Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Brahmos Test Fired 32nd Time

The 32nd test-firing was part of the development trials of the missile which has already been inducted into the Army and the Navy.
The objective of the mission was to evaluate some of the newer subsystems which are produced from the Indian industry as part of production stabilisation, BrahMos officials said, adding more than 25 such systems were incorporated in the development missile.
The launch was primarily aimed at testing the new power systems, materials for airframe components, guidance scheme and various electric systems, they said.
The data obtained from the test-firing is being analysed for large-scale production by Indian industries, they said.
“It was an experimental flight and the missile was tested successfully,” ITR Director MVKV Prasad said.
The two-stage missile, the first one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant, has already been inducted into the Army and Navy and the Air-Force version is in final stage of trial, he said.

Northrop X-47B UCAS Debuts

X-47B Takes off

The U.S. Navy's Northrop Grumman developed X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System made its debut flight from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, on Sunday, July 29.

The 36-minute flight marks the first time an autonomous, carrier-capable unmanned system has flown at Pax River. The flight is also a major milestone on the path to beginning carrier suitability testing this fall.
Northrop Grumman is the Navy's prime contractor for the Navy's UCAS Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. The company designed and built two X-47B demonstrator aircraft for the program, which is managed by Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).

During the flight, which comprised two precision racetrack patterns over the Chesapeake Bay, the aircraft reached a maximum altitude of 7,500 feet and a maximum air speed of 180 knots.This flight makes two critical points for the Northrop Grumman/Navy Integrated Test Team," said Daryl Martis, Northrop Grumman's X-47B test director. "It validates the performance of the aircraft demonstrated during its initial flight testing at Edwards, and it proves that we've successfully implemented the command and control structure required to operate the X-47B safely from Pax River
During the flight, the aircraft communicated with a shore-based version of the aircraft carrier systems that will help guide the X-47B to precision landings on the carrier deck, which are located in the Navy UCAS Aviation/Ship Integration Facility at Pax River.
In 2013, the UCAS-D program plans to demonstrate the ability of the X-47B to safely operate from a Navy aircraft carrier, including launch, recovery, and air traffic control operations. Those trials will be followed by a demonstration of autonomous aerial refueling in 2014. The program also plans to mature technologies required for potential future Navy unmanned air system programs.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pilatus PC-7 MkII Would Boost IAF Pilot Training

For the next decades the Pilatus PC-7 MkII will be the backbone of basic pilot training for Indian Air force.Offering a reliable and economic training platform, the docile behavior of the PC-7 MkII in the hands of a beginner delivers a confidence-building environment for inexperienced cadets.Indian Air Force has entered into a contract in excess of 500 Million Swiss Francs to procure a fleet of 75 PC-7 MkII turboprop aircraft, together with an integrated ground based training system and a comprehensive logistics support package.With its highly cost-efficient Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-25C engine, it provides the lowest engine operating costs of all turboprop trainer aircraft.
The PC-7 MkII is a training aircraft powered by a 700 shp Pratt & Whitney PT6A-25C turboprop engine with a Hartzell four-blade aluminium propeller. The de-rating of the engine from 850shp ensures low direct operating costs and a long engine life. The performance of the PC-7 MkII is docile enough for a beginner, but with sufficient power for more demanding basic phases.
The aircraft utilises conventional systems that are reliable, easy to operate and maintain. Access to the engine and systems is excellent. A hot section inspection can be carried out without engine removal, keeping maintenance and overhaul costs to a minimum.PC-7 MkII would start joining Air Force from  early 2013
The PC-7 MkII performs as follows under international standard atmospheric (ISA) conditions:
 Take-off distance over 50 ft (15 m) obstacle at sea level 1,360 ft 415 m 
 Landing distance over 50 ft (15 m) obstacle at sea level 2,180 ft 665 m 
 Max. rate of climb, sea level 2,910 ft/min 14.79 m/sec 
 Max. operating speed (Vmo) 300 KEAS 556 km/h 
 Max. horizontal cruise speed at sea level (Vh) 242 KTAS 448 km/h 
 Max. horizontal cruise speed at 10,000 ft (Vh) 255 KTAS 472 km/h 
 Stall speed
  - flaps and gear up (Vs)
  - flaps and gear down (VSO so)


