In July, 2010, Newcastle Airport celebrated its 75th birthday in style. The lunchtime Airbus A321 “Shuttle” flight from Heathrow operated by British Airways was replaced with the much larger Boeing 747-400. The daily Airbus A330-200 flight from Dubai was replaced with a Boeing 777-300ER. From September 1st 2012 Emirates will be repeating its Birthday gift to Newcastle Airport (and the hundreds of geeky plane spotters who turned up to watch the spectacle) on a daily basis.
Emirates operates one of the largest widebody fleets in the world flying such iconic aircraft as the Airbus A380 Superjumbo on some of the longest non-stop sectors of any airline. Newcastle currently receives the smallest aircraft type that the United Arab Emirates-based company sends to the UK (Airbus A330). The upgrade will bring it in line with other airports such as Manchester, Glasgow, London Gatwick and Birmingham. London Heathrow receives 777s and a double-decker Airbus A380s.
For those of us who quite like watching heavy metal come into land at the Geordie airport, the 777 will be a very welcome sight.
Uh-oh. I’ve just had a very nasty realisation. We’ve already disobeyed Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics and if Hollywood has taught us anything, doing that is a fast-track to global human annihilation.
Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics are:
A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws
So it seems that giving a robot guns, missiles and a directive to use them against people is in direct violation of these Laws. But are we daft enough to give a machine this much power?
Well, yes. In fact, there is a whole industry blossoming around giving enormous amounts of destructive capability to boxes of printed circuit boards and wires. War robots are becoming the de facto standard on the modern battlefield, and as a result we have doomed ourselves to being massacred at the hands of these gun-toting iPods. Continue Reading “Disobeying The Three Laws”→
Dubai-based airline, Emirates, have placed an order for 50 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft at the Dubai Airshow (#DXB11). It is Boeing’s largest single order to date with a value (at list prices) of over $18 billion.
This week Boeing started production of the 1,000th 777 wide-body twin-jet, which is also destined for the middle-eastern carrier who is the largest customer for the 777. Emirates currently has 94 examples of the type in its fleet and is waiting on 41 unfulfilled orders, this order will bring the 777 fleet to 185.
This order also breaks the record for the most 777s ordered in a single year, 182 for 2011, compared to the previous record of 154 back in 2005. Emirates contributed to that record too; at the Dubai Airshow in 2005 they placed an order for 42 777s. 5 years later the airline ordered 30 more at the 2010 Farnborough Airshow .
Dubai-based Emirates already has a very impressive order list including a firm commitment to 90 Airbus A380 “superjumbo” airliners, of which 17 have been delivered. The airline has also ordered 70 examples of Airbus’s new “Extra Widebody” A350s.
Emirates has their home base at the new Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, which currently has a single runway but four more are planned. It is hoped that the airport has enough capacity for all of these large, long-haul widebody aircraft, now and as Emirates grows further.