Tuesday, September 30, 2014

British Tornado GR4s destroyed ISIL targets

RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2014
Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 fighter jets struck ISIL targets over Iraq today for the first time, after receiving approval from UK parliment on Friday.

EASA certifies Airbus A350-900 jetliner

The world’s newest and advanced commercial airliner, the Airbus A350-900, received Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on Sept 30. The certification from U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will follow shortly.

NASA-ISRO to collaborate on Mars and Earth missions

In a meeting Tuesday in Toronto, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), signed two documents to launch a NASA-ISRO satellite mission to observe Earth and establish a pathway for future joint missions to explore Mars.

Honeywell, Stanford University and ANSYS to develop advanced jet engine

photo: Rolls Royce
Engineers from Stanford University, Honeywell International and simulation software maker ANSYS are working together with simulation software to create more energy-efficient aircraft engines at lower costs.

As demand grows for increased gas turbine efficiency, engine manufacturers are challenged with creating designs that operate at higher temperatures. But that becomes a significant challenge as temperatures approach the melting point of some engine component material.

A well-established method for maintaining turbine blade temperatures at acceptable levels is to employ "film-cooling," a technique in which cooler, compressor-discharge air is detoured around the combustor then ejected from precisely-machined holes placed over the surface of the turbine airfoil. Excessive use of compressor air for turbine film cooling can, however, reduce engine efficiency.

Historically, film-cooling-hole-placement on turbine airfoils has been optimized by elaborate experiments, sometimes necessitating engine testing. For decades, research engineers have been developing computer simulations of film cooling geometries with the ambition of reducing – if not eliminating – the need for expensive, time-consuming rig testing.

Stanford, with support from Honeywell and ANSYS®, is performing a new type of testing with 3-D magnetic resonance velocimetry to measure the velocity and concentration field in a test section. These methods measure the turbulent interaction of crossflow jets with the main flow, for a variety of jet configurations and orientations.

These data sets provide an important benchmark against which the large available range of ANSYS turbulence models and computational methods can be compared. The objective is to develop validated models, methods and best practices for prediction of film cooling.

British Watchkeeper UAS operational in Afghanistan

UK MOD Crown Copyright 2014
The British Army's new Watchkeeper unmanned air system (UAS) is now fully operational in Afghanistan. The UK Defence Ministry today announced the first operational flights of Watchkeeper from Camp Baston base.

Rockwell Pro Line Fusion avionics for MA-700 regional airliner

Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion® advanced avionics system has been selected by Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) for its new MA-700 regional turboprop airliner.

Orion prepares for maiden flight test in Dec

The Orion crew module, stacked atop its service module, moved out of the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sept 11. Image Credit: NASA
NASA and Lockheed Martin have completed fueling the Orion spacecraft with ammonia, hydrazine and high pressure helium at Kennedy Space Center's Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, ahead of the Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) in December.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A-29 Super Tucanos will replace Afghan Mi-35 attack helicopter fleet

Image Credit: U.S.Air Force
The Embraer A-29 Super Tucano aircraft will be the next ground attack aircraft for Afghan Air Force, replacing the AAF Mi-35 attack helicopter fleet.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

RAF Tornados flew strike missions over Iraq

RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2014

UK Defence Ministry has confirmed that two Royal Air Force Tronado fighter jets have conducted armed reconnaissance operations over Iraq.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

F-22 Raptor make air combat debut

U.S. Air Force F-22 maneuvers after being aerial refueled by KC-135 tanker during the airstrikes. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.
U.S. Airforce deployed its most advanced and capable F-22 Raptor fighter jets to carry out airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria, which began on Sept 23.

UK Tornado fighters to combat ISIL in Iraq

An RAF Tornado takes off (library image) [Picture: Sergeant Paul Oldfield, Crown copyright]
UK has decided to join the Anti-ISIL coalition to carry out air strikes along with US and Arab countries, with action limited to only Iraq.

Macquarie orders 50 Bombardier CS300s

Aircraft leasing company Macquarie AirFinance has signed a firm purchase agreement for 40 Bombardier CSeries CS300 jetliners, with an options for additional 10 aircrafts.