139 km/h
126 km/h 
 G loads
  - Max. positive
  - Max. negative
aerobatic configuration
7.0 g
- 3.5 g
utility category
4.5 g 
-2.25 g 
 Max. range 810 nm  1,500 km 

 Basic empty weight (dep. on configuration) 3,771 lb 1,710 kg 
 Max. take-off weight, acrobatic configuration 4,960 lb 2,250 kg 
 Dimension & Geometry
 Fuselage length 33 ft 4 in 10.18 m 
 Wing span 33 ft 5 in  10.19 m 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Barracuda UAS Flight Tested Successfully

  Cassidian has successfully carried out a series of test flights with its Barracuda UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) technology demonstrator at Goose Bay military airfield in Canada. This year, the unmanned aerial test bed completed five test flights in June and July 2012 in the context of the research and development programme “Agile UAV in a Network Centric Environment” (Agile UAV-NCE). These involved the Barracuda technology demonstrator flying in combination with another unmanned aerial vehicle, which was simulated by a converted Learjet. The two aircraft flew missions where they each had different role profiles that were autonomously coordinated and synchronised with one another.
Carried out by Cassidian’s Barracuda project team, the test flights delivered vital information regarding flight with several networked UAS and the autonomous distribution of roles between unmanned aerial vehicles in complex mission scenarios. The role distribution was predefined in each case. Coordination between the two UAS was largely automated. However, the missions could be adapted by uploading new mission data while the aircraft were in the mission zone. This was accomplished via the new network-centric data link. The flight test engineers transmitted not only individual new waypoints, but also entire mission segments from the ground station to the UAS in flight, which immediately responded to its new instructions.
During the 2012 test campaign over the Goose Bay region of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the jet-propelled unmanned demonstrator Barracuda again flew completely autonomously along pre-programmed flight profiles including auto-taxiing processes. The Barracuda and the Learjet simulating the second UAS were monitored from the ground station with respect to flight safety only.
The Barracuda demonstrator is designed as a technology test bed with a modular structure and a flexible configuration, enabling a wide variety of systems and flight profiles to be tested and a wide range of mission requirements to be demonstrated. The avionics system was developed as an open and modular structure that allows a large number of sensors and data link solutions to be integrated with the demonstrator. Electro-optical and infrared sensors, laser target designators, an Emitter Locator System (ELS) consisting of detectors for picking up radio-magnetic signals, and advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) systems that operate on the multisensor principle can all be accommodated in the Barracuda’s payload bay.

F-22 Raptor Oxygen Problem Rectified

US Air Force has made two changes that appear to have solved the hypoxia problem that some pilots experienced during flying F-22 Raptor Fighter.

The first was to order pilots not to wear the pressure garment vest during high-altitude missions. Pilots use the vest to combat G-forces generated flying a high-performance aircraft. The vest inflates to stop blood from pooling, which would cause pilots to black out during high-speed turns.

The Air Force found that a faulty valve caused the vest to inflate and remain inflated under conditions where it was not designed to inflate, thereby causing breathing problems for some pilots.The garment has been suspended from flight since June. This problem was not identified during initial F-22 testing.

Second, the Air Force removed a canister filter from the oxygen delivery system, and that has increased the volume of air flowing to pilots. The service also is looking at improving the oxygen delivery hose and its connections.

Defense Secretary Panetta has authorized deployment of a squadron of F-22 aircraft to Kadena Air Base, Japan. The aircraft will fly to Japan under altitude restrictions using the northern Pacific transit route. Following completion of the flight to Japan, the Air Force likely will approve most long-duration flights, officials said.

Still, initial long-duration flight routes will be designed to pass near airfields. The Air Force also has imposed an altitude restriction on the aircraft so pilots will not need to wear the pressure vest.

