28.09.2008
FLUG REVUE

2008-09-29 - News in BriefNews in Brief

Kurzmeldungen<br /> +++<br /> MTU Aero Engines has launched a new cost-reduction initiative intended to save 50 million euros annually, the bulk of it already in 2010. This follows from an annnouncement MTU CEO Egon Behle made at today's Analyst and Investor Day the company held in Munich.

Behle reaffirmed the company's 2008 forecast and expects MTU to remain on its profitable growth track even in a troubled market environment. The new cost reduction program, dubbed Challenge 2010, is designed to enhance MTU's competitive position and prepare the company for a difficult market. By 2010, the initiative is expected to initially yield 25 to 30 million euros in savings; and as from 2011, 50 million euros a year. Behle explained: "This initiative will enduringly secure our competitiveness and cushion the impact of a slump, if it comes, and of volatile exchange rates. It will also off-set additional research and development expenditures as well as the cost of ramping up production of some new programs." The MTU CEO emphasized that the cost savings primarily related to the entire production chain. The focus of the effort was to optimize product costs across MTU's major engine programs. Behle said: "Our focus is on simplifying product design, optimizing processes, improving technologies and materials, and trimming purchasing costs." He explained that currently these areas were being analyzed thoroughly. By year-end, a concrete roadmap would be in place. Implementation of the various measures would begin next year. Additionally, all MTU areas would contribute to cost optimization under the company's intensified continuous improvement program (CIP). Behle further noted that the ongoing organizational and process-related ad-justments in the company's MRO segment proceeded on schedule. "Its performance has stabilized and further improvements are being pursued."
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The VH-71 presidential helicopter program achieved another major milestone when the first operational pilot production helicopter (PP-1) completed its maiden flight at AgustaWestland's facility in Yeovil, England. "We're seeing real progress and execution on this program," said U.S. Navy VH-71 program manager Capt. Donald Gaddis. "With agreement on the way forward and a more realistic schedule, we can build on the momentum we have generated as we deliver the increment one helicopters to the Marine Corps and White House and move into the increment two phase." A U.S. Air Force crew will transport the helicopter aboard a C-17 cargo aircraft to U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD, in early October.
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clickair is investing more in the business traveller.  And with a 42% increase in revenue from this sector expected in 2009, Spain's leading low fares airline announced the launch today of a brand new internet portal, clickair professional,  pledging to make ticket prices for business fares 16.5% lower than the market average. www.clickair.com/professional is specifically designed for companies and travel agents.  It is the only online solution on the market enabling SMEs, SOHOs, travel agencies and tour operators to manage all their flight requirements from a single web application, simply and efficiently.  Registering with clickair professional, provides users with access to exclusive benefits, including discounts on certain routes, triple Iberia Plus Points for companies, special promotions for travel agents and a unique tariff enabling cancellations and modifications to be made to reservations without charge.
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An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton Breeze M launch vehicle successfully carried the Nimiq 4 satellite into space for Telesat on 20 September. This was the fourth launch of the year, and 47th overall, for ILS. The satellite, built by EADS Astrium, was the second Eurostar 3000 bus launched by ILS in a little over a month. Proton builder Khrunichev Space Center of Moscow is the majority owner of ILS, which is based in Reston, Va. The Proton vehicle lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 3:48 a.m. today local time (5:48 p.m. Friday EDT, 21:48 Friday GMT). The launch vehicle carried the 5-ton satellite for 9 hours and 11 minutes, releasing it into geosynchronous transfer orbit. Ultimately the engineers at Astrium will move the satellite to 82 degrees West longitude, where it will deliver direct-to-home television across Canada.
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A Lockheed Martin Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) successfully completed a Product Upgrade Verification (PUV) flight test on September 18 atWhite Sands Missile Range, NM. The missile successfully navigated through a preplanned route and struck its intended target. The PUV flight tests are designed to test new hardware. The primary test objective of this flight was to demonstrate Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver performance in a jamming environment. "This flight test successfully demonstrated the continued missile reliability and performance of JASSM's anti-jam GPS," said Randy Bigum, vice president of Strike Weapons at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "JASSM's ability to function in a jamming environment is one of its major benefits to our Warfighters."
