10.05.2007
FLUG REVUE

News in Brief

Kurzmeldungen+++The first Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, being built for the U.S. Navy by prime contractor Northrop Grumman Corporation, made its first public appearance at rollout ceremonies.

The E-2D was designed in New York and built in St. Augustine. At the ceremony before hundreds, Rear Admiral Pete Williams congratulated Team Hawkeye for delivering a ``game-changer for the warfighter.'' Williams is the Program Executive Officer for Tactical Aircraft with Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. Tom Vice, vice president of Airborne Early Warning and Joint Battle Management Command and Control Programs for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector, said, "In December 2001, we promised to design and deliver a totally new Hawkeye, an aircraft more adaptable to quickly changing technologies, one that allows the Navy to better respond to changing threats from changing enemies. That promise is embodied in the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. Today, the people of Northrop Grumman delivered on a promise.'' NAVAIR Advanced Hawkeye program manager, Captain Randy Mahr, said, following the event, "This aircraft we are building here in St. Augustine today will provide what America needs well in to the middle of the century. Our Navy program has an exceptional industry partner -- Northrop Grumman and the companies that comprise Team Hawkeye.''  
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Bombardier Aerospace released its annual aircraft market forecasts for the business and commercial aircraft markets. Overall demand for aircraft in the segments in which Bombardier competes will remain strong. As well, there is a geographic shift towards international markets and a structural shift towards more cost-effective aircraft. Bombardier's key product families – business jets and regional aircraft – are expected to continue to generate strong interest across all markets. "With its comprehensive portfolios of innovative business and regional aircraft, with its state-of-the-art technologies and focus on customer services, Bombardier is well-positioned for continued success," said Michael McAdoo, Vice-President, Strategy and Business Development, Bombardier Aerospace. In the 10-year period from 2007 to 2016, Bombardier's Business Aircraft Market Forecast predicts that corporate aircraft manufacturers will deliver approximately 995 business jets annually, excluding the very light jet segment, a substantial increase from the industry average of over 572 business jet deliveries annually during the 1997 to 2006 period. The total forecasted 9,950 deliveries over the 10-year period represent revenues of approximately $227 billion US for the industry. According to Bombardier's Commercial Aircraft Market Forecast, demand for 20- to 149-seat commercial aircraft is expected to reach approximately 11,200 new aircraft in the 20-year period ranging from 2007 to 2026, an increase in demand from last year's forecast. Forecasted demand is valued at approximately $393 billion U.S. based on manufacturers' aircraft list prices. Airline capacity is expected to double over the next 20 years. The trend towards larger aircraft, coupled with sustained higher fuel prices, will reinforce operators' requirement for modern aircraft with low operating costs. The forecast reflects this shift in demand to larger commercial aircraft: In the 20- to 59-seat aircraft segment: the forecast expects a demand of approximately 1,000 aircraft; in the 60- to 99-seat aircraft segment: demand is expected to reach approximately 4,300 aircraft; in the 100- to 149-seat aircraft segment: the forecast predicts a demand for approximately 5,900 aircraft.
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Early in the week, the Bremen-based space aviation company OHB-System AG dispatched a further key component for the international space station ISS to the Kennedy Space Center in the U.S. The European Transport Carrier (ETC), developed and built for the European Space Agency (ESA), is a special stowage and transport rack in which the equipment and samples of sensitive scientific experiments for the European COLUMBUS module of the ISS can be securely stored. The ETC will be installed in the COLUMBUS space laboratory. More than half of the objects transported by means of the ETC were developed and built by OHB. This includes the flywheel, for instance, a piece of training equipment for astronauts, a high-speed camera for the physical research laboratory Fluid Science Lab FSL, and five medical devices for the European Physiology Modules (EPM) Laboratory, which was also created by OHB. In June, the astronauts will be training how to handle the rack and unpack the devices at the Kennedy Space Center. According to the present plan-ning status of the U.S. Space Agency NASA, the European COLUMBUS module will be taken to the ISS by Atlantis Space Shuttle on December 6, 2007.
