2008-10-20 - News in BriefNews in Brief

Kurzmeldungen<br /> +++<br /> Engineers and technicians from NASA, the German Space Agency and the Deutsches SOFIA Institut recently reinstalled the German-built primary mirror assembly into NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, airborne observatory.Technicians removed the glass mirror from the modified 747SP observatory in April 2008 and transported it to NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., where it received its reflective aluminum coating in a vacuum chamber in June 2008.

The coating, five one-millionths of an inch thick, will be reapplied as necessary during the 20-year life of the program.. "We had completed system tests of our mirror coater but this is the first time we've actually coated SOFIA's mirror. The team and equipment performed flawlessly and the results are magnificent," says Ed Austin, SOFIA science project manager at Ames.. The mirror assembly was transported back to NASA's Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., mid-September and reinstalled Oct. 8..
Conrado Dornier, grandson of Dornier Aircraft founder Claude Dornier, announced the formation of the Dornier Seaplane Company, which will manufacture, sell and support the SEASTAR in the United States. The Company is independent of all other Dornier Aircraft businesses and is wholly owned by the Dornier family. The Company has invested over $150M in the SEASTAR program and has obtained FAA Part 23 and EASA certification for the aircraft. The German engineered, US manufactured SEASTAR is an all composite aircraft featuring two Pratt & Whitney PT6-135A engines mounted in-line above the wing. The large 348 cubic ft cabin seats 2 crew and 6 passengers and has a lavatory in an executive configuration. Up to 2 crew and 12 passengers can be accommodated in the commuter version. The large baggage compartment is fully accessible in flight. The SEASTAR cruises at 180 knots and is 40 to 60 knots faster than typical turbine floatplanes.
PHI has reached the 30,000 fleet hour milestone with its Sikorsky S-92® helicopters, Sikorsky Aircraft announced. PHI achieved the milestone late Thursday, Oct. 9. PHI's S-92 helicopter fleet had reached the 20,000 milestone Nov. 20, 2007. PHI introduced the operation of the S-92 helicopter to the energy industry in the Gulf of Mexico. Since the 1950s, Louisiana-based PHI has flown Sikorsky helicopters, offering services to the offshore oil and gas, onshore mining, international, air medical and technical services industries.  Sikorsky delivered the first two production S-92 helicopters to PHI in late 2004 and currently operates 10 S-92 aircraft.
B/E Aerospace, the world's leading manufacturer of aircraft cabin interior products and the world's leading distributor of aerospace fasteners and consumables, today announced that Airbus has selected B/E Aerospace as its supplier of next generation galley systems for the new A350 XWB aircraft. B/E Aerospace values the award at more than $1.0 billion. Program deliveries for the A350 XWB will commence in 2013. The A350 XWB will be equipped with B/E Aerospace's innovative new galley system designed to accommodate the aircraft's "flex zones", which allows the airlines to select from a wide ranging catalogue of pre-engineered galley configurations. A modular approach to the design allows the airlines to select galley positions and configurations for their specific operational needs, while minimizing total aircraft system weight. The modular approach also allows for a more automated assembly process, reducing both cost and lead-time for Airbus and its airline customers. The new galleys will incorporate fresh contemporary styling which supports and enhances Airbus' innovative new interior concepts for this aircraft.
Goodrich has entered into a data license with The Boeing Company allowing the use of detail engineering design to obtain Parts Manufacturing Authority (PMA) for replacement landing gear spare parts. The license will permit Goodrich to manufacture licensed PMA parts under Goodrich's FAA approved quality system and distribute directly to operators. Goodrich landing gear is used on virtually every Boeing aircraft in service today, including the 737, 747, 757, 767 and 777 models. Goodrich manufactures and assembles Boeing landing gear at its facilities in: Ohio; Tenn.; Wash.; Ontario, Canada; and Poland.
Volaris, a Mexican low-fare airline based in Toluca, Mexico, has received its first Airbus A320 from Airbus. The aircraft was handed over to Dr. Pedro Aspe, Chairman of Volaris, at a ceremony held in Toulouse in the presence of Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders. In January 2006, Volaris had signed a contract with Airbus for the acquisition of 16 new A319s, which was renewed in 2007 for 14 more A320 Family aircraft. Volaris, which started operating in 2006, has since successfully expanded its route network with an all-Airbus fleet, and currently operates 18 A319s.
The Turkish Engine Center, a Pratt & Whitney and Turkish Airlines Technic joint venture, will support an existing 10-year engine maintenance agreement between Turkish Airlines and Turkish Technic when it opens in mid-2009. The work is estimated to be worth more than $1 billion to the Turkish Engine Center and will extend through 2016. The Turkish Engine Center is being built at Sabiha Gokcen International Airport on the Anatolian peninsula and will meet the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standard. The center will provide maintenance, repair and overhaul services for the CFM56 engine family and V2500-A5 engine. "Once fully operational, this center is expected to overhaul up to 200 engines annually," said Turkish Engine Center General Manager Daniel Tenant. "Tapping into Turkish Technic's labor force will help this engine center quickly become a high performing shop. We expect the great location, skilled workforce, advanced technology infrastructure and world-class facility to make this shop very appealing to other airlines in the region." The facility, which will be 25,000 square meters (269,000 sq. ft.), will be built with up to 20 percent recycled material and use renewable energy sources for a portion of its energy load. In addition, overall water use on the site is expected to be reduced by 40 percent compared with conventional facility designs.