Training sorties will remain near runways until completion of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board-recommended corrective actions. This is expected by the end of the summer.

The Air Force will notify Panetta when fixes are finished with the pressure vest and related cockpit life support components. Pending successful completion of associated testing and NASA’s independent analysis, Panetta can decide to return the F-22 fleet status to normal operations.

In May, Panetta directed the Air Force to limit all F-22 flights to remain near potential landing locations to enable quick recovery and landing should a pilot encounter oxygen deprivation. 

The secretary also directed the Air Force to expedite the installation of an automatic backup oxygen system in all of the planes, and he asked for monthly progress reports as the service continued the search for the root cause of the problem.

These actions were in addition to steps the Air Force already was taking to determine the root causes of the hypoxia-like symptoms pilots have experienced. Panetta made this decision, in part, due to the reluctance of some pilots to fly the aircraft.

Monday, July 23, 2012

S-97 Raider: Revolutionary Design

The Sikorsky S-97 Raider is a proposed high-speed scout and attack helicopter, under development by Sikorsky Aircraft.
The S-97 design includes coaxial main rotors and a pusher propeller, making the S-97 a compound helicopter. The S-97 will be capable of carrying up to six passengers, in addition to a flight crew of two in a side-by-side cockpit.
The S-97™ Raider™ helicopter prototypes will feature twin coaxial counter-rotating main rotors (in place of one main rotor and a tail rotor) and a pusher propeller. For the armed reconnaissance mission, the S-97™ Raider™ helicopter will have space aft of the cockpit for armament and auxiliary fuel. In an assault configuration, the cabin will afford space to accommodate up to six troops.
However, the production S-97 is projected to be capable of flying with either one or two pilots, or autonomously.Space for a targeting sensor has been reserved, however it will not be installed in the prototype aircraft.

Shartlets Improves fuel economy of Airbus A320

A320 Sharklet wingtip

Sharklets, which have been specially designed for the Airbus A320 Family, will reduce fuel burn by up to 3.5 percent, giving an annual CO2 reduction of around 700 tonnes per aircraft.

 This is equivalent to the CO2 produced by around 200 cars annually. Sharklets are now offered as an option on new-build aircraft, and are standard on the A320neo Family.

Sharklet wingtip devices will add over 100 nautical miles in range, increase payload by more than 500 kg. and improve takeoff performance

UK inducts first F-35 fighter

F-35 in British Colours
 The United Kingdom accepted the first international Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft in a ceremony on July 19 with senior representatives of the U.K. Ministry of Defence and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Boeing Delivers Second P-8A to US Navy

P-8A Take's off

SEATTLE, Boeing on July 17 delivered the second production P-8A Poseidon aircraft to the U.S. Navy. The P-8A is one of 13 low rate initial production (LRIP) maritime patrol aircraft that Boeing is building for the Navy as part of two contracts awarded in 2011.

Russia to Induct Brahmos missiles


Supersonic cruise missile BRAHMOS, successfully inducted into the Indian Army and Navy, will soon be deployed by Russian defense services, for which modalities are being worked out, a top official of the Indo-Russian joint venture confirmed.

“A high power delegation, led by the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, recently visited the company and reviewed and appreciated the induction and progress of Brahmos missiles into the Indian Army and Navy. After discussions, it was decided to induct them into Russian services,” A Shivathanu Pillai, CEO and Managing Director of Brahmos Aerospace, told on Saturday night.

The delegation would soon work out modalities to induct them into their services, particularly the Naval fleet, he said.

Pillai said plans are afoot to conduct underwater tests of the submarine variant of the missile. If successful, the company would seek the Government’s nod for its induction into all services and commercial production, he said.

BRAHMOS is the leading supersonic cruise missile capable of hitting sea based targets beyond radar horizons.

The missile with pinpoint accuracy can be launched as far as 290-km from the target. It can be launched in either inclined or vertical configuration based on the type of the ship or user requirements.

