Sunday, August 30, 2015

ISRO to augment GSLV Mk II launch capability

After the second successful launch of the GSLV Mk II satellite launch vehicle on August 27, using the indigenous C12 Cryogenic Upper Stage, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to increase the thrust of the cryogenic stage to orbit higher weight satellites.

Scientists are confident that the present capability to loft 2.2 tonne satellite to GTO, could be increased to 2.5 tonne, with minor tweaks.

With the improved launch capability, ISRO hopes to tap the medium weight commercial satellite launch category, which have demand from foreign countries.

The thrust will be increased by optimizing the mass and increasing the thrust of the C12 CUS,  after which a series of tests will be carried out to validate the enhancement.

The C12 CUS has a propellant loading of 12.5 tonne and provides a 7.5 tonne thrust for 720 seconds.

Further measures include tweaking the four liquid strap on boosters on the first stage and second stage Vikas liquid engine, along with reducing the mass of the avionics bay.

ISRO is also developing the GSLV Mk III launch vehicle, which will be capable of lofting satellites weighting up to 4000 kg into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (36000 km). The first development flight of the Mk III was carried out in 2014, without the C25 Cryogenic stage.

The C25 Cryogenic engine was successfully bench tested in July for 25 per cent more than its in flight burn duration.

On Aug 27, the 416 tonne, 49 m tall GSLV-D6 successfully orbited the 2117 kg GSAT-6 military communication satellite in to a 35,939 km GTO, after 17 minutes from lift off.

Cryogenic engines are essential to orbit heavier satellites to GTO, as they are more efficient and provide more thrust than rocket engines using earth storable propellants.

In a cryogenic engine, the oxygen is the oxidizer and is stored as liquid at –183 deg C and Hydrogen as the fuel at –253 deg C to achieve high mass flow rate to generate sufficient thrust.

Klimov TV7-117 turboshaft certified

The TV7-117V turboshaft engine developed by Klimov, part of Russian United Engine Corporation has achieved Russian type certification. The announcement was made at the MAKS airshow in Moscow.

IAC AR Type Certificate will enable the new engine, derived from the TV-117SM turboprop engine developed for the Ilyushin IL-144 regional turboprop airliner to power the Russian Helicopters Mi-38 transport helicopter.

The engine has a take of power of 2850 hp and can provide 3750 hp during emergency. Weighting 360 kg, the engine consumes 220 g/hp/hr of fuel.

The engine features a new FADEC system based on the BARK-12 electronic engine control unit.

Two of theses TV7-117 engines enable the Mi-38 to achieve a cruise speed of 285 kmph, 660 km range with a 3000 kg payload and an operational ceiling of 5900 m.

The engine will replace the Canadian Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127/TS, earlier selected for the Mi-38.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

MAKS 2015: Airshow images

All Images Copyright of AVIASALON JSC

Yakovlev Yak-130 trainer/strike aircraft (Alenia M-346)

Chinese Harbin Y-12F turboprop

Sukhoi T-50 stealth fighter

Russian Navy Sukhoi Su-30 fighter

MIG-29K carrier borne fighter

Upgraded IL-79MD-90A airlifter

 Swifts air display  MIG-29 fighter

MIG-1.44 MFI fighter prototype

Baltic Bees air display AeroVodochody L-39

Sukhoi SuperJet 100 airliner

Boeing stall

Airbus stall

Tu-160 supersonic bomber (USAF B-1 bomber analogue)

Mi-17 and M-36 helicopters

Russian Helicopter Mi-28 attack helicopter

Russian helicopters to develop tiltrotor aircraft

U.S Marine Corps V-22 Osprey

Russian Helicopters presented a draft proposal to develop a unmanned tiltrotor aircraft during MAKS-2015 airshow in Moscow. The aim of the project is to create a family of high-speed multi-purpose rotary-wing aircraft.

The main objective of the project at this stage is to identify the critical technologies and systems necessary to further the creation of a whole family of manned and unmanned konvertoplanov (tiltrotor) aircraft with different maximum take-off weight.

Tiltrotor provide the ability to perform vertical takeoff and landing from small strips and carry more passengers or goods at a higher speed and to greater distance than conventional helicopters.

Tiltrotor aircraft can take off and land vertically like a helicopter, and cruise like a turboprop aircraft by rotating its engines 90 degree to horizontal position.

Current tiltrotor designs in the world include the AgustaWestland AW609 commercial tiltrotor and the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey military aircraft operated by U.S. military.

Belarus sign for additional Yak-130 trainer jets

During the MAKS -2015 airshow in Moscow, the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Belarus and Irkut has signed a contract to supply four additional combat training aircraft Yak-130.