 Boeing announced that Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services Co., Ltd. (Boeing Shanghai) has received its U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Repair Station Certification. The certification allows Boeing Shanghai to conduct operations in accordance with Code of Federal Regulations Part 145. Boeing Shanghai initially is conducting heavy maintenance on Boeing Next-Generation 737 airplanes. There are more than 235 Next-Generation 737s flying in the East Asia region, with more than 260 still on order. The facility also performs non-destructive testing and other maintenance services. Future plans call for expansion into twin-aisle airplanes, beginning with the 767-300. The company eventually will enter the passenger-to-freighter conversion business.
On September 22, 2008, Diehl BGT Defence´s GPS/INS-guided glide missile HOPE for the first time demonstrated its full operational performance during a test campaign of the Federal Office for Military Technology and Procurement (BWB). Following a successful gliding flight, the glide missile proved its extraordinary target precision through a direct hit. The glide missile was dropped from a Tornado of the German Air Force, operated by the Federal Armed Forces Technical Center  WTD 61 in Manching. The performance demonstration was managed by the Federal Armed Forces Technical Centers WTD 61 and WTD 91 in Manching and Meppen. The Swedish Procurement Agency FMV made available its Vidsel test range. The glide missiles of Diehl BGT Defence meet the system capability requirements of the German Air Force for an economic medium-range armament concept. Different warheads are employed to achieve target-adapted effectiveness and to avoid accompanying damage as best as possible. This armament concept was developed in close cooperation between Diehl BGT Defence and the Air Force´s Command Staff as well as the subordinate Air Force´s Command and Weapon System Command on the basis of a capability analysis conducted by the Air Force. The Eurofighter´s role adjustment focuses on glide missiles because their expanded stand-off capability enables the Eurofighter to engage heavily protection targets in a cost-advantageous manner with the same effectiveness as stealth aircraft which are much more expensive and drop short-range weapons directly above the target. Equipment of the Eurofighter with glide missiles therefore marks a significant capability improvement, which will help achieve superior competitiveness in export.
CAE announced that the company has established CAE Singapore operations to serve the military market in Singapore and throughout Southeast Asia. In addition, to accelerate this expansion in Southeast Asia, CAE also announced it has signed an agreement to acquire KESTREL Technologies Pte Ltd., a technology and services company based in Singapore; the transaction is expected to close this month.
Gulfstream Aerospace  has successfully demonstrated aircraft control using "Fly-By-Wireless" technology. This historic flight, which took place on Sept. 18, is the first known application of wireless signaling for a primary flight-control surface in a civilian or military aircraft. During a two-hour flight over Savannah, four distinct signal types transferred input from the pilot to the lateral controls on the Gulfstream GV test aircraft. A mechanical system controlled the ailerons; a Fly-By-Wire system manipulated the outboard spoilers; the Fly-By-Wireless system handled the mid-spoilers; and a fiber-optic Fly-By-Light system moved the inboard spoilers. All four systems worked simultaneously during the flight. This allowed Gulfstream to compare the performance of the Fly-By-Wireless system to that offered by the three other control systems. Pilots noted consistent handling characteristics regardless of the actuation-control technology.
The Australian Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP,  announced the successful testing of the Joint Direct Attack Munition - Extended Range (JDAM-ER) weapon which will enable the RAAF to deploy strike weapons more safely and effectively. The JDAM-ER is a conventional JDAM, enhanced with an Australian-designed wing kit, based on technology licensed from the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO). "This round of testing builds on the initial proving of the wing attachment in August 2006 under the Capability and Technology Demonstrator (CTD) program managed by DSTO," Mr Snowdon said. "DSTO developed the gliding mechanism in a wing attachment that enables the 500-pound JDAM weapon to accurately find long-range targets, giving the launch aircraft a fire-and-forget capability at a safe standoff distance, well out of harm's way from enemy threats on the ground." The JDAM-ER wing kit was developed by Boeing's Hawker de Havilland subsidiary from DSTO's original technology called 'Kerkanya' (an Aboriginal word for Kestrel Hawk). The recent tests, conducted at the Woomera Test Facility in South Australia by the Aerospace Operational Support Group on Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, demonstrated further performance enhancements of the system.
Bell Helicopter announced the delivery of the 100th commercial helicopter in India. ABIR Infrastructure Private Ltd., received the keys to a Bell 412 during the India Aviation air show. Abir managing director, Mr. K. Gnyandeep said, "ABIR is experiencing rapid growth with an established name in multiple businesses lines in India. This Bell 412EP will increase our capability to continue to grow and reach better business economies."