Friday, September 26, 2014

JTSB fails to establish ANA 787 battery incident cause

ANA Boeing 787
Japan Transport Safety Board investigating the January 16 2013, battery smoke incident onboard All Nippon Airways Boeing 787-8 airliner, has failed to pinpoint the root cause according to the final investigation report released on 25th Sept.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

U.S. tested Minuteman III ICBM

U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command successfully launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Sept. 23 at 7:45 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Airbus A320neo takes to air

The first A320neo airliner prototype lifted off today from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport France at 12 noon local time on its maiden flight lasting around two and a half hours.

First image from NASA MAVEN spacecraft

Image Credit:NASA
NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has obtained its first images of the extended upper atmosphere surrounding Mars.

Northrop complete SABR AESA radar design reviews

SABR AESA Radar Image Credit:Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman has successfully concluded all engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) design reviews for the AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) AESA radar.

COMAC begin C919 structural assembly

Fuselage assembly ceremony Image Credit:COMAC
Chinese COMAC has begun the structural assembly of the first C919 airliner prototype at the newly established Manufacturing and Final Assembly Center of Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC).

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mi-171 flight testing with new avionics

Russian Helicopters
Russian Helicopters and Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies (KRET), have started testing the Mi-171A2 helicopter with the new KBO-17 on-board avionics suite.

Mi-171 is the latest upgraded version of the famous Mi-17/8 transport helicopter, whose certification is scheduled for 2015.

An Mi-8/17 flying laboratory helicopter and first prototype model of the Mi-171A2 is undergoing flight tests at the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant.

The KBO-17 suite is an all weather flight capable avionics that allow Mi-171 to operate in adverse climatic conditions. It also features GPS/GLONASS satellite system displays, mapping, flight-plan navigation systems (VOR/ILS), meteorological information, automated obstacle warning systems (alerting crew to power lines, masts, isolated trees etc.) and can be enhanced with the KOC-17 day/night vision system.

Image Credit: Russian Helicopters
The KBO-17 boasts a 'glass cockpit' piloting and navigation system equipped with five LCD displays. The displays show the most important information at each stage of the flight, allowing the flight crew to fully evaluate the helicopter's operation and navigation.

The helicopter is also fitted with an on-board equipment maintenance system, which allows it to operate without in-flight engineers, reducing the number of crew to two, without compromising safety.

USAF to field F-16 fighters with terrain collision avoidance system

U.S Air force this fall will begin fielding F-16 fighters with Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (AGCAS) that will enhance pilot safety.

Soviet era Mi-10 Flying Crane celebrate 50th Anniversary

Image Credit:Rostec

This month, Rostvertol, a Russian Helicopters subsidiary celebrates the 50th anniversary of Soviet Mi-10 military transport helicopter's maiden flight.

South Korea announce formal F-35A selection

South Korea has finalized its formal selection of the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II aircraft for its F-X fighter acquisition program.

Russian NK-33 to power Swiss SOAR Spaceplane

SOAR Spaceplane Image Credit:S3
Swiss Space Systems (S3) and Russian rocket engine maker Kuznetsov has discussed the possibility of using the NK-39 cruise rocket engine (NK-33 prototype) to launch the SOAR reusable suborbital spaceplane.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mangalyaan placed in Mars Orbit

India's first interplanetary mission, Mars Orbiter Mission(MOM) Mangalyaan successfully entered the planet Mars orbit, today morning at 07:17:32 hrs IST.

10 Apache attack helicopters to Egypt

U.S. plans to deliver 10 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to Egypt to support counter terrorism efforts.

U.S. and Arab partner nations strike ISIL targets in Syria

Image Credit: US Navy
U.S. military and partner nations, including Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates carried out air strikes against ISIL targets in Syria overnight.

ATK pitch solid rocket engine replacement for RD-180

RD-180 Rocket Engine
Alliant Techsystems (ATK) has pitched a new US made commercial solid rocket engine to replace the Russian made RD-180 first-stage engine of United Launch Alliance's (ULA) Atlas V launch vehicle.

