02.03.2009
FLUG REVUE

News update 2 March 2009News Update 2 March 2009 - News in Brief

Short stories from around the aerospace industry.<br />

Kurzmeldungen
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Lockheed Martin's second short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B Lightning II accomplished its first flight on Wednesday, Feb. 25. The aircraft, known as BF-2, joins a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35A and another STOVL F-35B that already have logged a combined total of 84 flights. During its flight on Wednesday, BF-2 went through a series of maneuvers to assess its subsystems and basic handling qualities, and to check on-board instrumentation. Subsequent missions will take the aircraft higher and faster, in a structured series of flights. All F-35 test aircraft to date have been powered by the Pratt & Whitney F135 turbofan, the most powerful engine ever to fly in a jet fighter.
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As earlier stated, in conjunction with the launch of the new governance structure for the SAS Group, SGS Finland is subject to an individual process for divestment or outsourcing. The SAS Group confirms that discussions regarding a possible take over of SGS Finland are currently ongoing with ISS. ISS Finland provides a wide range of facility services to the private and public sector. ISS offer high quality services related to Property Investment Services, Cleaning, Maintenance, Catering, Facility Services, Security Services and Technical Services. ISS employs over 12 000 people nationwide. ISS Finland is part of the international ISS Group, www.iss.fi  www.issworld.com  ISS has extensive knowledge of providing support services to airline companies and is committed to the long-term future of developing personnel rich services for the needs of airline business. Therefore, investing in ground services is a logical next step for ISS.
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AgustaWestland and CAE announced that AgustaWestland AW139 initial helicopter type rating and recurrent training is now available in Morristown, New Jersey, USA. The training programs are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under part 142. The AgustaWestland program utilizes a newly approved Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certified Level D AW139 full-flight simulator, located at CAE's Northeast Training Center (NETC). The addition of the AW139 program in the North East United States dramatically increases the full-flight simulator capacity available for AW139 customers and allows AgustaWestland to provide its growing AW139 customer base with Level D simulator training close to their home base. The simulator is configured with the upgraded 4-axis autopilot system, thereby utilizing the latest training technologies to improve safety, reduce pilot workload and lessen overall cost of AW139 ownership.
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) to Carson Helicopter Services for installation of a five display configuration of Sagem Avionics, Inc. (SAFRAN Group) Integrated Cockpit Display System (ICDS) in the modernized Sikorsky S-61 helicopter. The glass panel solution was integrated in Langley, B.C., Canada, by Vector Aerospace. The S-61 solution includes four Active Matrix Light Crystal Display (AMLCD) 10-inch displays mounted in portrait mode and one in landscape mode. The system integrates Primary Flight Instruments, EICAS -Engine Instruments/Caution Advisory System and other Multifunction Display system functions such as moving maps, enhanced vision when linked to a camera, TOPS – Terrain Obstacle Proximity System, route information, etc.
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The German government has awarded GE Aviation and GE's Global Research Center with an aviation research grant valued at more than $1 million to develop an advanced "cold-spray" manufacturing technology for jet engine components. Development begins this year at GE's Global Research Center Europe in Munich working with Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg and leading German technology companies, and continues from 2009 through 2011. GE's objective is to begin producing engine components with the new technology in 2012 at GE Aviation's pilot manufacturing site in Regensburg. This research grant, awarded through Germany's Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, is the first ever received by GE Aviation and GE Global Research from the German federal government. "New manufacturing processes are critical in enhancing modern jet engines, as well as managing the costs associated with producing them," said Bob Schafrik, GE Aviation's general manager of material and process engineering. "We are thrilled to win the support of the German government. Cold-spray technology is still in its infancy for producing bulk parts. The co-operation of industrial R&D centers with university and technology partners as well as the support from the German government will drive this innovation."