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Boeing has delivered the second of two mission system simulators to NATO as part of the $1.32 billion Mid-Term upgrade of NATO's 17 E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft. The new simulator, delivered to NATO's main AWACS operating base in Geilenkirchen, Germany, features 14 consoles on which AWACS operators train using real-world scenarios. The first simulator was delivered to the base in 2006. "This is a key milestone in the transition of the fleet to the Mid-Term configuration and provides NATO operators with an exact replica of what they'll see and experience on the AWACS aircraft," said Lee Strom, NATO AWACS program manager for Boeing.
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Today's military communications systems consist of more than phones and radios.  The market encompasses the sharing of voice, data, video and imagery communications in near real-time while adding encryption protection to ensure the exchanges are private.  The need for these diverse systems has created an estimated $3 billion market for the development and production of major airborne defense communications systems over the next decade.   According to Forecast International's "The Market for U.S. Military Airborne Communications Systems," during the 2008-2017 timeframe, approximately 9,000 airborne communications systems of all types will be procured, and, at the same time, ample funding will be allocated for R&D programs. "Network-centric operations are currently a high priority," says Theresa Hartley, Forecast International Aerospace and Defense Analyst and author of the analysis.  Therefore, Hartley adds, in the years ahead it will be critical that airborne military communications systems are interoperable. Programs currently in effect that have a network-centric focus fall under the names Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN), Battlespace Information Exchange, Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), and Family of Advanced Beyond line-of-sight Terminals (FAB-T). Two additional programs will have a focus on datalinks: the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) and the Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS).  Approximately 40 percent of the funding that this study reports will be allocated for airborne military communications in the U.S. over the next decade will be destined for R&D programs, mostly in support of network-centric operations. 
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Northrop Grumman has demonstrated radar capability on its company-owned MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Unmanned Air System (VUAS) designated as "P6." The flight demonstrated Fire Scout's ability to search for, detect, and track multiple targets during a test surveillance mission. The demonstration was part of an on-going effort to expand upon the development capabilities of the MQ-8B Fire Scout. The flight took place on Sept. 19 at the Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. test center. "Demonstrating a maritime radar capability on Fire Scout has been one of our most important goals. Fire Scout with radar is an invaluable tactical Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform for all air capable surface ships supporting littoral and blue water missions," said Doug Fronius, tactical unmanned systems director for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. The demonstration took place using a non-developmental Telephonics RDR-1700B search, surveillance, tracking and imaging radar system. The flight was the first of several radar demonstrations that will include an over-water search trial.
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On the occasion of its general meeting of members Germany's first civil air rescue organisation will present its new branding. Starting from September 23, 2008, the DRF (Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht e.V.) will have a new name and logo: The reason behind the decision was the order the board of the DRF Luftrettung received last year from the general meeting of members: restructure the 36-year old association and give it a contemporary structure. In recent months the reorganisation has been prepared, and is now almost complete just in time for this year's general meeting of members. Soon the former DRF (Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht e.V./German Air Rescue) will consist of three parts: A non-profit sponsoring association, a foundation under public law, which is subject to the supervision of the Regional Council (Regierungspräsidium) of Stuttgart, and a non-profit corporation, which will be the operational unit. The non-profit corporation will be one hundred per cent owned and controlled by the foundation. "With its new structure the DRF Luftrettung will be well prepared for the challenges of the future. It will continue performing with dedication its task of providing air rescue on the highest level", says Helmut Nanz. "Now our new name and the new branding unambiguously reflect our mission and our competence", the president of the DRF Luftrettung explains.
