Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A400M Achieves First Military Standard Acceptance

Airbus Military A400M airlifter has received its Type Acceptance at the contractual Initial Operating Clearance (IOC) Standard from OCCAR, the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation, on behalf of the Launch Nations Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
It represents a historic milestone of the A400M programme after 10 years of development and more than 5,000 flight test hours.
This first military standard acceptance is thelast step prior to the aircraft acceptance of MSN7, the first serial aircraft, by the French Defence Procurement Agency DGA and its subsequent delivery to the French Air Force in the coming days.
The common basis for Military certification was approved on 19 July following a recommendation by representatives of the seven launch nations known as the Certification and Qualification Committee (CQC). And Airbus Military accordingly received on 24 July the Military Type Certificate (Certificat de Type) for A400M aircraft from DGA.


Lockheed To Lower Prices of Next 71 F-35 Jets

U.S. Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin has reached an agreement in principle for the next two F-35 Lightning II aircraft production contracts (Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) lots 6 and 7), which is expected to include 71 stealth fighter aircraft and continue a reduction in F-35 aircraft pricing. The contracting effort spanned six months from proposal to settlement.
A decrease in F-35 LRIP 6-7 unit costs, coupled with negotiating lower prices on a number of other smaller contracts, will allow the Department to purchase all the aircraft originally planned, including those that were in jeopardy of being cut due to sequestration budget impacts.
Cost details will be released once both contracts are finalized; however, in general, the unit prices for all three variants of the U.S. air vehicles in LRIP-6 are roughly four percent lower than the previous contract. LRIP-7 air vehicle unit prices will show an additional four percent reduction. The LRIP-7 price represents about an eight percent reduction from the LRIP-5 contract signed in December 2012.
The LRIP-6 and -7 aircraft will join the 95 F-35s contracted under LRIPs 1-5. To date, 67 F-35s (including test aircraft) have been delivered from Lockheed Martin's production facility in Fort Worth, Texas. The U.S. and eight partner nations plan to acquire more than 3,100 F-35 fighters. Israel and Japan have also announced plans to purchase the jet under Foreign Military Sales agreements.
The agreement in principle reached between the Government and Lockheed Martin are for air vehicles and do not include the propulsion systems. The LRIP-6 engine contract is currently being negotiated between the Government and Pratt & Whitney.
The new contracts will also include the first F-35s for Australia, Italy, Norway, and the fourth F-35 for the United Kingdom. In addition to procuring the air vehicles, these contracts also fund manufacturing-support equipment and ancillary mission equipment.
Deliveries of 36 U.S. and partner nation aircraft in LRIP-6 will begin by mid-2014 and deliveries of 35 U.S. and partner nation aircraft in LRIP-7 will begin by mid-2015.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rolls-Royce Awarded $195.5 Million Contract for F-35B Liftsystem

Rolls-Royce has been awarded a $195.5 million contract to produce and support LiftSystems™ for the F-35 Lightning II program, the unique technology that provides vertical-lift for 5th-generation combat aircraft.
TheRolls-RoyceLiftSystem® enables F-35B aircraft to perform short takeoffs and vertical landings (STOVL) and is currently in service with the US Marine Corps in Yuma, Arizona.
The final agreement with Pratt & Whitney for the fifth production lot includes three complete LiftSystems, spares, sustainment, program management, engineering and field support.
Rolls-Roycehas delivered 35 LiftSystems and has expanded field support to include five bases which are flying F-35B aircraft.
Rolls-Royce recently delivered the 50th 3-Bearing Swivel Module (3BSM) and 40th LiftFan™ for F-35B aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin, and is on schedule for LiftSystem deliveries.
The unique 3BSM is a swivelling exhaust capable of redirecting the rear thrust from the horizontal to the vertical position, tilting downward 95 degrees in only 2.5 seconds. The LiftFan is a two-stage, counter-rotating, blisked fan installed just behind the cockpit of the F-35B, providing 20,000 lbs. of downward thrust. The LiftSystem also includes two roll posts on the wings to provide stabilizing downward thrust.
Rolls-Royceis supporting the US Marine Corpsin preparation for upcoming sea trials with F-35B aircraft, as well as the process moving toward Initial Operational Capability in 2015.

Lockheed Martin Completes 3DELRR Long-Range Surveillance Radar Demonstration

Lockheed Martin successfully operated its full-scale prototype long-range air surveillance radar during a recent capability demonstration to the U.S. Air Force on 27 June.
The Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) will serve as the principal U.S. Air Force long-range, ground-based sensor for detecting, identifying, and reporting aerial targets. 3DELRR is a C-band Gallium Nitride(GaN)-based radar built by Raytheon.This next-generation system will replace the Air Force’s AN/TPS-75 air search radar.
During the event, the 3DELRR full-scale prototype showed its maturity, flexibility, scalability, and the benefits of its open technology design. More than 70 U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps and Office of Secretary of Defense personnel attended the demonstration either locally or via webcast. The radar detected required targets of opportunity launched from the Syracuse airport and surrounding areas. The company hired additional test aircraft for the event, putting the prototype through more advanced performance detection and tracking scenarios expected of long-range radars.
Originally unveiled in December 2010, Lockheed Martin’s 3DELRR solution met all the requirements for this demonstration two and half years earlier, and used this opportunity to highlight the radar’s evolving design to the customer. The radar’s design addresses 100 percent of 3DELRR requirements, including critical extended air surveillance reach for early warning from aerial threats.
The Air Force is expected to release its request for proposals for the next phase of the program in the August or September 2013 timeframe. With that competition, the customer will select one contractor for the engineering and manufacturing development phase, which will be awarded in 2014.
In June 2009, Lockheed Martin was awarded a $25 million contract from the Air Force to begin developing a prototype for the 3DELRR radar. The team successfully completed a capabilities demonstration in January and December 2010. In August 2012, Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract for the 15-month pre-engineering manufacturing development (pre-EMD) phase of the contract.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

First Tranche 3 Typhoon Assembly Progressing At BAE

photo: BAE Systems

The first Tranche 3 Eurofighter Typhoon, BS116, being built at BAe has been transferred from final assembly to the paint shop facility where it spent two weeks.
photo: BAE Systems
The Tranche 3 jet will next progress to the hush house-sound-proofed engine testing facility, for a series of engine ground runs in the next few weeks. First test flights are expected to take place in September/October 2013.
Tranche 3 capability includes over 350 modified parts designed, engineered and assembled ready to incorporate the most advanced capability enhancements.
Enhancements include provision for conformal fuel tanks and extra electrical power and cooling to cater for an E-Scan AESA radar which will enhance performance, reliability and availability whilst delivering lower support costs for Typhoon. Extra computing power and high speed data network systems will give the aircraft capacity for even more capability in the future.
Under the Tranche 3A contract signed in 2009, a total of 112 aircraft have been ordered for the four European partner nations of Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, with 40 aircraft bound for the Royal Air Force.
Deliveries of Tranche 3 Typhoons are expected to start later this year.