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Lockheed Martin's Video from Unmanned Aerial Systems for Interoperability Teaming - Level 2 (VUITTM-2) for Apache technology recently began operational use in theater. The VUIT-2 system advanced from design to production in less than seven months to accommodate a rapid fielding request from the U.S. Army Vice Chief of Staff. "VUIT-2 has proven its worth in combat operations," said Col. Eric Peterson, brigade commander of the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB). The 1-10 Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (ARB), a component of the 10th CAB, was the first VUIT-2-equipped unit and deployed with the system in late 2008. VUIT-2 provides Apache aircrews with real-time streaming battlefield video and metadata from unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) on cockpit multi-purpose displays, enhancing situational awareness, providing real-time intelligence validation, reducing the sensor-to-shooter timeline and improving effectiveness against time-critical targets.
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Jeppesen announced that Continental Airlines has successfully completed the world's first flight using Jeppesen Airport Moving Map on a Class 2 Electronic Flight Bag (EFB). Also on board were Jeppesen digital charts. Continental plans an aggressive retrofit deployment of navAero Class 2 EFB systems starting with 12 airplanes the first month, leading to deployment on all Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft. Combined with Class 3 EFBs already deployed on Boeing 777 aircraft, Continental will have EFBs with Jeppesen Airport Moving Map and Jeppesen digital charts on most of its fleet. Jeppesen was granted FAA Technical Standard Order (TSO) authorization for its Airport Moving Map application for Class 2 EFB devices in March 2008, and is the first and only company to have received such approval. Jeppesen Airport Moving Map uses a high resolution database to dynamically render maps of the airport, and through the use of GPS technology, show pilots their position ("own-ship") on the airport surface. The result is much improved positional awareness among flight crews, which is a critical safety factor for reducing runway incursions during ground operations, especially at busy commercial airports with complex runway and taxiway layouts.
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Wiley Rein partner H. Jason Gold, the court-authorized liquidating trustee for the bankruptcy estate of Dornier Aviation (North America), Inc. (DANA), announced today that the bankruptcy court has approved a full and final settlement of all litigation and disputes with Hainan Airlines, a major international airline based in China. Hainan has paid the trustee $14,950,000 in consideration of the settlement and Gold is now moving to dismiss all legal actions filed against Hainan. The trustee had brought suit back in December 2003 and final judgment was obtained in August of last year to recover unpaid accounts. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven S. Mitchell presided over the case and approved the settlement. "We are pleased to have reached this compromise and settlement with Hainan. The funds recently paid will now allow us to pay in full the claims asserted by the creditors of the bankrupt company Dornier Aviation of North America, including numerous individuals and American companies, large and small," said Gold.
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NASA has awarded an interim letter contract to Oceaneering International Inc. of Houston to begin work on the design, development and production of a new spacesuit system for the Constellation Program. The system will protect astronauts during voyages to the International Space Station and exploration of the moon's surface. The letter contract requires Oceaneering International to begin work on the basic period of performance while NASA and the company negotiate the contract's final terms. The current award amount for the performance of the letter contract is limited to $9.6 million. It will become effective March 2 and be in effect until the full contract is defined, no later than Aug. 29, 2009.
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Boeing on Feb. 25 transferred the third KC-767J tanker to the company's Japanese partner, Itochu Corp., for delivery to the Japan Ministry of Defense (MOD) and Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). When Itochu officially delivers the aircraft in March, it will join two KC-767J tankers that Japan received in 2008. The KC-767J departed Boeing's tanker modification center in Wichita on a 12-hour, nonstop flight to Gifu, Japan, near Nagoya. Delivery to the MOD and JASDF will follow a final formal review and in-country acceptance processes. Japan has ordered four convertible tanker/freighter KC-767Js, which provide flexibility in carrying cargo or passengers while maintaining their primary role as aerial refueling tankers. The KC-767 tanker, a military derivative of the proven 767-200 commercial airplane, features Boeing's advanced aerial refueling boom and Remote Aerial Refueling Operator II system.
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Boeing announced delivery of the first CH-47F Chinook manufactured under a five-year U.S. Army contract awarded in August 2008. The helicopter will be assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., the fourth unit scheduled to be equipped under the Army's ongoing Chinook modernization program. Under the multiyear contract, Boeing will deliver 24 aircraft in 2009 and then begin a graduated delivery rate through successive years, culminating in 2015. The multiyear contract also contains priced options for an additional 24 aircraft, for a total of up to 215 Chinooks.
