|Frank, a bit of miscellany here...|
Your response at Message 25748006
CIVIL TELECOMMUNICATIONS - ITS* MOBILIZATION AND CONTROL
led me to an old bookmark - Albert LaFrance's Cold War Comms.
A fascinating site. Albert has another: long-lines.net
However, one of the discussions at Cold War Comms led here:
...and inquiries about RF interference (possibly fatally destructive to in-flight systems) from a US facility in Australia
Modern airframe construction has been the subject of many stories, in "print" and otherwise.
Following the Airbus story and the NYT blog about it, one aspect of advanced design and construction that's looking suspicious is performance of composites.
You may recall a fairly contentious debate here a while back, basically about delays with the new Airbus 380, and relative merits of Airbus vs. Boeing. Comparisons were made from different perspectives.
At present, both Airbus and Boeing have suffered significant delays in production of their latest-generation aircraft. The truth appears to be that new materials (especially composite delamination), and man-machine interaction in unforeseen circumstances are yielding unpredictable results. The point: manufacturer difficulties, recent accidents and parallel research suggest we're at the leading, bleeding edge of aircraft technology - and may be making some mistakes - despite claims to the contrary.
Also noteworthy: within the NYT blog comments are discussions about why real-time transmissions can't be used for flight data recording, instead of (or as an adjunct to) black boxes. It seems like a good question; even with voice, files wouldn't be that large.