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Boeing launched a new division within its Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) business designed to better serve customers in the vast services market. The newly established Defense & Government Services will operate as a division of Boeing IDS's Global Services & Support business (formerly Support Systems) unit. Boeing estimates that the defense and government services market is worth approximately $400 billion over the next 10 years. The 4,400-employee division will be led by Greg Deiter and will include current company subsidiaries Boeing Service Company and Boeing Aerospace Operations.
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NASA and the United States Air Force are looking for university and industry partners as they work to advance hypersonic research. NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington and the Air Force Research Laboratory's Office of Science Research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, have released a broad agency announcement describing their intent to establish three national hypersonic science centers. Hypersonic speed is defined as Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, and faster. NASA's Fundamental Aeronautics Program and the Air Force Office of Science Research plan to set aside as much as $30 million to fund the centers over five years. The maximum grant will be approximately $2 million a year. The jointly funded program will support university-level basic science or engineering research that provides improved understanding of hypersonic flight.
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At the MRO Europe Lufthansa Technik is presenting for the first time its new service Aircraft Leasing & Trading Support. Aircraft (a/c) leasing models have become more and more attractive. With its new modular and individually selectable service portfolio Lufthansa Technik offers a single source and all-inclusive solution to aircraft owners and operators for each phase in the life of a plane. Today a single-aisle a/c changes operator, and often owner, an average of four times in the course of its life. With its Aircraft Leasing & Trading Support Lufthansa Technik has now combined existing services in a new, all-embracing product which supports ideally the more dynamic behaviour of the owners and operators of commercial aircraft. The Aircraft Transition module covers all relevant elements related to a change of the operator or owner. This includes a/c inspection or checking, updating and correcting the documentation. Also a precise definition of the work packages involved in the transition such as checks of cockpit and safety equipment or cabin and external paintwork is part of the service. Typical engineering services include the planning of modifications for cabin or cockpit. The transition ends with the aircraft handover to the new owner or operator. The airline operation of an a/c is supported by the Technical & Operational Support module. This covers the entire service spectrum of Lufthansa Technik, from a D-check, engineering and a/c services to components delivery. Airline Support Teams (AST) provide worldwide technical assistance to an emergency call.
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On 24 September, the Sea Launch Company successfully delivered the Galaxy 19 satellite to orbit from its ocean-based platform on the Equator. This is the international company's fifth successful launch from sea in 2008. A Zenit-3SL rocket lifted off at 2:28am PDT (9:28 GMT) from the Odyssey Launch Platform, positioned at 154 degrees West Longitude. Just over an hour later, the Block DM-SL upper stage inserted the 4,690 kg (10,340 lb) Galaxy 19 satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit. Operators at the Hartebeesthoek ground station in South Africa acquired the spacecraft's first signals from orbit shortly after spacecraft separation. All systems performed nominally throughout the mission. Built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), the 1300-series hybrid spacecraft carries a total of 52 physical transponders. The Galaxy 19 satellite will provide Intelsat customers valuable 50-state coverage, as well the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico. It will be located at 97 degrees West Longitude. "Once operational, Galaxy 19 will host the largest international video programming platform in North America, providing distribution of news and entertainment to our customers who serve the ethnically diverse audience of this region. Likewise, Galaxy 19 will offer our government and network customers seamless data communications for years to come," said David McGlade, Intelsat CEO. "This was our last launch of 2008, completely refreshing the capacity of Intelsat's North American Galaxy Fleet."