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With 10 aircraft deliveries to date this year, MD is ramping up for an additional 33 by year-end 2007. MD expects to deliver 43 aircraft in this fiscal year and 85 aircraft during 2008. Deliveries of this magnitude have not occurred since 1999. "We are selling, building, and delivering aircraft, and establishing a streamlined, vertically integrated company," Tilton said. The Company's manufacturing facility in Monterrey, Mexico, is fully operational and will support requirements by delivering 23 single-engine fuselages to the Mesa facility.  Also, adding tremendous value and fostering MD's self-sufficiency is Heritage Aviation's robust completion and parts manufacturing capabilities.
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Lockheed Martin has placed an order to purchase another five EADS CASA HC-235A for the U.S. Coast Guard's Deepwater Program. These aircraft will be delivered to Lockheed Martin through year 2008. With these five, the number of aircraft ordered to date is eight (8). The Coast Guard program plan includes up to thirty six (36) aircraft. First delivery to Lockheed Martin took place on December 6, 2006, at EADS CASA
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Cessna Aircraft delivered the first retail Citation Mustang business jet to Dave and Dawn Goode of GOODE Ski Technologies. This is the third production Mustang delivered from Independence. The first two are being used by Cessna as marketing demonstration aircraft.
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Forty years ago Boeing opened the major assembly buildings of its Everett factory to build the first-ever jumbo jet - the 747. Four decades later, that factory has grown into the largest building in the world by volume and is home to every Boeing twin-aisle airplane program - 747, 767, 777 and 787 Programs. To date, Boeing employees at the Everett site have built and delivered more than 2,950 airplanes. To mark the milestone, Boeing hosted a ceremony with employees and local politicians in the Everett factory, located 30 miles north of Seattle. The Everett site was originally built in the late 1960s to produce the 747. It expanded with the addition of the 767 assembly line in 1980 and the 777 line in 1993. The Boeing Everett site also is home to the 787 Dreamliner, scheduled to roll out later this summer. Now, the Everett facility is Boeing's largest site, spanning more than 1,000 acres and employing more than 25,000 people. The Everett factory building was recognized by Guinness World Records as the largest building in the world in 1967.
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A $77.8 million U.S. Navy contract will allow Raytheon to make the first international sale of its ALR-67(V)3 digital radar warning receiver. The contract includes systems for the Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. The ALR-67(V)3 is the state-of-the-art radar warning receiver on U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F carrier-based tactical aircraft. It will now be installed on Australian F/A-18A+ aircraft as an integral part of the Australia Hornet Upgrade program. Deliveries under the contract will begin in October 2008 and are expected to be complete by March 2010. The production award represents the ninth full rate production lot awarded to Raytheon. More than 400 radar warning receivers plus spares have been ordered under the overall ALR-67(V)3 production program. Additional domestic and international sales of the system are also planned.
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Rockwell Collins has been selected by Singapore Airlines to provide its SAT-2100 satellite communication system with a single HST-2110 high speed data transceiver for 58 Boeing 777 aircraft. Under the terms of the agreement, Rockwell Collins will replace Singapore Airlines' existing SATCOM system with its latest high speed data offering. In addition to the retrofit program, Singapore Airlines is using the same system on forward fit Boeing 777. One of the primary uses of the SAT-2100 is to facilitate high speed data services to Singapore Airlines' newly installed Electronic Flight Bag System. Rockwell Collins' small, lightweight, reliable and economical SAT-2100 system provides multi-channel voice and data capabilities within a single 8 MCU package. When coupled with an HST 2110 high speed terminal, the SAT-2100 system enables Inmarsat's Swift64 or SwiftBroadband service for broadband connectivity. The SAT-2100 has been certified on the Boeing 777 and 747-400,  and has been selected for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
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KLM Royal Dutch Airlines took delivery of its 15th Boeing 777-200ER (Extended Range) from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., north of Seattle. KLM is leasing the airplane from International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC). KLM, part of the Air France KLM Group, operates the 777-200ER on long-haul international routes from its Amsterdam base to cities such as Cape Town, Los Angeles and Tokyo.