The potential carriers are Frigate, Corvette, Offshore patrol vessel and any other type of ships.
The missile has successfully demonstrated its speed, precision and power a number of times from Naval ships.

The launches have been carried out in sea-to-sea and sea-to-land configurations successfully. The recent launch in the inclined configuration in sea-to-land mode was carried out from sea to a designated target built on an isolated island at Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It precisely hit the target, thus demonstrating its capabilities.

BRAHMOS has also been tested in vertical configuration from a moving warship. This has proved the missile’s vertical launch capabilities from a moving platform and also that of the Universal Vertical Launcher Module (UVLM), designed and developed by BrahMos.

UVLM, a next generation system far superior to the design concept followed worldwide, will be used for future ship installation in vertical configuration for BRAHMOS.

BRAHMOS can be launched in single or in a salvo from a ship towards single or different types of targets within an interval of 2-2.5 seconds in various trajectories. A salvo of 8 missiles can penetrate and destroy a group of frigates having modern anti-missile defences.

BrahMos, set up in 1998, produces three variants of the BrahMos missile, based on the NPO Mashinostroyenie 3M55 Yakhont (NATO SS-N-26) supersonic cruise missile.The missile have a range of 300 kilometers (180 miles).

BrahMos can fly as low as 30 feet (10 m) or attack its target from a high angle, combined with supersonic speed and evasive maneuvering. BrahMos can carry a conventional warhead of up to 300 kg (660 lbs). It is the world's only cruise missile which can reach 2.8 Mach speed.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Boeing-747-8 ©Boeing

ATR-72-500: King of Short Hauls


The ATR 72 is a twin-engine turboprop short-haul regional airliner built by the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR. ATR and Airbus are both built in Toulouse, and share resources and technology.
The ATR 72-500 is the latest development of the ATR 72. It draws from the in-service experience of more than 700 ATR aircraft flying worldwide, with a proven average dispatch reliability of more than 99%.
The ATR 72-500 is powered by PW127F engines and provides outstanding short field performance for an aircraft of this size, even on difficult hot and high airfields. The new 568F six-blade Hamilton Standard propeller is specially optimized for low cabin noise in climb and cruise and low vibration.
The latest propulsion technology, combined with optimally designed high-lift systems, make ATR -500 New Generation aircraft quiet neighboors. They meet ICAO noise requirements with wide margins, hence keeping  the environmental impact to a minimum.
The ATR 72-500 is more efficient than regional jet aircraft on short-haul routes. On a 200-Nm sector, the ATR 72 fuel consumption per passenger is 16% lower than a typical European car and 60% better than a typical 70-seater jet.
ATR 72-500 emits about 50% less CO2 per passenger-km than new-generation jets and up to three times less CO2 than older ones. Compared to a car, the ATR 72-500's carbone dioxyde (CO2) emissions per seat/km on a 200-Nm (370 km) sector are 15% lower.

Friday, July 13, 2012

First F-35 for UK to be delivered on July 19

photo ©Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin will deliver its first F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to an international customer on 19 July, with the UK to formally accept short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) test aircraft BK-1.
The milestone will take place at Lockheed's Fort Worth site in Texas, where F-35B BK-1 flew for the first time on 13 April. Following its acceptance, the aircraft will be flown to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where it will join a US-led initial operational test and evaluation programme for the F-35.
A second UK aircraft has recently undergone preparations to conduct engine runs at Fort Worth, and will be flown soon. Its delivery is scheduled for two or three months after BK-1, according to Steve O'Bryan, Lockheed's vice-president F-35 programme integration and business development. A third STOVL jet will be produced for the UK during the programme's fourth lot of low-rate initial production (LRIP-4).
The F-35B will replace the BAE Systems Harrier GR7/9s previously flown by the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, after the UK government dropped plans to switch to the carrier variant F-35C in May. A decision on how many aircraft to procure will be made as part of its next Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2015.
O'Bryan says testing of the F-35 remain ahead of Lockheed's planned schedule for 2012. By 30 June, aircraft in all three variants had made a combined 595 flights and achieved 4,800 programme test points: 34% and 14% ahead of target, respectively.
Partner nations Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey and the UK are all expected to approve orders for long-lead production items for LRIP-7, while Israel and Japan have both signed letters of offer and acceptance for F-35A purchases. "The facts show an international programme that's healthy and growing," O'Bryan told Flightglobal at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, in Gloucestershire on 6 July.
With all current aircraft involved in flight testing, training or operational test activities in the USA, O'Bryan says a decision on when to deploy the F-35 for its first appearance at a European air show will be "a government call".