Boeing Unveils First Stretched 787-9 Dreamliner

Boeing on 17 July, unveiled its first stretched variant of baseline 787-8 airliner from its Everett, Washington factory. The 787-9 Dreamliner also became the first 787 to don the new Boeing Commercial Airplanes livery.The airplane was just rolled out of the paint hangar.
The 787-9 will complement and extend the 787 family, offering airlines the ability to grow routes opened with the 787-8. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters), the 787-9 will carry 40 more passengers an additional 300 nautical miles (555 kilometers), with 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes.
Maximum take-off weight is increased by 10% to 251,000 kg (553,000lb) and top range by 3.95% to 15,800 km (8,500nm).
The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, and features large, dimmable windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.
This refreshed look for the Boeing family began with the 747-8 and evolved with the 737 MAX. The new livery retains many of the features of the original 787-8 livery, adding a prominent number on the tail to help distinguish among models within the same product family.
Boeing is on track to roll out and fly the 787-9, currently in final production, in late summer. First delivery to launch customer Air New Zealand is set for mid-2014.


Lockheed Martin Delivers Upgraded Orion to US Customs

Lockheed Martin achieved an milestone by delivering a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) P-3 Orion aircraft in 10 months – and 78 days early -- on July 18
This is the eighth of 14 aircraft in the program to receive Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) modifications and phased depot maintenance. It will soon join the CBP P-3 MLU fleet conducting homeland security and drug interdiction missions.
During fiscal year 2012, the CBP P-3 fleet continued its anti-smuggling success by seizing or disrupting more than 117,765 pounds of cocaine valued at more than $8.8 billion, totaling 21.1 pounds seized for every flight hour, valued at $1.5 million for every hour flown.
The MLU replaces all fatigue life-limiting structures with enhanced-design components; and incorporates a new metal alloy that is five times more corrosion resistant than the original material, greatly reducing the cost of ownership for P-3 operators. The MLU solution removes currentaircraft flight restrictions and extends the structural service life of the P-3 up to 15,000 hours, adding more than 20 years of operational use.
The P-3 Orion is the standard for maritime patrol and reconnaissance, and is used for homeland security, hurricane reconnaissance, anti-piracy operations, humanitarian relief, search and rescue, intelligence gathering, and antisubmarine warfare; and to assist in air traffic control and natural disaster relief support.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Images: Royal International Air Tattoo Displays

Typhoon UK Crown copyright 2013

Typhoon UK Crown copyright 2013

RAF Tornado and Typhoons UK Crown copyright 2013

British Airways A380 with Red Arrows UK Crown copyright 2013

RAF Voyager strategic tanker aircraft UK Crown copyright 2013
Tornado GR4 with Avro Lancaster UK Crown copyright 2013

Image: 100th F-35 Jet In Final Production

The 100th Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the first aircraft destined for Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona, has entered the last stage of final assembly. This conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft, known as AF-41, is scheduled to arrive at the base next year. During final assembly, the aircraft structure is completed, and electrical and hydraulic systems are added. Additionally, these systems are tested in preparation for fuel systems checks and engine runs. The final steps prior to acceptance by the Air Force include a series of checkout flights leading to the aircraft entering the service’s F-35 fleet. AF-41 is one of 126 F-35s in various stages of production worldwide.

In June, the Air Force announced its decision to increase the number of squadrons at Luke AFB to six with 144 aircraft, which will make it the largest F-35 base worldwide.  In addition to training U.S. pilots, Luke will also serve as an F-35A International Training site. Currently, Luke’s economic impact on the state of Arizona is $2.17 Billion. With 14 F-35 suppliers in the state of Arizona, the program has an additional economic impact of $98Million.

Ariane-5 ECA Launcher Successfully Orbits Alphasat And INSAT-3D Satellites

In its 70th flight, Arianespace’s Ariane-5 ECA heavy-lift launcher successfully orbited Europe’s largest ever telecommunications satellite, Alphasat, and India’s latest meteorological spacecraft, INSAT-3D.
The third mission in 2013, Ariane 5 lifted off exactly on schedule at 4:54 p.m. local time from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone in French Guiana for a nearly 33-minute flight, which marked the launcher’s 56th consecutive successful mission.
Ariane 5 delivered a total lift performance of 9,760 kg., which included a combined total of some 8,770 kg. for the mission’s two passengers, in addition to the SYLDA dispenser system and hardware in Arianespace’s dual-payload stack.

Europe’s next-generation telecommunications satellite
Deployed first in the flight sequence nearly 28 minutes after liftoff, Alphasat is configured with a new-generation L-band geo-mobile communications relay system that will provide voice and data transmission services across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Alphasat results from a public-private partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA) and operator Inmarsat, with support from the CNES French space agency. It evolved from ESA’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) program. The UK Space Agency – in cooperation with the UK’s Regional Development Agencies for London, South-East England and East of England – backed the development of critical new payload technologies under the ARTES program. This spacecraft is the first for Europe’s new Alpha bus platform, jointly developed by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space.
With a liftoff mass of 6,650 kg., Alphasat was one of the heaviest passengers carried in the upper position of Ariane 5’s payload “stack.”

INSAT-3D: Covering the Indian subcontinent
Some five minutes after Alphasat’s deployment, Ariane 5 completed its mission with the successful separation of INSAT-3D, which will provide enhanced meteorological observation and monitoring of land/ocean surfaces. The satellite carries a six-channel imager and 19-channel sounder, as well as a data relay transponder for satellite-aided search and rescue operations.
INSAT-3D is adapted from India’s I-2K spacecraft bus and was developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) space agency with its ISRO Space Applications Centre.
India's INSAT-3D is the 16th ISRO spacecraft the company has orbited – a partnership that dates back to the third Ariane 1 flight in 1981 – while Alphasat is the eighth payload launched by Arianespace for Inmarsat.
Designated Ariane Flight VA214 in the company’s numbering system – this mission represented the 214th launch since operations began with the Ariane series of vehicles at the near-equatorial French Guiana launch site in 1979.

Arianespace’s next launch is targeted for August 29, using an Ariane 5 to orbit the Eutelsat 25B/Es’hail-1 for Es’hailSat and Eutelsat, along with GSAT-7 for the Indian Space Research Organisation.

India's Advanced Weather Satellite INSAT-3D Successfully Launched

INSAT-3D with solar panel in stowed condition

India's Weather Satellite INSAT-3D, carrying advanced weather monitoring payloads, was launched successfully in the early hours of today (July 26, 2013) by Ariane-5 (VA214) launch vehicle from Kourou, French Guiana.

After a smooth countdown lasting 11 hours and 30 minutes, the Ariane-5 launch vehicle lifted off right on schedule at the opening of the launch window at 01:24 hours IST today. After a flight of 32 minutes and 48 seconds, INSAT-3D was placed in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO), very close to the intended one.
Soon after the separation of INSAT-3D from the Ariane-5's upper cryogenic stage, the satellite's solar panel automatically got deployed. ISRO's Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka took over the control of INSAT-3D immediately. Preliminary health checks of all the subsystems of INSAT-3D bus were performed and the satellite's health is satisfactory.

In the coming days, orbit raising manoeuvres will be performed on INSAT-3D using the satellite's own propulsion system to place it in the 36,000 km high Geostationary Orbit.

After placing the satellite at 82 deg East orbital slot, it is planned to turn on the meteorological payloads of INSAT-3D in the second week of August 2013 and to extensively test them.

With a lift-off mass of 2060 kg, INSAT-3D carries four payloads - Imager, Sounder, Data Relay Transponder and Satellite Aided Search & Rescue payload. Among them, the six channel imager can take weather pictures of the Earth and has improved features compared to the payloads in KALPANA-1 and INSAT-3A, the two Indian Geostationary Satellites providing weather services for the past one decade.

