Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Indian Indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage Engine

Indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage of GSLV-D5 Copyright ISRO

CE-12 cryogenic rocket engine is developed by India to power the upper stage of its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle. It will replace the Russian KVD-1(RD-56) cryo stage of GSLV.

A cryogenic rocket stage is more efficient and provides more thrust for every kilogram of propellant it burns compared to solid and earth-storable liquid propellant rocket stages. Specific impulse (a measure of the efficiency) achievable with cryogenic propellants (liquid Hydrogen and liquid Oxygen) is much higher compared to earth storable liquid and solid propellants, giving a substantial payload advantage.

However, cryogenic stage is technically very complex system compared to solid earth-storable liquid propellant stages due to its use of propellants at extremely low temperatures and the associated thermal and structural problems. Oxygen liquifies at –183 deg C and Hydrogen at –253 deg C.

The propellants, at these low temperatures are to be pumped using turbo pumps running at around 40,000 rpm. It also entails complex ground support systems like propellant storage and filling systems, cryogenic engine and stage test facilities, transportation and handling of cryo fluids and related safety aspects.

ISRO’s Cryogenic Upper Stage Project (CUSP) envisaged the design and development of the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage to replace the stage procured from Russia which was earlier used in GSLV flights. The main engine and two smaller steering engines of CUS together develop a nominal thrust of 73.55 kN in vacuum.

During the flight, CUS fires for a nominal duration of 720 seconds. Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and Liquid Hydrogen(LH2) from the respective tanks are fed by individual booster pumps to the main turbopump to ensure a high flow rate of propellants into the combustion chamber. Thrust control and mixture ratio control are achieved by two independent regulators. Two gimbaled steering engines provide for control of the stage during its thrusting phase.

Source: ISRO

Embraer Legacy 450 Executive Jet Makes Maiden Flight

Embraer Legacy 450 Jet          Copyright Embraer SA.

Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer, successful completed maiden flight of its new executive jet- Legacy 450. Embraer test pilots Eduardo Camelier and Eugênio Cará, supported by flight test engineer Carlos Kobayashi, flew the aircraft for one hour and thirty-five minutes, conducting the evaluation of handling and performance.

FAA Announce Six Sites for Unmanned Aircraft Research

Northrop Global Hawk UAS

US Federal Aviation Administration announced its selection of six research and test site operators for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) across United States after a 10 month long selection process.

GSLV D5 With Indigenous Cryogenic Engine Ready For Launch


Indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage

  • The Mission Readiness Review (MRR) team and the Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) have cleared the GSLV-D5/GSAT 14 launch at 16:18 hrs (IST) on Jan 05, 2014
  • A 29-hour countdown is set to commence on Jan 04, 2014 at around 11 hrs (IST)
More info: ISRO Site

Monday, December 30, 2013

Turbomeca Ardiden 3C\ AVIC WZ16 Engine Completes Maiden Test Run

Turbomeca Ardiden 3 Turboshaft; photo© SAFRAN

The maiden test run of the Ardiden 3C turboshaft engine, named WZ16 in China, jointly developed by Turbomeca (Safran) and Chinese AVIC Engines was successfully carried out at Turbomeca's Bordes (France) plant.

Turbomeca To Support British RTM 322 Turboshaft Engines

An RAF Merlin helicopter takes off with an underslung load in Afghanistan ( [Picture: Sergeant Andy Reddy, Crown copyright

French helicopter engine maker Turbomeca will support the fleet of RTM 322 turboshaft engines powering the British military AW 101 Merlin and Apache helicopters under an six year contract, worth £367 million with UK Ministry of Defence.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

