04.05.2008
FLUG REVUE

2008-05-04 - News in BriefNews in Brief

Kurzmeldungen<br /> +++<br /> A five-year, $190 million contract with the NASA (National Aeronautical and Space Administration) has been awarded to QinetiQ North America's (QNA) Missions Solutions Group (MSG) which provides mission-critical engineering, IT and security support services to customers in the Space, Security, Defense and Intelligence communities.

Under this contract, QNA will provide a wide range of environmental test and integration services to support projects at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. These will include providing facility services, cable fabrication, optical services and thermal blanket fabrication for a variety of projects that may involve the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, the Solar Dynamics Observatory and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. QNA's Mission Solutions Group will also work with Goddard to ensure that all future spacecraft can endure the environmental hardships of space travel. It will provide thermal and vacuum chamber testing, mechanical and optical integration, equipment recertification, facility operations & maintenance, information technology services, and general integration and testing support to NASA.
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Spirit AeroSystems announced its participation in a joint venture partnership between several major aviation companies to develop and implement a state-of-the-art composite and metal bond component repair station in the Asia-Pacific region. Spirit will partner with Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (HAECO), and its subsidiary, TAECO, along with Oklahoma-based First Wave MRO, Inc. to establish a regional service centre located near TAECO's facility in Xiamen, China. Called Taikoo Spirit AeroSystems Composite Co., the service center will provide convenient, world-class repair services for airlines and aircraft operators across the Asia-Pacific region. Construction of the new facility is underway with completion and startup anticipated in mid-2009. Also joining the new venture will be Cathay Pacific Airways and China Airlines, two of the region's leading air carriers. The two companies will bring their fleet component repair and overhaul business and logistical support to the joint venture.
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Continental Airlines released the following message to its more than 45,000 employees from Larry Kellner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Jeff Smisek, President: Dear Co-worker, we want you to know that our Board of Directors met today and has unanimously supported management's recommendation that, in the current industry environment, the best course for Continental is to not merge with another airline at this time. Our recommendation, and the Board's careful and considered decision, followed a comprehensive review of our strategic alternatives, assisted by our senior officers and advised by Continental's outside financial and legal advisors. The Board very carefully considered all the risks and benefits of a merger with another airline, and determined that the risks of a merger at this time outweigh the potential rewards, as compared to Continental's prospects on a standalone basis. We have significant cultural, operational and financial strengths compared to the rest of the industry, and we want to protect and enhance those strengths -- which we believe would be placed at risk in a merger with another carrier in today's environment.  We will, however, continue to review potential alliances and our membership in SkyTeam.  We are considering alternatives to SkyTeam as we carefully evaluate which major global alliance will be best for Continental over the long term.
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Lufthansa is expanding its route network from Milan and in future will offer passengers a much wider choice of flights from the North Italian city to European destinations. In a first step, from the beginning of 2009, six new Embraer 195 jets will be stationed at Milan Malpensa Airport. The aircraft will be operated by the Italian Lufthansa subsidiary Air Dolomiti and will be deployed on intra-European routes. "Milan and the Lombardy region are among the strongest and most important regions in Europe and have a high passenger volume. By expanding our flight offering, we will be able to provide an even denser network of routes to attractive destinations in Europe for our Italian customers in future," said Karl Ulrich Garnadt, Executive Vice President Services and Human Resources, Lufthansa Passenger Airlines. In order to provide the infrastructure and ensure that the necessary conditions are in place for future operations at Milan Malpensa, Lufthansa has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SEA, the operator of Milan Airports.
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Lockheed Martin delivered the 100th C-130J Super Hercules to the U.S. Government. The C-130J was delivered to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., where it is assigned to the 41st Airlift Squadron, the Blackcats, which is currently engaged in Southwest Asia on their first combat deployment. This latest C-130J was accepted by Brig. Gen. Rowayne A. Schatz Jr., Commander, 314th Airlift Wing, and Installation Commander at Little Rock Air Force Base. In the United States, Air Mobility Command, Air Education and Training Command, Air Force Reserve Command and Air National Guard units fly C-130Js. The Marine Corps operates KC-130J tankers and the Coast Guard flies the HC-130J. International C-130J operators include the Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Italian Air Force and Royal Danish Air Force. Norway, Canada and India have ordered new C-130J fleets.