The 19 channel sounder payload of INSAT-3D adds a new dimension to weather monitoring through its atmospheric sounding system, and provides vertical profiles of temperature, humidity and integrated ozone.

Data relay transponder, the third payload carried by INSAT-3D, receives the meteorological, hydrological, oceanographic parameters sent by Automatic Data Collection platforms located at remote uninhabited locations and relays them to a processing centre for generating accurate weather forecasts.

INSAT-3D is also equipped with a search and rescue payload that picks up and relays alert signals originating from the distress beacons of maritime, aviation and land based users and relays them to the mission control centre to facilitate speedy search and rescue operations.

ISRO has taken up the responsibility of end-to-end reception and processing of INSAT-3D data and the derivation of meteorological parameters with India Meteorological Department (IMD), New Delhi. An indigenously designed and developed INSAT-3D Meteorological Data Processing System (IMDPS) is installed and commissioned at IMD, New Delhi with a mirror site at Space Applications Centre, Bopal, Ahmedabad. 


Thursday, July 25, 2013

NASA's ACTE Project To Develop Advanced Shape-Changing Composite Flaps For Reduced Takeoff And Landing Noise

NASA Dryden's modified G-III Aeronautics Test Bed retracts its landing gear after takeoff from Edwards Air Force Base on a prior checkout flight. (NASA / Tony Landis)

The Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge, or ACTE, experimental flight research project is a joint effort between NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to determine if advanced flexible trailing-edge wing flaps can both improve aircraft aerodynamic efficiency and reduce airport-area noise generated during takeoffs and landings.
The experiment is being carried out on a modified Gulfstream III (G-III) business jet that has been converted into an aerodynamics research test bed at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center.
The ACTE project involves replacement of both of the G-III’s conventional 19-foot-long aluminum flaps with advanced, shape-changing flaps that form continuous bendable surfaces. The flexible flaps are made of composite materials to a patented design from FlexSys, Inc.
FlexSys technology bridges gaps in wing for a seamless surface

When conventional flaps are lowered, gaps exist between the forward edge and sides of the flaps and the wing surface. The ACTE flaps will be gapless, forming a seamless transition region with the wing while remaining attached at the forward edge and sides. The improved flap should eliminate a major source of airframe noise generation.
If successful, this experiment will enable aircraft using such flaps to be significantly quieter during takeoff, approach and landing. The ACTE project is in line with the goals of the Environmentally Responsible Aviation, or ERA, project under the Integrated Systems Research Program of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. The directorate and the Air Force Research Laboratory are jointly funding the project.
G-III Research Test Bed aircraft No. 804 recently underwent structural testing in NASA Dryden Flight Research Center’s Flight Loads Laboratory.
The goal of the Dryden Loads Lab testing was to quantify the stress loads of the aircraft’s existing flaps, flap tracks and the wing structures in the surrounding areas in order to provide baseline data for comparison of the stress loads of the new ACTE flaps once they are installed.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

First Five Merlin Mk 2 Helicopters Delivered to Royal Navy

Crown copyright

The first of the UK's fleet of next-generation anti-submarine maritime patrol AgustaWestland Merlin Mk2 helicopters have been delivered to the Royal Navy.

Boeing Completes 737 MAX 8 Firm Configuration


Boeing has completed the firm configuration of its 737 MAX 8 single-aisle airliner. This milestone marks completion of the major trade studies that define the capabilities of the 737 MAX family. Boeing engineers has began the detailed design process. As detailed designs are completed and released, production can begin. Final assembly of the 737 MAX 8 is scheduled to begin in 2015 with first delivery scheduled for the third quarter of 2017.
The 737 MAX will be 13 percent more fuel-efficient than today's most efficient single-aisle airplanes and 8 percent more fuel-efficient per seat than tomorrow's competition. It will be the fourth generation of the 737 family.
The configuration includes new LEAP-1B engines from CFM International that are optimized for the 737 MAX, a redesigned tail cone and the Boeing designed Advanced Technology Winglet to reduce fuel use. Other changes incorporated include upgrades to the flight deck displays,an electronic bleed air system and fly-by-wire spoiler flight controls.The passenger-preferred Boeing Sky Interior will come standard on the 737 MAX.

"The 737 MAX will not only be the most fuel-efficient airplane, it will maintain the 737's industry-leading reliability," said KeithLeverkuhn, vice president and program manager, 737 MAX program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Additionally the MAX will take advantage of advancements in connectivity.
The 737 MAX family includes the 737 MAX 7,737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 9 and will serve the 100- to over 200-seat market. The 737 MAX will extend the Next-Generation 737 range advantage with the capability to fly more than 3,500 nautical miles (6,482 km), an increase of 400-540 nmi (741-1,000 km) over the Next-Generation 737. First delivery of the 737 MAX 9 is planned for 2018 followed by first delivery of the MAX 7 in 2019.
To date, the 737 MAX has accumulated orders for 1,495 airplanes.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Boeing Delivers Indian Air Force's 2nd C-17 Globemaster III Strategic Airlifter

Boeing delivered the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) second C-17 Globemaster III on monday, a month after India’s first C-17 arrived in the country and immediately began supporting IAF operations.
This second IAF C-17 also will immediately enter service. India will receive total 10 aircraft by 2014.
Boeing is on schedule to deliver three more IAF C-17s this year and five in 2014. The C-17 can operate in extreme climates, transport large payloads across vast ranges and land on short, austere runways.
C-17s have an important role in supporting unique Indian Air Force operations in remote locations such as the Himalayas bordering China and desert environments.
Boeing is supporting the IAF aircraft through the Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) Performance-Based Logistics contract. The GISP “virtual fleet” arrangement ensures mission readiness by providing all C-17 customers access to an extensive support network for worldwide parts availability and economies of scale.
Boeing has delivered 255 C-17s, including 222 to the U.S. Air Force, and a total of 33 to Australia, Canada, India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.


EASA Approves Eurocopter's Fix For EC225 Helicopter Main Gear Box Shaft Failures

© Anthony Pecchi
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regulatory authority on July 10 approved the prevention and detection measures developed by Eurocopter for its EC225 twin-engine helicopter throughout its range of missions after an extensive investigation into the main gear box shaft failures of two EC225 helicopters in the North Sea in 2012.

EASA's validation was followed by the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority's lifting of operational restrictions on the same day, with the Civil Aviation Authority of Norway taking the step on July 19. This allows the full return to service of EC225s helicopters worldwide. The suspended flights will restart this month.

EASA also approved Eurocopter's modifications to the EC225s main gear box emergency lubrication system that ensure its full performance throughout the flight envelope.

Eurocopter’s opinion is that the crack initiation is the result of a combination of root causes leading to the degradation of the bevel gear shaft’s fatigue resistance.

The Eurocopter solution comprises a set of modifications and inspections which aim at monitoring and detecting vertical shaft crack conditions and reducing the likelihood of any shaft crack initiation. When complied with, this solution ensures safe and airworthy operations of the EC225 type.

Eurocopter’s opinion is that the crack initiation in the welded area resulted from the combination of 3 factors : all three factors must be present to initiate a crack

  • Reduced fatigue strength due to residual stress introduced during the shaft welding process
  • Reduced fatigue strength due to stress “hot spots” associated with the shaft geometry, in particular the surface roughness and the shaft shape
  • Very exceptional active corrosion in localised areas of the shaft.

Root cause explanation

Factor 1 & 2: Residual stress & “hot spots”

Many parameters influence a part resistance and its safety margins: the geometry, the material, heat treatments, production process, flight loads and any alteration that could occur all along the life of the part.