LCA Tejus Achieves Record 500 Sorties in 2013

In its sprint to achieve the Initial Operational Clearance-2 (IOC-2), LCA Tejus prototypes achieved a record breaking 500 sorties in 2013.The previous highest was 280 sorties in the year 2009.
TEJAS attained the significant 500th sortie milestone on 27th Dec 2013. The Indian designed and developed multi role fighter was granted IOC on 20 Dec 13.
Year 2013 has been exceptionally successful year for Tejas in achieving key milestones while participating in seven detachments all over country.
Noteworthy accomplishments are In-flight relight (shutting off and then reigniting the single engine), high energy brake testing, flight envelope expansion, R-73E air to air missile firing with radar guidance, Air to ground weapon tests, Emergency jettisoning of entire store, Aircraft in wake tests, Wet Runway trials, demonstration of Swing Role capability during exercise IRON FIST in Feb 2013.
The LCA is designed to ultimately replace the aging Mig 21 fleet of Indian Airforce.
IOC-2 enable Air Force to carry out air superiority and offensive air support missions, forward air field operations, all weather multi role operations.
The fourth generation Tejas, is the smallest, light weight, single engine, single seat, supersonic, multirole, combat aircraft in its class in the world.The quadruplex digital fly-by-wire flight control system ensures acceptable handling qualities while ensuring adequate safety throughout the flight envelope. The advanced Glass cockpit open architecture system complements piloting.
Tejus is being developed in Airforce, Trainer and Naval variants for land and carrier borne operations. A more capable airforce variant-Tejus Mk2 will follow after the development of Mk1 variant is completed by 2014. The Mk2 variant will feature a more powerful GE 414 IN20 engine, and would be slightly bigger in size.
The Final Operational Clearance (FOC) is targeted to be achieved by the end of 2014, which will make the Tejus true combat ready.

GPM Satellite Launch Set To Feb 27

Artist concept of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory satellite.
Image Credit:NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA and Japanese space agency-JAXA has selected Thursday, Feb. 27 EST (Friday, Feb. 28 JST) as the launch date and for the Japanese H-IIA rocket carrying the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory satellite from JAXA's Tanegashima Space Center.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Emirates sign for 50 A380 Superjumbo's

Emirates Airline and Airbus signed the firm contract for 50 additional A380 superjumbo's originally announced at the Dubai Airshow on 17th November 2013. The contract documents were finalised by Tim Clark, Emirates Airline President, during a visit to Airbus’ Headquarters in Toulouse, France.

The additional A380s will be used for expanding its route coverage and to replace older jets.
Emirates operates the world's largest fleet of A380s, flying one in three of these modern jets
Since induction in July 2008, Emirates now operates 44 A380s.

Emirates received its 43rd and 44th A380 aircraft last month, with a double delivery from Airbus' Finkenwerder facility in Hamburg, Germany.

The latest A380s have been fitted with bigger high definition LCD TV screens to enhance the inflight entertainment experience and new touch-screen tablets that allow passengers to control all their seat functions and movie selections with just one swipe.

Since first entering service in 2007, to date 122 A380s have been delivered, to ten world class carriers. The aircraft flies 8,500 nautical miles or 15,700 kilometres non-stop, carrying more people at lower cost and with less 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.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

AgustaWestland Signs Norwegian SAR Helicopter Contract For 16 AW101 Helicopters

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AgustaWestland has won the Norwegian All Weather SAR Helicopter Contract for 16 AW101 helicopters plus support and training, valued at approximately £1 billion (€1.15 billion). The contract also includes an option for six further aircraft.

Pratt & Whitney Delivered First PW4062 Engine For First KC-46A Prototype

Engine maker Pratt & Whitney delivered the first PW4062 jet engines for the first KC-46 test aircraft during an event at Boeing’s Everett, Washington, facility this week.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Final USAF B-52G Bomber Eliminated Under New START Treaty


The final US Air Force B-52G Stratofortress strategic bomber accountable under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty was eliminated on Dec. 19 at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group here, commonly referred to as the boneyard.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Saab Gripen NG Wins Brazilian FX-2 Fighter Deal

Brazil on Wednesday announced its selection of Saab's Gripen NG fighters to replace its aging fighter aircraft fleet. Under the $4.5 billion contract, Saab AB will supply 36 Gripen NG fighters to Brazilian Air Force by 2020.

Airbus signs MoU with Honeywell and Safran to develop electric taxiing for the A320

As part of developing futuristic and eco friendly technologies, Airbus has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with EGTS International, a joint venture between Safran and Honeywell Aerospace, to further develop and evaluate an autonomous electric push back and taxiing solution for the A320 commercial aircraft family.