Aerion to advance AS2 supersonic business jet development with Airbus asistance

Aerion AS2 Supersonic Business Jet Image Credit:Aerion

Airbus and Aerion Corporation have agreed to collaborate on supersonic aircraft technology for mutual benefit.

First Malaysian A400M takes shape

A400M Image Credit: Airbus Military
The first Airbus A400M airlifter for the Royal Malaysian Air Force is taking shape at the Airbus Defence and Space final assembly line in Seville, Spain.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Airbus A320neo first flight on Sept 25

Airbus's new A320neo (new engine option) jetliner is scheduled to fly for the first time on 25 September.

U.S. clears AGM-158A JASSM for Polish F-16s

© 2013 Lockheed Martin
U.S. has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of AGM-158A Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM) to Poland to extend the ground penetration capabilities of its F-16 Block 52+ fighters.

Mangalyaan successfully fired Liquid Apogee Motor

Mars Orbiter Mission Spacecraft attached to the 4th stage of PSLV-C25 and ready for heat shield closure Image Credit:ISRO
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully fired the 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) onboard India's Mars Orbiter Spacecraft Mangalyaan, which is scheduled to enter planet Mars orbit on 24 Sept.

NASA MAVEN Spacecraft in Mars Orbit

MAVEN(artist's view)
After a 10-month journey, NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN ( MAVEN) spacecraft, built by Lockheed Martin, successfully entered planet Mars’ orbit at 10:24 p.m. EDT Sunday, on Sept. 21.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Boeing KC-46A flight debut slips to 2015

KC-46 Tanker Image Credit:Boeing
US Air Force KC-46A Pegasus next generation tanker program has slipped the first flight schedule due to a wiring problem in the forward fuselage.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Airbus A350 Turkey debut during Istanbul Airshow

The Airbus A350 XWB will make its Turkey debut at the 10th Istanbul airshow, which willheld from September 25th-28th 2014 at the Istanbul Ataturk airport.

GKN Aerospace to supply parts for PurePower GTF engines

PW-1100G-JM Engine Image Credit:Pratt & Whitney
British GKN Aerospace has entered into risk and revenue sharing partnership (RRSP) with the Pratt & Whitney to supply key components for the PurePower PW1900 Geared Turbofan™ (GTF) engine

Thursday, September 18, 2014

GD awarded contract for F/A-18 Mission Computers

Image Credit:US Navy

General Dynamics was awarded a $16.2 million contract by the U.S. Navy to produce Type-3 Advanced Mission Computers (AMC) for its mainstay F/A-18 and E/A-18G Super Hornet fighter jets.

Paramount to restart composite rotor production for Mi-17 and M-24 helos

Mi-171 helicopter Image Credit:Russian Helicopters

South African aerospace-defense firm Paramount Group is restarting production of composite main and tail rotor blades for Mi-17 hip transport and Mi-24 hind attack helicopters.

MQ-4C Triton completes maiden cross country flight

US Navy MQ-4C Trition UAV
Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) completed its maiden cross-country ferry flight and arrived at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, to begin its next phase of testing on Sept. 18.

AHRLAC unvieled at AAD 2014

Image Credit:Paramount
South Africa's indigenously developed AHRLAC (Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft) made its airshow debut at 2014 African Aerospace and Defense (AAD) being held from 17-21 September 2014.

Rolls Royce proves AE-1107C engine upgrade

Rolls Royce have proved the new engine upgrade for Rolls-Royce AE 1107C turboshaft engines that power the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.

U.S. to field hypersonic weapon-HSSW after 2020

X-51A on B-52 pylon
The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) commander Maj. Gen. Tom Masiello at the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air & Space and Technology Exposition in Washington on Sept. 16, said AFRL is developing hypersonic weapon technology and will make it available by the 2020+ timeframe.