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Boeing is pleased that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced its intent to acquire the C-17 Globemaster III, the world's most advanced airlifter. The C-17 continues to serve as the backbone of international airlift missions, supporting numerous humanitarian-relief and peacekeeping efforts around the world. We look forward to partnering with the UAE as it strengthens its airlift capabilities with the C-17, which remains unequaled in performance, versatility and reliability.
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Phil Friedman announced the formation of New Eclipse Acquisition LLC ("New Eclipse") which intends to bid for the assets of Eclipse Aviation Corporation in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings. Mr. Friedman is an experienced aerospace executive who has turned around several companies over his 28 year career. He is currently CEO of Harlow Aerostructures LLC in Wichita, KS which manufactures electro mechanical and structural assemblies for many OEM's in the aircraft industry. Peter Reed, former CFO of Eclipse for seven years, is part of Friedman's team and has actively participated in developing the New Eclipse business plan over the past several months. "Employment levels over the next 24 months should be about 400 people as we upgrade and service the fleet," said Friedman. "After the engineers have upgraded the avionics to the latest functionality, reduced manufacturing costs, and we have re-established relationships with the supplier base, we plan to restart new aircraft production in 2011 at modest levels, approximately 100 aircraft per year with pricing in the $2.4 million range. At that point employment will increase to approximately 600 people."
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The first Lockheed Martin production VH-71 Presidential Helicopter has completed initial ground vibration testing on schedule at the end of January at the Navy's Presidential Helicopter Support Facility in Patuxent River, MD. The testing was conducted on a pre-missionized aircraft to test the basic airframe. Pilot Production One (PP-1) spent roughly six weeks undergoing a series of tests intended to assess the airframe's vibration characteristics. As a production representative aircraft, the results will be used as a baseline measurement for all five VH-71 production helicopters that make up the first phase, or Increment One, of the VH-71 Presidential Helicopter Program, and to refine models used for structural analysis.
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Sikorsky Global Helicopters, the newly re-branded commercial programs group, celebrated at Heli-Expo the first deposit agreements on its newest product, the S-434 helicopter. Sikorsky has seven confirmed customer deposit agreements for aircraft deliveries valued in excess of $8 million if converted to delivery contracts. The S-434 is the next iteration of the S-333 helicopter, incorporating many of the design and performance technologies developed on the Fire Scout VTUAV (Vertical Takeoff Unmanned Aerial Vehicle).
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Dassault Falcon announced that the Falcon 7X recently received approval for arrivals and departures at London City Airport (LCY) in London, England. The 7X offers the most range and cabin size of any business jet permitted to fly into and out of London City and links the heart of one of the world's largest financial centers with nonstop access to the United States, Europe and the Middle East. "Flying into London City was a goal from the early development of the Falcon 7X program," said John Rosanvallon, President and CEO of Dassault Falcon. "During these times, speed, access and efficiency are paramount to all of our customers and this approval will help ensure 7X operators can remain one step ahead of their competition."
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Iridium Satellite LLC (Iridium) announced financial results for the quarter and the year ended December 31, 2008.  Fourth quarter results included approximately 320,000 subscribers, revenue of $76.8 million, operational EBITDA of $25.0 million and net income of $1.5 million. As of December 31, 2008, Iridium had approximately 320,000 subscribers worldwide, an increase of 37% over the December 31, 2007 total of approximately 234,000. Revenue for the year 2008 was $320.9 million, a 23% increase over 2007 revenues of $260.9 million. Operational EBITDA for the year 2008 was $108.2 million, a 42% increase compared to operational EBITDA of $76.5 million for 2007.[1] For 2008, Iridium posted $53.9 million in net income, a 23% increase over 2007.  During 2008, Iridium experienced growth in revenue for the full year in all of its verticals: handsets; industrial, maritime and aviation; machine-to-machine (M2M) and government. Iridium's 2008 record revenues of $320.9 million were driven by strong growth in all three of its key markets: commercial services; government services; and subscriber equipment.  Commercial services revenue was $133.2 million for the year, a 32% increase over the $101.2 million of revenues in 2007.  Subscriber equipment revenue was $119.9 million for 2008, an 18 % increase over the $101.9 million of revenue for the prior year.  Government services revenue was $67.8 million for 2008, a 17% increase over the $57.9 million of revenue for 2007.