LCA Tejus Achieves IOC-2, Cleared For Induction To IAF

India’s indigenously designed and developed fourth generation fighter aircraft, LCA Tejus reached an important milestone on December 20, by achieving the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC-II), clearing the fighter for induction into Indian Air Force.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Australia Extends Heron RPA Mission In Afghan


Australia’s Heron Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) deployment to Afghanistan has been extended until July 2014, providing high resolution Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) support to coalition troops.

Sierra Nevada Corporation Begins Dream Chaser Flight Test Program

Sierra Nevada Corporation(SNC) announced that the company has successfully completed all milestones under NASA’s Commercial Crew Development 2 (CCDev2) phase. Milestones achieved include a systems requirement review, flight simulator development, creation of a vehicle avionics integration laboratory, system definition review, flight control integration laboratory, preliminary design review and the first free-flight test of the Dream Chaser®spacecraft.

Mi-38 Helo Flies With New Russian TVZ-117V Turboshaft Engine

©Russian Нelicopters
Russian Helicopters and United Engine Corporation (UEC), subsidiaries of Oboronprom, part of State Corporation Rostec, announced the successful test flight of the third prototype Mi-38 helicopter fitted with Russian-built TV7-117V turboshaft engines. The new engines have been specially developed for the new transport and passenger helicopter by Klimov, a UEC company.

Airbus Military Details C295 Firefighter Programme

photo: Airbus Military

photo: Airbus Military
Airbus Military has completed a second round of tests of its prototype C295 firefighting aircraft which will provide detailed data on the performance of its water dropping system.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sikorsky Teams Skunk Works For DARPA VTOL-X Plane Development

Sikorsky Innovations is teamed with Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works(R) for the VTOL X-Plane development of its Unmanned Rotor Blown Wing concept. (PRNewsFoto/Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation)

Sikorsky Innovations, the technology development organization of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., has won a contract for Phase 1 of the Vertical Take-Off and Landing Experimental Aircraft (VTOL X-Plane) program by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Skunk Works® -- 70 Years of Mission Driven Innovation

Iraqi AirForce To Induct 24 KAI T-50 Jets

South Korean Aerospace major, Korea Aerospace Industries, has signed a contract with Iraq for exporting 24 T-50 light strike aircrafts.
The deal valued at $1.1 billion was announced on the 12th December and also includes training for Iraqi pilots.

Lockheed Celebrates 100th F-35 Fighter

© 2013 Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin celebrated production of 100th F-35 stealth fighter. The 100th aircraft, an F-35A designated AF-41, is the first of 144 F-35s scheduled for delivery to Luke AFB beginning in 2014.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III called the event “a big deal for the Air Force” during a Pentagon news conference.

Welsh discussed the service’s need for the JSF, a need that became even more acute, he said, after the Defense Department truncated the total buy of F-22 Raptor fighters.

The F-22 was to provide theater wide air superiority, Welsh said. But with too few F-22s to provide this umbrella, F-35s must pick up the slack. “You have to have the F-35 to augment the F-22 to do the air superiority fight at the beginning of a high-end conflict to survive against the fifth-generation threats we believe will be in the world at that point in time.”

Even with upgrades, Welsh said, current air superiority fighters, F-15 Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons, cannot survive against a fifth-generation threat.

In June, the Air Force announced its decision to increase the number of squadrons at Luke AFB to six with 144 aircraft assigned. By 2015, Luke AFB will be training pilots, including international pilots, destined for deployment to combat units around the world.

The first 100 F-35s include 44 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variants, 42 F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variants, and 14 F-35C carrier (CV) variants. The U.S. Department of Defense will receive 95 of the first 100 jets from the F-35 assembly line here. The remaining five jets were delivered to two of the program’s partner countries.

The United Kingdom received three F-35B aircraft and two F-35As have been delivered to the Netherlands.

“The 100th F-35 symbolizes the maturation of the F-35 program by the collective government and industry partner team as we prepare to ramp up production,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin F-35 Program General Manager.

“It took the collaboration of thousands of people – customers, employees and suppliers – from all over the world to make this day possible. Working together with the F-35 Joint Program Office, the team is focused on delivering the F-35’s 5th generation capabilities to the U.S. armed forces and our allies. This is a proud day for the entire F-35 community.”

