere spring and summer seasons.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 26, 2015 | FINANCIAL RESULTS | 33 |

Air New Zealand vows to take more of Australian market

A record day in the black for NZ's owners as it eyes more Australian growth

The end of the capacity war between Qantas and Virgin Australia has run into a problem.  It didn’t include Air New Zealand.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 25, 2015 | CABINS | 22 |

British Airways admits its 787s are too tight

 

Suitable for children but not adults, an economy cabin in a 787 Dreamliner

Runway Girl Network has become the go-to site for cabin developments free of marketing spin, and has drawn attention to an admission by British Airways that the economy seats in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner are too tight.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 24, 2015 | SPACE | 4 |

Last look at Dione as NASA Saturn probe nears its grand finale

Ranging from around 10-1000 metres in thickness, Saturn's rings lie side on beyond Dione

The Cassini-Huygens space probe has taken its last close up look at one of Saturn’s small moons Dione, but the vastness of the giant outer planet’s ring system has photo bombed it.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 24, 2015 | LOYALTY PROGRAMS | 1 |

Etihad puts points junkies on notice! Pay more or get less

Etihad puts a higher price on your loyalty from next month.

Following the changes already made by many other airlines, Etihad will require its loyal customers to pay more for their ‘reward’ points under a revised ‘more choice’ booking scheme which will take effect from 14 September.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 22, 2015 | AIR SAFETY | 21 |

That tail fire in an Ethiopian 787 was more serious than thought

The Ethiopian 787 at London Heathrow after the tail fire was suppressed

The aviation world quickly lost interest in a tail fire in a parked Ethiopian Airlines 787 at London Heathrow in 2013 when it was found to have been caused by a pinched wire in an emergency locator transmitter and not its then controversial underfloor lithium ion batteries .

However this last week’s release of the UK incident investigation by the AAIB has changed that.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 21, 2015 | ROUTES | 31 |

How the Qantas 787s could transform Perth, Adelaide services

Perth Airport stopped by an unexpected storm, bad news for long range jets

The passing reference by Qantas group CEO Alan Joyce to the possibility of making Perth the Australian anchor for non-stop flights to London may not have touched on its real potential for transforming Western Australian links to the rest of the world.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 20, 2015 | FINANCIAL RESULTS | 13 |

Qantas: Low seat count for 787s, high expectations for Jetstar

Qantas group CEO Alan Joyce at the February half year presser

Qantas group CEO Alan Joyce says Jetstar will not open new ventures until it is satisfied with the profitability of the three Asia based franchises in Singapore, Vietnam and Japan but sees a strong future for the brand.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 20, 2015 | FINANCIAL RESULTS | 23 |

Qantas makes $975m profit, orders 8 Dreamliners

Four of the 787-9s will be delivered in FY18 and the rest in FY19

Qantas has beaten the many of the optimistic forecasts for its full year to 30 June profitability with an underlying profit before tax of $975 million and a statutory PBT of $789 million and will make a capital return to shareholders equivalent to 23 cents per share.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 19, 2015 | AIR CRASHES | 13 |

New MH370 search planning meeting proposed for next month

The search for wreckage on La Reunion has now been called off

The sea floor search for MH370 could get another and this time loosely described planning meeting between Australia, Malaysia and China in Canberra next month.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 18, 2015 | AIRLINER DESIGNS | 14 |

Airbus offers Singapore Airlines an ultra long range A350

Airbus A340-500 in its generic guise

Singapore Airlines wants its ability to fly non-stop between Singapore and Newark (for Manhattan) to be restored ASAP and Airbus is offering a solution in a special edition of the A350 by the end of 2018.

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BEN SANDILANDS | August 18, 2015 | PERSONAL HYGIENE | 18 |

Are ‘efficient’ tight fit airliner toilets a hygiene risk?

This is progress in combining passengers refreshments and toilet facilities?

Runway Girl has done a very through review of the consequences of downsizing galleys and toilets in order to squeeze in more seats, but without mentioning the unmentionable. A lack of room for users to wipe their bums.

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