 The aircraft will be delivered to Belarus in 2016. A Laser rangefinder equipped variant of the Yak-130 was unveiled at the airshow, which improve its ground attack capabilities.

From the Ministry of Defense of Belarus the document was signed by Deputy Chief of the Defense Ministry of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Shevchenko and from the Irkut, President Oleg Demchenko.

In April 2015, Irkut has completed the delivery of the first batch of  four Yak-130 to Belarus under a contract signed in 2013.

The Yak-130 can serve as a high end trainer as well as a light combat aircraft with the ability to carry a wide range of weapon payload weighting upto 3000 kg.

The Yak-130 will replace the Czech built Aero Vodochody L-39 trainers in Belarus army fleet.

MAKS 2015: Laser rangefinder equipped Yak-130 unveiled

Irkut Corporation, part of United Aircraft Corporation has unveiled its Yak-130 trainer jet fitted with a laser rangefinder that improves its ground attack capabilities, at MAKS airshow in Moscow.

The laser rangefinder will aide the pilot to visually identify ground and surface targets, and in measuring the slant range.

Addition of laser rangefinder will convert the trainer jet into a light attack aircraft and enable it to be used in rugged terrain (mountains, gorges), improve the accuracy of determining the coordinates of the targets and expand the range of weapons to be carried onboard.

Yak-130 can carry guided and unguided weapons, which allows using the aircraft, both during training and in combat missions.

The total mass of the combat load stored at nine external hardpoints is 3000 kg. An open architecture avionics allows you to expand the range of weapons by looking airborne weapons of Russian and foreign developments.

The twin seat subsonic advanced jet trainer/light attack aircraft or lead-in fighter trainer was originally developed jointly by Russian Yakovlev and Italian Alenia Aermacchi.

The partnership split in 2000, and the Italian aircraft was named the M-346. The trainer is currently operated by Russia, Bangladesh and Belarus.

The M-346 is operated by Italy, Singapore and Israel.

Friday, August 28, 2015

USAF F-22 Raptors deployed to Europe

USAF Photo
Four U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor fifth generation fighters and a Boeing C-17 airlifter along with 60 airmen arrived at USAF's Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany.

This first-ever F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, and provides support to bolster the security of our NATO Allies and partners in Europe.

Germany will be the first stop for these world's most advanced fighter jets, and will next move to Poland on Monday.

The training will prove that 5th generation fighters can deploy successfully to European bases and other NATO installations while also affording the chance for familiarization flight training within the European theater.

It will also give them the chance to conduct combat air training with different aircraft like U.S. F-15 Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons.

The "Raptor" are from Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, and C-17 is part of the 60th Transport Squadron of Travis Air Force Base, California.

U.S. has also deployed its A-10 close air support aircraft to Estonia this month.

These stealth fighters will conduct training alongside NATO allies and partners to strengthen interoperability and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to the security and stability of Europe.

DARPA's Gremlins program to demonstrate distributed capabilities

DARPA has launched a new program, that will study the ability to send large numbers of small unmanned air systems (UAS) with coordinated, distributed capabilities that could provide U.S. forces with improved operational flexibility at much lower cost than is possible with today’s expensive, all-in-one platforms—especially if those unmanned systems could be retrieved for reuse while airborne.

The Gremlins program seeks to show the feasibility of conducting safe, reliable operations involving multiple air-launched, air-recoverable unmanned systems.The program also aims to prove that such systems, or “gremlins,” could provide significant cost advantages over expendable systems, spreading out payload and airframe costs over multiple uses instead of just one.

The goal is to conduct a compelling proof-of-concept flight demonstration that could employ intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and other modular, non-kinetic payloads in a robust, responsive and affordable manner.

The program envisions launching groups of gremlins from large aircraft such as bombers or transport aircraft, as well as from fighters and other small, fixed-wing platforms while those planes are out of range of adversary defenses. When the gremlins complete their mission, a C-130 transport aircraft would retrieve them in the air and carry them home, where ground crews would prepare them for their next use within 24 hours.

DARPA plans to focus primarily on the technical challenges associated with safe, reliable aerial launch and recovery of multiple unmanned air vehicles. Additionally, the program will address new operational capabilities and air operations architectures as well as the potential cost advantages.

With an expected lifetime of about 20 uses, Gremlins could fill an advantageous design-and-use space between existing models of missiles and conventional aircraft, Patt said. “We wouldn't be discarding the entire airframe, engine, avionics and payload with every mission, as is done with missiles, but we also wouldn't have to carry the maintainability and operational cost burdens of today's reusable systems, which are meant to stay in service for decades,” he said. Moreover, gremlin systems could be relatively cost-efficient if, as expected, they leverage existing technology and require only modest modifications to current aircraft.