Eurofighter Protecting London Olympics Airspace

Eurofighter over Abu Dhabi

During the earlier training, Air Commodore Gary Waterfall, Deputy Air Component Commander of the RAF said: “Whilst there is no specific threat to the Games, we have to be ready for whatever occurs and play our part in what will be a safe and secure Olympics for all to enjoy”.
Eurofighter CEO, Enzo Casolini, commented: “Eurofighter Typhoon has always offered unparalled air-to-air capabilities offering deterence to all  kinds of threats. Now this swing-role aircraft can highlight once again its outstanding operational performance just as the athletes will prove their elite sporting performance during the Olympics”.
The Air Security Plan for the Olympic Games builds on the RAF’s existing defence of UK air space which requires Eurofighter Typhoons to be on Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. During the Games, Eurofighter Typhoon will be on rotation from the air forces’ six Typhoon squadrons with additional assets holding QRA from RAF Northolt, Middlesex.
Eurofighter Typhoon has been regularly involved in large event security since its first operational mission undertaken by the Italian Air Force defending the airspace over Turin during the 2006 Winter Olympics. Since this time, the aircraft has supported events such as the Euro 2008 Football Championship in Austria and Switzerland and annually protecting the skies over the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Agni I Launched Successfully

Agni-1 launch

India’s 700 km range ballistic missile, ‘AGNI I’ was successfully launched today from the wheeler island off the coast of Odisha. It was a textbook launch meeting all mission objectives and the missile reached the target point in the Bay of Bengal following the prescribed trajectory.  The missile was launched from Road Mobile Launcher System and was tracked by Radar and Telemetry stations located along the coastline. Two Naval Ships located near the target point tracked the missile in the terminal phase of the Flight.

Indigenously developed by DRDO the missile is already in the arsenal of Indian Armed Forces and was launched by the Strategic Forces Command as part of training exercise to ensure preparedness.

The Launch was witnessed by Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat, SA to RM, Secretary Department of Defence Research & Development & DG DRDO, Shri Avinash Chander, Scientist & CC R&D (Missiles & Strategic Systems) and Programme Director AGNI, Dr. J Chattopadhyaya, Project Director and Shri MVKV Prasad, Director ITR and senior officials from DRDO and the armed forces.

 Dr Saraswat congratulated all the Scientists and employees of DRDO and the Armed forces for the successful launch. 

Defence Minister Shri A K Antony has congratulated the DRDO team on the successful launch of Agni I.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Indian Navy Boeing P8I Take's Off

The Boeing P8I for Indian Navy has officially started its test flight from july 7, from Boeing's Seattle facility. The P-8I is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. The P-8I is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon that Boeing is developing for the U.S. Navy.
This military derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800 combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the future battle space.
The Indian navy is the first international customer for the P-8. Boeing signed a contract Jan. 1, 2009, to deliver eight long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft to the Indian navy. Boeing will deliver the first P-8I within 48 months of contract signing, and the remaining seven by 2015. 
Boeing will build the P-8I at its production facility in Renton, Wash. The 737 fuselage will be built by Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kan., and then sent to Renton where all aircraft structural features unique to the P-8 will be incorporated in sequence during fabrication and assembly. Aircraft quality and performance acceptance flight testing will be conducted from Boeing Field in Seattle.