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The British pilot who will be the first person to fly the short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II started and ran the aircraft's engine for the first time on April 18, initiating the final series of ground tests before the jet's first flight. Test pilot Graham Tomlinson of BAE Systems throttled up to full military power (non-afterburner) in two consecutive tests. The Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, which produces about 28,000 pounds of thrust in military power and 40,000 pounds of thrust in afterburner, was evaluated for nearly an hour of run time at a variety of power settings. The engine runs were part of the F-35B's first comprehensive systems checkout on the aircraft's own power. The engine runs were preceded by successful tests of the Integrated Power Package, which combines the functions of a starter, generator, environmental (air conditioning) system and emergency power system. "The F-35B continues to hit one milestone after the other, and the team is doing a great job of keeping us on track for the airplane's first flight in the late May/June time frame," said Dan Crowley, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 program general manager. The April 18 tests also included the opening and closing of all doors associated with the STOVL propulsion system. During STOVL flight, doors open above and below the shaft-driven lift fan (located immediately behind the cockpit) and at the rear of the aircraft beneath the engine nozzle. A pair of auxiliary engine inlet doors opens behind the lift fan to feed more air to the engine. The F-35B's initial series of flights will be conventional. In early 2009, the aircraft will begin engaging its STOVL propulsion system for short takeoffs, vertical landings and hovers.
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NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., and m2mi Corp., Moffett Field, Calif., announced they are taking a revolutionary step forward in improving telecommunications and networking from space. Under the terms of a cooperative research and development agreement, only the third in NASA's history, NASA Ames and m2mi will work together to develop very small satellites, called nanosats, for the commercialization of space. "NASA wants to work with companies to develop a new economy in space," said NASA Ames Center Director S. Pete Worden. "m2mi has great technology that fits excellently with our goals, while enhancing the commercial use of NASA-developed technologies." Nanosatellites are small satellites weighing between 11 and 110 pounds. A large number of these satellites, called a constellation, will be placed in low Earth orbit for the new telecommunications and networking system. "The constellation will provide a robust, global, space-based, high-speed network for communication, data storage and Earth observations," said m2mi Chief Executive Officer Geoff Brown. "Nanosatellites take advantage of the significant technological advances in microelectronics and will be produced using low-cost, mass-production techniques."
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ARINC Incorporated and ATH Group of Lanham, MD today announced the AirPlan enRoute Service to bring much-needed fuel savings to commercial airlines. Based on the proven Attila arrival management system under an exclusive agreement with ATH, ARINC's AirPlan enRoute will be offered to selected airlines beginning this summer. First implemented in 2006, the Attila system has saved fuel and reduced delays at one of the world's busiest airports by making adjustments in the arrival times of incoming flights. Fuel savings over $20,000 per day have been reported by a major U.S. carrier at this location. The Attila technology also yields more efficient use of available airspace and landing slots. Other benefits include reduced CO2 emissions, decreased noise pollution, and improved on-time performance. ARINC's AirPlan enRoute will deliver the Attila functionality as a hosted service for multiple participating airlines at each airport served. AirPlan enRoute utilizes the airlines' existing ACARS communications technology, requiring no new avionics, no software modifications, and no changes to an airline's IT infrastructure.
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The ScanEagle unmanned aircraft (UA), a joint effort of Boeing and Insitu, logged a pair of service milestones as it surpassed 50,000 combat flight hours with the U.S. Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEF) in Iraq and 1,000 shipboard recoveries with the U.S. Navy.  The long-endurance, fully autonomous ScanEagle entered service with the Marines in July 2004 and provides cost-effective and persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance services. The Navy has used ScanEagle since July 2005 aboard the USNS Stockham, USS Whidbey Island, USS Oscar Austin, USS Oak Hill and the USS Carter Hall. "Tens of thousands of flight hours for the Marines demonstrate the maturity and reliability of the ScanEagle system," said Jim Havard, Boeing ScanEagle U.S Marine Corps program manager. "The system also is providing the MEF with a powerful and versatile capability ranging from convoy protection and surveillance to base security."