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Boeing has begun flight testing the AC-130U Gunship with new 30 mm cannons at Hurlburt Field, Fla. Boeing is modifying four gunships for the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command by installing and testing the cannons so existing airplanes have increased combat effectiveness. The AC-130U features increased weapon stand-off range, improved first-shot accuracy, and a suite of electronic and infrared countermeasures that greatly enhance its survivability. Boeing will deliver the gunships later this year. The Bushmaster 30 mm cannons protrude from the gun ports of AC-130U gunships as shown during tests in January at Hurlburt Field. The 30 mm cannon eventually will replace both the 40 mm cannon and 25 mm gun on U-model gunships.
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More than a year ahead of schedule, a team of independent experts has approved all ten new technologies developed for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. Many of the technologies are revolutionary and have never before been used on any satellite or space telescope. The early approval can reduce the risk of increased costs and schedule delays before the program is approved for further development. NASA commissioned the team of engineers, scientists and project managers to conduct the technical review. The group evaluated the telescope's near and mid-infrared detectors, sunshield materials, lightweight cryogenic mirrors, microshutter arrays, cryogenic detector readout application-specific integrated circuits, cryogenic heat switches, a large precision cryogenic structure, a cryocooler for the mid-infrared instrument, and wavefront sensing and control. They determined the technologies were tested successfully in a space-like environment and are mature enough to include on the telescope's upcoming mission. The actual hardware and software that will fly on the telescope now can be engineered from working prototypes. These technologies will allow the observatory to peer back in time to about 400 million years after the Big Bang, enabling scientists to study the first generation of stars and galaxies.
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Sikorsky was awarded a $10.3 million increment as part of a $16.6 million contract to help solve one of the military's more pressing problems in fighting desert wars: landing helicopters and taking off safely when blinding sandstorms distort the landscape and create "brownout" conditions. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency awarded the contract under its "Sandblaster" program, a high priority effort to develop and demonstrate effective solutions for landing in degraded visual environments. Brownout conditions can disorient pilots and obscure their vision. Sikorsky is teamed with Honeywell and Sierra Nevada Corp, with Sikorsky as the prime and lead system integrator. Honeywell will design and produce a Sensor data-driven, Localized, External, Evidential Knowledge base (SLEEK) capability integrated with the company's synthetic vision system. Sierra Nevada Corp. will provide see-through sensing technologies. Sandblaster initially will focus on BLACK HAWK helicopters. Project completion is expected within 18 months.
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Boeing and Copa Airlines executives today said the Panamanian airline placed an order for four Boeing 737-800 airplanes in a deal valued at approximately $282 million at list prices. The order brings to 34 the number of Next-Generation 737s Copa has ordered. The four 737s announced today were previously posted to an "unidentified customer" on the Boeing Commercial Airplanes orders and deliveries website.
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Aviation Partners Boeing announced that Santiago-based LAN Airlines has ordered 8 Blended Winglet Systems for 767-300F freighters and 7 Systems for 767-300ER passenger aircraft along with options for 20 additional Systems. First installation will take place at LAN's maintenance base in Santiago immediately following certification in the 4th quarter of 2008 with the installations expected to be complete by the end of the 1st quarter of 2010. "LAN is a premier carrier, with a long term commitment to 767 operations, and a most welcome Launch Customer for our first wide-body Blended Winglet Program," says Aviation Partners President and CEO John Reimers. "With their long-haul route structure -- including operations to North America, Europe and the South Pacific -LAN is perfectly positioned to obtain maximum benefit from Blended Winglet Technology."