Effective this week, Direct Fly of Poland, in collaboration with UK-based air charter broker One Charter PLC, will base a Twin Star DA-42 new-generation light twin engined propeller aircraft at Oxford Airport for air taxi operations.  It is the first Twin Star to be based at a UK airport for air charter and Direct Fly will fly the aircraft under its newly acquired EU Operations Certificate. The new build, four-seat composite aircraft (three passengers and a pilot) is manufactured by Diamond Aircraft Industries of Austria.  With a cruise performance of 304 km/164 kts an hour (188 mph), it combines outstanding safety, excellent economics and is environmentally friendly and fuel efficient - so you travel at Formula 1 speeds, but achieve typically 25 miles per gallon.  The aircraft is ideally suited for flights up to 350-400 miles, but has a range of 1,661 km/897 nm.  The DA-42 aircraft can operate at night and in IFR conditions (in cloud and inclement weather), fitted with state of the art Garmin G1000 avionics.
OpenSkies, the premium transatlantic airline from British Airways, today launched new service between New York's John F. Kennedy Airport and Amsterdam's Schiphol International Airport. The new service marks the second route for OpenSkies, which began daily flights between New York-JFK and Paris-Orly in June. OpenSkies passengers will have the choice of two unique cabins for travel between New York and Amsterdam. BIZ features the market's only fully lie-flat beds in a business class with prices starting from $1616* each way, based on roundtrip purchase. PREM+ is a new service category offering business class comfort without the business class price, featuring wide leather seats with a 140 degree recline and 52 inches of legroom.
Raytheon´s AIM-120C7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile entered the U.S. Navy's Weapon System User Program. During a landmark mission, two U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet strike-fighter aircraft fired two Raytheon-built air-to-air missiles -- an AIM-120C7 and an AIM-9X. This was the first time the AIM-120C7 and AIM-9X have been launched by a fleet-assigned operational Super Hornet and the first time the U.S. Navy employed both missiles during the same mission. "Firing the AIM-9X during the same tactical mission as the AIM-120C7 proves that our warfighters will be able to maintain their critical advantage in both the beyond-visual-range and within-visual-range fight," said Capt. Jeffrey Penfield, the U.S. Navy's Air-to-Air Missile program manager.
The Ministry of Emergencies of Ukraine and Eurocopter signed a contract for the acquisition of two Eurocopter helicopters of the type EC145. Based in the Kiev region, they will be used for a wide range of missions that cover rescue, emergency medical evacuation and fire fighting. The aircrafts will be delivered in 2009. The Ukrainian "Ministry of Emergencies and Affairs of Population Protection from the Consequences of Chernobyl Catastrophe" will be able to react quickly and efficiently to emergency situations that require the use of helicopters. As the Ministry is in charge of a broad spectrum of tasks including rescue, emergency medical evacuation, fire fighting, road or mine accidents, the modern multi-mission helicopters fit perfectly to the comprehensive demands. Both helicopters will be home based at the Special Aviation Squadron of the Operational Rescue Service of Public Safety of the Ministry of Emergencies in Nizhyn (Chernihivska Oblast). Ukraine will now be able to offer to its citizens the highest standard of helicopter emergency medical and rescue services.
Gate Gourmet, a member of gategroup, has finalized an agreement with SAS Scandinavian Airlines to cater the airline's flights from its three main hubs at Copenhagen, Stockholm/Arlanda and Oslo and several other key locations in Scandinavia. "Winning the SAS business in its home territory underscores the competitive advantage that gategroup's portfolio of services and products brings to the airline industry. The significant scope of this agreement propels SAS into the top ranks of gategroup's customer base," said gategroup Chief Executive Officer Guy Dubois. Philippe Op de Beeck, Senior Vice President of gategroup and President of the Central Europe, Middle East and Africa region, said, "We are especially proud that SAS, one of the world's most prestigious airlines, has put its trust in Gate Gourmet to provide innovative, affordable solutions."
Marine Medium Helicopter (HMM) Squadron 163 (Reinforced), embarked aboard USS Boxer (LHD 4), is among the first squadrons to operate the new Bell UH-1Y "Huey" helicopter, which was tested as part of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group (BOXESG) integration exercise Oct. 7-16. The most modern tactical utility helicopter available, the Huey is the latest version of one of the Marine Corps' most durable and versatile helicopters, with many improvements on the previous UH-1N. "This 'Yankee' version of the classic UH-1 'November' is making the Huey applicable to today's war," said Marine Capt. Tara Russell, an HMM 163 (Rein.) "Evil Eyes" pilot. "Everything has been improved, from the lift capability and flying time to situational awareness systems like a glass cockpit with a moving map display." Boxer is the first ship to have the new helicopter aboard as part of its rotary wing aircraft augmentation for deployment. With a new composite four bladed rotor system, two powerful T700-GE 401C engines and decreased maintenance requirements, it provides BOXESG a more advanced ability to provide humanitarian aid or to take the fight to the enemy wherever needed.

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