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AAI Corporation announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, AAI Services, has received a competitive award from Lockheed Martin to design and develop the aircraft systems maintenance trainer (ASMT) in support of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. AAI teamed with The DiSTI Corporation of Orlando, Fla., a global leader in the development of Human Machine Interface software for businesses, governments and the military, to propose a training media solution that combines realistic aircraft simulation with high fidelity 2-D/3-D images in a classroom training environment. The ASMT will provide training for student maintainers on ground operation, maintenance and testing procedures for the F-35 aircraft systems. The work will be performed at AAI Services' Charleston, S.C., Training and Simulation facility and at DiSTI in Orlando, and delivered to the Integrated Training Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The ASMT is one element of the F-35 Training System, a family of training devices that is being developed by Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training & Support.
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The Amos-3 telecommunication satellite, equipped with a Thales Alenia Space payload, was successfully launched on 28 April by a Zenith-3SLB rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome. The satellite has been built by Israel Aerospace Industry (IAI) for the Israeli operator, Space-Communication Ltd (Spacecom). Amos-3 will replace the Amos-1 geostationary communications satellite launched in 1996 allowing Spacecom to expand its Ku-band offering. It will deliver high-quality communications and broadcasting transmission services covering the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and parts of the Americas. Thales Alenia Space has provided to IAI the telecommunication payload with Ku and Ka-band transponders (including a four-antenna system) as well as a Telecommand and Ranging system. The payload has been assembled in Thales Alenia Space plant in Toulouse with part of its equipments provided by its site in Rome. It was the first program won by the newly created Alcatel Alenia Space in 2005 and has involved an extensive cooperation between the company's French and Italian teams.
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EUROCONTROL is undertaking a large scale multi-centre real-time simulation to validate new airspace and route scenarios that will come as a result of the Functional Airspace Block (FAB) initiative, FABEC. The project, called AMRUFRA (Amsterdam, Ruhr and Frankfurt), covers the airspace area controlled by Amsterdam, Langen and Maastricht and includes both civil and military operations. AMRUFRA, which started on 7 April and will last for a period of three weeks, involves 25 controllers. Airspace and airport capacity increases are to be expected in the near future for the AMRUFRA airspace interface. The simulation examines the consequences on airspace organisation of the entry into service of a new runway at Frankfurt which, in addition to increasing the traffic at Frankfurt and Amsterdam Schiphol airports, will also increase the complexity of the routings and procedures in the area under study. The simulation aims at validating not only the expected benefit of the changes in capacity and safety, but also the benefits on efficiency for the airspace users as well as efficiency from the air traffic controller's perspective. It was prepared and developed by a combination of EUROCONTROL services (Airport, Network Planning & Navigation, the EUROCONTROL Experimental Centre, the CEATS Research, Development and Simulation Centre and the Maastricht Upper Area Centre).
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Cessna celebrated the roll out of the first production Citation XLS+ at the company's primary design and manufacturing facilities in Wichita. The XLS+ is the latest version of the world's best-selling business jet model. The first production unit now will go to paint and interiors, while two flight test aircraft continue to work toward type certification. Federal Aviation Administration certification is expected by mid year, with deliveries starting before the end of 2008. The upgrade to the mid-size Excel/XLS will feature the fully integrated Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite and electronically controlled (FADEC) engines from Pratt & Whitney Canada. Exterior and interior restyling is also integrated into the new model, most prominently the extended contour of the nose and expanded seat widths, both introduced to more closely resemble Cessna's Citation X and Citation Sovereign models.