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AS Estonian Air, in which the SAS Group owns 49% of the shares, has resolved to conduct a rights offering of approximately EUR 7.3 million in order to provide for additional liquidity to fund the future cash flow and capital requirements of the company. The SAS Group will, in order to seek to protect the value of its ownership stake in Estonian Air, participate in the rights offering and subscribe for its pro rata portion of the shares to be issued in the rights offering, by converting EUR 2.4 million of outstanding loans to Estonian Air into equity in the company and by a cash payment of EUR 1.2 million. The other shareholders of Estonian Air, the Estonian state (34%) and AS Cresco (17%), have undertaken to participate in the rights offering and subscribe for their respective pro rata portions of the shares to be issued in the rights offering. The SAS Group intends to proceed with its plans to divest its interest in Estonian Air in accordance with Core SAS.
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NASA has selected three companies to receive a subsonic rotary wing technology development contract valued at $40 million. The companies sharing the award are Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. Of Hurst, Texas; The Boeing Company of Chicago; and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. of Stratford, Conn. This is a cost plus fixed fee, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract with a five-year period of performance beginning Feb. 25, 2009. The work will be performed for NASA's Subsonic Rotary Wing Project, which the Fundamental Aeronautics Program of NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington funds and manages. Under the terms of the contract, the three companies will compete on task orders to provide research and development support. The support areas include advanced rotorcraft technologies, rotorcraft requirements in the Next Generation Air Traffic Management System, prognostics and health management, advanced rotorcraft configurations, research flight testing, wind tunnel test stands, hardware gear testing components, rotorcraft drive system sensitivity studies, avionic processor equipment and Global Positioning System upgrades, engineering analyses of advanced concepts, subject matter expert review, and advanced cockpit and crew station research.
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NASA's Space Shuttle Program has established a plan that could support shuttle Discovery's launch to the International Space Station, tentatively targeted for March 12. An exact target launch date will be determined as work progresses with the shuttle's three gaseous hydrogen flow control valves. At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians have started removing Discovery's three valves, two of which will undergo detailed inspection. Approximately 4,000 images of each valve will be reviewed for evidence of cracks. Valves that have flown fewer times will be installed in Discovery. Engineering teams also will complete analysis and testing to understand the consequences if a valve piece were to break off and strike pressurization lines between the shuttle and external fuel tank. Hardware modifications may be made to the pressurization lines to add extra protection in the unlikely event debris is released.
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Rockwell Collins announced the completion of the first Pro Line 4 to Pro Line 21 upgrade on a Falcon 50EX by Duncan Aviation. This major retrofit program first announced in November 2007, uses existing Pro Line 4 equipment along with key Pro Line 21 equipment to provide the upgraded functionality. "Successfully upgrading and certifying our Pro Line 21 solution for Falcon 50EX aircraft marks an important milestone for Rockwell Collins and Duncan Aviation as we work to bring glass cockpit technology to a growing number of existing aircraft," said Greg Irmen, vice president and general manager, Business and Regional Systems for Rockwell Collins. "Falcon 50EX owners and operators can now experience the added situational awareness and operational efficiencies that our Pro Line 21 solution offers. We intend to expand this offering to other platforms in the future as well."
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Satellites orbiting the Earth must occasionally be nudged to stay on the correct path. MIT scientists are developing a new rocket that could make this and other spacecraft maneuvers much less costly, a consideration of growing importance as more private companies start working in space. The new system, called the Mini-Helicon Plasma Thruster, is much smaller than other rockets of its kind and runs on gases that are much less expensive than conventional propellants. As a result, it could slash fuel consumption by 10 times that of conventional systems used for the same applications, said Oleg Batishchev, a principal research scientist in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and leader of the work. The propulsion systems currently used for maintaining a satellite's orbit, pushing a spacecraft from one orbit to another, and otherwise maneuvering in space rely on chemical reactions that occur within the fuel, releasing energy that ultimately propels the object.  Although such systems have brought humans to the moon and are regularly used in a variety of other applications, they have limitations. For example, chemical rockets are expensive largely due to the amount of fuel they use. As a result, engineers have been developing alternative, non-chemical rockets. In these, an external source of electrical energy is used to accelerate the propellant that provides the thrust for moving a craft through space. Such non-chemical rockets have been successfully used by NASA and the European Space Agency in missions including NASA's Deep Space 1, which involved the flyby of a comet and asteroid. 