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Chipshol, Holland's leading developer in the Schiphol region, has stopped collaboration on the development of Airport City (near Schiphol Airport Amsterdam), which spans an area of about 2 million square meters. Fifteen years ago, Chipshol was the first developer to launch plans for an Airport City connected by 2 railway lines, including the TGV Paris-Amsterdam and 3 expressways. Such a unique location, next to an international airport, can be found nowhere else in the world. For fifteen years, however, Chipshol has systematically been obstructed by Schiphol Airport. As a result, there is little or no chance of a combined, successful development for an Airport City. As the dominant party with 100 hectares, Chipshol will only co-operate when Schiphol changes its attitude. For years Chipshol was also obstructed while trying to develop a logistic business park, not just by Schiphol but also - under pressure from the airport - by the municipality of Haarlemmermeer in the province of Noord-Holland. Recently these two parties arranged a settlement with the developer. Among other things, the settlement means to lend new impulse to the airport city project, and calls for the diversion of the A9 expressway, something desired by many. Recently, however, the Schiphol Board of Directors has chosen to continue old conflicts, and is in no way willing to compromise. Not long ago, the Court of Justice of Haarlem ordered Schiphol Airport to pay 19 million Euros to Chipshol for continuous obstruction. Schiphol, however, refuses to start the payment. The plans for an Airport City near Schiphol, launched by Chipshol in 1988, include: about 2 million square meters of hotels, congress facilities, a shopping mall, office and apartment buildings - all connected by a people mover. The total investment will be about 10 billion Euros. An agreement was settled with the Schiphol Area Development Company (SADC) for the development of 40 hectares. Because of Schiphol Airport, among others, this development has been delayed for more than 15 years.
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The first squadron of F-35 Lightning IIs will go operational in 2012, but the system that will serve as the information backbone of the F-35 maintenance and support network is now up and running.The F-35 Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) was formally switched on today during a ceremony at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics headquarters in Fort Worth. The ALIS environment, developed in conjunction with Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training & Support, will start by capturing real time flight test data from Lightning II test aircraft. "No such system has ever been activated so early in a military aircraft program, and with up to 4,500 F-35s to support in the coming years, the magnitude of its importance is clear," said Dan Crowley, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 program general manager.
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Having successfully launched their first codeshare flights on March 25, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines now enter the second phase of their cooperation. This will include new codeshare flights starting from May 3rd. Flights operated in codeshare will be Munich-Istanbul (Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines), Munich-Ankara (Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines) and Munich-Izmir (Lufthansa). Frankfurt operated routes already started end of March. Today's flight from Istanbul to Munich marks the arrival of Turkish Airlines into Terminal 2, a Joint Venture between Lufthansa and Munich Airport. The passengers of both airlines will now benefit from an increased number of flights, destinations and from better connections to Europe, the US and Canada.
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The U.S. government has awarded an initial $23 million to Lockheed Martin for long-lead tasks related to modernizing the first production C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft for the U.S. Air Force under the Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP). "The C-5M is critical to our nation's strategic airlift capability," said George Shultz, vice president, Lockheed Martin C-5 Modernization program. "Flight test results to date are confirming that the airplane will reliably carry more cargo farther than any other airlift resource available today. The post-modification savings will be achieved primarily through the commercially proven General Electric CF6 propulsion system which offers significant improvements in reliability, capability and added fuel efficiency. These savings will pay for the modification itself and in addition save the USAF billions of dollars in future operations and support costs. This program will save $4 for every $1 invested over the life of the aircraft."
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On Thursday, May 3, Peter Homer of Southwest Harbor, Maine, won $200,000 from NASA for his entry in the Astronaut Glove Challenge. The competition was one of NASA's seven Centennial Challenges and took place May 2-3 at the New England Air Museum at Bradley International Airport, Windsor Locks, Conn. To win the prize, Homer's glove design performed better overall than the competition in tests that rated the glove's strength, flexibility and comfort. Homer's innovations in finger dexterity could enhance NASA's future astronaut gloves. Competitors from Saint Cloud, Fla., Yonkers, N.Y., Logan, Utah, and New York also registered for the challenge.
