The Bigger They Are…

Airbus Group NV (AIR) raised the prospect of discontinuing its A380 superjumbo as soon as 2018, the first admission that it may have misjudged the market for the double-decker after failing to find a single airline buyer this year.

A380

Bis heute hat Airbus Bestellungen für 318 Exemplare der A380 erhalten. Das ist nur gut ein Viertel des Bedarfs, den Airbus einst vorausgesagt hatte.

Look Mom No Cables

Many of us who have ridden inside an elevator since its invention 160 years ago are accustomed to hearing its ominous hums and creaks, as well as stories of malfunctioning elevators that cause people to be stuck inside for hours. So, the idea of hopping into a cable-free elevator in a mid to high-rise building can sound both thrilling and nerve-wracking. That idea is soon to become a reality for global transportation manufacturer ThyssenKrupp, who is set out to test the first units of their cable-free MULTI elevator system once the testing tower in Rottweil, Germany is complete by the end of 2016.

Operating on a circular system, the elevators will be able to move vertically and horizontally in a loop at a speed of 5 m/s, powered by new linear motor technology similar to that of the Transrapid magnetic-levitation train. Passengers would have access to an elevator cabin every 15-30 seconds with a transfer stop every 50 meters.

Anybody Can Land On A Comet

10 years and 6.5 billion kilometers later (give or take a few inches)…

The spaceship Rosetta’s landing probe Philae will be landing on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Tomorrow. We hope.

The comet is currently hurtling through space at 24,600 miles per hour and its nucleus is only 2.5 miles wide. Scientists compare the task to a fly trying to land on a speeding bullet.

PS: Why couldn’t they have scheduled this thing to land on 11.11 at 11 o’clock 11 in the morning?

German Balloonists Forced To Land In A Place Called Nebraska

They rose to 13,000 feet as they crossed into Kansas…

Balloonists

Ah, Nebraska weather — known killer of Sunday golf rounds, lazy days at Branched Oak Lake and a German couple’s hopes of winning an international ballooning competition.

Strangely, when asked about their ordeal later, the Germans said it was “nice.”

“I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”

I Had No Idea Germany Used To Be This Fat

But that’s why places like the British Museum have exhibitions like this, I guess.

Map

Germany – memories of a nation. A 600-year history in objects. You know, objects like these:

VW

Uh, why don’t they have exhibitions like this here in Berlin?

This exhibition will examine elements of German history from the past 600 years in the context of the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago.

German Doves Demand Pigeon Deployment

As expected and secretly hoped for, the proposal to send German military-surveillance drones to monitor the cease-fire in eastern Ukraine has run into a thicket of legal problems.

Drones

To pacify Moscow and the German doves opposed to the deployment, German pigeon drones will now be used instead.

France and Germany said they would consider providing drones. But their request to send armed teams as well to safeguard the drone operators could run into resistance at the OSCE, a civilian organization that includes Russia, which would have to agree to the plan.

Update: Why Germans Always Pay Cash?

Because they can. Take cash-stuffed German mega-companies, for instance.

Cash

They’re buying everything they can find in US-Amerika these days that hasn’t been tied down.

In recent days, two multibillion-dollar deals were announced. On Sunday, the German engineering conglomerate Siemens announced a $7.6 billion acquisition of the Dresser-Rand Group, the United States oil products company. And on Monday morning, Merck of Germany, the chemical and drug giant, said it would pay $17 billion for Sigma-Aldrich, an American life sciences company.

PS: Remember when Japan was going to take over the United States? No, I guess you wouldn’t remember that. Never mind.

Since When Does Ukraine Have A Graffiti Problem?

German drones could soon fly over eastern Ukraine? I thought they were only used for patrolling railyards by night to fight graffiti spraying terrorists here in Germany.

Drone

Or to harass the Bundeskanzlerin in Dresden. Or to terrify passengers on commercial airplanes trying to land in Kabul. Hey, practice makes perfect, I guess.

France and Germany are preparing to send their unmanned aircraft as part of the ongoing OSCE mission. The first soldiers from those countries arrived in Ukraine Tuesday to evaluate the conditions on the ground.

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