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Upon proposal of the CEO of EADS Louis Gallois, the Board of Directors of EADS has appointed Domingo Ureña-Raso as the new Head of Airbus Military, Member of the EADS Executive Committee and Chairman of EADS CASA, replacing Carlos Suárez. He will be further appointed as member of the Airbus Executive Committee. Carlos Suárez, whose achievements as head of MTAD are recognized, will be offered a senior position consistent with his extensive experience in the coming days. On 16 December 2008, in the framework of the « Future EADS » programme, the Board of EADS decided to integrate the Military Transport Aircraft Division (MTAD) with Airbus, and to create Airbus Military in charge of all military transport aircraft. The integration is conducted in the interest of organizational efficiency – particularly a leaner and simpler A400M program organization. It will ensure the responsibility and accountability of Airbus Military. Domingo Ureña-Raso will report to Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus.
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Barco has reached a new milestone in the avionics display market with the attainment of its 80th reference platform. Barco's latest accomplishment is an agreement with Honeywell to supply custom-built avionics displays for installation on the Dassault Falcon 900 business aircraft. The contract is part of an upgrade program that will equip the Falcon 900 jets with an advanced Honeywell Primus 2000XP flight deck. “The advanced Barco DU-875 displays will help provide Falcon 900 operators with increased situational awareness, efficiency and safety,” said Yves Vanhauwaert, General Manager Avionics at Barco. “In addition, they will bring extensive growth capabilities for future avionics functionalities.”
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GKN Aerospace engineers in Germany and the UK have successfully reached the next stage in the development of the A350 XWB 's advanced composite rear wing spar - with the production, on schedule, of high quality prototype composite spars for Airbus' A350 XWB wing box demonstrator. This achievement represents the latest milestone in GKN Aerospace's work package for the A350 XWB - announced in September last year.  This package gives GKN Aerospace responsibility for the development and supply of the composite spars and fixed trailing edge assemblies for the wings of this aircraft. Composites development work is being undertaken by GKN Aerospace engineering teams in Munich and on the Isle of Wight and Filton in the UK, with the prototype assembly taking place at Yeovil, in the UK.  The series manufacture of the composite spars and the trailing edge assemblies will be undertaken by the GKN Aerospace - Filton workforce using a new state of the art manufacturing facility which the Company is now equipping for the task.
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NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite failed to reach orbit after its 4:55 a.m. EST liftoff Tuesday from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base. Preliminary indications are that the fairing on the Taurus XL launch vehicle failed to separate. The fairing is a clamshell structure that encapsulates the satellite as it travels through the atmosphere. A Mishap Investigation Board will be immediately convened to determine the cause of the launch failure.
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An innovative coating system that is extending the life of U.S. Army BLACK HAWK helicopter main rotor blades may soon be available for commercial helicopters. Kaman Helicopters, in conjunction with Hontek Corp., will discuss the benefits of Hontek Sprayable Erosion Coatings with commercial operators this week during Heli-Expo 2009 in Anaheim, Calif. The coating has proven effective on BLACK HAWK helicopters in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the company now plans to offer a variant of this proven technology to commercial operators.