In particular, residual stresses resulting from the welding process contribute to reduce the fatigue strength in this welding area of the Main Gear Box bevel shaft. On top of this, highly stressed areas, so-called “hot spots” exist on the welding area of the current EC225 shaft, which result from the shaft geometry.
These “hot spots” equally contribute to reduce the fatigue strength of the shaft.

Factor 3: “Active Corrosion”

Detailed examination of the crack showed the presence of corrosion pits at the origin of the cracks initiation.

Corrosion is an unusual phenomenon in a Main Gear Box as all the parts are highly lubricated. The occurrence of corrosion has a negative impact on resistance of the parts but it is not enough to explain such a reduction of bevel wheel safety margins. So many tests have been conducted to identify the additional parameters that cancelled the safety margins.

The main factor has been identified and explained: the presence of moisture, trapped in confinement of the welded area, in direct contact with the bevel wheel during in flight solicitation.

In the area where moisture is trapped, an exceptional phenomenon, called “Active corrosion” develops and grows over time, leading a weakened material after several hours of flight.

The Residual stress and “hot spots” factors even in presence of classical corrosion are not sufficient to initiate a crack.To initiate a crack, all three factors, including the active corrosion phenomenon must be present.

Once a crack has initiated, it gradually grows, or “propagates” around the circumference of the shaft.

How was moisture trapped?

In the first ditching : moisture got trapped behind the welding hole plug, due to a change in the welding area production process.

In the second ditching : Wearing of the splines generate fine metallic powder over time. This powder, mixed together with lubrication oil already presents in the Main Gear Box, forms a paste.

When the MGB wheel rotates, this paste forms along the internal shaft wall, and traps moisture in the welded area of the shaft.

In the second case, this phenomenon accumulated over several hours and after examination showed an extremely high amount of paste on the weld bead area of the shaft.

These helicopters have logged more than 20,000 flight hours since last October without incident.
Eurocopter is now supporting helicopter operators as they modify the aircraft in accordance with EASAs airworthiness directive, enabling the full EC225 return to flight.

The EC225 is an 11-ton-class rotorcraft in Eurocopters Super Puma family. With more than 300,000 flight hours accumulated in service worldwide, it is deployed in civil, military and para public operations that range from offshore transportation and cargo airlift to Search and Rescue (SAR) duties.


German IAI Heron-1 UAS Cross 15,000 Flight Hours in Afghanistan

During early July, the Heron 1 Unmanned Air System (UAS) of German Air Force Luftwaffe, logged its 15,000th operational flight hour in Afghanistan.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

First Upgraded MQ-8C Fire Scout Delivered to U.S. Navy

Northrop Grumman delivered its first MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter to U.S. Navy in early July in preparation for ground and flight testing.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Superjet Makes Belly Landing in Iceland

A Sukhoi Superjet 100 jetliner prototype made a belly-landing at Iceland's Keflavik Airport on Sunday July 21, at 05.25 local time during flight tests. The aircraft with tail number 97005 touched the runway with retracted landing gears.
The aircraft was in its final stage of test flights to evaluate Sukhoi Superjet's performance of automatic landing system to execute CAT III A with strong crosswind conditions as part of additional certification trials on expanding operational envelope.The tests also included single-engine approaches.
There were three crew members, and two certification experts onboard. One certification center expert injured his leg during evacuation, but the other four people aboard were unharmed, the Sukhoi statement said.
Sukhoi's Superjet program suffered a setback in 2012, when one of the jets crashed during a demonstration flight in Indonesia . All 45 people on the flight were killed.
The Superjet made its debut in 2011, becoming the first civilian passenger jet developed in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.


CST-100 Spacecraft Model Passes Water-Recovery Tests

Boeing recently demonstrated that astronauts in its Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 capsule will be able to safely exit the spacecraft during an emergency water landing.
CST-100 Capsule
Although the CST-100 is designed to land on the ground, Boeing engineers worked with NASA and US Department of Defense search-and-recovery personnel to test several emergency water-extraction scenarios.
The testing was done July 8 at Bigelow Aerospace in North Las Vegas, Nevada, as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative.
The CST-100 will transport crew members and cargo to low Earth orbit destinations such as the International Space Station and Bigelow’s planned station. The first piloted orbital flight of the CST-100 capsule is scheduled for 2016.
The CST-100 crew capsule is a spacecraft design proposed by Boeing in collaboration with Bigelow Aerospace as their entry for NASA 's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Atlas V Orbits Second US Navy MOUS Satellite


US Navy's second Mobile User Objective System (MOUS) satellite built by Lockheed Martin was launched on friday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
MUOS-2 was launched at 9:00 a.m. EDT aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The satellite will transition over the next nine days to reach its geosynchronous orbit location 22,000 miles above the earth.
The solar arrays and antennas will then be deployed, and on-orbit testing will start for subsequent turn-over to the Navy for testand commissioning to service.
The successful launch represents a key step in providing enhanced satellite communications for the US Navy and US Department of Defense (DoD).
MUOS is a next-generation narrow band tactical satellite communications system designed to significantly improve beyond-line-of-sight communications for U.S. forces on the move. MUOS will provide military users 10 times more communications capacity over the existing system by leveraging 3G mobile technology, including simultaneous voice and data capability.
The first MUOS satellite, launched in 2012, has been providing high quality legacy voice communications for users, and terminals are already testing using the advanced payload that enables data exchanges. More than 20,000 existing terminals are compatible with and can access the MUOS legacy payload, and with the release of the new waveform developed for increased data-handling capacity, many of these terminals can be retro-fitted to access the Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) payload.
This advanced WCDMA payload incorporates commercial technology designed to provide 16 times the number of accesses above requirements for the legacy UHF Follow-On system. The satellites also include a hosted legacy UHF payload that will be fully compatible with the current ultra-high frequency system and legacy terminals.
The geosynchronous constellation consists of four satellites and one on-orbit spare, which are expected to achieve full operational capability in 2015, extending UHF narrow band communications availability well past 2025.
Source: Lockheed Martin/US Navy

U.S. Navy Awards Northrop Grumman Contract for E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes

Following the decision earlier this year to proceed with full-rate production, US Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $113.7 million advance acquisition contract for long lead materials and related support for five full-rate production Lot 2 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft

Video: Airbus A400M Demonstrates Airfield Assault Capability


In a series of tests at Royal Air Force Boscombe Down in the UK, Airbus Military has successfully demonstrated the ability of the A400M new generation airlifter to deploy vehicles and troops rapidly to seize an enemy airfield. The photo shows a Scimitar armoured reconnaissance vehicle, and weapons-mounted support vehicle with trailer exitingan A400M with its engines running to enable it to depart immediately. The technique is typically used to enable special forces to secure a bridgehead airfield so that large quantities of reinforcements and supplies can subsequently be delivered in safety. Up to 60 troops could be deployed simultaneously with the vehicles.

Airbus Delivers 1,000th A330 to Cathay Pacific

Airbus delivered its 1,000th A330 jetliner to Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways. The aircraft, an A330-300 powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, was handed at special ceremony in Toulouse, France, today.

Cathay Pacific together with its sister airline Dragonair is the world’s largest operator of the A330, with a total of 56 now in service.

The cost-efficient twin-engine widebody A330 fleet has compiled more than 25 million flight hours on 5.5 million flights with carriers worldwide, demonstrating an operational reliability of over 99 per cent while covering diverse routes ranging from 30 minutes to 14 hours.

