Friday, March 18, 2016

flydubai Boeing 737 crashed in Russia

A flydubai Boeing 737 passenger plane has been crashed while landing at Rostov-on-Don airport in Russia.

The Boeing 737-800 crashed short off runway while approaching the Rostov-on-Dov airport due to poor visibility conditions owing to heavy rain.

Air-traffic control confirmed that the jet crashed during a second approach, some 50-100 meters left of the runway.

The flight FZ981 departed Dubai International Airport at 10:38 p.m. local time on Friday and was due to land at Rostov-on-Don Airport at 3:49 a.m. local time according data from flight-tracking website FlightAware.

All the 62 people onboard including 55 passengers is reported to be dead, according to airport authorities.

The aircraft with registration A9-FDN joined the flydubai fleet in 2011.

US Navy E-2C involved in landing mishap

Eight U.S. Navy sailors aboard the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) were injured on Friday afternoon when an arresting gear parted during a routine landing by an E-2C Hawkeye airborne surveillance aircraft.

Navy said there were no fatalities and the sailors are listed in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries.

The injured Sailors were working on the flight deck at the time of the mishap. Six have been transported to Norfolk Sentara General Hospital for treatment. Two remain aboard IKE.

The E-2 is a high-wing airplane, with one turboprop engine on each wing and retractable tricycle landing gear. As with most carrier-borne airplanes, the E-2 is equipped with a tail hook for recovery (landing).

The aircraft regained flight and returned safely to its base at Norfolk Naval Station Chambers Field. Initial reports are the aircraft was not damaged and no aircrew members were injured.

The ship is off the Virginia coast conducting carrier qualifications for Composite Training Unit and Joint Task Force Exercises (COMPTUEX/JTFEX) in preparation for their upcoming deployment.

The E-2 is a tactical Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft built by Northrop Grumman and is equipped with a 24-foot (7.3 m) diameter rotating dome that is mounted above its fuselage and wings. This carries the E-2's primary antennas for its long-range radar and IFF systems. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sikorsky CH-53K achieves 120 knot speed

The second prototype of Sikorsky's CH-53K heavy lift helicopter has achieved flight envelope expansion to 120 knots speed during flight testing over Sikorsky’s Development Flight Test Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The Engineering Development Models (EDM) of the first and second CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter which is being developed for US Marine Corps, achieved their first flights on Oct. 27, 2015, and Jan. 22, 2016, respectively.

To date these helicopters have achieved over 35 flight hours combined including multiple flights with an active duty USMC pilot at the controls.

As the flight test program proceeds, these two flying CH-53K helicopters will be joined by two additional aircraft to complete flight qualification of the USMC's next generation heavy lift capability over an approximately  three-year flight test program.

These first two aircraft are the most heavily instrumented of the Engineering Development Models (EDM) and will focus on structural flight loads and envelope expansion.

When the other two EDM aircraft join the flight line in 2016 they will focus on performance, propulsion and avionics flight qualification.

The triple engined King Stallion maintains similar physical dimensions with a reduced "footprint" compared to its predecessor, the three-engine CH-53E SUPER STALLION helicopter, but will more than triple the payload to 27,000 pounds over 110 nautical miles under "high hot" ambient conditions.

Features of the CH-53K helicopter include a modern glass cockpit; fly-by-wire flight controls; fourth-generation rotor blades with anhedral tips; a low maintenance elastomeric rotor head; upgraded engines; a locking, United States Air Force pallet compatible cargo rail system; external cargo handling improvements; survivability enhancements; and improved reliability, maintainability and supportability.

The U.S. Department of Defense's CH-53K program of record remains at 200 CH-53K aircraft. The Marine Corps intends to stand up eight active duty squadrons, one training squadron, and one reserve squadron to support operational requirements.

Dornier Seastar amphibian enters series production

Dornier Seawings has commenced series production of the Seastar amphibious aircraft, more than 30 years after its maiden flight in 1984.

Engineered to operate on both land and water, the Seastar combines cutting-edge technology with Dornier’s 100 years of flying-boat experience.

Originally developed by Claudius Dornier, using design principles of his father, aviation pioneer Claude Dornier, the advanced amphibious aircraft is equipped with exceptional features, such as the sponsons, tandem propellers and the Dornier boat hull.

The parasol wing with a span of 58.20 ft is designed as a single continuous aerofoil structure with a fail-safe three-spar design. The all-composite, corrosion-free fuselage supplied by Canadian Diamond Aircraft Ind. is 41.67 ft long.

