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December 20, 2003

NetJets Giveth... And NetJets Taketh Away

A lot of people wondered earlier this week if the market in fractional bizjet ownership had suddenly gone through the roof. NetJets had ordered 58 new jets, a $360 million order. That was on top of the 50 CJ3s NetJets already had on order from Textron's Cessna.Friday, NetJets dropped the other shoe. It cancelled its order for the Cessna aircraft.

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Beagle Separates From Mother Ship On Search For Life

Europe's Mars Lander separated from its mothership Friday, heading for touchdown on the Red Plane Christmas day (first Mars photo from Mars Express, below). Michael McKay, mission manager for the Mars Express, confirmed the separation just after 6:00 am EST. Beagle-2 is on its way to search for signs of life on the fourth rock from the sun.

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Mesa Air Group Response to Ruling in US District Court

Mesa Air Group says it has been advised of a Washington (DC) federal judge's ruling handed down Thursday, which was "in favor of certain aspects of Atlantic Coast Airlines's lawsuit against Mesa. Although the judge denied all of Atlantic Coast's claims with respect to antitrust violations, the judge issued a preliminary injunction against Mesa, stopping it from moving ahead with its attempt to overthrow the ACA board of directors.

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Northrop Grumman, NASA Successfully Test Fuel Tank For Reusable Launch Vehicles

A team of engineers from Northrop Grumman Corporation and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville (AL) have demonstrated that a new, specially designed fuel tank made from composite materials can safely hold and contain liquid hydrogen under simulated launch conditions. The tests were conducted Nov. 22 at the Marshall Center, as part of NASA's Next Generation Launch Technology (NGLT) program, an ongoing effort to develop and mature technologies required for a next generation reusable launch vehicle. Liquid hydrogen is an essential but highly volatile fuel used in the combustion process that propels rockets.  It must be stored and used at -423 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature that causes most materials to become quite brittle. 

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WY TFR: 12/20-01/03

Merry Christmas... You Get Your Airspace Back In A Week NOTAM: 3/1978 Issued: 12/19/2003 13:01 Effective: 12/20/2003 17:40 - 01/03/2004 17:40 State: WY Facility: ZLC - SALT LAKE CITY (ARTCC),UT. Type: VIP Description: JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING, DECEMBER 20, 2003 TO JANUARY 3, 2004 LOCAL.

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Kitty Hawk: Two-Star Test Pilot

Most aviators would like to think they have the “best” job in the business. At least, that's what they'll tell you. This time, however, we may have found the one person who really does. Major General Doug Pearson, is the commander of the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base (CA). Just sorta gives you chills typing it.  We found him at the VIP viewing area at the Wright Brothers National Monument on Wednesday. He was to witness “first-hand” what the first two test pilots did a century ago.

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Love At First Flight

Neither rain, nor snow, nor cold, wet mud deterred this Canadian couple from marrying their love of flight with their love for each other. Meet Melanie and Mike Rhora, from Hamilton, Ontario Canada. They're huge fans of flight and particular fans of the Cirrus SR-22. So they asked the company if they could get married right there at the booth in Kitty Hawk (NC) during Wednesday's (soggy) Centennial of Flight commemoration.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (12.20.03)

"Kris Kringle, d.b.a. Santa Claus, got the green light today from the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to engage in air travel to various points throughout the United States the night of Dec. 24-25. An order granting a flight certificate and signed by U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta finds that Santa Claus is 'exceptionally fit, joyfully willing and uniquely able to engage in the interstate air transportation for which he has requested a certificate.' The Secretary added that Santa has a 100 percent on-time arrival record, having never failed to deliver all of his toys by Christmas morning." Source: Source: Department of Transportation news release, which doesn't mention whether the packages aboard Santa's sleigh have been manually screened or X

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Santa Cleared For Flight By DOT

Kris Kringle, d.b.a. Santa Claus, got the green light today from the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to engage in air travel to various points throughout the United States the night of Dec. 24-25. An order granting a flight certificate and signed by U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta finds that Santa Claus is "exceptionally fit, joyfully willing and uniquely able to engage in the interstate air transportation for which he has requested a certificate." The Secretary added that Santa has a 100 percent on-time arrival record, having never failed to deliver all of his toys by Christmas morning.

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