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In its thirteenth flight conducted from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota, today (April 28, 2008), ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C9, successfully launched the 690 kg Indian remote sensing satellite CARTOSAT-2A, the 83 kg Indian Mini Satellite (IMS-1) and eight nanosatellites for international customers into a 637 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO). PSLV-C9 in its 'core alone' configuration launched ten satellites with a total weight of about 820 kg. After the final count down, PSLV-C9 lifted off from the second launch pad at SDSC SHAR, at 09:24 Hrs IST with the ignition of the core first stage. The important flight events included the separation of the first stage, ignition of the second stage, separation of the heatshield at about 125 km altitude after the vehicle had cleared the dense atmosphere, second stage separation, third stage ignition, third stage separation, fourth stage ignition and fourth stage cut-off. The 690 kg main payload, CARTOSAT-2A, was the first satellite to be injected into orbit at 885 seconds after lift-off at an altitude of 637 km. About 45 seconds later, Indian Mini Satellite (IMS-1) was separated after which all the nano satellites were separated in sequence. The initial signals indicate normal health of the satellites.
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At this year's Lufthansa Annual General Meeting in Cologne, Lufthansa Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber unveiled record profit and revenue figures to the shareholders for the second year running. "Lufthansa has closed the 2007 business year with the best result in the history of our company," stated Mayrhuber, adding that the company's "position is strong and the starting basis is solid. The Lufthanseats have again proven that they are the best. The result is a product of all the business segments, as well as the merger with SWISS. The success of the Group equally benefits customers, employees and shareholders." A record dividend of EUR 1.25 per share will be proposed to the shareholders, which is equivalent to a 55 cent increase in comparison with the previous year. The Lufthansa Group has had an excellent start into 2008 with an outstanding first-quarter result. However, Mayrhuber warned of the consequences of the intensifying competition in the aviation industry, as well as the unforeseeable implications of the uncertainty on the financial markets and the price increases in the raw materials sector. "Lufthansa is prepared and will not shy any headwinds. However, we must work hard and consistently to continually improve our performance in this competition. It is especially those that are responsible for the framework conditions of the aviation industry in Europe that must now make their contribution." The Lufthansa Chairman and CEO urged for a rapid improvement of the infrastructure saying that, "structures have to be ensured on the ground and in the air that are as efficient and competitive as the German logistics and mobility companies. This is essential for Germany as the world champion in exports and second in the world in imports, as well as for the survival as European logistics hub. The answer lies in the hands of the politicians." Infrastructure improvements at the major airports with capacity bottlenecks are a condition for Lufthansa to be able to create many thousands of jobs. During the years from 2005 to 2008 alone, the Lufthansa Group has employed 10,000 new staff in Germany. At the Annual General Meeting, Mayrhuber stressed that the infrastructure in the air was just as important, adding that, "better air traffic control and the Single European Sky are the greatest efficiency-related and environmental project in Europe, but also one that has now been being discussed for 48 years. The time has come to finally implement the project. It would immediately reduce CO2 emissions by about twelve per cent. The politicians must act." An efficient infrastructure is directly related to consumer protection and environmental protection.
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Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services-North America (Vector) announces it has received Transport Canada Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approval for installation the Sagem Avionics Integrated Cockpit Display System 8 (ICDS-8 or 'Glass Cockpit') upgrade for the Bell 206 helicopter. Elvis Moniz, Vector's director of avionics explains several of the maintenance benefits provided by the system. The Vector-Sagem Bell 206 series ICDS-8 system consists of two eight-inch colour LCD monitors; replacing less reliable and higher cost analog engine instrumentation, and delivers an average weight saving of 15 to 21 lbs. In addition, the system employs a solid state AHRS system which eliminates expensive gyros. Another important benefit realized via the glass cockpit solution for Bell 206 operators is the ability to standardize fleets and therefore, reduce direct operating costs by eliminating the requirement to purchase, store and maintain/overhaul analog instrument spares.