Propulsion: Two CFM56-7 engines providing 27,300 pounds thrust each
Length: 39.47 meters
Wing Span: 37.64 meters
Height: 12.83 meters
Maximum Takeoff Gross Weight: 85,139 kilograms
Speed: 490 knots (789 km/h)
Range: 1,200+ nautical miles, with 4 hours on station (2,222 kilometers)
Ceiling: 12,496 meters
Crew: 9

Delayed 787's: Air India may get Compensation

Air India 787

Air India is likely to get a compensation package of $250-$300 million from Boeing for the delayed delivery of the 787 Dreamliner aircrafts. Civil aviation Minister Ajit Singh had said that depending on the cabinet committee's approval of the compensation agreement, Air India will take delivery of three 787's within 20 days. 787's original delivery schedule of 2008 was delayed and the first of these aircraft's were slotted for delivery in June this year. How ever that was also postponed, leading to a compensation package form Boeing.
The Center for Asia Pacific Aviation [CAPA] estimates that the compensation package will be in the region of $250-$300 million. A further four 787's are expected to be delivered by January 2013, followed by another seven in 2014. Air India has a total order for 27 aircraft. The first three aircraft will initially be deployed on domestic to familiarize the aircraft. Air India has confirmed plans to lease out some of its older Boeing 777 aircraft once it starts to take delivery of new 787's.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

AW Wildcat: Britain's newest light helicopter

Wildcat operating from the flight deck of HMS Iron Duke
Wildcat is the latest generation of multi role helicopter specifically procured to operate from the Frigates and Destroyers of the Royal Navy. Designed as the next-generation Lynx – the world’s fastest and most agile helicopter, it is currently undergoing testing at the Augusta-Westland production facility in Yeovil, prior to the first delivery to the Royal Navy in January 2013. Wildcat takes the very best features of the existing Fleet Air Arm Lynx – and gives it extra punch. The Lynx Wildcat (rather than just plain Wildcat to avoid confusion with the legendary WW2 Naval fighter) might look like its predecessor – and possess many of its outstanding characteristics, but it will be leaps ahead in so many ways. The engines are considerably more powerful providing much improved performance when operating in hot environments and at high altitudes.It can touch a top speed of 157 knots. A completely redesigned tail, which is the greatest visual difference between old and new, also allows for a more powerful tail rotor system, as well as improving the aircrafts strength and stealth qualities with its ‘diamond’ profile. Aircrew also enjoy a much-improved cabin, from state-of-the-art cockpit instruments, hi-tech communications, to crash worthy armoured seats which drastically enhance survivability in the event of a crash landing. Cutting-edge targeting systems, similar to the Apache gunship, and a 360˚ full-colour surveillance radar, will help crew pick out their prey and if necessary engage them with two new missiles systems specifically being developed for use on the aircraft. Wildcat will, like its predecessor, be earmarked for a variety of roles – anti-ship, anti-submarine, ship protection, casualty evacuation, battlefield reconnaissance and general utility, but it will bear the suffix HMA, which stands for ‘Helicopter Maritime Attack’. A Naval Air Squadron – 700W (W for Wildcat) has already formed at RNAS Yeovilton to pave the way for the new helicopter’s entry into service with front-line units, the first of which will form in January 2015.It weights 4.7 tonne and has a range of 420 nautical mile

MBDA to develop Sea Ceptor Air Defense System

A computer-generated image of the new Sea Ceptor missile
A computer-generated image of the new Sea Ceptor missile for use by the Royal Navy
[Picture: Copyright MBDA Systems/MOD 2012]

The £483m contract to develop this cutting-edge air defence system - known as Sea Ceptor - is being awarded to UK industry.
The system uses a new UK-developed missile capable of reaching speeds of up to Mach 3 and will have the ability to deal with multiple targets simultaneously, protecting an area of around 500 square miles (1,300 square kilometres) over land or sea.
Sea Ceptor will be developed under a demonstration contract with MBDA (UK) that is expected to last for five years.
Sea Ceptor has been designed for initial use on the Type 23 frigate to replace the Sea Wolf air defence system when it goes out of service in 2016 and it is planned that it will be used on the Type 26 Global Combat Ship. Its flexible design also means that it could in future be adapted for use by the Army and RAF.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Engine for C-130 Hercules