The two tandem Pratt & Whitney turboprop PT6A turboprop engines are mounted in a single nacelle over the wings in a push-pull configuration. The configuration improves safety and flying by eliminating the possibility of asymmetric thrust in the event of an engine failure.

The rate of climb with two engines is 1300 ft/min and with single engine is 520 ft/min.

The P&W engines, rated 650 hp each are mated with a 5-blade MT Propellers enabling to achieve a maximum cruising speed of 180 KTAS — 40 KTAS faster than its nearest competitor.

The landing gear and fuel tanks are located in the sponsons on both sides of the fuselage that guarantees excellent water-handling and a low center of gravity. The sponsons also act as working and docking platforms when on water.

The unique all-composite boat hull can perform in rough seas and has demonstrated a sea state of 2 ft.

The interior of the Seastar can be tailored to many different operations: VIP, commercial, government or corporate missions. It features a light and spacious cabin that can be equipped with various configurations, including 12-seater commuter, 9-seater corporate and 7-seater VIP.

The cockpit is equipped with Honeywell’s Primus Epic 2.0 all-glass avionic suite and four 10-inch LCD displays with advanced vision, communication, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management systems. It can also be operated by a single-pilot.

The aircraft has a MTOW of 10141 lb (4.6 tonne) and has a maximum range of 900 nm (1667 km). The flight endurance is 7.5 hours and maximum operating altitude is 15000 ft.

Dornier Seawings is scheduled to receive the amended Type Certificate according to CS23 (FAR 23) by the European Aviation Safety Agency in the second quarter of 2018 and will deliver the first aircraft to customers later that year.

Dornier Seawings GmbH is a joint venture between the Wuxi Industrial Development Group (WXIDG), the Wuxi Communications Industry Group Co., Ltd., and the German Dornier family.

The joint venture is headquartered in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China and the engineering core of the joint venture company is in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.

Production lines are currently set up in Germany (Oberpfaffenhofen) and planned in China (Wuxi), and first deliveries to customers are expected by 2018.

Diamond Aircraft has begun manufacture of the airframe, including fuselage, wings and flight controls, and will deliver the first fuselage to Dornier Seawings’ final assembly line by June 2016.

The corrosion-resistant tricycle landing gear is supplied by Sumitomo Precision Products Canada.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Second Airbus A320neo delivered to IndiGo

India’s largest low-cost and fastest growing carrier, IndiGo became the second customer for the improved Airbus A320neo passenger jet. The delivery makes IndiGo the first A320neo operator in India and in Asia.

The aircraft was ferried from Airbus final assembly line in Toulouse, France to New Delhi, India on Today.

The A320neo “new engine option” 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. This is equivalent to a reduction of 5,000 tonnes of CO2 per aircraft per year.

IndiGo is one of Airbus’ biggest A320 Family customers having ordered 530 aircraft in total. These include 430 A320neo from orders placed in 2015 (250 A320neo) and 2011 (180 A32neo).

IndiGo also placed an order in 2005 for 100 A320s which have all been delivered. The aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney's new PW1100G-JM  PurePower Geared Turbofan™ engines.

The engine features a special intermediary 3:1 gear conversion system ensures optimum speed of the 2.06 meter-cross-section fans and the turbine inside the engine. The PW engine will power 150 neo aircraft of IndiGo.

The 85-decibel noise footprint of the engine is only about half the size as a comparable aircraft of the existing fleet.

“The A320neo aircraft will enable us to continue to offer affordable air transportation and a new flying experience for our customers. The fuel efficient aircraft will be part of a new phase of our growth and will enable us to offer more regional and international destinations at the best price,” said Aditya Ghosh, President of IndiGo.

The first A320neo was delivered to launch customer Lufthansa last month.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Boeing to weaponise AHRLAC

Boeing will weaponise military variant of Paramount Group’s Advanced, High Performance, Reconnaissance, Light Aircraft (AHRLAC) called Mwari.

Boeing will develop an integrated mission system for the aircraft enabling ISR and light strike missions.

The high-wing, twin boom, two-seat aircraft with a maximum take off weight (MTOW) of 4400 kg is designed carry a 800 kg payload of advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors and weapons systems.

The high wings provide superior external view, ideal for surveillance and strike missions. The tandem seats can be equipped with Martin Baker Mk16 or Mk17 ejection seats.