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URS announced that the Company's EG&G Division has been selected once again by the U.S. Army to support the Rotary Wing Flight Training Services program at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Under the terms of this re-compete contract, URS will train all of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force undergraduate rotary wing students. The five-year contract has a value of approximately $240 million to URS. Commenting on the award, Randall A. Wotring, President of the EG&G Division, said: "Since 1989, EG&G instructors have trained more than 20,000 student pilots, most of them entry-level soldiers with little or no flying experience. We are very pleased to have been selected by the Army for this important program and look forward to continuing to help train the next generation of military pilots."
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North African airline Tunisair has signed a letter of acceptance of the Airbus proposal for the acquisition of three A350-800s, three A330-200s and ten A320s, as part of an important fleet development plan that will modernise and expand the fleet of this growing airline. With this acquisition, Tunisair is the third African airline to order the all-new A350 XWB. Tunisair currently already has 12 A320s, four A319s of which two with extended range capability and three A300-600s in operation.
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Airbus Material and Logistics Centre in the Middle East has been officially opened at the Dubai Airport Free Zone in the United Arab Emirates in a ceremony with his Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, and Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO. The opening of the Materials and Logistics Centre gives Airbus greater proximity to valuable customers, and facilitates a quicker and more reactive response to their needs. It also reduces the time and cost in transporting spares. The efficiency gains and economic benefit of the centre are part and parcel of Airbus' commitment to eco-efficiency, to help the aviation sector prosper by adding value with less environmental impact.
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CHC Helicopter Corporation announced that its shareholders approved the plan of arrangement involving CHC and an affiliate of a fund managed by First Reserve Corporation. The arrangement involves the acquisition of all of CHC's outstanding Class A Subordinate Voting Shares and Class B Multiple Voting Shares for cash consideration of Cdn$32.68 per share. The special resolution approving the arrangement was approved this afternoon at a special meeting of shareholders by more than 99.944% of the votes cast by holders of Class A Subordinate Voting Shares, Class B Multiple Voting Shares and Ordinary Shares, voting as a single class. As required under Canadian securities laws, the special resolution approving the arrangement was also approved by 99.884% of the votes cast by holders of Class A Subordinate Voting Shares (excluding such shares held by certain members of management who will be acquiring equity in an affiliate of the purchaser), 100% of the votes cast by holders of Class B Multiple Voting Shares and 100% of the votes cast by the holder of Ordinary Shares, each voting as a separate class. Final proxy results will be made available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on EDGAR at www.sec.gov in the coming days.
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Regional Air Express, based at the Airport Munster-Osnabruck cooperates with the company MT-Propeller, domiciled in Straubingen. The company, specialised in innovative technologies regarding the construction of propellers, has developed a new five blade prop for the Honeywell TPE Turboprop, formerly known as Garett. In order to certify this new Propeller for the aircraft type Swearingen Metroliner, tests are still to begin in 2008. Regional Air Express will provide an aircraft of this type for the tests and the certification programme. After granted admission, Regional Air Express, as the first airline worldwide, will outfit all four of their Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner with the new five-blade prop. At the time, about 350 Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner are operated worldwide by passenger- and freight airlines. Many of them have already indicated their interest in a conversion. The new five-blade propeller is made out of light composite material, not out of aluminium. The hereby achieved reduction of mass leads to an increase in performance while relieving the engine accessories. From a passengers point of view the main advantage is the reduction of the cabin noise by 50 %. This effect can only be reached because of the additional fifth propeller blade resulting into a reduction of the propellers diameter, which consequently then has a greater distance to the cabin. In addition the new propellers require less maintenance. Due to the fact that they are made out of composite material, corrosion does not play a role anymore. Furthermore, the lifetime, compared to an aluminium propeller, is unlimited. Regional Air Express therefore leads the way and will then have the most silent 19 seater available on the market
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The EMBRAER 190 jet received ETOPS (Extended Operations) certification for 120 minutes, this month, from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This third member of the E-Jets family, seating up to 114 passengers, had already obtained the same certification from Brazil's National Civil Aviation Agency (Agencia Nacional da Aviacao Civil - ANAC), in February of this year.