To familiarize potential participants with the technical objectives of the Gremlins program, DARPA has scheduled a Proposers Day on Thursday, September 24, 2015, at DARPA’s offices in Arlington, Va. Advance registration is required through the registration website: Registration closes on Friday, September 18, 2015, at 2:00 PM Eastern.

DLR showcases SpaceLiner 7 suborbital transport concept at MAKS 2015

Passenger stage jettisoned from booster stage photo: DLR

German Aerospace Center (DLR) has unveiled its latest SpaceLiner 7 concept at the at MAKS airshow in Moscow, which envisions ultra fast intercontinental flights.

The advanced visionary concept for a suborbital, hypersonic, winged passenger transport system will enable to travel from Europe to Australia (up to 17000 km) in 90 minutes, currently under investigation at DLR.

The general baseline design concept consists of a fully-reusable booster and passenger stage arranged in parallel. The rocket engine powered vehicle could reach speed of 20 times that of sound.

Operation of the DLR SpaceLiner concept is similar to the retired NASA Space Shuttle.

SpaceLiner is designed to launch vertically, using rocket engines to accelerate for flight in the outer layers of the atmosphere.

The two-stage, vertical-takeoff configuration concept consists of a large unmanned booster and a manned stage designed for 50 passengers and 2 crew members. The fully-reusable vehicle is accelerated by a total of eleven liquid rocket engines (9 for the booster, 2 for the passenger stage), which are to be operated using cryogenic liquid oxygen (LOX) and hydrogen (LH2).

The nine-engine reusable booster stage separates after the first flight phase, having provided significant thrust to the orbiter. All engines are shut down after eight minutes. The orbiter then begins to glide, initially at over 20 times the speed of sound.

The concept design also foresees the passenger cabin to function as an autonomous rescue capsule which can be separated from the vehicle in case of an emergency, allowing the passengers to return safely to Earth.

After engine cut-off, the orbiter stage is to enter a high-speed gliding flight phase and be capable of traveling long intercontinental distances within a very short time. Altitudes of 80 kilometers and Mach numbers beyond 20 are projected, depending on the mission. Flight times of the SpaceLiner from Australia to Europe should take just 90 minutes or no more than 60 minutes on the Europe – California route.

Acceleration loads for the passengers on these missions are designed to remain below those of the Space Shuttle astronauts, with a maximum of 2.5 g being experienced during the propelled section of the flight.

Contract awarded for first Australian P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft

Boeing will provide the first P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft for Australia and additional P-8As for the U.S. Navy following a $1.49 billion contract award from the Navy for 13 aircraft.

The order includes nine aircraft for the U.S. Navy and four Poseidon aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), a long-time partner to the U.S. Navy on P-8A development.

This latest award puts Boeing on contract to build the Navy’s second lot of full-rate production aircraft, bringing the U.S. Navy’s fleet total to 62 P-8As. Boeing has delivered 28 Poseidons to date.

Based on Boeing’s Next-Generation 737-800 commercial airplane, the P-8A offers the worlds’ most advanced anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The Navy has deployed the first two P-8A patrol squadrons since operations started in 2013.

Australia’s participation in the P-8 program began in 2009 when the government signed the first in a series of memorandums of understanding to work with the U.S. Navy on system design and development.

The U.S. Navy and the RAAF also established a joint program office that operates at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

Production of the first Australian P-8A will begin later this year, with delivery to the RAAF scheduled for 2016.

Boeing will also provide the RAAF with a complete training system for the P-8A, using simulators to train pilots and mission crews to operate the aircraft, its sensors, communications and weapons systems without relying on costly live flights.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

NASA concludes initial RS-25 engine developmental tests

Credit: NASA

NASA has completed the first developmental test series on the RS-25 engines that will power the agency's new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on missions deeper into space than ever before.

The test series wrapped up Thursday with a seventh hot fire test of a developmental RS-25 engine on the A-1 Test Stand at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The test ran for a full-duration 535 seconds.

"The completion of this test series is an important step in getting SLS ready for the journey to Mars," said Steve Wofford, engines manager at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where the SLS Program is managed for the agency. "The RS-25 engine gives SLS a proven, high performance, affordable main propulsion system. It is one of the most experienced large rocket engines in the world, with more than a million seconds of ground test and flight operations time."

The series was designed to collect valuable data on performance of the RS-25 engine, a former space shuttle main engine operating at higher thrust levels in order to provide the power needed for the SLS vehicle. Of particular interest is data that will aid in development of a new engine controller, or "brain," to monitor engine status and communicate programmed performance needs.

