AIR International UK - 2019 February

AIR International UK - 2019 February
2019 February
AIR International Magazine - For the best in modern military and commercial aviation 
Established in 1972, AIR International has established an unrivalled reputation for authoritative reporting and coverage of the full spectrum of aviation subjects. 
More recently, we have tried to improve the magazine from cover to cover. We have more correspondents and top aviation writers from around the world, offering even more exciting news, features and stunning photography. 
Published monthly, AIR International has more pages than ever, all still dedicated to commercial and military aviation. Our new, more contemporary and colourful design, packed with more images and improved graphics make each page easier on the eye and, most importantly, more enjoyable to read.

  THINGS CONTINUE apace around the international F-35 programme. The Royal Australian Air Force delivered its first two aircraft down under, Japan announced its intention to order more F-35As and acquire F-35Bs, making it the fourth nation to acquire the fifth-gen jump jet, and the UK’s Ministry of Defence declared initial operational capability on its fleet of nine F-35Bs assembled at RAF Marham, Norfolk. UK Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson tweeted: “I am delighted to announce that the UK now has nine F-35 Lightning jets ready to be deployed on operations around the world. The RAF has long shown Britain as its great and global best, and today it lifts our nation to even greater heights.”
  Ouch, what a gaffe! Our Gav forgot the senior service, the Royal Navy. It’s a common assumption that UK F-35s are only operated by
the Royal Air Force. The fact is, the UK’s Lightning Force is a joint force manned by personnel from the Royal Navy, not just the Royal Air Force. Perhaps there’s a plan to rename RAF Marham, HMS Nelson after Horatio Nelson, a Norfolk lad who rose to the rank of Vice Admiral, and is perhaps Britain’s most famous flag officer. Now there’s an idea.
  Also reaching for the stars during our latest production month was Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo aircraft VMS Eve, which flew above the California desert, on December 13, 2018. It released SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity, with pilots Mark Stucky and Frederick Sturckow aboard, and speared towards space, its engine burning for 60 seconds, propelling the spaceplane to a peak speed of Mach 2.9 and an altitude of 51.4 miles above Earth’s surface. Magnifi cent!
  As if that wasn’t enough, the first step towards a new era of supersonic passenger flights has been taken, with Lockheed Martin’s famed Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California, starting to produce components for the X-59 Quiet Supersonic Technology demonstrator.
  You can read about all these stories in this issue, along with profiles of the world’s five 5G fighters across 24 pages providing details of the aircraft, operations and ongoing development – our main theme this month.
  AIR International’s March 2019 issue will include coverage of Russia’s strategic bombers, and will be on sale in the UK and around the globe from February 28.

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