Since its first delivery of the A330 in 1995, Cathay Pacific’s Airbus fleet now comprises 38 A330-300s and 11 A340s, while Dragonair flies 21 single aisle A320 Family aircraft and 18 A330-300s.

The Cathay Pacific Group has orders for 10 more A330-300s. The airline will also take delivery of 48 all-new A350 XWBs in the future, including 46 ordered from Airbus and two leased aircraft.

One of Airbus’ latest major improvements is to be ready in 2015, increasing the aircraft’s maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) to 242 tonnes. This will extend the A330-300’s range to 6,100 nautical miles, while increasing the range of the A330-200 to 7,250 nautical miles.

With these upgrades, Airbus will have added about 50 per cent more range since its service entry, while reducing maintenance costs by 20 per cent.

Continuously enhanced to maintain its economic advantage, the aircraft remains the most cost-efficient twin engine widebody in service today for both regional and long haul routes, with the latest versions capable of flying non-stop on sectors of up to 7,250 nautical miles / 13,420 km.

The spacious cabin is a firm favourite with passengers, offering the best comfort in its category and the latest state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment systems and connectivity options.

The wide market appeal of the A330 Family is demonstrated daily by over 100 operators, including network carriers, low cost, charter and flag carriers, who fly A330s on all missions from 30 minutes to over 14 hours.
About 1.2 billion passengers have enjoyed travelling on board the light, bright and spacious A330 cabin to and from the 300 airports it serves today.More than 1,250 A330s have been ordered to date.


Thales Alenia Delivers Second PCM Cargo Module for Cygnus

Thales Alenia Space has delivered its second Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) to Orbital Sciences Corporation for integration in the Cygnus spacecraft that will transport cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).
The module was shipped from Thales Alenia Space’s plant in Turin, Italy to the NASA launch facility on Wallops Island in Virginia, where Orbital will integrate it with the Service Module to form the Cygnus spacecraft that will carry out the first operational resupply mission. The demonstration mission, with a Cygnus spacecraft using the first PCM unit delivered by Thales Alenia Space in 2011, is scheduled for launch this coming September by Orbital's Antares launch vehicle.
Thales Alenia Space will provide Orbital with seven more pressurized cargo modules, which will ferry crew supplies, spare parts and scientific experiments to the International Space Station. The company is providing a total of nine units under the Commercial Resupply Service (CRS) contract awarded to Orbital by NASA.
The PCM unit delivered today will be followedby two more units in the standard configuration, capable of transporting up to 2,000 kg of cargo, and by five enhanced units, offering cargo capacity of up to 2,700 kg.
The CygnusTM spacecraft comprises a Service Module (SM) from Orbital, and the Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) developed by Thales Alenia Space. Building on 30 years of experience in space infrastructures and transportation systems, the Cygnus PCM developed by Thales Alenia Space calls on thecompany’s skills and expertise developed through previous programs for the International Space Station, such as the MPLM (Multipurpose Logistics Module), built by the company on behalf of the Italian space agency for NASA, and the ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) Cargo Carrier, built by Thales Alenia Space for the European Space Agency (ESA). Thales Alenia Space supplies half of the International Space Station’s pressurized volume, as prime contractor for the Station's Node 2, Node 3 and Cupola, and is a key player in the Columbus laboratory.
Thales Alenia Space was also chosen to participate in the construction of NASA’s new Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV), Orion.


Monday, July 15, 2013

HAL Dhruv Helicopter Pivotal in Uttarakhand Rescue Operations

India's public sector HAL produced Dhruv multi role helicopter proved its mettle in the biggest ever helicopter based rescue operation of Indian defence forces in flood and rain-hit areas of Uttarakhand recently. The Dhruv deployed over flood and landslide affected areas in Uttarakhand performed effectively in dropping paratroopers, evacuating stranded people and in supply of food and medicines. The helicopter made hundreds of sorties in the high risk zone overcoming strong winds, visibility and with virtually no space for landing on high terrains. HAL teams were positioned at Deharadun and Delhi to ensure logistic support for the rescue operations.
On many occasions, due to incessant rain Indian Air Force pilots could only rely on Dhruv as it was unsafe for other copters to land. Dhruv helicopters flew for nearly 630 hours during the operation.
HAL designed, developed and produced Dhruv helicopters have been inducted into the Indian Army, Air Force, Navy and the Coast Guard and Border Security Force. Seven of these were exported to Ecuador.
The advanced technology features incorporated in the design of Dhruv include hingeless main rotor and bearingless tail rotor; integrated dynamic system encompassing main gear box and upper controls in a single housing; higher powered Shakti engines; integrated architecture display system (glass cockpit); duplex automatic flight control system; redundancy with twin engine, dual hydraulics and controls; 30 min dry running capability of gear boxes; crashworthy bottom structure, landing gear, crew seat and fuel tanks with self-sealing capability; extensive use of composite material on fuselage and rotor system; integration of role and optional equipments such as rescue hoist, stretchers and cargo-hook.
Dhurv also has advanced avionics (communication, navigation & surveillance), electrical mission systems. All this makes Dhruv, a versatile multi-mission, multi-role helicopter capable of operating in all-weather and extreme climate conditions ensuring high degree of reliability and survivability.
Based on the expertise of Dhruv, HAL undertook the Design & Development of Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).

Airbus A350 Jetliner Achieves Flight Envelope Clearance


Airbus's new-generation A350 XWB jetliner prototype has completed 92 flight test hours since its maiden flight on June 14th 2013. The A350 XWB flight test campaign will total around 2,500 flight hours with a fleet of five development aircrafts.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Ethiopian Boeing 787 Catches Fire at Heathrow Airport

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger jet operated by Ethiopian Airlines caught fire at Britain's Heathrow airport on Friday.The cause of the minor internal fire is being investigated.
Television footage showed the Dreamliner surrounded by foam used by firefighters. Heathrow briefly closed both its runways to deal with the fire.
The aircraft was parked on a remote parking stand. There were no passengers on board. Arrivals and departures were temporarily suspended while airport fire crews attended to this incident.The BBC reported that the plane on fire at Heathrow was the first 787 Dreamliner to resume flights after the worldwide grounding in January. The Dreamliner was grounded for three months earlier this year amid concerns about overheating lithium-ion batteries.
Boeing shares fell sharply on the New York Stock Exchange after news broke of the incident.

Lockheed Martin Deliver 100th Electro-Optical Targeting System for F-35


Lockheed Martin recently delivered the 100th AN/AAQ-40 Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) for the F-35 Lightning II fighter. EOTS provides affordable, high performance multifunction targeting to the F-35’s full spectrum of military operations.
EOTS is the first sensor that combines forward-looking infrared and infrared search and track functionality to provide F-35 pilots with situational awareness and air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting from a safe distance. This technology allows aircrews to identify areas of interest, perform reconnaissance and precisely deliver laser and GPS-guided weapons.
Electro-optical Targeting System (EOTS) is an affordable, high-performance, lightweight, multi-functional system for precision air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting. The low-drag, stealthy EOTS is integrated into the Lightning II's fuselage with a durable sapphire window and is linked to the aircraft's integrated central computer through a high-speed fiber-optic interface.
The EOTS uses a staring mid-wave 3rd-generation forward-looking infrared that provides superior target detection and identification at greatly increased standoff ranges. EOTS also provides high-resolution imagery, automatic tracking, infrared searchand track, laser designation and rangefinding and laser spot tracking.
“F-35 pilots can use the imagery to determine exactly where to strike while staying out of harm’s way,” said Ken Fuhr, director of fixed wing programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.
Lockheed is currently producing EOTS under the seventh low-rate initial production contract. Planned production quantities for the F-35 exceed 3,000 aircraft with deliveries through 2030.
Key components of EOTS are manufactured at the company’s Ocala, Florida, and Santa Barbara, California, facilities. In addition to EOTS, Lockheed Martin also manufactures the low observable window for the aircraft at the company’s Orlando, Florida, facility.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least 10 other countries.