LOS ANGELES — Flight tests of a fuel-saving upgrade to the Rolls-Royce T56 are set to begin at Edwards AFB, Calif., in July.
The modified engine will be fitted to an Air National Guard-operated Lockheed Martin C-130H and is aimed at demonstrating flying qualities data as well as verifying overall improvements in performance. Flight tests are expected to run through August.
Tom Hartmann, Rolls-Royce vice president for customer business, says flight tests mark the final qualification stage for the upgrade kit, which is attracting interest from domestic and international C-130 operators. The T56-15 Series 3.5 “enhancement” kit originally was launched in response to U.S. government calls for reduced dependence on foreign oil, and if adopted could extent the operational life of the C-130H to 2040.
Hartmann says the kit is designed to reduce fuel burn by 8% and increase overall engine life by around 10%. Alternatively, as a trade-off against the extended-life option, he adds the upgrade also can be used to generate up to 9% more power for improved hot-and-high performance. The overall performance of the kit was recently verified in a test cell in Indianapolis, Hartmann says.
The kit, which can be fitted as part of a standard overhaul, consists of remanufactured compressor blades, single-crystal first-stage high-pressure turbine blades, and aerodynamically redesigned blades and vanes throughout the low-pressure turbine. According to an Air Force analysis report, the Series 3.5 upgrade could contribute to overall long-term savings of $3.5 billion over the lifetime of the fleet. Rolls has previously stated that the kit also could be potentially adapted for the T56-14 version that powers the P-3 maritime patrol aircraft.
Flight tests also will assess if the engine can deliver on estimates that it will increase the range of the C-130H with a 20,000-lb. payload to more than 3,180 nm, from 2,845 nm, compared with a standard Series 3-powered aircraft under identical conditions.

LCA Tejus Successfully completes Weapon trials

India’s Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) has completed weapons trials in preparation for its operational clearance before the end of this year.
The single-seat, single-engine supersonic fighter also underwent flight trials in the western desert state of Rajasthan, a defense ministry official says.

“The bombing runs, which were part of a campaign for the second phase of initial operational clearance (IOC-2) and final operational clearance (FOC), were carried out over [the] last two days at the Pokhran field firing ranges, where India conducted its nuclear tests,” the official says.
The tests were conducted by three LCA aircraft — LSPs 2, 3 and 5 — that deployed a series of weapons, including laser-guided 1000-lb. bombs and unguided bombs, he says. The tests were an extension of the weapons deployment trials that took place in Pokhran last September.
Although LSPs 2 and 5 were fielded again this year, LSP 4, which was used last year, was replaced with LSP 3 for this year’s tests, the defense official explains.
The aircraft pounded on an area with a variety of armaments such as precision-guided bombs and conventional bombs weighing up to 500 kg during the tests. The bombs hit the targets on the ground with great accuracy, the official says.
Tejas is planned to be finally cleared for operational service by 2013. Maritime trials are likely to begin soon and the LCA also is gearing up to fire a beyond-visual-range missile, which will be either the Rafael Derby or the Vympel R-77.
The chief of India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), V.K. Saraswat, has said that the Indian air force (IAF) is likely to induct the indigenously developed LCA later this year. The aircraft was designed by DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Agency and manufactured at Bengaluru- based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). The cost of procurement of the Tejas is about 90 billion rupees ($1.5 billion).
“Tejas’ final operational clearance has reportedly been delayed [until] mid-2013 or later,” defence spokesperson Col. S.D. Goswami says.

AMCA: Serpentine Air-intake design

Testing Equipments. photo@livefist

Serpentine Air-intake.photo livefist
These are the first official DRDO images of fabrication of compact advanced serpentine air-intakes, intended for preliminary studies on performance. The DRDO plans serpentine air intakes on its Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) and the IUSAV stealth UCAV.