AFRL presents futuristic programs at AFA 2014

X-51A onboard B-52H Bomber
The Air Force Research Laboratory presented it futuristic technology vision at the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air & Space and Technology Exposition at Washington, on Sept. 16.

Blue Origin-ULA agreement to develop BE-4 Cryogenic Engine

BE-3 Cryogenic Engine Image Credit:Blue Origin
 United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Blue Origin have entered into an agreement to jointly fund the development of new BE-4 rocket engine being developed by Blue Origin.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bogdan says F-35 program on track, despite engine glitch

Image Credit:Lockheed Martin
During the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition on Sept. 15, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office executive officer Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan reported steady progress across all elements of the F-35 program, though he acknowledged lags in some aspects due to development and testing complexities.

Lockheed delivers ALIS version 2.0 for F-35

Image Credit:Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin delivered the improved version 2.0 of the F-35's Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) that improve maintenance and support logistics of the fleet.

Lockheed to establish Sniper ATP support facility in Saudi

Sniper ATP onboard F-16
Lockheed Martin will establish a Sniper ® Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) Expanded Repair Capability facility in Saudi Arabia as a part of an existing offset agreement between the Saudi Arabia Economic Offset Committee and Lockheed.

Cabin fire caused fatal U.S. Navy MH-53E crash in January

US Navy MH-53E Image Credit:US Navy
U.S. Navy Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic (CNAL) released the results of the investigation in to the crash of an Navy MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter off the coast of Virginia on January 8, that resulted in the death of three Sailors.

Laser weapon turret for HELLADS program proves airworthiness

Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam control turret Photo: Air Force Research Laboratory
Lockheed Martin in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the University of Notre Dame, has demonstrated the airworthiness of the new beam control turret being developed for the High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS).

Boeing completes FDR of Talon HATE communication pod

Artist concept of Talon HATE carried in a pod attached to Boeing’s F-15C fighter  Image Credit:Boeing
Boeing has completed the final design review of Talon HATE communication pod for U.S. Air Force, that will improve communication and information sharing between 5th and 4th generation fighters.

Talon HATE combines information from fighter networks, national sources and joint command and control assets and can then be used by joint aircraft, ships and ground stations, improving communication and information sharing across the battlespace.

The Talon HATE system will be initially carried in a pod attached to Boeing’s F-15C fighter aircraft.

The pod is designed to connect the fifth-generation Lockheed F-22 to the fourth-generation fighters like F\A-18, F-16, F-15, as the F-35 will only be fielded from Aug 2016.

Boeing worked with industry suppliers to rapidly prototype the Talon HATE system for the USAF Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities office within Air Combat Command.

The swiftness comes from the fact that communications with 4th generation fighters was a limiting factor to use F-22s operationally which affected planner during the Libyan campaign in 2011.

“Working with our customer, Boeing rapidly designed and demonstrated this new system to meet an urgent need on an accelerated timeline,” said Alex Lopez, vice president, Advanced Network & Space Systems, Phantom Works. “The system assimilates information in real-time from multiple domains creating an improved common operating picture for tactical awareness.”

As part of the development, the Boeing team integrated the Intra Flight Data Link (IFDL) used on F-22 aircraft within a proven flight communications system, called the Multifunctional Information Distribution System-JTRS (or MIDS-J).

 This marked the first time IFDL was integrated on the MIDS-J system, which is also used on Boeing F/A-18 aircraft. MIDS-J serves as a host for multiple concurrent communications waveforms that are essential for Talon HATE forward operations.

Boeing is scheduled to deliver Talon HATE systems to operational squadrons in 2015.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Qatar Airways inducts first Airbus A380 Super Jumbo

Qatar Airways took delivery of the first of its 10 Airbus A380 aircraft on order, in the presence of Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO, at Hamburg, Germany.

NASA selects Boeing and SpaceX for Commercial Crew Transportaion program

Image Credit:NASA
NASA on Tuesday, announced the selection of Boeing CST-100 and SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft to transport U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station under the Commercial Crew Program, ending U.S. reliance on Russian Soyuz spacecraft in 2017. The program will be a public-private partnership with the American aerospace companies.