Australian Navy Commissions First MRH-90 Helicopter Squadron

Source: / Australian Defence Dept

Royal Australian Navy formally inducted the NHI MRH-90 Taipan Multi-Role Helicopter into the Australian Defence Force Fleet during a commissioning ceremony at HMAS Albatross, near Nowra, NSW. The ceremony also marked the formal induction of 808 Squadron to operate the MRH 90 helicopter.
This commissioning ceremony culminated after three years of training, testing, development and trials to bring this new generation, high-tech aircraft into service. ADF will receive a combined total of 46 MRH90s for its army and navy.
Commander of the Australian Fleet Rear Admiral Tim Barrett said the Navy would use the aircraft for the maritime support role previously carried out by the now retired Sea King helicopter, while the Army would use it to replace its Blackhawk helicopters as a battlefield and special operations support helicopter.
The first two aircraft were accepted into service in Brisbane on 18 December 2007.
808 Squadron was previously commissioned into the RAN during the 1950s when it operated fighter aircraft from the Navy’s aircraft carriers HMA Ships Sydney and Melbourne.
The re-commissioned 808 Squadron not only inherits its predecessor’s crest, battle honours and motto Strength in Unity, but also its legacy of operational excellence, courage under fire and of breaking new ground in naval aviation
In the future, these aircraft will also operate from the Navy’s new 27,000-tonne Landing Helicopter Dock amphibious ships Canberra and Adelaide.
When completed, the MRH90 will be available for two air mobile squadrons, one special operations support squadron, and one maritime support helicopter squadron able to provide air mobile and maritime support capability to the ADF from land bases as well as the Canberra Class Amphibious Assault Ships.
The MRH90 utilises the latest technology including composite materials and fly-by-wire systems.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Eurocopter EC645 T2 Light Utility Helicopters For German Special Forces


Eurocopter and the German Federal Ministry of Defense today signed a contract for 15 EC645 T2 Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) to be used by Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK), Germany's Special Forces Command.
The contract, worth a total of 194 million euros, also includes related equipment packages to allow KSK to carry out its special operations missions. Deliveries of the 15 aircraft is to begin in late 2015 and will be completed by mid-2017.
The day and night missions that these helicopters will perform include insertion and extraction of special ops, fire support and reconnaissance. U.S. Army successfully operates a fleet of more than 270 EC145s, the aircraft on which the EC645 T2 is based.
The EC645 T2 LUH features a modern digital cockpit with full night vision and a 4-axis autopilot. Its communication equipment including tactical radios enables interoperability among NATO forces. Special ops teams can quickly access the aircraft thanks to its spacious cabin, which has two large sliding side doors and double doors at the rear. The helicopter's maximum take-off weight is 3.7 tons.
Troop safety is improved by the Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, particularly for flight operations in confined landing sites and whenever the rotor is turning on ground.
In addition, the mission equipment packages include fast rope system, cargo hooks and hoists. The aircraft are also equipped with pintle armament and electro-optical sensors. A self-protection system and ballistic protection further increase crew safety and aircraft survivability. The EC645 T2 is powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2E turboshaft engines and is equipped with dual-channel full authority digital engine control (FADEC).
The helicopter can be strategically airlifted in an Airbus A400M and quickly prepared for the mission upon arrival in a theater of operations.

Lockheed Martin Completes Captive Trials of Long Range Anti Ship Missile-LRASM

Lockheed Martin recently completed a series of Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM)captive carry flight tests at the Sea Range in Point Mugu, California, advancing the research program toward its first missile release and free flight test later this year.
The captive carry missions were flown aboard a U.S. Air Force B-1B bomber aircraft from the 337thTest and Evaluation Squadron at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The primary mission objectives were to collect telemetry for post-flight analysis, verify proper control room telemetry displays and simulate all the test activities that will occur in later air-launched flight tests. All test objectives were met.
The LRASM program is in development with the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research. After a competition in 2009, Lockheed Martin’s LRASM was selected to demonstrate air- and surface-launched capability to defeat emerging sea-based threats at significant standoff ranges.
LRASM is an autonomous, precision-guided anti-ship standoff missile leveraging the successful Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER)heritage, and is designed to meet the needs of U.S. Navy and Air Force warfighters in a robust anti-access/area-denial threat environment.
Armed with a proven 1,000-lb. penetrator and blast-fragmentation warhead, LRASM employs a multi-mode sensor, weapon data link and an enhanced digital anti-jam Global Positioning System to detect and destroy specific targets within a group of ships.


Video: X-47B Completes First Carrier-based Arrested Landing

Unmanned X-47B makes historic carrier landing

Source: / US Navy

US Navy moved one step closer to integrating unmanned aircrafts into carrier-based operations on July 10, with the successful landing of X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator aboard USS George H.W.Bush (CVN 77) aircraft carrier.

US Navy Awards Contract for Next Generation Jammer Development

US Navy awarded Raytheon a $279.4 million cost-plus-incentive-fee contract on July 8 to conduct the Technology Development (TD) phase of the Navy's Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) program.
The 22-month TD phase is the next step in transitioning mature components into testable subsystems as well as developing a preliminary design for the new jamming pods for the EA-18G Growler AEA aircraft. The Navy’s EA-18G Growler is the only tactical Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) platform and supports all services from both aircraft carriers and land bases.
NGJ will replace the ALQ-99 tactical jamming system and will bring increased jamming capability to the warfighter that is critical to sustaining the future missions of the Navy and other services in strike warfare, anti-access/area denial and irregular warfare scenarios.
The goal is to deliver this capability to the fleet in fiscal 2020. Raytheon Co. was one of four contractors involved in the 33-month NGJ Technology Maturation portion of the acquisition process. They identified, developed and matured several critical technologies necessary to ensure an AEA system that would meet stringent Navy fleet requirements and reduced technical and schedule risk in future development phases.
The crafted design will be tested and flown on the Growler during the subsequent 4½ year Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

US Navy P-8A Completes Initial Operational Test and Evaluation, Cleared For Induction