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GHL Acquisition Corp. and Iridium Holdings LLC, a leading provider of voice and data mobile satellite services ("MSS"), jointly announced the signing of a definitive agreement under which they plan to combine. The proceeds of the transaction will enable Iridium to be debt free and well positioned to develop its next generation satellite constellation, "Iridium NEXT." GHL Acquisition is the special purpose acquisition company sponsored by Greenhill & Co., Inc., which raised approximately $400 million of gross proceeds earlier this year, and is approximately 17.5% owned by Greenhill & Co. The transaction, unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of GHL Acquisition and Iridium as well as Iridium's major shareholders, values Iridium at approximately $591 million enterprise value.  Following completion of the transaction, the combined enterprise will be renamed "Iridium Communications Inc." and will apply for listing on the NASDAQ. Existing owners of Iridium will maintain a significant stake in the combined company. Iridium, currently with more than 305,000 subscribers, is the only provider of truly global satellite voice and data communications solutions with complete coverage of the entire Earth including oceans, airways and Polar Regions. Iridium has demonstrated an impressive history of growth since its re-launch in 2001, increasing subscribers and revenue at 32 percent and 31 percent annual rates, respectively, from 2002 through 2007.  The company's growth continues at a rapid pace with revenue, Operational EBITDA and net income growing 31 percent, 55 percent and 87 percent, respectively, in the first half of 2008 over the same period in 2007.
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Raytheon has been awarded a $232.8 million contract for the system development and demonstration phase of the GPS-based Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS) program for shipboard applications. JPALS provides all-weather shipboard landing capability to assist the Navy with pinpoint landing accuracy on aircraft carriers. The Raytheon team's solution for JPALS improves safety, lowers the total cost of ownership during the program's lifecycle and provides greater flexibility and efficiency. A modular design and open system approach minimizes costs of future applications. The team, led by Raytheon Network Centric Systems, includes Rockwell Collins, Northrop Grumman and SAIC. The award represents more than a decade of developing and demonstrating that GPS-based satellite navigation technology works.
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On 23 September, Eclipse Aviation announced that the Russian State Bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) Supervisory Board, chaired by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, has approved the construction of a factory in Ulyanovsk, Russia to assemble the Eclipse 500 Jet. VEB announced that it expects to finance the project in full, with a total value of $205 million. VEB and the Ulyanovsk region administration will be among the shareholders of the enterprise. "VEB's decision to support the Eclipse 500 at this level, illustrates the strength of the global demand for this amazing jet," said Roel Pieper, Eclipse Aviation CEO. "Obtaining this approval and financing is an enormous step forward in our efforts to globalize the Eclipse 500 and create a highly-competitive worldwide business model for Eclipse Aviation." Eclipse Aviation has already confirmed that export of the Eclipse 500 Jet components to Russia complies with United States and Canadian export regulations.
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Spirit AeroSystems formally opened its new Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) repair station in Europe. The Spirit facility, based at the Spirit AeroSystems European headquarters in Prestwick, Scotland, will support customers in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The new facility, which has received its European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Certification, will perform composite repairs and overhauls. The initial scope of work is focused on engine nacelles and components for Boeing 737NG and 777 aircraft. "After announcing our plans for this new repair station last year, it is exciting to see our vision take flight," stated Carolyn Harms, VP/GM for Spirit's Aftermarket Customer Support Business Unit. "Everyone involved has worked hard to make this happen, and our initial customer responses have been extremely positive."
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Boeing announced a $15 million contract award from the U.S. Air Force to develop advanced targeting capabilities for the B-52 Stratofortress. The software upgrades will include improvements for transmitting video and targeting information from the targeting pod to friendly forces, and reduce flight crew workload. These capabilities will enable better close air support for ground troops and prepare the most versatile aircraft in the U.S. inventory for future enhancements of the flight crew's situational awareness. "This contract includes full integration of the SNIPER targeting pod, allowing the B-52 to have one of the most advanced targeting capabilities available for our warfighters," said Cathy Clothier, B-52 deputy program manager for Boeing. "Continuing to make upgrades and advancements to this platform is critical as we help the Air Force keep the B-52 as a relevant and viable asset now and into the future."