The aircraft was developed in South Africa by Paramount Group and Aerosud as a cheaper alternative to unmanned aircraft for reconnaissance and  counter-insurgency roles. It completed its maiden flight in 2014.

Powered by a 950 shp Pratt & Whitney PT6 turboprop engine in pusher configuration, the AHRLAC Mwari can stay airborne for more than 7 hours with at a maximum service ceiling of 31,000 ft.

The aircraft has a range of more than 1300 miles and can cruise at a maximum speed of 272 knots (504 kmph).

ISR sensors include Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) cameras, ELINT/COMINT and Search and Rescue (SAR) Radars.

The Mwari has six under wing hard points and a 20 mm fuselage mounted cannon. The hard points can be armed with bombs, unguided rocket pods and anti tank missiles.

Friday, March 4, 2016

UK-France sign deal to develop new unmanned stealth combat drone

U.K and France has signed a $2.19 billion deal to build the first prototype of a next generation unmanned stealth aircraft, under the Future Combat Air System project.

Dassault Aviation
The deal builds on the joint feasibility study under taken by both sides signed during the UK France Summit in 2014.

The FCAS program will develop an unmanned stealthy multi-role combat capable aircraft, with full scale development of prototypes starting in 2017.

UK companies involved in the program include BAE Systems, Finmeccanica Airborne and Space Systems Division , and Rolls Royce. French side will be lead by Dassault Aviation, SNECMA/Safran and Thales.

Both countries had earlier independently demonstrated ability to design unmanned stealthy aircraft through the BAE Systems led Taranis and Dassault led nEUROn programs.

Taranis was first flown in 2013 from Woomera test range in Australia. Weighing 8000 kg, it has two internal weapon bays.

The first flight of the nEUROn demonstrator was completed on December 1, 2012, in Istres (France). By mid-2015, low-observability and electro-optical performance had both been demonstrated in Istres and in Sardinia.

U.K has also secured agreement from France to look at purchasing the Brimstone missiles for its next version of the Tiger Combat helicopter. 

Erickson to manufacture Seeker aircraft in U.S.

Erickson Incorporated has entered into a exclusive agreement with Seeker Aircraft, Inc. to manufacturer latter's surveillance aircraft in United States.

Albuquerque, New Mexico based Seeker Aircraft is the original equipment manufacturer for the SB7L-360A and SB7L-360A2 Seeker, purpose-built light observation aircraft specifically designed and developed for aerial surveillance missions.

 The Seeker is ideal for applications ranging from border patrol, law enforcement and natural disasters to pipeline and powerline surveillance due to its helicopter like bubble fuselage that provides 270 degree cockpit visibility and the ability for stable, slow flight at a minimum patrol speed of 65 kts.

The Seeker’s high mounted pusher propeller and conventional tail wheel landing configuration make it a superior aircraft to operate where short take offs and landings are required at austere locations.

Weighting close to one tonne, the Lycoming O-360 piston engine provide an endurance of more than 6 hours and a range of 454 nautical miles.

Seekers are currently flying missions in Australia, Jordan, Azerbaijan, South Africa, Tanzania, UAE, Iraq, Yemen, China and the US with the New Mexico State Police, among others.

Erickson is famous for its operations using the S-64F Aircrane helicopter that can hoist weight of 25,000 lbs. and is often utilized for heavy lift projects including construction and timber harvesting.

First US assembled Airbus A321 rolled out

Airbus rolled out the first U.S. assembled A321 passenger jet from its manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama, after completing its painting in JetBlue livery.

The aircraft's first flight and delivery to JetBlue is scheduled for spring 2016.

The aircraft painting was achieved by MAAS Aviation. The company is responsible for painting aircraft in its new facility located on the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley within the Airbus manufacturing facility campus.

In September 2015, Airbus inaugurated operations at its first ever U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile. The plant can assemble Airbus's A320 single aisle family, including A319s, A320s and A321s.

Airbus announced plans for the $600 million U.S. Manufacturing Facility in 2012, and construction began at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley the following year.

By 2018, the facility will produce between 40 and 50 single-aisle aircraft per year.  Airbus’ market forecast indicates a demand over the next 20 years (from all manufacturers) for some 4,700 single-aisle aircraft in North America alone.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

MoU signed for development of EMS variant of AW609 tiltrotor

Finmeccanica announced that it has signed a MoU with Era Group Inc. for the development of the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) variant of the AgustaWestland AW609 commercial TiltRotor aircraft at the Heli-Expo 2016 in (Louisville, Kentucky).