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FB Heliservices Limited, headquartered in Basingstoke in the United Kingdom, has just achieved 250,000 flight hours with its fleet of 38 AS350 BB 'Squirrel' helicopters, marking an impressive milestone in its history. The aircraft entered service in 1997 and are operated for the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence's Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS) which is now in its tenth year of service. "We find the AS350 BB to be the perfect aircraft for our training missions, which range from ab-initio to tactical mission training", stated Peter Richardson, Managing Director of FB Heliservices. "Our 'Squirrel' fleet performs an average of 25,000 flight hours per year, is reliable and easy to maintain", he continued.  
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Pioneering astronaut Walter "Wally" Schirra, the only man who flew in all three of America's first human space projects - Mercury, Gemini and Apollo - died Wednesday night. He was 84. Schirra's family reported he died of natural causes. Schirra was one of America's original seven astronauts, selected in 1959, and was commander of the first crew to fly into space aboard an Apollo capsule, Apollo 7, following the tragic launchpad fire that claimed the lives of the crew of Apollo 1. Schirra's first space flight was piloting the fifth Mercury mission on Oct. 3, 1962, orbiting Earth six times in 9 hours and 13 minutes. During the flight he took hundreds of photos of Earth and space phenomena. Schirra's capsule, Sigma 7, splashed down only 5 miles from the recovery carrier.
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Addressing the ASD Board and Council, Vice President of the European Commission in charge for Transport, Jacques Barrot, expressed his satisfaction with the contribution ASD industries are making to the EU economy. Mr. Barrot underlined the importance of EU funding for aerospace and security R&D, and said he would see that aerospace R&D remains in the forefront in Europe. Mr Barrot noted the ASD member companies' contribution in ensuring clean and efficient transport policy. The Commission recognises the external dimension of aviation and is adopting a comprehensive integrated approach that respects the principle of a level playing field globally. The joint development of transatlantic "Green Flights" with the FAA is one of the initiatives in favour of environment currently underway. Regarding the inclusion of aviation in the Emission Trading Scheme, the Commission hopes the US can be persuaded to enter such a system. The ICAO Assembly in September is seen as a test for this. It is hoped that third countries can see the quality of the European system. Between the EU and its neighbouring countries, a Single Aviation Area of 50 countries and 900 million people could gradually be created. According to Mr Barrot "We need to establish strong relations with key partners and growing traffic areas, notably Canada, China and India". Vice President Barrot also congratulated the ASD International Programmes on their success with their work done in India, Russia, China and South East Asia. Mr Barrot recognised the increased competition EU is facing in these regions and he was optimistic that the Commission will secure substantial funding of future programmes after 2007. Mr Barrot said he was grateful to the industry for setting up a bridging programme in the meantime. In fighting the dangers of climate change, Mr Barrot considers Clean Sky JTI as a cornerstone in the Commission's environment policy. He welcomed the industry commitment and assured the audience that he will personally undertake every effort to remove obstacles on the way to a recognition of the JTI Clean Sky. On the Galileo programme, Vice President Barrot stated that the project is clearly at a crossroad and unless the consortium behind Galileo comes up with a constructive business plan before the next Transport Council in May, alternative scenarios will have to be found. Industry commented that the EC and ESA should recognise the importance of technology developments within the Galileo Programme and the connected risk to the Companies, as well as the necessity for infrastructure to be financed entirely from the public funds thus allowing the industry to compete on a level playing field globally.