Source: / US Navy

After an extensive testing period, the U.S. Navy announced on July 1 in an Initial Operational Test and Evaluation report that its new patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, Boeing P-8A Poseidon, has been found “operationally effective, operationally suitable, and ready for fleet introduction.”
This announcement of completing IOT&E follows another major program milestone last month, the successful firing of the Harpoon from the P-8A, which resulted in a successful target strike.
Initial operational test and evaluation is the final dedicated phase of OT&E preceding a full-rate production decision. It is the final evaluation that entails dedicated operational testing of production representative test articles and uses typical operational scenarios that are as realistic as possible.
On June 24, after completing just one practice run at the Point Mugu Sea Test Range, a P-8A Poseidon from Pax River after six minutes of flight time, successfully launched a Harpoon AGM-84D Block IC anti ship missile on the first hot run scoring a direct hit on a Low Cost Modular Target.
The first P-8A squadron will be operationally deployed this winter with P-3 and EP-3 squadrons.To date, nine low rate initial production aircraft have been delivered to the fleet and six test aircraft have been delivered to NAVAIR. According to the program record, the Navy plans on purchasing 117 P-8As aircraft.
The P-8A Poseidon will replace the P-3C Orion as a long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations.
The P-8 is a military derivative of the Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 commercial airliner, and is the most advanced anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare aircraft in the world. It is a true multi-mission aircraft provides long-range maritime reconnaissance capabilities.
For more than 40 years, the Harpoon weapon system has served the Navy well by offering a low-level and sea-skimming cruisetrajectory that supports high survivability and effectiveness. This air-launched variant of the Harpoon 1C is currently integrated on the P-3C.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Asiana Boeing 777-200ER Crash Lands At San Fransico Airport

South Korean Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash landed at San Francicso International Airport runway 28, killing 2 and injuring around 200 at 11.36 am local time on Saturday. The flight departed Shanghai, China, and had a stopover in Incheon Airport Seoul, South Korea on July 6, 2013 at 16:35 (Korean time).

The airplane made a very hard landing causing the airplane to skid several yards through the runway and caught fire. Eyewitnesses said that the aircraft was swaying unusually from side to side on approaching the runway and was at an unusual nose-high, low-tail attitude, due to which the aft fuselage hit the ground losing control. Passengers escaped by sliding down through emergency inflatable slides as flames tore through the plane.

Flightglobal reported, the incident created a debris field that extended from the edge of the runway apron to the remains of the main fuselage and wings lying several hundred feet ahead.
Portions of the aircraft's tail fin and horizonal stabilisers are strewn on the runway apron.

There were a total of 291 passengers (19 business class, 272 travel class) and 16 cabin crew aboard. The majority of the passengers were comprised of 77 Korean citizens, 141 Chinese citizens, 61 US citizens, 1 Japanese citizen, etc. for a total of flightglobal291 people.

The robustness of the Boeing 777 aircraft was clear from the fact that fuselage damage was due to post crash fire and multiple redundant systems, stronger seats, and the use of nontoxic materials in construction saved lives.

According to flightglobal the aircraft, registered as HL7742, was delivered on 7 March 2006, and had accumulated 35,700 h on 5,185 cycles as of 31 March.

 The 777-200ER, one of 12 in the Asiana fleet, was powered by the Pratt & Whitney PW4090 engines.

The airline added the Boeing 777-200ER long-range wide-body twin-engine jets in 2004 to its fleet. Asiana Airlines is one of South Korea's two major airlines, along with Korean Air. As a member of Star Alliance, it operates 14 domestic and 90 international passenger routes, and 27 cargo routes throughout Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Video: Sukhoi Su-35 at Paris Air Show

US GMD Ballistic Missile Interceptor Miss Target

GMD Interceptor Launch in Jan 26 Test

The Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Interceptor missile of the U.S Ballistic Missile Defense System failed to intercept a long range ballistic missile target launched from the U.S. Army's Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands.
The interceptor missile was launched from Vandenberg AFB, California.
This was an operational test of the first-generation Capability Enhancement I (CE-I) Exo atmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV), currently deployed in Alaska and California, and involved soldiers, sailors and airmen operating the system and providing test support. The testing record is at eight intercepts out of 14 intercept attempts.
The intergrated exercise was carried out by Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Air Force 30th Space Wing, Joint Functional Component Command, Integrated Missile Defense (JFCC IMD) and U.S. Northern Command. Program officials will conduct an extensive review to determine the cause or causes of any anomalies which may have prevented the successful intercept.
GMD flight testing was halted in early 2011 after a guidance error resulted in a failed intercept in a December 2010 test. The testing restarted with a successful intercept On Jan. 26, 2013.
The Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) missile is the weapon component of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, and consists of a multi-stage rocket booster (BV - Boost Vehicle) and a kinetic kill vehicle (EKV - Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle) for exoatmospheric interception of ballistic missile warheads. The GMD system, was originally known as the National Missile Defense (NMD) program. The GMD System is the first and only operationally deployed missile defense program to defend the US homeland against long-range ballistic missile attacks. The system provides early detection and tracking during the boost phase, midcourse target discrimination, precision intercept and destruction of inbound ICBMs through force of hit-to-kill technology.

Friday, July 5, 2013

British Airways Inducts First Airbus A380 Jumbo

British Airways (BA) has become the tenth operator to receive Airbus A380 jumbo after taking delivery of the first of 12 aircraft on order. BA is the first UK operator of the A380 and will start to deploy its new flagship aircraft on routes from London Heathrow to Los Angeles and Hong Kong.
After a handover ceremony at Airbus’ delivery centre in Toulouse with Keith Williams, British Airways CEO, Eric Schulz, Roll-Royce President Civil Large Engines, Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO and other senior executives, BA’s first A380 were flown to the UK carrier’s home base at London Heathrow.

The A380 joins British Airways’ substantial Airbus fleet, with the carrier currently operating an inventory of more than 110 single-aisle A320 Family aircraft.
British Airways is scheduled to receive two more A380s this year – its second in September, and the third in October. The carrier is due to have all of the ordered A380 jetliners in its inventory by the end of 2016.
All BA’s A380s will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines. Airbus currently has 262 firm orders for the A380, from 20 customers.
The A380 is capable of flying 8,500 nautical miles or 15,700 kilometres non-stop, carrying more people at lower cost and withless impact on the environment. The spacious, quiet cabin and smooth ride have made the A380 a firm favourite with both airlines and passengers, resulting in higher load factors wherever it flies. The A380 also provides vital extra passenger capacity without increasing the number of flights, and is therefore part of the solution for sustainable growth at congested airports.
To date, 40 million passengers have already enjoyed the unique experience of flying on board an A380. Every five minutes, an A380 either takes off or lands at one of the 30 airports where it operates today and the network is constantly growing.

French DGA Successfully Tests MdCN Naval Cruise Missile

MdCN Launch © DGA

On 1st July 2013, the French DGA (Direction Générale de l'Armement) successfully carried out the first qualification firing of the naval cruise missile (MdCN or Missile de Croisière Naval). The firing, which took place at the DGA’s Biscarrosse missile test centre situated in the department of Landes in South West France, was representative of a firing from a frigate.
The firing scenario was especially demanding as, in addition to meeting range objectives, it also served to validate the missile’s performance with regard to its autonomous terminal navigation using infrared target recognition.
This success is the result of intensive coordinated efforts involving many state participants (the DGA’s centres of expertise and testing, the DGA’s quality control department and the French Navy) and industry (MBDA France).
MdCN is the naval variant of the British Storm Shadow/ French SCALP air-launched cruise missile systems, which has two configurations; the first being a vertical launch from the FREMM frigates using the compact A70 vertical launcher, while the other is a submarine configuration, where the weapon can be launched through torpedo tubes.
MdCN will eventually equip the French Navy’s multi-mission frigates (FREMM) and its Barracuda submarines.
Featuring a range of several hundred kilometers, MdCN is intended for strikes against targets deep within enemy territory.It complements the SCALP air-launched cruise missile from which it is derived.
Carried on combat vessels positioned for lengthy periods at a safe distance in international waters, either overtly (on frigates) or discretely (on submarines), MdCN is designed to carry out missions calling for the destruction of high value strategic targets. The MdCN contract was notified to MBDA by the DGA at the end of 2006.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Russian Su-35 Fighter Cutaway

