Friday, October 31, 2014
The U.S. Department of Defense awarded Pratt & Whitney a modification to a previously awarded contract for the eighth lot of F135 propulsion systems to power F-35 Lightning II aircraft. The contract worth $793 million raises the total contract value to $1.052 billion. Previous awards, valued at $259 million, were given for long lead items and sustainment.
|Orion Spacecraft Image Credit: NASA|
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Monday, October 20, 2014
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Friday, October 17, 2014
Airbus has decided to lower production rate of its A330 family aircraft from the current rate of 10 to 9 aircraft per month.
The production adjustment will be effected in the fourth quarter of 2015, as it transitions towards the new re-engined A330neo variant, Airbus says.
“Our role as an aircraft manufacturer is to anticipate and adapt our output to ensure we continue to maintain a smooth production flow for Airbus and for our supply chain,” said Tom Williams, Airbus’ Executive Vice President Programmes.
Since 2013, Airbus has been building 10 A330 Family aircraft each month, the industry’s highest ever production rate for this aircraft size category.
“With the recent commercial success we’ve seen following the launch of the A330neo, in addition to the new 242 tonne weight variant and the A330 optimised for regional routes, we are confident we will sustain a steady production towards the A330neo ramp up period,” he added.
The decision stems from the A330 enhancements that will enter service in the coming years, such as the more capable 242 tonne take-off-weight A330 variant for regional and domestic routes and the A330neo.
The A330 family, which spans 250 to 300 seats, and includes Freighter, VIP, and Military Transport/Tanker variants, has received more than 1,300 orders, with over 1,100 aircraft flying with more than 100 operators worldwide.
The A330neo will boast a 14% better fuel efficiency per seat and will be powered by new generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 turbofan engines. From 2019 onwards, neo will replace the current A330 deliveries.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
India successfully carried out the second test firing of indigenously developed Nirbhay cruise missile, after the maiden partialy successful test firing in March 2013.
The test was conducted from the Integrated Missile Test Range in Chandipur, Odisha.
The nuclear capable subsonic cruise missile can carry out precision strike against enemy target over 1000 km away. Nirbhay flies a terrain hugging path to evade radar detection and impart a element of surprise.
The two stage Nirbhay took off from a mobile launcher using its solid rocket motor booster. As it achieved designated altitude and velocity, the booster motor was jettisoned and the Russian Saturn built 36MT turbofan engine took over the propulsion, begining the cruise stage along with deployment of wings upon by commands generated by the onboard computer (OBC) to stabilise the flight.
Guided by a highly advanced inertial navigation system indigenously developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI) the Nirbhay continued it's flight that lasted a little over 1hour and 10 minutes.
The missile achieved an Circular Error Probability (CEP) accuracy of less than 10 meters and covered a distance of more than 1000 km.
Nirbhay was developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory based in Bangalore.
The missile also has loitering capability, that allows it to go round a target and perform several manoeuvres before re-engaging.
Throughout the flight, the missile was tracked with the help of ground based radars and watched by an Indian Air Force aircraft.
The maiden flight of Nirbhay in 2013 was aborted in its final cruise stage after the ring laser gyro (RLG) in the inertial navigation system malfunctioned.
Indian arsenal currently has only the 290 km range supersonic BrahMos cruise missile jointly developed with Russia.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Image Credit: Rolls Royce
A set of the CTi fan blades was incorporated into a Trent 1000 "donor" engine onboard a Rolls-Royce 747 flying test bed at Tucson, Arizona, USA.
The CTi technology delivers lighter fan blades while retaining aerodynamic performance. Combined with a composite engine casing, it forms a system that reduces weight by up to 1,500lb per aircraft, the equivalent of carrying seven more passengers at no cost.
The fan blades completed crosswind testing in September at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, USA.
The Advance engine design will offer at least 20 per cent less fuel burn and CO2 emissions than the first generation Rolls-Royce Trent engine and could be ready for entry into service from 2020.
UltraFan™, a geared design with a variable pitch fan system, is based on technology that could be ready for service from 2025 and will offer at least 25 per cent less fuel and CO2 emissions against the same baseline.
India’s largest low-cost domestic airline IndiGo, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 250 firm Airbus A320neo airliners.
The $25.5 billion worth deal is also Airbus's single largest order by number of aircraft.
IndiGo Co-Founders, Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia, Group Managing Director of InterGlobe, signed the MoU at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France.
Aditya Ghosh, President of IndiGo said, “This new order reaffirms IndiGo’s commitment to the long-term development of affordable air transportation in India and overseas. The additional aircraft will enable us to continue to bring our low fares and courteous, hassle free service to more customers and markets and will create more job opportunities and growth. The IndiGo team is energised and excited to herald this new phase of our growth.”
IndiGo already has orders for 280 Airbus aircraft, including 100 A320ceo placed in 2005 and 180 A320neo placed in 2011.
Founded in 2006, IndiGo now has the largest domestic market share of 32.6 per cent as of May 2014, overtaking the Jet Airways and the state owned Air India. IndiGo operates an all Airbus fleet of 83 A320s configured in only economy class seating.
The airline had managed to make profits even during sluggish economic conditions when other carriers accumulated losses and saw another domestic carrier Kingfisher going defunct.
The A320neo which completed its maiden flght on Sept 25, is an re-engined and upgraded A320 airliner.
The neo (new engine option) variant incorporates many innovations, including latest generation engines and large Sharklet wing-tip devices, which together deliver 15 percent in fuel savings from day one and 20 per cent by 2020 which is equivalent to a reduction of 5,000 tonnes of CO2 per aircraft per year.
The two latest-generation engine choices are CFM International’s LEAP-1A and the Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1100G-JM Geared Turbofan Engine.
The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single aisle product line with almost 11,000 orders to date and over 6,200 aircraft delivered to 400 customers and operators worldwide.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Monday, October 13, 2014
Flight MH370 in the Southern Indian Ocean. The search area refinement was achieved through a combination of a better understanding of the ground initiated telephone call messages and a refined satellite communication (SATCOM) data that indicate the next, underwater search phase, should be prioritized further south on the 7th arc, within the wide search area.