"These are extremely reliable engines. We are testing them again because we want to ensure that the engine performs as required with a new engine controller, higher propellant inlet pressures and lower temperatures that are part of the SLS design. We also want to mitigate any risks on the ground before flight," Wofford said.

Four RS-25 engines will help power the SLS core stage during launch. Firing simultaneously at 109 percent of its operating level, the engines will provide approximately 2 million pounds of thrust. The engines will operate in conjunction with a pair of five-segment solid rocket boosters for a total of 8.4 million pounds of thrust to lift the initial 70-metric-ton (77-ton) SLS off the launch pad. The SLS eventually will evolve to a 130-metric-ton (143-ton) configuration that will enable missions to such deep space destinations as an asteroid and Mars.

Testing of RS-25 flight engines for the initial SLS missions will begin at Stennis this fall. In addition to testing RS-25 flight engines, Stennis operators will employ their collective expertise to test the SLS core stage. The B-2 Test Stand at Stennis is being renovated to conduct tests on the SLS flight core stage prior to its first uncrewed mission. That testing will involve installing the flight stage on the stand and firing its four RS-25 engines simultaneously, just as during an actual launch.

"What a great time to be at Stennis," Center Director Rick Gilbrech said. "When it comes to powering the future of the deep space exploration program for this country, this is the front lines, where we enable those missions to fly."

The developmental tests began with a Jan. 9 hot fire and resumed in May after scheduled work was completed on the high-pressure industrial water system that provides the thousands of gallons of water needed during an engine test. Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, California, is the prime contractor for the RS-25 engine work.

RAF Typhoon complete Baltic Air Policing mission

After four months of operations, the Royal Air Force detachment of Typhoon fighters concluded its deployment to Estonia as part of the NATO led, Baltic Air Policing mission to protect the airspace of the Baltic region.

On 25 August, RAF Lossiemouth’s 6 Squadron returned home to their Moray airbase after successfully carrying out the mission.

Since arriving in Estonia in May, the Typhoon fighters have been scrambled 17 times and have intercepted more than 40 Russian aircraft ranging from transports to long-range fighters.

In this time the Squadron has seen one of the busiest periods recorded, including the intercept of 10 Russian aircraft during a single mission.

As the concluding event in a series of commemorative occasions at Amari Air Base in Estonia, 121 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) handed over to the German 31st Tactical Air Wing.

The extensive tally of RAF intercepts during the 4 months totalled 17 launches and 36 aircraft, including; MiG-31BM ‘Foxhound’ fighters, Su-34 ‘Fullback’ fighters, Tu-22M3 ‘Backfire’ C bombers, An-26 ‘Curl’ surveillance aircraft and the first UK intercept of an A-50 ‘Mainstay’ airborne early warning and control aircraft.

6 Squadron will now continue routine flying at RAF Lossiemouth, which includes the defence of UK airspace.

Images: CSeries complete water ingestion tests

Bombardier confirmed today it successfully completed its C Series aircraft’s water ingestion tests in Mirabel, Qu├ębec – the tests validate how the aircraft behaves on rain-soaked runways.

“These were interesting and spectacular tests to watch – as the C Series simulated landings in shallow pools of water. The team verified that neither the water under the aircraft nor the spray generated by the nose landing gear entered the engines nor the auxiliary power unit, or impacted performance,” said Rob Dewar, Vice President, C Series Aircraft Program. “We’re moving ahead nicely having completed yet another test.”

About the Water Ingestion Test

The CS300 flight test vehicle performed the tests, also known as the “water trough” tests, by travelling through with a water trough to simulate realistic conditions. The aircraft reached a maximum speed of 120 knots (approximately 220 km/h) during the tests.

After the fabrication and installation of the Bombardier designed water trough, a team of flight test engineers, flight test pilots and maintenance specialists were on hand to collect the results for further analysis.

Results of these tests will be relevant for both CS100 and CS300 aircraft models.

UK to upgrade Army Apache attack helicopters

Crown Copyright
United States has a approved a Foreign Military Sale of equipments worth $3 billion to upgrade British Army Apache attack helicopters to the latest standard.

United Kingdom will upgrade 50 of its WAH-64 Mk 1 Attack Helicopters to the latest AH-64E Apache Guardian variant.