The joint strike fighter program is the most expensive in American military history. The Air Force will fly the F-35A variant, the Navy will fly the F-35C, and the Marine Corps will fly the F-35B. The initial operating capability for the Air Force is set for December 2016.

The program has had growing pains. Costs have risen, and the flyaway cost for the Air Force version is around $150 million per aircraft.

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, advanced mission systems, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and cutting-edge 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.

The F-35A is comprised of 280,000 individual parts while the F-35B is made up of 300,000. The F-35C consists of 290,000 individual parts. Despite their differences, the three variants are actually 80 percent common.

Russia Grounds Mig-31 Fighter Fleet Following Crash

Russian Air Force has grounded its MiG-31 Foxhound interceptor fighter fleet following a crash on Saturday, while investigators establish the cause of a crash of one of the planes, RIA Novosti reported.

The temporary suspension was imposed after a MiG-31 crashed near the Tsentralnaya Uglovaya airbase outside Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East on Saturday, an Air Force source said. The two-man crew guided the aircraft to a deserted area before ejecting to safety and they were released from hospital on Monday.
The crashed fighter was on its first qualifying flight after a major overhaul. The Defense Ministry announced that one of the MiG-31’s two engines failed just before the accident. Probably both engines could have failed, as most fighters are designed to land single engined.
The Mikoyan MiG-31 is a supersonic interceptor aircraft developed to replace the MiG-25 "Foxbat". The MiG-31 was designed by the Mikoyan design bureau based on the MiG-25.

Textron AirLand Scorpion ISR/Strike Aircraft Makes Maiden Flight

© Textron

Textron AirLand successfully completed the maiden flight of the new tactical twinjet Scorpion Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)/Strike aircraft, which was announced earlier this year. The Scorpion took off from McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas, and flew for 1.4 hours.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Indian Air Force Bids Adieu To Its First Supersonic Aircraft- Mig-21 FL

Indian Air Force (IAF) phased out its first Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig-21 fighter variant- Mig-21 FL, an iconic delta-wing fighter aircraft that heralded the 'supersonic era' in IAF.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Tranche 3 Eurofighter Begin Flight Tests

The first of the latest Tranche 3 Eurofighter Typhoon made its maiden flight from BAE Systems Warton, Lancashire assembly line. British Single Seat aircraft no.116 took to the skies with pilot Nat Makepeace in the cockpit.
The Tranche 3, represents a major stepping stone in the evolution of Typhoon and will allow it to take on additional capability in the future including e-scan radar, conformal fuel tanks and a high speed data network.

The first Tranche 3 has been produced for the Royal Air Force by the Eurofighter consortium and assembled by BAE.
Mark Kane, BAE Systems Managing Director - Combat Air said: “For casual observers the aircraft is little changed from its sleek predecessor but it has a number of provisions that will allow it to take on additional capability in the future. One of the few visual clues is a number of small panels on the fuselage which are there to accommodate the fitting of conformal fuel tanks.
“Once fitted, these would give the aircraft greater range and free up positions under the aircraft for larger or additional weapons.
“At the nose a new internal structure has been built and work has been carried out on power, cooling and electronics so that a new E-Scan radar could easily be accommodated.”
In November the first in a major series of flight tests to integrate the MBDA Storm Shadow missile onto the aircraft took place. Earlier this year Eurofighter Typhoon announced a contract to develop the integration of the Meteor weapon system.
During the same period another development aircraft has been modified to take an E-Scan radar and is currently being prepared, at Warton, ahead of its first flight.
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.

Powered by two Eurojet EJ200 engines Typhoon is a multi-role aircraft which can switch easily between being a fighter aircraft as well as a bomber aircraft and can pull up to 9gs..

Boeing Begins B777X Wind Tunnel Testing

Boeing announced today that low-speed wind tunnel tests have begun for the Boeing 777X, a major milestone in airplane development.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

LCA Tejus Successfully Hits Aerial Target

Tejas, India’s first indigenously designed developed and productionised 4th generation+ Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) achieved yet another milestone on Saturday by successfully destroying a towed aerial target with a infrared air to air missile, probably the Russian Vymbel R-73.