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Pratt & Whitney was awarded a production contract worth up to $491 million (including options) for F135 propulsion systems to power the F-35 Lightning II. This second F135 low rate initial production contract will support 12 F-35 production aircraft, including six short-takeoff/vertical-landing (STOVL) and six conventional take-off/landing (CTOL). Propulsion system deliveries are scheduled to begin in third quarter 2009. In addition to F135 propulsion systems, the contract covers program management, initial logistics support, engineering assistance, spare propulsion systems and parts, and production tooling. This award is one in a series of milestones for the F135 engine program, including exceeding 10,000 ground test hours as part of the system development and demonstration program; logging 51 successful flight tests and more than 54 flight test hours of the F135-powered CTOL F-35 aircraft; and completing 13 flights of the F-35B powered by Pratt & Whitney's F135 STOVL propulsion system.
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Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd carried out a demonstration of the integrated operational capabilities of the Spike multi-purpose missile system and the SkyLite B mini-UAV, in cooperation with customers in a South American country last month. The purpose of the demonstration was to exhibit the combined capabilities of information gathering, precision attack and Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) while shortening the sensor-to-shooter cycle at the battalion level. The combat proven SkyLite B is a man-portable, mini-UAV system that enables long periods of stealthy reconnaissance and surveillance during the day, at night, and in winds of 30 knots. The SkyLite B, recently proved its extraordinary robustness during a series of flight tests, in which it reached a flight ceiling of 36,000 ft, flew to ranges of 42 km and carried out  3.5 hour missions. Comprising an advanced motion detection capability and, a built in electro-optical tracker, the system autonomously and continuously track moving targets in real-time and provides high resolution images with accurate targeting information. The well-known Spike-LR and Spike-ER are members of the Spike Family of electro-optic guided missiles; each used for different distances and platforms. The LR and ER have both fire and forget and fire, observe and update modes of operation enabling safe and accurate attack in all types of battle scenarios. During the demonstration, two Spike-LR launches were carried out at ranges of up to 3.5 km, one with Line of Sight (LOS) and the other to a Non Line Of Sight (NLOS) target. The SkyLite B performed successful real-time Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) of target destruction. 
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Raytheon and Northrop Grumman Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI) team fired a Stage 2 rocket motor featuring an enhanced nozzle and upgraded ballistics. The firing occurred at the Alliant Techsystems' test facility in Elkton, Md., Sept. 25. KEI is a land-based missile defense system featuring the Missile Defense Agency's newest rapid acceleration interceptor. Fully deployed, the mobile system will have the capability to destroy medium, intermediate and intercontinental ballistic missiles in their boost, ascent and midcourse phases of flight. "This test builds additional confidence in our booster design and demonstrates significant progress toward our first flight test in 2009," said Chuck Ross, Raytheon Missile Systems' vice president of KEI. "This firing paves the way for future tests in high-altitude environments." KEI features a compact, lightweight design that enables mobility and flexible deployment.
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Boeing has, with leading air carriers and Honeywell's UOP, a refining technology developer, established a group to accelerate the development and commercialization of sustainable new aviation fuels. With support and advice from the world's leading environmental organizations, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group makes commercial aviation the first global transportation sector to voluntarily drive sustainability practices into its fuel supply chain. The group's charter is to enable the commercial use of renewable fuel sources that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while lessening commercial aviation's exposure to oil price volatility and dependence on fossil fuels. Airlines supporting the sustainable fuels initiative include Air France, Air New Zealand, ANA (All Nippon Airways), Cargolux, Gulf Air, Japan Airlines, KLM, SAS and Virgin Atlantic Airways. Collectively, they account for approximately 15 percent of commercial jet fuel use. "We welcome the aviation sector's will to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and appreciate their efforts to ensure the sustainability of their biofuels sourcing," said Jean-Philippe Denruyter, WWF global bioenergy coordinator and Steering Board member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels. "By teaming up with the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels, the aviation sector can build on an existing solid multi-stakeholder process that will reinforce this initiative." All group members subscribe to a sustainability pledge (http://www.boeing.com/commercial/environment/pdf/sustainable_aviation_fuel_us ers_group.pdf) stipulating that any sustainable biofuel must perform as well as, or better than, kerosene-based fuel, but with a smaller carbon lifecycle. The user's group pledged to consider only renewable fuel sources that minimize biodiversity impacts: fuels that require minimal land, water and energy to produce, and that don't compete with food or fresh water resources. In addition, cultivation and harvest of plant stocks must provide socioeconomic value to the local communities.