Saab Begins Assembly of Next Generation Gripen E Fighter

Saab has began assembly of its next generation Gripen variant, the Gripen E, with the construction of its front fuselage.
The pre-production aircraft designated 39-8 will be the first complete Gripen E prototype and will be used to demonstrate new features and capabilites. The technologies for the Gripen E have been proven in the Gripen demonstrator programme with the Gripen E/F demo aircraft that has flown over 250 hours in countries such as Sweden, the UK, India and Switzerland (in Emmen in October 2012, January and April 2013) since 2008.
The design is carried out using the latest tools and methods, called ‘Model Based Design’. The construction of the Gripen E begins with the manufacturing and assembly of all parts of the fuselage; the largest and most time consuming part of the airframe. These parts will then be joined together and assembled into a complete airframe. This is followed by an intensive construction period to install cables, mount systems, the outer shell and other equipment.
The Gripen E would feature a new SELEX Galileo Raven ES-05 AESA radar, a next generation sensor suite, new communication links, revolutionary avionics architecture, a General Electric F414G turbofan engine with more thrust, increased flight time, more weapon stations and load capability, a fully digital cockpit including HUD (Head-Up Display) and a brand new electronic warfare suite.
“What we are experiencing now is a leap in technology for Saab and the global aeronautical industry as we can see the latest and most modern fighter being constructed using the latest processes, methods and tools. This allows us to bring forward an even more capable fighter at an even more favourable life cycle cost,” says Lennart Sindahl, Head of Business Area Aeronautics at Saab. “Following years of R&D investments in aeronautical design, we can offer unique opportunities for transfer of knowledge and technology by inviting customer countries’ industries into the work on Gripen E. The Gripen E programme will also continue to drive technological development as well as the creation of jobs, both in Sweden and in other countries.”
On February 15, Saab signed an agreement with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) regarding development and modification of 60 Gripen E for Sweden during the period 2013-2026 as well as a possible order for new production of Gripen E for Switzerland. More than 1,000 people at Saab are now working solely with the development and production of the Gripen E. Gripen recently conducted the first test firing of the Meteor radar-controlled air-to-air missile.

Bombardier CSeries Cutaway

Click to Enlarge

Chinese Pilots Qualifies for Carrier Operations

J-15 Takes off from Liaoning

First batch of five chinese pilots and landing signal officers received their certifications in the latest sea trials of the Liaoning, the country's first aircraft carrier.
The Liaoning finished its 25-day test and training mission on Wednesday and returned to a navy port in the east China city of Qingdao. During the training, pilots executed several continuous take-off and landing exercises, making China one of the few countries in the world that can train its own carrier-borne jet pilots.
Pilots and landing signal officers were tested on a range of skills. They passed the certification process following expert reviews and a flight data assessment
Using the J-15, China's first-generation multi-purpose carrier-borne fighter jet, pilots finished China's first training mission stationed aboard the carrier as well as the first 105-meter short-distance ski-jump takeoff exercises, an important breakthrough in the sea trials.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy also performed exercises related to the carrier's operations, system guarantees and logistics. Based on the smooth operation of staff, jet fighters and the carrier, as well as the sound cooperation between fighters and the carrier, the Liaoning is now considered capable of carrying carrier-borne jet fighters.
Zhang Yongyi, deputy commander of the PLA Navy and commander-in-chief of the aircraft carrier tests and sea trials, said these results show that China has fully mastered the skills needed for taking off from, and landing on, the aircraft carrier and that it has successfully established a training system for carrier-borne jet pilots.
Liaoning (Varyag) is an ex-Soviet aircraft carrier which was originally developed as an Admiral Kuznetsov Class multirole aircraft carrier. The incomplete Varyag was bought by China in 1998. The flight deck is designed to carry about 50 warplanes, including helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.
The Shenyang J-15 naval fighter is a twin engined carrier-based fighter aircraft, which is basicaly a clone of Russian-designed Sukhoi Su-33 fitted with chinese avionics.


British Eurofighter Typhoons Qualifies Paveway IV Bomb

Typhoon with Paveway IV

BAE Systems and Raytheon UK, recently completed a series of trials, demonstrating further enhancement of Eurofighter Typhoon's air to surface role. The trials saw a successful release of Raytheon's Paveway IV precision guided bomb from Typhoon.
The trials demonstrated the latest Phase 1 Enhancements enables the full capability of the Paveway IV to be utilised on Royal Air Force Typhoon jets. Typhoon is capable of carrying up to 6 Paveway IV weapons.
The Phase 1 Enhancement programme includes the integration of new weapons including Paveway IV and EGBU-16 alongside integrating a Laser Designator Pod (LDP) onto Tranche 2 aircraft of the partner nations. It will further strengthen the Eurofighter Typhoon's position as a multi-role fighter aircraft.
Raytheon's Paveway IV is a highly accurate, precision guided bomb capable of significantly minimising collateral damage. The combat proven dual-mode guidance, together with height of burst and penetrating capability in one weapon system, enable the decision of target engagement to be made right up to the point of release.
It has been successfully integrated onto the RAF Harrier GR9/9A and Tornado GR4 fighter jets.
It will provide Typhoon pilots with the very best technology for operations with its all-weather,day and night precision capability.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

First Batch of Production Tejus Fighters Roll Out in December

India's first full-rate production LCA Tejas Mk.1 fighters for the Indian Air Force will roll out from HAL's production facility in Bangalore in December, marking a major milestone in the long delayed indigenous fighter program.
By September, the LCA Tejas will achieve initial operation clearance 2 (IOC-2) and begin moving towards production, according to DRDO Chief Avinash Chander.
DRDO Chief also revealed that approximately 140 hours of test-flying remained to sort out the residual test-points. To achieve the target of getting combat ready, more than 1,200 parameters still need to be met. Chander told TOI that Tejas has flown 62 sorties in June this year and should get IOC-2 (initial operational clearance) by the end of September if “weather permits”. “We are endeavoring to get the clearance for production by 2014 beginning,” said Chander.
The Tejas project recently came up for review at a high-level meeting which was chaired by Defence Minister A.K. Antony in the New Delhi. It was decided at the review meeting that the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) would ramp up the production capacity of LCA to 16 aircraft a year. The meeting decided that efforts should be made to attain Initial Operational Clearance-II by November this year and Final Operational Clearance (FOC) by December 2014.
Mr. Antony stressed upon the necessity to adhere to schedule and asked all stake holders for avoiding further slippage on the programme. He also directed the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to make the LCA as its number one thrust area.
As of 24 June, LCA-Tejas has successfully completed 2228 test flights.
The most crucial issues include getting a new radome for the aircraft as the quality of the previous one was found to be hampering radar performance.
DRDO is also planning to roll out first prototype of Tejas MK-2 by mid of next year and first flight by end of next year, they are also plans to put Naval Tejas back in air soon, aircraft has been going through intensive redesign to its landing gear and undercarriage under assistance from european EADS, single seater variant of Naval Tejas is also likely be ready by end of this year.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has placed order for 20 Tejas in IOC-2 configuration, with the American GE-404 engines, and another 20 in FOC. As per current plans, IAF will order six Tejas Mark-2 squadrons (16 to 18 jets each), with the more powerful GE F-414 engines, once the fighter is combat-ready.