back to article LOHAN's final test flight set to honour PRATCHETT

Our search for a suitably snappy title for our forthcoming final Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) test flight has ended agreeably with a reader poll coming down firmly in support of PRATCHETT. Alex Carlton's "Planes Reactive Airborne Tests Checking Heuristically for Extreme Technological Tantrums" ran away with the …

  1. Kydoimos

    GNU Terry Pratchett

    A mans not dead while his name is still spoken.

    1. David Webb

      Re: GNU Terry Pratchett

      I think it's awesome, there are so many small tributes to Pratchett in the tech world, space stations in Elite, headers, this, just goes to show how popular Sir Terry was to us tech fans.

      Hopefully in a hundred or so years time, he'll have replaced Dickens as the author of choice for schools.

      1. Rusty 1

        Re: GNU Terry Pratchett

        "goes to show how popular Sir Terry was to us tech fans."

        I hate to pick up on a typo, but you seem to have accidentally written "was" where "is" was probably better suited.

        While his name is still spoken.

        1. Jedit Silver badge

          "I hate to pick up on a typo"

          It's not a typo, it's your lack of grammar. Pterry's popularity is not in the past tense. Sadly, the man himself is. The GNU is just the technical equivalent of a man not being truly dead so long as he is remembered.

          Which reminds me of the old Rowan Atkinson piece:

          "Gone, but not forgotten. It could be worse. You could be gone and forgotten. Worse still, you could be forgotten and NOT DEAD."

    2. Elmer Phud

      Re: GNU Terry Pratchett

      The turtle moves

  2. Jad

    4 years

    It's been 4 years since you stared this project ...

    I know it's great to watch the progress, but others have come along and stolen your thunder a little.

    how long till we see the bird fly?

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: 4 years

      Unless the FAA starts reporting to Lord Vetinary - a while yet.

      The El Reg team is seriously handicapped here - by not being local and/or not having a few billions in the bank. So they have no strings to pull.

      IMHO they should have tested somewhere where suitable lobbying by el-reg readership would have been provided. A few Eastern European countries come to mind as suitable candidates. Australia probably would have been a better choice as well. Even Canada is a better choice (hello Amazon). USA was the wrong choice to start with. In fact, my suggestion would be to repack to the crate and ship it to somewhere not under FAA jurisdiction ASAP.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: 4 years

        I doubt the aviation authorities in any other country are going to be much faster than the FAA in giving a verdict. Packing up and moving now would probably mean even more lost time.

        Civil aviation beaurocracies are just slowmoving entities. Wherever they are located.

        1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          Re: Re: 4 years

          That's about the size of it. We also have the issue of not being able to get the rocket motor reload in Europe, or in Australia for that matter (we looked into this a while back).

          1. TheresaJayne

            Re: 4 years

            Why not get everyone to tweet to #POTUS asking him to step in on our behalf and clear LOHAN for Flight....

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: 4 years

          Civil aviation beaurocracies are just slowmoving entities.

          Whatever you do, don't suggest that the playmonaut hooks his laptop up to the inflight entertainment system. Things will move unpleasantly fast then...

          Anyway, I finally got my tankard today, so I shall raise a glass to PRATCHETT

      2. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: 4 years

        Unless the FAA starts reporting to Lord Vetinary - a while yet.


        Tsk, tsk. Report to the duty torturer. A little something off the ears, I think.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: 4 years

          Vetinari - bring back the snake-pit for Mimes

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: 4 years

        "Unless the FAA starts reporting to Lord Vetinary - a while yet." might need a Vetinary to attend the ants in the spell checker module.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 4 years

      Four months ago I asked the question " there seems to have been a lot of tinkering but LOHAN is still to take to the skies. So, as simple a question as possible: is the only barrier now the FAA issue? Or, once the FAA give the go-ahead, will there still be further titting about?"...

      ... to which Lester responded "The only barrier to the launch is the FAA. When we get the nod, we're good to go."

      So why more test flight work?

      1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        Re: Re: 4 years

        Well, we're just taking advantage of the delay to do extra work in the air. We've already tested the avionics once at altitude, but a second run will give extra peace of mind.

  3. magickmark
    Thumb Up

    Oh My God!

    Sadly I missed the vote on this one!!

    But I'm glad the right choice got the most votes!!! Beers all round I think!!!

    'Oh my God, its full of elephants!' - The Last Hero (

  4. x 7

    when / where was the vote chaps? I've been waiting for it for weeks. Where was it posted?

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I missed this too. I'm only relieved the right decision was made.

  6. Martin Budden Silver badge

    If it wasn't for PRATCHETT we'd all be waiting for CLARKSON's balloon to burst (again).

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