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GKN Aerospace has gained a further follow on contract from Lockheed Martin to supply the integrated nacelle for the C-130J aircraft. This $400m, 5 year contract brings the total value of GKN Aerospace work on the C-103J to over $800m, and takes the Company's contribution to the programme into its 20th year.
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The US Air Force received the last in a series of GPS IIR(M) satellites from Lockheed Martin during an recent fly-out ceremony at the Lockheed Martin facility in Valley Forge, Penn. "The IIR satellites have been great," said Lt. Col. Doug Schiess, operations officer for the 2nd Space Operations Squadron. He represented the 50th Space Wing at the ceremony. "One of the things they've done for us is allowed us to reduce our operations tempo. We used to have to do two supports per day on all GPS satellites, but the IIRs have allowed us to go down to one support per day." The IIR satellites require less support because they have improved autonomous capabilities. The primary autonomous capability is a IIR redundancy management function, which tracks and manages the satellite's subsystems. Internal tests are run regularly and components can be autonomously swapped if a failure is detected. The IIR series of satellites also has been more robust. After nearly 11 years since the first IIR satellite was launched, all the IIR satellites remain operational and are still on their primary clocks.  
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Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company's Komsomolsk branch has successfully completed frequency tests of the flight Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft. Today the data acquired during these tests resulted in TsAGI's aeroelasticity and flutter safety authorization for the first flight and initial flight test campaign for the main aircraft systems – landing gear, airframe and remote control system. "Frequency tests confirmed numerical design data, received earlier for the airframe, landing gear and remote control system", TsAGI director, Sergey Chernyshev said. The frequency tests results together with numerical design data of the elastic aircraft will be forwarded to Industry Safety Board to complete authorization procedures required to launch flight test campaign.
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After more than 12 years of collecting valuable data on how Earth's space environment is affected by continual bombardment from radiation and particles from the Sun, NASA has decommissioned its Polar spacecraft. Polar - built by Lockheed Martin - was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on February 24, 1996 and was the second element in NASA's Global Geospace Science (GGS) program. In an orbit that loops over the Earth's poles, the Polar spacecraft and its instruments have enabled scientists to study the movement of energetic charged particles above the polar regions. The original requirement for the Polar mission was that it would operate for a minimum of two years, yet the small but robust satellite and its instruments continued sending back valuable data until this week. The unique treasure trove of information has yielded more than a thousand papers in refereed scientific journals and will continue to provide researchers a fertile field of discovery for years to come.
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Boeing and Air France reached a milestone last week with the delivery of Air France's 50th 777. The Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range) is the carrier's 25th of that model type and joins a fleet of another 25 777-200ERs that together comprise the core of the airline's long-haul fleet. Air France is the launch customer for Boeing's newest addition to its freighter family, the 777 Freighter -- the first of which is scheduled to enter flight test in late May. With more than 50 percent of its twin-aisle fleet composed of Boeing 777s, Air France has drawn upon the 777's renowned efficiency and reliability to help it achieve strong economic performance. With the delivery of its first 777 Freighter this year and through the operation of a single 777 platform, Air France will achieve significant synergies between its cargo and passenger business.
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Boeing recently completed certification testing of new carbon brakes designed for the Next-Generation 737 airplane family by French supplier Messier-Bugatti. A Next-Generation 737-900ER (Extended Range) airplane is shown performing a high-speed rejected takeoff test, designed to verify that an airplane at maximum weight with greatly worn brakes can stop safely after a refused takeoff decision. Boeing will submit the test results to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for certification the second quarter this year. Entry into production is expected by third quarter. Boeing will offer a retrofit program for airplanes already in service. Through a month-long test program, Boeing reached its goal to show equivalent performance between steel and carbon brakes, and verified a weight savings of 700 pounds (320 kg) compared to high-capacity steel brakes for Next-Generation 737-700/800/900ERs, and 550 pounds (250 kg) on standard-capacity steel brakes for Next-Generation 737-600/700s.