UK has requested 110 General Electric T-700-GE-701D turboshaft engines (100 installed and 10 spares), the refurbishment of 53 AN/ASQ-170 Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sights (M-TADS) (50 installed and 3 spares), the refurbishment of 53 AN/AAR-11 Modernized Pilot Night Vision Sensors (PNVS) (50 installed and 3 spares), the refurbishment of 52 AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radars (FCR) (50 installed and 2 spares) with 55 Radar Electronics Units (Longbow Component) (50 installed and 5 spares), 52 AN/APR-48B Modernized Radar Frequency Interferometers (50 installed and 2 spares), 60 AAR-57(V) 3/5 Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS) with 5th Sensor and Improved Countermeasure Dispenser (50 installed and 10 spares), 120 Embedded Global Positioning Systems (GPS) with Inertial Navigation (100 installed and 20 spares) and 300 Apache Aviator Integrated Helmets.

Also included are AN/AVR-2B Laser Detecting Sets, AN/APR-39D(V)2 Radar Signal Detecting Sets, Integrated Helmet and Display Sight Systems (IHDSS-21), Manned-Unmanned Teaming International (MUMT-I), KOR-24A Link 16 terminals, M206 infrared countermeasure flares, M211 and M212 Advanced Infrared Countermeasure Munitions (AIRCMM) flares, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponders, ammunition, communication equipment, tools and test equipment, training devices, simulators, generators, transportation, wheeled vehicles, organizational equipment, spare and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support..

The prime contractors will be The Boeing Company in Mesa, Arizona; Lockheed Martin Corporation in Orlando, Florida; General Electric Company in Cincinnati, Ohio; Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training in Owego, New York; and Longbow Limited Liability Corporation in Orlando, Florida.

Zala 421 UAV unveiled at MAKS 2015

Zala Aero group part of Russian defense giant ROSTEC, unveild its new ZALA 421-16E5 tactical reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle at the MAKS 2015, in Zhukovsky, Russia.

The UAV features digital control units and can transmit real time video to the operator using a bidirectional transceiver.

Launched using a mobile pneumatic launcher, the ZALA 421-16E5 has great autonomy and mobility, it can fly 6-7 hours, with a range of up to 150 km and can monitor more than 21 000 sq. km area from one launch site.

The compartments are provided to install special equipment weighing up to five kilograms.

Firm configuration milestone for Boeing 777X program

Boeing announced today the completion of the firm configuration milestone for the 777-9, the first member of the 777X family to be developed.

The Boeing 777X team reached this significant design milestone after working closely with airline customers and key suppliers to optimize the configuration of the new airplane.

The 777X family includes the 777-8 and the 777-9 – both designed to respond to market needs and customer preferences. The 777-8 and 777-9 provide significant range, payload and fuel burn advantages compared to the A350.

The firm configuration milestone marks the completion of configuration trade studies required to finalize the airplane's capability and basic design. Wind tunnel test results, aerodynamic performance and structural loads are also evaluated to ensure the airplane meets requirements. This allows the 777X team to begin detailed design of parts, assemblies and other systems for the airplane. As detailed designs are completed and released, production can begin.

The 777X will be the largest and most efficient twin-engine jet in the world, with 12 percent lower fuel consumption and 10 percent lower operating costs than the competition. In addition, the 777X will bring cabin innovations and improved levels of passenger comfort.

The 777X program has received orders and commitments for 320 airplanes from six customers worldwide. Production is set to begin in 2017.

The first of three huge autoclaves, measuring 28 feet wide by 120 feet long, was moved on Wednesday night from a site adjacent to Paine Field en route to Boeing's new 777X Composite Wing Center. The autoclaves will bake sections of the composite wings for the new 777X.

Lockheed unveil next generation HWB airlifter concept

Aviation Week revealed Lockheed Martin's next generation airlifter design called the Hybrid Wing Body (HWB) concept, that promises drastic reduction in operating cost.

The HWB will be capable of carrying all out sized cargo now carried by USAF's largest airlifter C-5, while burning 70 percent less fuel than the Boeing C-17 airlifter.

The HWB design combines a blended wing and forebody with a conventional C-17 type aft fuselage and tail section, powered by two engines.

Major contributor to the fuel efficiency is the very high by pass turbofan engines, which are mounted over the wing, to maintain low ground clearance requisite for an airlifter.

Despite its blended wing design, the HWB maintains a pressurized circular fuselage cross section and features unpressurized cargo bays in the inboard wing section.

To reduce cost, the airlifter will be designed with compatibility to existing ground support equipments and operations.

Lockheed says it also studying a tanker/transport variant of HWB, which will be 15 percent efficient than the USAF's newest KC-46A.

Lockheed plans to validate the design using a 4 percent scale unmanned demonstrator in 2016, and a large scale demonstrator by 2020. If pursued, the airlifter could enter service by 2035.