Combining the best of both into a aircraft, the AW609 takes off and land like a helicopter with its two rotors in vertical position, and cruise like a fixed-wing aircraft by rotating the rotor 90 degree into horizontal position.

First flown in 2003, the second prototype suffered a fatal crash in October 2015 during flight testing, killing both test pilots on board.

Since then flight testing has been suspended pending the accident investigation lead by Italy's ANSV agency.

Almost 60 orders have already been logged for the AW609 globally to perform several missions including search and rescue, offshore transport, executive/private transport and homeland security.

Sikorsky launches upgrade to S-76 helicopter

Sikorsky has launched an upgrade program for its S-76C+™ helicopter operators that increases performance of the medium weight commercial utility rotorcraft, at the 2016 Helicopter International Association Heli-Expo show.

Upgrading to S-76C++ configuration with Arriel 2S2 engines will deliver improved mission capabilities including greater take-off and cruising power, reduced pilot workload and higher payload.

The S-76C++ design introduces features such as dual digital engine control units (DECU) and engine inlet barrier filters that increase reliability and lower maintenance costs.

The upgrade is accomplished by the installation of an airframe kit manufactured by Sikorsky, and a separate upgrade of the Turbomeca 2S1 engine to the 2S2 variant, which may be obtained directly from Turbomeca.

The engine upgrade is not part of Sikorsky's airframe kit. Sikorsky plans to make the airframe kit available for order in the second quarter of 2016. Installation training for operators will be conducted via webcast.

Upgraded aircraft also become eligible for enrollment in Sikorsky's Total Assurance or Power Assurance programs. These maintenance assurance programs were specifically developed in response to customers' requirements to operate their fleets within a fixed, known budget, reducing the risks of unplanned costs.

Sikorsky has delivered more than 850 S-76® helicopters to customers globally since 1979, including more than 150 C+ and 200 C++ variants, contributing daily to a growing 6.9-million-plus fleet flight hours total.

Certified in 2005, the Arriel 2S2 is eight per cent more powerful than the Arriel 2S1. The engine delivers take-off power at 923 shp, cruise power of 832 shp and a maximum One Engine Inoperative (OEI) rating of 1033 shp.

The 2S2 also features a dual-channel FADEC Arriel 2S2 meets the highest market standards in terms of reliability and robustness, with a TBO that has been extended to 3,850 hours.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

US and Russian astronauts return safely after one year mission aboard ISS

NASA astronaut and Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Kornienko returned to Earth Tuesday after a historic 340-day mission aboard the International Space Station. They landed in Kazakhstan at 11:26 p.m. EST (10:26 a.m. March 2 Kazakhstan time).

Joining their return trip aboard a Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft was Sergey Volkov, also of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, who arrived on the station Sept. 4, 2015. The crew touched down southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan.

During the record-setting One-Year mission, the station crew conducted almost 400 investigations to advance NASA's mission and benefit all of humanity.

Kelly and Kornienko specifically participated in a number of studies to inform NASA's Journey to Mars, including research into how the human body adjusts to weightlessness, isolation, radiation and the stress of long-duration spaceflight.

Kelly's identical twin brother, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, participated in parallel twin studies on Earth to help scientists compare the effects of space on the body and mind down to the cellular level.

One particular research project examined fluid shifts that occur when bodily fluids move into the upper body during weightlessness. These shifts may be associated with visual changes and a possible increase in intracranial pressure, which are significant challenges that must be understood before humans expand exploration beyond Earth's orbit.

The study uses the Russian Chibis device to draw fluids back into the legs while the subject's eyes are measured to track any changes. NASA and Roscosmos already are looking at continuing the Fluid Shifts investigation with future space station crews.

The crew took advantage of the unique vantage point of the space station, with an orbital path that covers more than 90 percent of Earth's population, to monitor and capture images of our planet.

They also welcomed the arrival of a new instrument to study the signature of dark matter and conducted technology demonstrations that continue to drive innovation, including a test of network capabilities for operating swarms of spacecraft.

Kelly and Kornienko saw the arrival of six resupply spacecraft during their mission. Kelly was involved in the robotic capture of two NASA-contracted cargo flights -- SpaceX's Dragon during the company's sixth commercial resupply mission and Orbital ATK's Cygnus during the company's fourth commercial resupply mission.