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VEGA Group PLC (VEGA), the specialist professional services company, has recently won three new contracts which reinforce its position as Europe's leading space simulations company. ESA's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) has placed contracts with VEGA for development of the simulation software for CryoSat-2 and LISA Pathfinder missions. Thales Alenia Space Italy (TAS-I) has awarded VEGA a contract to develop the Test Scenario Preparation and Validation Facility (TPVF) for the Galileo System Integration and Verification system. CryoSat-2 is the replacement satellite for CryoSat-1, which was lost as a result of a launch failure in October 2005. It will measure fluctuations in the thickness of ice on both land and sea to provide conclusive evidence as to whether there is diminishing ice cover. VEGA's role includes updating the simulator models to reflect the design differences between CryoSat-1 and CryoSat-2 satellites. LISA Pathfinder is the second of ESA's Small Missions for Advanced Research and Technology (SMART), which test key technologies that are required to implement the disturbance-free flight concept of the LISA mission. VEGA is developing the simulator which will support the test functionality of the operations control system facilities; train the flight control team; validate the control procedures for nominal operations; validate the contingency operations for recover in the event any anomalies occur; and validate the control procedures for all other testing. The TPVF contract was awarded to VEGA by TAS-I to make effective use of the Galileo System Evaluation Equipment (GALSEE) facility and prepare the In-Orbit Validation (IOV) test activities. VEGA is providing and testing all hardware and software for this facility, as well as the warrantee and maintenance. Additionally, VEGA is providing the support throughout the IOV period.
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Erickson Air-Crane, manufacturer and worldwide operator of S-64 Aircrane helicopters has, through its affiliated company European Air-Crane S.p.A., signed an 8.5 year aircraft lease contract with the Italian Department of Civil Protection totaling over 200 million Euro for what is the largest aircraft lease in the history of the company. European Air-Crane Chief Executive Officer, Gian Franco Blower, and his team signed the contract with Protezione Civile Italiana on April 28, 2008, guaranteeing the continuity, under the new contract, of the four S-64F Aircranes already in Italy on duty for Fire Suppression, Civil Protection, and Disaster Relief roles throughout the mainland and islands of Italy.
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NASA's Space Shuttle Program on Thursday successfully conducted a test firing of a space shuttle reusable solid rocket motor in Utah.  The test firing of Flight Verification Motor 2 evaluated possible performance changes as motors age. Space shuttle solid rocket motors are certified for flight for five years from their date of manufacture. At more than seven years of age, the four-segment motor tested Thursday is the oldest ever fired. The test further substantiates the certification that was established by NASA at the beginning of the shuttle program. The test also provided important information for continued launches of the shuttle and development of the Ares I rocket, a key component of NASA's Constellation Program that will launch the Orion crew vehicle on missions to the moon.
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Progress continues on the first Boeing 777 Freighter as the company's newest cargo airplane was towed out of its factory in Everett, Wash. and onto the flight line Tuesday night. Work will continue on the 777 Freighter to prepare for flight test this summer and to paint the airplane in the Boeing livery.
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Pratt & Whitney has selected Goodrich to be the exclusive provider of the complete nacelle systems for its new Geared Turbofan engine for both the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) and the Bombardier CSeries aircraft families. The award is expected to generate more than $5 billion in original equipment and aftermarket revenue for Goodrich during the 25-year period following entry into service. Under the agreement, the Goodrich Aerostructures business unit, headquartered in Chula Vista, Calif., will produce the entire nacelle systems, including the inlet, fan cowl, thrust reverser, exhaust system, and engine mounts. "Goodrich has been a longstanding partner of Pratt & Whitney's and we are delighted to continue that partnership on the Geared Turbofan engine program," said Bob Saia, Pratt & Whitney vice president, Next Generation Product Family. "The Goodrich nacelle system on the Geared Turbofan demonstrator engine is performing very well and we look forward to flight testing the complete propulsion system later this year."