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Boeing announced at MRO Europe that AeroLogic has adopted the airplane manufacturer's Web-based solutions, Maintenance Performance Toolbox and Airplane Health Management, as foundations for the carrier's 777 Freighter maintenance documentation platform when deliveries begin in 2009. Maintenance Performance Toolbox, including the Library and Authoring modules, will help AeroLogic, based in Leipzig/Halle, Germany, streamline an array of maintenance activities, including managing technical publications and training and customizing online maintenance manuals. A total of 14 European carriers now use this innovative maintenance tool.
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Curtiss-Wright Corporation announced that it has received a follow-on multi-year contract valued at over $80 million from Saab Aerostructures to provide the mechanical system and structural fittings for the Boeing 787 large cargo door. This agreement is follow-on to the $16 million contract previously announced in February of this year. Sales from this program have the potential to exceed $200 million during the production life of the aircraft. "This follow-on contract further demonstrates Saab's confidence in Curtiss-Wright's ability to provide the best value and lowest risk solutions," said Martin R. Benante, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Curtiss-Wright. "We deeply value our partnership with Saab and are proud to play such an important role in their overall package for the Boeing 787."
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General Dynamics Information Technology, a business unit of General Dynamics, was awarded a contract to provide program management services for the Swiss government's F/A-18 Hornet fighter fleet. The five-year contract was awarded to General Dynamics by the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command and has a total potential value of $25.7 million if all options are exercised. Under this contract, General Dynamics will provide logistics, information technology (IT) and engineering support for global Swiss F/A-18 Hornet operations. Additionally, General Dynamics will provide communications management and training services to support the Swiss F/A-18 Hornet fleet.
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Orbital Sciences announced that its Minotaur II+ rocket was successfully launched for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) in support of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Near-Field Infrared Experiment (NFIRE). The mission was conducted on Tuesday, September 23, 2008, from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), California. The program office responsible for Minotaur launch vehicles is the Launch Test Squadron of the Space Development and Test Wing (SDTW) at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This mission was the eighth for the Minotaur II Target Launch Vehicle (TLV) and the 15th for the Minotaur family, all of which have been successful. The launch originated from VAFB at approximately 11:57 p.m. (PDT) on September 23. Final targeting for the mission was uploaded to the rocket approximately one and a half hours prior to launch. The vehicle was successfully launched within a one-second launch window, which was required to meet the mission's precise targeting requirements. The vehicle's first two solid rocket motors burned for approximately two minutes, at which time the vehicle entered into a coast phase lasting over one minute. After its coast period, the third and final stage ignited, placing the vehicle on course to burn through a precise aim point at an exact time nearly 250 km above the Pacific Ocean. The vehicle was being observed by the NFIRE satellite and a variety of Missile Defense Agency sensors deployed across the Pacific region. At the point of closest approach, the Minotaur target vehicle and NFIRE satellite were within several kilometers of each other. In addition to conducting this Minotaur II+ TLV mission, Orbital also launched the NFIRE satellite in April 2007 aboard a Minotaur I space launch vehicle in a mission conducted from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Eastern Virginia. Orbital also conducted an earlier Minotaur II+ TLV launch that was observed by the NFIRE satellite last year.
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The new DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 Technology Demonstrator achieved "power on" status in advance of an official rollout and first flight, set to take place at the end of next month. With major structural components installed, electronics wired, control systems rigged and modernization upgrades incorporated, the Technology Demonstrator is the prototype Series 400 Twin Otter aircraft produced by Viking Air Limited, of Victoria, BC, and brings the Twin Otter into the 21st century.