More at Aviation Week

H175 logs 1000 flight hours

The first two Airbus Helicopters H175 super medium size helicopters delivered to launch customer NHV Group has logged 1000 flight hours, since induction in last December. The rotorcraft’s demonstrated capabilities and reliability in highly demanding operations, especially the transportation of crews and supplies to off-shore oil and gas platforms – the primary mission for which it was designed.

The H175 have since completed more than 750 flights and carried approximately 11.000 passengers; with certain missions conducted in challenging North Sea weather conditions, and non-stop flights performed to distances of 175 NM with passengers and cargo.

High reliability with the H175 is enabling NHV to meet tight flight scheduling in the North Sea, thereby underscoring the aircraft’s high level of maturity from service entry, as well as the suitability of associated services provided by Airbus Helicopters. The first two scheduled 400-hour maintenance checks validated the ease of maintenance.

NHV’s initial H175s are flying from Den Helder in northern Holland. NHV Group ultimately will increase its fleet to 16 of these new-generation helicopters. As part of Airbus Helicopters’ commitment to a smooth H175 introduction, it has assigned technical crews to Den Helder, which are backed by the company’s full resources in support and services, as well as established training capabilities.

“We are very pleased with the H175s,” added Eric Van Hal, the CEO of NHV Group. “Our pilots appreciate their excellent handling characteristics, plus the speed and range; while passengers are impressed with the cabin comfort, smooth ride and low noise levels.”

The H175s joined NHV’s rotorcraft fleet that also includes Airbus Helicopters-built AS365N3 Dauphins, H225s, AS332 L2 Super Pumas, H155s and EC145s.

Airbus Helicopters developed the H175 to meet evolving mission needs in the oil and gas industry, offering outstanding performance and unmatched cost efficiency – with the capability of carrying a full payload to 90 percent of the North Sea’s offshore installations. It also is well tailored for search and rescue in support of such off-shore operations, emergency medical services, public services, VIP and executive transport.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cirrus SF50 FAA certification by 2015 end

Cirrus Aircraft today announced the FAA issued Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) for the Vision SF50, marking another significant milestone in the aircraft certification program. TIA initiates formal FAA flight evaluation of the Vision SF50 type design, airworthiness, performance and handling properties.

This TIA allows Cirrus to move forward with FAA Conformity Inspections and Certification Flight Tests with an FAA pilot on board the aircraft, one of the final elements needed for Type Certification.

The TIA comes after intensive scrutiny of engineering designs, structural testing and flight test results that demonstrate compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations. To achieve TIA from the FAA, Cirrus’ first conforming flight test aircraft, C-Zero, was thoroughly analyzed in airframe structure, stability in flight controls and stall performance.

The accumulated test hours and results deemed it safe to fly by the FAA and ready for compliance validation, a clear indicator of substantial progress along the Vision SF50’s multi-year march toward first customer delivery.

Three conforming Vision SF50 prototypes are working to demonstrate Type Certification compliance to requirements, already completing a wide range of company tests including the recent flyover noise levels. Recent successful completion of ultimate load drop testing for the signature Cirrus Airframe Parachute System® (CAPS®) paves the way for aircraft in-flight deployment testing this fall.

Wing and stabilizer cyclic lifespan and stress testing are currently underway, updates to an advanced new avionics system, plus interiors and paint schemes are also being finalized. With the first Vision SF50 units entering the production line, Cirrus’ goal is to achieve Type Certification by the end of 2015 and begin customer deliveries shortly thereafter.

The Cirrus Vision SF50®, with over 550 production positions reserved, will provide a new personal and regional business transportation solution: the personal jet.

Raytheon AIM-9X demonstrate ground based air defense role

Raytheon Image

The U.S. Army and Raytheon successfully test fired an AIM-9X Block II missile from the Army's ground-based Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2-I (IFPC 2-I) Block 1 Multi-Mission Launcher (MML).

AIM-9X is traditionally fired from aircraft toward aerial targets and this test demonstrated that the latest AIM-9X can be used in both air-to-air combat and now, without modification, in ground-based air defense.

The AIM-9X missile first locked onto an unmanned aerial system (UAS) before launch, and then intercepted and destroyed the UAS, which was flying 1,500 meters above ground level.

"This is another example of how Raytheon is leveraging its proven portfolio of products to fulfill gaps in other mission areas, such as ground-based air defense," said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president. "AIM-9X can perform well against fighter aircraft, unmanned aerial systems or cruise missiles and retain the 'first look, first shot, first kill' reputation – in the air and from the ground."