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Engineers at Arnold Engineering Development Center began testing a Pratt & Whitney F100 engine April 29 in the J-1 simulated altitude jet engine test cell using a blend of alternative synthetic fuel. The engine is the power plant for the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon. Once testing and evaluation is complete, this will be the first fighter jet engine to use the synthetic blend. Since 2006, AEDC specialists have taken an active role in supporting the U.S. Air Force's Alternative Fuels Certification Office in the evaluation and certification of the synthetic paraffinic kerosene alternative fuel, which is derived from natural gas or coal using the Fischer-Tropsch process, for use in all Air Force aircraft. Testing at AEDC on the General Electric F101 engine, the power plant for the B-1 Lancer bomber, was the first series of testing of a high performance, afterburning engine with FT fuel for a combat aircraft. This engine also was tested in the center's J-1 high altitude jet engine test cell.
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Bombardier Flexjet, the fractional business jet ownership program of Bombardier Aerospace, has announced the induction of Bombardier's new Challenger 605 jets into the Flexjet fractional fleet. "We are pleased to offer our customers the ultimate fractional jet ownership experience with the introduction of the Challenger 605 business jet, which provides superior wide-cabin comfort, technology, flexibility and productivity," said Mike McQuay, president, Bombardier Flexjet. "This newly redesigned jet is tailored for Flexjet owners. It seats more passengers, features a cutting-edge information, communication and entertainment system and offers enhanced safety systems."
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General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products and Elbit Systems of America, LLC, recently conducted the first U.S. demonstration of the Skylark II Small Tactical /Tier II-class Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) for representatives of the U.S. armed forces. The event was held at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. The Skylark II UAS provides a covert, silent electric-propulsion system for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions and target tracking, making it unique among Tier II-class platforms.  The air vehicle is virtually inaudible at 500 feet Above Ground Level (AGL), enabling persistent ISR coverage for use in areas previously inaccessible to other air vehicles that have higher noise signatures or lower endurance capabilities.  This battalion-level system fills the capabilities gap that exists between the small, company/platoon-level unmanned systems and the tactical, brigade-level UASs that are currently available.
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Airbus has awarded Rockwell Collins three significant avionics packages for the all new A350 XWB aircraft. The awards include the fully integrated Communication Global Work package, the Avionics Data Network, and landing systems. These awards come in addition to Airbus' previous selection of Rockwell Collins' Trimmable Horizontal Stabilizer Actuator (THSA). "We're very pleased with these awards, which represent, on average, the most content per plane that we've ever had on an Airbus aircraft," said Kelly Ortberg, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Commercial Systems at Rockwell Collins. "We're honored by the trust that Airbus has demonstrated in selecting us as a major system integrator and supplier on the A350."
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Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) delivers the first of two Beechcraft King Air B200GT aircraft to Serco Defence, Science and Technology for service in the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force (RAF) as a multi-engine pilot trainer. The second King Air B200GT will be delivered this summer and both aircraft will join Number 45 Squadron at RAF Cranwell. These aircraft will strengthen the existing fleet of seven Beechcraft King Air B200s in service with the RAF, bringing the total to nine King Airs. "The King Air B200 fleet at Cranwell has been incredibly successful, both in the speed in which the aircraft entered service to replace the obsolete Jetstream, and the way in which it is providing cost-effective multi-engine pilot training for the military today," said Air Commodore Brian Newby, Director Flying Training at 22 Group. "As our requirement for multi-engine pilots has changed in response to a rapidly evolving strategic environment, we look forward to supplementing our existing fleet with these additional two new aircraft." The original Beechcraft King Air order was placed in 2003 when Serco announced it was awarded the prestigious £60 million Multi-Activity Contract for RAF Cranwell incorporating the Multi-Engine Pilot Training Interim Solution. The new aircraft are essential to meet an increase in the demand for military multi-engine pilots within the U.K. Ministry of Defence, along with a growing need for a modern, glass cockpit experience.
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FLUG REVUE 12/2016

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12/2016
07.11.2016

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