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Lockheed Martin and Alenia Aeronautica have signed the first contract starting Alenia Aeronautica's production of the wings for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. The contract, for a total value of over USD$ 15 million, is the first of a series supporting Alenia Aeronautica's long term activities within the JSF program, according to the Memorandum of Understanding, signed by the two companies in 2006, that envisages over $6 billion in opportunities for Italian industry. Under the terms of the MoU Alenia Aeronautica is slated to produce more than 1,200 wings for the F-35 aircraft for the nine-partner program made up of Italy, United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Turkey, Australia, Canada, Denmark and Norway. Alenia Aeronautica's production for the JSF program will be carried out in Italy between 2009 and 2033, involving several Alenia Aeronautica production centres, starting with Campania and Puglia regions facilities, South Italy, which will be engaged in the activities for this first contract related to the LRIP 3 (third lot of F-35 Low-Rate Initial Production) aircraft batch. Alenia's site in Piedmont will follow, starting from LRIP 4.
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Bombardier Aerospace announced that Croatia Airlines of Zagreb has signed a contract to acquire two Q400 NextGen turboprop airliners. The airline has also taken options for an additional four aircraft. The transaction represents the conversion of two options taken for Q400 aircraft which was announced on June 4, 2007 when Croatia Airlines also placed a firm order for four Q400 aircraft. Two of those aircraft have already been delivered. Based on the list price for the Q400 NextGen aircraft, the value of the order announced today is approximately $57 million US. The value could increase to $180 million US if all four options are exercised.
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Thales has been selected by the French defence procurement agency (DGA), part of the French Ministry of Defence, to upgrade the ELINT (electronic intelligence) system on France's Transall C-160G Gabriel intelligence aircraft. This decision builds on the guidelines underpinning French defence and security policy, in particular the fundamental principle of maintaining an effective and independent intelligence gathering capability. The system provided by Thales allows the interception, analysis, decoding, recording and processing of Signal Intelligence (SIGINT). From 2011, the Transall Gabriel's optimized system will meet the technical requirements arising from the need to protect naval and air combat platforms against current and future threats.
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The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) took its next giant step toward fleet introduction Sept. 3, when it reached the 10,000 High Cycle Testing, Phase 1 milestone at the General Atomics test facility in Tupelo, Miss. HCT-1 was conducted in order to verify the performance capabilities of EMALS electrical and thermal power equipment, and the shipboard cycling rate of the energy storage subsystem. To assure EMALS motor technology will operate efficiently and reliably on the carrier, it completes 10,000 simulated launch test cycles. By evaluating the EMALS launch technology through repetition, HCT-1 reduces the risk of structural failure, strengthens confidence in EMALS reliability and validates system life and electromagnetic interference predictions. "The successful completion of HCT-1 is an important step in the process of committing EMALS to the Fleet for daily operation," said Capt. Randy Mahr, NAVAIR's Aircraft Launch and Recovery (PMA-251) program manager.
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E-2C Hawkeye 849, equipped with a new glass cockpit and navigation upgrades, completed its first test flight as part of the Communication Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management system evaluation Aug. 13. The two-hour and 20 minute flight over the air station was conducted by CNS/ATM project lead and test pilot Pete Staufenberger, Bryan Pellatt and Lt. Cmdrs. James Borghardt and Mark Asahara of Air Test & Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 here. "The flight could not have gone better. Overall, the CNS/ATM system and flight displays worked as expected," said Staufenberger. Flight testing on the Hawkeye follows the conclusion of a 10-month flight assessment of the same system on C-2 Greyhound 177.