This test also validated the operation and design of the Army's prototype IFPC Multi-Mission Launcher and demonstrated the surface launch performance of the AIM-9X Block II missile against a UAS.

AIM-9X is a infrared-tracking, short-range air-to-air missile that entered operational service in 2003; international deliveries began in 2005. Block II development began in 2011 and completed operational test and evaluation in early 2015. The US Navy declared initial operational capability with the Block II in March 2015.

Northrop delivers 150th KC-10 Extender to the US Air Force

Northrop Grumman recently delivered the 150th KC-10 Extender aircraft from a maintenance depot to the United States Air Force. The program's depots are located in Lake Charles, Louisiana and Greensboro, North Carolina.

The KC-10 Extender can replenish the fuel of other aircraft midair while transporting personnel, equipment and patients on overseas deployments and aeromedical evacuations.

Northrop Grumman has also made product reliability improvements in the aircraft's CF6-50 engine overhaul program, contributing to a 15-year high in engine fleet performance. Additionally, the company achieved advancements in system modernization, engineering and depot production, which have helped produce a three-year sustained mission-capable rate that exceeds the Air Force's 85 percent standard.

Northrop Grumman has served as prime contractor on the program since 2009. In partnership with its teammates TIMCO Line Care, AAR, Chromalloy and MTU Maintenance, Northrop Grumman provides contractor logistics support, depot maintenance, engine management and overhaul, and supply chain management for the aircraft.

The KC-10 can transport up to 75 people and nearly 170,000 pounds (76,560 kilograms) of cargo a distance of about 4,400 miles (7,040 kilometers) unrefueled.

Based on a modified Boeing DC-10 trijet airliner, the KC-10A entered USAF service in 1981. Although it retains 88 percent of systems commonality with the DC-10, it has additional systems and equipment necessary for its Air Force mission.

These additions include military avionics; aerial refueling boom and aerial refueling hose and drogue; seated aerial refueling operator station; and aerial refueling receptacle and satellite communications.

DARPA awards contract to study on orbit satellite assembly

Space Systems/Loral, LLC (SSL), a leading provider of commercial satellites, today announced it was awarded a contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to study on-orbit robotic assembly of geostationary communications satellites.

Called Dragonfly, the program is designed to enable larger and more powerful satellites that cannot be launched fully assembled, to be packaged in pieces within a standard launch vehicle fairing.

As one of the world's most prolific manufacturers of geostationary communications satellites, SSL brings a wealth of expertise to the Dragonfly study including heritage robotics. The Dragonfly concept, which is designed to have both military and commercial applications, is for satellites to self-assemble from an efficiently stowed state while in orbit with a focus on the installation and reconfiguration of large radio frequency (RF) antenna reflectors.

The study is scheduled for a five-month first phase during which SSL will seek to demonstrate how assembling satellites on orbit could lower satellite cost and mass, while at the same time enabling higher satellite performance. SSL is planning to further develop on-orbit satellite assembly capability and as part of this effort, has submitted a proposal to NASA for collaboration on taking the concept to a ground demonstration followed by a flight application.

Indian students present Roll-On/Roll-Off disaster relief module design for C-130 airlifter

Teams from five leading Indian universities recently presented design concepts supporting the disaster relief operations here as part of the Lockheed Martin  C-130J Super Hercules Roll-On/Roll-Off University Design Challenge.

Lockheed Martin launched the Indian University design challenge in November 2014. The company provided research grants for each university team to work with local industry partners and mentors from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to develop design specifications for proposed modules that could be used on C-130J Super Hercules cargo aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

The Indian Air Force currently (IAF) operates a fleet of five C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, following crash of one in 2014. The IAF is contracted to receive an additional six C-130Js through a Foreign Military Sale with the U.S. government.

Lockheed Martin provided each team with engineering, technical and business development expertise. The company will award three of the teams a second-year grant in 2016 to develop a prototype of their module and additional mentoring to develop a go-to-market strategy.

At the end of the design challenge, Lockheed Martin representatives will work with each team to explore options with government and industry to mature the prototype for global markets.

Teams participating in the challenge are from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, IIT Chennai, Delhi Technological University (DTU), University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES), and Birla Institute of Technological Studies (BITS) Pilani-Goa Campus.

"Lockheed Martin has supported the Indian Air Force C-130J fleet since 2008. We are proud of the IAF’s accomplishments in setting new operational records and in multiple humanitarian operations in the past few years. The Super Hercules Roll-On/Roll-Off University Challenge provides new opportunities to develop unique solutions and increase the versatility of the global C-130 fleet, which spans 16 nations around the world,” said Abhay Paranjape, director of Air Mobility Business Development for India at Lockheed Martin.