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Vought Aircraft Industries has signed a life-of-program contract extension with Airbus for various long-range aircraft wing packages. The new contract, with its provisions for increased delivery rates, has a potential total value of approximately $1 billion over the next five years. Under the contract, Vought continues to be the sole-source supplier to Airbus on the A330/A340 mid-and outboard leading edge assemblies, top panel assemblies, center spar assemblies and mid-rear spars as well as the A340-500/600 mid- and outboard leading edge assemblies, top skins and stringers, center spar assemblies and mid-rear spars. "This contract extension with Airbus is extremely important to us," said Neil Peace, Vought's Airbus program director. "We see it as a vote of confidence in our manufacturing capabilities and quality." In 1988, the company was awarded a contract to supply wing components for the A330/A340 aircraft. Initial deliveries began in 1990, with shipment of the 775th unit occurring this month. Today, about 600 Vought employees in Nashville work on the Airbus A330/340 program.  
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Austalian Defence has established the first contract valued at approximately AUD$2.9bn with the United States Navy for the acquisition of 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets and associated support systems. Additional cases will be established later this year for weapons acquisition and sustainment of the aircraft. The total program investment is approximately $6 billion over 10 years, which includes acquisition and all support costs as well as personnel. Australian personnel will begin Super Hornet training in the United States in 2009. The withdrawal of the F-111 is expected in 2010 with the F/A-18F Super Hornets to be operational that same year. The F/A-18F Super Hornet is a highly capable, battle proven, multi role aircraft that is currently in service with the US Navy through to 2030 and will ensure our air combat capability edge is maintained through the transition to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter over the next decade.  
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Orbital Sciences Corporation announced that it has been selected by Intelsat, LLC to design, build and deliver the Intelsat 15 (IS-15) commercial communications satellite. This satellite will be based on Orbital's flight-proven STAR 2 platform. The satellite will generate 4.6 kilowatts of payload power and carry 22 active Ku-band transponders. The Intelsat 15 satellite will be located in orbit at 85 degrees East longitude following its launch in early 2009. The Intelsat 15 satellite contract is the 20th Orbital geosynchronous commercial communications satellite ordered by customers throughout the world and will be the sixth in the Intelsat fleet. In addition to the IS-15 spacecraft, Intelsat also confirmed a contract to complete the Intelsat 16 (IS-16) spacecraft (formerly known as the PAS-11R prior to the merger of Intelsat and PanAmSat) that will serve as a ground spare for Intelsat 11. Since early 2006, Orbital has been working under an authorization from Intelsat to complete certain long-lead items on IS-16. Orbital will now complete the remaining manufacturing and testing activities required to deliver the satellite for launch in 2008.  
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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR), a United Technologies Corp. company, along with its X-51A team members -- U.S. Air Force, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), NASA and The Boeing Company -- successfully demonstrated operation and performance of the revolutionary X-1 scramjet engine in the first simulated flight at Mach 5 of the X-51A. "The X-1 engine is a breakthrough in hypersonic technology that will ultimately provide unprecedented range and speed for PWR customers," said Mike McKeon, PWR manager of hypersonics and advanced programs. "The performance of X-1 in a test environment has exceeded our predictions, and is a major step toward bringing hypersonic flight into practical use." The X-1 demonstrator engine, designated SJX61-1, is a hydrocarbon-fueled scramjet engine featuring X-51A flight hardware, including a Full Authority Digital Engine Controller (FADEC) to orchestrate complex fuel controls and transitions, and a closed-loop thermal management system in which JP-7 fuel both cools engine hardware and fuels the engine's combustor. Testing was conducted at NASA Langley Research Center's 8-Foot, High- Temperature Tunnel in Hampton, Va., from December 2006 through April 2007.  