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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a United Technologies Corp. company, is a step closer to flight testing the world's first hypersonic hydrocarbon-fueled and -cooled scramjet engine. The X-51A Scramjet Engine Demonstrator-WaveRider (SED-WR) successfully demonstrated key flight clearance objectives in recent ground tests simulating Mach 5 flight conditions. The X-51A SED-WR program is a collaborative effort of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), NASA and The Boeing Company to demonstrate extended-duration hypersonic flight capability. Ground tests are being conducted at NASA Langley Research Center's 8-foot High Temperature Tunnel in Hampton, Va. "The exceptional operation of the SJX61-2 flight clearance engine and subsystems allows us to move forward to flight with confidence," said Curtis Berger, hypersonics programs director, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. "Engine performance has met or exceeded our predictions throughout the test series." "We're extremely pleased with SJX61-2 test results to date," said Charlie Brink, X-51 program manager, Air Force Research Laboratory. "This engine test is the culmination of several years of hard work to mature the X-51's flight propulsion system and from what we've seen so far -- the system is pretty much ready to go. We have a few items that we're fine-tuning to optimize for flight but, for the most part, the engine is operating just the way we want it to." The X-51 Flight Test Program plans to demonstrate the operation of a scramjet engine within the Mach 4.5 to 6.0-plus range during four flight tests beginning in 2009. The program will set the foundation for several hypersonic applications, including access to space, reconnaissance-strike and global reach.
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AEI (Aircraft Engineers International) are encouraged by the more positive approach witnessed from some National Authorities to its recent safety warnings. AEI has repeatedly voiced its concerns that many aircraft system defects (up to 90%) were not recorded when they occur but rather when it was "commercially convenient" for Airlines, thereby significantly increasing the risk faced by passengers. At AEI's Annual Congress in Malmo (18th - 20th September) EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) confirmed that the SAFA (Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft) programme had also uncovered evidence of defects not being entered as they occur. "Although there is a large difference in the figures presented by SAFA and AEI, we are moving in a more positive direction," said AEI's General Secretary, Fred Bruggeman. Commenting on the large difference between the statistics (SAFA's rate being considerably lower than AEI's 90%) Mr Bruggeman said, "one shouldn't forget that SAFA perform snap shot inspections of aircraft often between tight flight schedules, AEI are not under such constraints and as such are able to continuously monitor the situation." AEI have repeatedly raised the issue the past 12 months and until now were extremely disappointed with the response or lack of it, from many of Europe's Aviation Authorities. "It is disappointing it has taken over a year for the problem to be recognised and during congress it became evident this was also a global problem and not just limited to Europe," said Mr Bruggeman. "Therefore we believe that passengers will support our call for the regulator to become more pro-active in protecting their interests by insisting upon the highest possible standards of safety at all times."
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Boeing  successfully completed a high-pressure test, known as "high blow," on the 787 Dreamliner static test airframe at its Everett factory today. The test is one of three static tests that must be cleared prior to first flight. During the test, the airframe reached an internal pressure of 150 percent of the maximum levels expected to be seen in service - 14.9 lbs. per square inch (1.05 kilograms per centimeter) gauge (psig). It took nearly two hours to complete the test, as pressure was slowly increased to ensure the integrity of the airplane
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The Lufthansa Technik Group is continuing to expand the capacity of its network of aircraft overhaul facilities in Europe. Before the end of the year, the new overhaul facility in Bulgaria will start work on its first contracts for regional aircraft. Lufthansa Technik Malta will soon be inaugurating a new hangar for overhaul work on aircraft of the Airbus A330/A340 family. And to improve component support in the Italian market, Lufthansa Technik Component Services Milan has commenced operations. A brand-new member of Lufthansa Technik's global network of base maintenance facilities is Lufthansa Technik Sofia, which is getting ready to perform its first D-check on an Airbus A321 this November. The newly formed company, which currently employs 258 people, will provide maintenance services to customers from Europe, the Middle East and Africa in a two-bay hangar covering 6,000 square meters of floor space. Together with its joint venture partner, Bulgarian Aviation Group, Lufthansa Technik has invested 20 million euros in the new facility. This includes modernising the existing hangar at Sofia airport (Bulgaria's capital city), fitting out the company with the latest equipment, and training the workforce. The new facility complements the existing European network of maintenance stations for the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 families in Germany, Ireland, Hungary and Malta. The official opening ceremony is scheduled for 28 October.
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FLUG REVUE 12/2016

FLUG REVUE
12/2016
07.11.2016

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