During this recent round of presentations, students met with Indian Air Force C-130J pilots, engineers and load masters to understand how typical roll-on/roll-off missions are managed for disaster relief operations.

The C-130 has a built-in ramp that allows cargo or mission system modules to be literally rolled-on and off, allowing for cargo areas to be reconfigured anywhere in a matter of hours without requiring major design modifications.

In continuous production longer than any other military aircraft, the C-130 Hercules has earned a reputation as a workhorse ready for any mission, anywhere, anytime. To date, almost 2,500 C-130s have been delivered to operators around the world.

Indian Air Force C-130Js played an active role in recent disaster relief operations including the Uttrakhand floods and Nepal Eearthquake.

As a part of its larger commitment to enhance the growth and development of India’s innovation and entrepreneurial pursuits, Lockheed Martin has successfully run the India Innovation Growth Programme (IIGP) since 2007 in partnership with the Indian Department of Science and Technology, Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and the IC2 Institute at the University of Texas.

Lockheed Martin’s urban unmanned aerial system programme with DTU has been equally successful, and forms the basis of its future collaborative research and development efforts in India.

Boeing delivers Korean Air's first 747-8 Intercontinental

Boeing and Korean Air today marked the delivery of the airline's first 747-8 Intercontinental airliner.

The new fuel-efficient jet is the first of 10 747-8 passenger airplanes the carrier has on order.

With this delivery, Korean Air becomes the first airline in the world to operate both the passenger and freighter versions of the 747-8. Korea's flag carrier currently operates a fleet of 87 Boeing passenger airplanes that includes 737, 747 and 777s. The airline also operates an all-Boeing cargo fleet of 28 747-400, 747-8 and 777 Freighters.

With a range of 7,730 nautical miles (14,310 km), the 747-8 Intercontinental offers 16 percent savings in fuel consumption and emissions over its predecessor, the 747-400, while generating 30 percent less noise. The airplane also features an all-new, 787 Dreamliner-inspired interior that includes a new curved, upswept architecture giving passengers a greater feeling of space and comfort.

Korean Air's jet is configured with 368 seats and features the brand new First Class Kosmo Suite 2.0, which include a sliding door and higher partitions to provide added privacy for passengers. The suites are also equipped with updated in-flight entertainment systems, with large 24-inch high-definition monitors and new handheld touch remotes.

The airline's Business Class Prestige Suites will feature staggered seating and privacy panels, along with 18-inch high definition touch screens.

Korean Air's Aerospace Division is a key Boeing partner on both the 747-8 and 787 programs, supplying the distinctive raked wing-tips for each model. They are also one of two suppliers producing the new 737 MAX Advanced Technology (AT) Winglet.

Korean Air, with a fleet of 161 aircraft, is one of the world's top 20 airlines, and operates more than 430 flights per day to 128 cities in 45 countries.

It is a founding member of the SkyTeam alliance, which together with its 20 members, offers its 612 million annual passengers a worldwide system of more than 16,000 daily flights covering 1,052 destinations in 177 countries.Korean Air currently operates seven 747-8 Freighters.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pratt & Whitney delivers PW1400G engine for Irkut MC-21 airliner

Pratt & Whitney announced delivery of the first PurePower® PW1400G-JM engine to the podding facility at Russia's Irkut Corporation at the MAKS 2015 Airshow, for installation on Irkut's MC-21 aircraft, whose assembly is under progress.

The PW1400G-JM engine was assembled and tested at the Pratt & Whitney West Palm Beach Engine Center located in Florida before being shipped to Irkutsk, Russia.

"The PW1400G-JM engine is proof of the Geared Turbofan™ (GTF) engine technology's key strengths – its adaptability and versatility – and we are excited to provide the first PurePower engine for Irkut as the engine family continues to display unprecedented levels of performance across the board," said Jill Albertelli, vice president, NGPF-30K programs.

The PurePower PW1000G series engines use an advanced gear system allowing the engine's fan to operate at a different speed than the low-pressure compressor and turbine. The combination of the gear system and an all-new advanced core deliver double-digit improvements in fuel efficiency, environmental emissions and noise.

As the PW1400G-JM engine continues rigorous testing, engine certification is expected later this year.

The PurePower engine family has completed more than 36,000 cycles of testing and 20,000 hours of testing, including 6,000 hours of flight testing.

Irkut is developing the MC-21 as a family of 150 to 210-passenger aircraft with first flight of the PurePower® PW1400G engined aircraft planned for 2016 and entry into service in 2017. The MC-21 series will feature jetliners with 25,000-32,000 pounds of thrust.