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March 07, 2004

First Flight: Global Flyer

The Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer -- known in Mojave (CA) as Scaled Composites Model 311 -- made its maiden flight over the California desert Friday, the first in a series of test flights that will culminate in a round-the-world flight using a single pilot and a single load of fuel.

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End Of The Line For 717?

A quick read of the economic tea leaves shows Boeing may well be on the way toward dumping its 717 and shutting down production of the aircraft at its Long Beach (CA) plant. The program has been in trouble for well over a year now. In 2001, Boeing delivered 49 of the Last year, the company delivered just 13.

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Airships Could Patrol Skies

The dirigible, or airship, may be employed as a tool to detect potential attacks against the United States, DoD officials told House of Representative members March 4. "We believe the best way to protect Americans is to defeat terrorists as far away from our homeland as we can," Air National Guard Maj. Gen. John A. Love said in his prepared testimony before the House Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee. Love is a senior officer with US Northern Command, the unified command charged with defending the United States from land, air and sea attack.

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ANN Exclusive: PATCO Endorses Kerry

The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, has endorsed John Kerry for President of the United States. President Ron Taylor says PATCO believes that as President, John Kerry will take the necessary action to "correct the problems of the air traffic control system that have been severely ignored by the Bush Administration."

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Spirit Confirms Evidence Of Water On Mars

Several days after NASA's announcement that the rover Opportunity has found solid evidence of water on Mars, that finding appears to have been confirmed by its twin, Spirit, half a world away.

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Hello? You'll Never Guess Where I Am

Mobile phones are great -- as long as they're turned on. The problem, of course, is that you can't use them on board commercial aircraft while they're in the air. But now, Verizon has come up with an idea to keep those calls coming. Verizon and Airfone have teamed up to offer Verizon subscribers a chance to log into the Airfone nearest them by entering their cell phone number, PIN, and seat location. Incoming cell calls are then transferred to the closest Airfone.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (03.07.04)

"When people stop buying them (717s), we will shut it down. There are ongoing campaigns. If those are successful, it will continue on. I'm not trying to be flip or glib about it at all." Source: Boeing CEO Harry Stonecipher, speaking in January about the troubled 717 production line. Orders for Boeing's smallest commercial offering are down and now the company wants to take a $400 million charge-off for marketing efforts that appear to be making little headway. The charge-off could mean the beginning of the end of the aircraft line, which is based in Long Beach (CA) and could mean pink slips for many of the company's 14,000 workers there.

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Northrop-Grumman Delivers JSTARS Aircraft

Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered the 16th E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) aircraft to the US Air Force, a month ahead of schedule. The company is the Air Force's Joint STARS prime contractor.

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