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On 27 April 2007, Pawel Poncyljusz, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Economy, and René Oosterlinck, ESA Director of Legal Affairs and External Relations, signed the European Cooperating State Agreement in Warsaw. Poland is the fourth European Cooperating State (ECS) following Hungary (April 2003), Czech Republic (November 2003) and Romania (February 2006). Poland was one of the first Eastern European countries to conclude a Cooperation Agreement with ESA in the field of the peaceful use of outer space, signed in 1994, followed by another one in January 2002. Poland has a long-standing tradition in space activities. Polish institutions have participated as Co-investigators in almost all the ESA Science projects: Ulysses; ISO (archive data); SOHO; XMM (observing time; sarchive); Cluster; Double Star; Huygens; Mars Express; Herschel (hardware for the HIFI instrument); Planck; XEUS; Integral; Rosetta and BepiColombo. Polish researchers have also had some activities related to the ExoMars rover instruments. Polish Principal Investigators are very active with the utilisation of Envisat data. Training and several fellowships at ESA and Members States establishments have been granted to Polish students. Several students are currently involved in the ESA educational project known as the Student Space Exploration and Technology Initiative (SSETI).
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Upon the proposal of a shareholder, the Annual General Meeting of EADS has adopted a resolution to distribute the result of the year 2006 to the company's shareholders. As a result, shareholders of record on 10 May 2007 will receive Euro 0.12 per share, paid by the company on 16 May 2007. This constitutes an 81 percent decrease compared to the € 0.65 per share received for 2005. Some shareholders have indicated that they will leave the dividend they receive inside the company.
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Jet Aviation Basel recently expanded its maintenance and completions facility. By adding a new hangar, Basel now can perform simultaneous work on Airbus or Boeing wide-body aircraft and Dassault Falcon jets. In March 2007, Jet Aviation celebrated the grand-opening of a CHF 4,0 million hangar extension at its Basel facility. The 3,320 m2 (35,736 sq. ft.) hangar can accommodate wide-body aircraft up to the size of an Airbus A330 or Boeing 767 together with smaller business jets. This brings the total hangar space up to 23,000 square meters (247,300 sq. ft.). The latest extension was built in a record time of only six months from planning to finish. "This new hangar offers a significant increase of space to perform simultaneous completions work on Airbus or Boeing wide-body aircraft and Dassault Falcon jets", says Norbert Marx, senior vice president and general manager Jet Aviation Basel and continues: "With the move of the completions lines to the new hangar we have now more space available for aircraft maintenance to meet increased demand."
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Marking the second week working together, the Expedition 15 crew wrapped up a week of various maintenance tasks, science experiments and preparations for the May 15 arrival of the Progress 25 supply ship. To prepare for the new unpiloted cargo carrier's arrival, the currently docked Progress' engines were used to reboost the station Saturday. The move increases the number of rendezvous opportunities for the STS-117 space shuttle mission targeted for next month. Expedition 15 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and flight engineers Oleg Kotov and Suni Williams also removed the docking mechanism from the Progress 24 for later use.
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The executive board and the supervisory board of Thielert Aktiengesellschaft published the final results for the business year 2006 today in coordination with the auditor BDO Deutsche Warentreuhand AG. The figures published on 13 April 2007 have been confirmed in general. Thielert AG posted an increase in sales of 59.5 percent to EUR 59.9 million. The operating profit (EBIT) is presently at EUR 9.3 million and thus 29.6 percent above that of the year before. The EBT fell by 14.6 percent to EUR 7.8 million. The net profit was EUR 5.2 million (minus 31.8 percent). BDO has finished the audit at Thielert's site and has confirmed the final result. Now only the audit report has to be finalized and the presentation for the supervisory board has to be done. The drop in earnings can be attributed to the complete discounting of old accounts receivable of EUR 3.05 million, which were the object of some public criticism. Moreover, the sales revenues from development services in combined development and series delivery contracts is no longer being attributed to net income. In 2006, the Aircraft Engines Division made a contribution of EUR 31.5 million to overall earnings, an increase of 41.6 percent compared to the previous year. The earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell slightly in the reporting year by 1.8 percent to EUR 9.4 million. The operating profit (EBIT) in this segment was EUR 7.1 million and thus 8.9 percent below that of the previous value.
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