A Japanese cargo craft and three Russian resupply ships also delivered several tons of supplies to the station.

Kelly ventured outside the confines of the space station for three spacewalks during his mission. The first included a variety of station upgrade and maintenance tasks, including routing cables to prepare for new docking ports for U.S. commercial crew spacecraft.

On a second spacewalk, he assisted in the successful reconfiguration of an ammonia cooling system and restoration of the station to full solar power-generating capability. The third spacewalk was to restore functionality to the station's Mobile Transporter system.

Including crewmate Gennady Padalka, with whom Kelly and Kornienko launched on March 27, 2015, 10 astronauts and cosmonauts representing six different nations (the United States, Russia, Japan, Denmark, Kazakhstan and England) lived aboard the space station during the yearlong mission.

With the end of this mission, Kelly now has spent 520 days in space, the most among U.S. astronauts. Kornienko has accumulated 516 days across two flights, and Volkov has 548 days on three flights.

Expedition 47 continues operating the station, with NASA astronaut Tim Kopra in command. Kopra, Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency) and Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos will operate the station until the arrival of three new crew members in about two weeks.

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and Russian cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka are scheduled to launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on March 18.

The International Space Station is a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that enables us to demonstrate new technologies and make research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. It has been continuously occupied since November 2000 and, since then, has been visited by more than 200 people and a variety of international and commercial spacecraft.

The space station remains the springboard to NASA's next giant leap in exploration, including future missions to an asteroid and Mars.

More info at

Bombardier launches cargo conversion of Q300 turboprop

Bombardier and Canadian regional airline Air Inuit Ltd. announced today that they are working together on a passenger-to-freighter conversion for the Q300 turboprop aircraft. 

The freighter will include a large cargo door. Dorval, Qu├ębec-based Air Inuit, a long-time operator of Q300 aircraft has championed this modification and will be the launch customer for the conversion.

In support of this conversion, a new Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) will be developed under license by a specialized third party entity.

The converted Q300 aircraft is expected to have a cargo capacity of 12,500 lb with an optimized cargo door. The aircraft will accommodate palletized and free load cargo.

Air Inuit currently operates a fleet of 25 aircraft that includes two Bombardier Q100 and 10 Q300 turboprops.

The Air Inuit, owned by the Inuit of Nunavik through Makivik Corporation provides vital passenger, charter, medical, cargo and emergency air transportation services across the northern Canadian region of Nunavik, of Quebec,of Canada and beyond. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

NASA selects Lockheed to design supersonic airliner

NASA has selected Lockheed Martin to complete preliminary design of a low boom supersonic passenger aircraft, which will be quieter and more affordable than the retired Anglo-French Concorde supersonic airliner.

This is the first in a series of ‘X-planes’ in NASA's New Aviation Horizons initiative, introduced in the agency’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget dubbed the Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) program.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced the award at an event Monday at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia.

After conducting feasibility studies and working to better understand acceptable sound levels across the country, NASA's Commercial Supersonic Technology Project asked industry teams to submit design concepts for a piloted test aircraft that can fly at supersonic speeds, creating a supersonic "heartbeat" -- a soft thump rather than the disruptive boom currently associated with supersonic flight.

Lockheed Martin will receive about $20 million over 17 months for QueSST preliminary design work. The Lockheed Martin team includes subcontractors GE Aviation of Cincinnati and Tri Models Inc. of Huntington Beach, California.

The company will develop baseline aircraft requirements and a preliminary aircraft design, with specifications, and provide supporting documentation for concept formulation and planning. This documentation would be used to prepare for the detailed design, building and testing of the QueSST jet. Performance of this preliminary design also must undergo analytical and wind tunnel validation.

In addition to design and building, this Low Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD) phase of the project also will include validation of community response to the new, quieter supersonic design. The detailed design and building of the QueSST aircraft, conducted under the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate's Integrated Aviation Systems Program, will fall under a future contract competition.

NASA’s 10-year New Aviation Horizons initiative has the ambitious goals of reducing fuel use, emissions and noise through innovations in aircraft design that departs from the conventional tube-and-wing aircraft shape.

The New Aviation Horizons X-planes will typically be about half-scale of a production aircraft and likely are to be piloted. Design-and-build will take several years with aircraft starting their flight campaign around 2020, depending on funding.