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Bell Helicopter provided a status update on a wide range of activities surrounding the 429 development program. According to Danny Maldonado, senior vice president of Customer Support and Chief Service Officer at Bell, "There is so much more to building a new helicopter than just producing the aircraft. Over the past three years we have had teams of people working to make sure the proper support structure will be in place to ensure our customers get the training and logistical support they will need to successfully operate the 429." Neil Marshall, commercial program director for the 429 program stated, "As we approach the certification date we are working internally to coordinate our efforts to support this helicopter from day one so our customers receive the world-class customer support they have come to expect from Bell Helicopter. The 429's maximum airspeed in level flight with maximum continuous power (Vh) has improved from 142 to 150 knots with skid gear. Maximum range at Vh has increased from 312nm (578km) to 332nm (615km), Virc (long range cruise) range has increased from 350nm (648km) to 368nm (682km) and maximum endurance from 3.8 to 4 hours. The 429's HIGE has grown from 11,000 ft (3353 m) to 14,130 ft (4307 m) and HOGE from 9,300 ft (2835m) to 11,280 ft (3444 m).
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The first wing section for the new fleet of Airbus A330-200 tankers that will replace the RAF's TriStar and VC-10 aircraft was wheeled out of its North Wales hangar yesterday. Report by Steve Willmot. The huge wing section was loaded onto a giant Beluga aircraft at Airbus UK's Broughton plant before flying to France, where the new tanker aircraft for the RAF are being assembled, for the wing to be attached to its fuselage. Fourteen A330-200-based tanker aircraft were ordered last year under a £13 billion PFI (Private Finance Initiative) deal with AirTanker Ltd. The Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) will fly in RAF 'colours' and undertake RAF air-to-air and passenger air transport tasks. The contract allows AirTanker to operate the aircraft on commercial tasks when not required for military duties. Minister for Defence Equipment and Support Quentin Davies said: "The A330s will provide a state-of-the-art, air-to-air tanker and passenger aircraft supporting air operations around the world and the delivery of British forces to operational theatres.”
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Prioritization and “incredible attention to detail” have restored “nuclear surety” in the US Air Force, the general in charge of the service's nuclear program said. Nuclear surety is the equipment, people and processes aimed at ensuring the safety, security, reliability and control of nuclear weapons. After an erosion of the nuclear process that began at the end of the Cold War, Maj. Gen. Roger Burg, commander of the 20th Air Force, said he feels the service is back on track, even though the required standards to pass a nuclear surety inspection have never changed. What is different, he said, is how the service has applied the standards. “I will say our application of those standards has changed dramatically,” Burg said. “And our oversight of any problems identified in the inspections has changed dramatically.” It wasn't until a B-52 bomber from Minot Air Force Base flew nuclear-tipped missiles cross-country to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., in October 2007 that nuclear surety became a newsworthy topic, Burg said.
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Rolls-Royce and Bell Helicopter have signed a ten-year agreement, valued at up to $400 million for the supply of Model 250 engines for Bell 206 and 407 helicopters. As part of this agreement, Model 250 engines will be delivered to Bell Helicopter through 2017. Ken Roberts, President of Rolls-Royce Helicopter Engines, said: “We have delivered more than 18,000 Model 250 engines for use on single and twin-engine helicopters to Bell over the last decades. During those years, Bell and Rolls-Royce have worked together to keep Model 250-powered aircraft at the forefront of the helicopter industry through continued investment and the introduction of new technology. This new ten-year agreement is a commitment to build upon that valued and successful partnership.”
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Rolls-Royce, which offers one of the broadest power ranges for helicopter turboshaft engines in the world, today forecast a market characterized by near-term softness followed by a resumption of growth. Over the ten year period total helicopter deliveries are predicted to be more than 15,000 units, a slight increase on the company's market forecast in February 2008. Ken Roberts, President of the Rolls-Royce Helicopter Engine business, said: “The projection of deliveries in the short-term shows that the industry will not escape the economic downturn, but will remain quite resilient overall. The market will exhibit strong demand by 2013, indicative of its underlying strength.”
The Rolls-Royce market forecast projects deliveries of more than 15,000 turbine helicopters, valued at around $130 billion for the airframes and around $12 billion for engines, during the ten year period ranging 2009-2018. The civil unit market forecast has increased by five per cent compared to the previous year's projection, primarily due to new entry-level turbine helicopters. The market units now stand at around 9,000 civil helicopters to be delivered during the ten year period, with an overall airframe value estimated to be about $26 billion and engine value around $4 billion. “With the oil and gas industry, police, air ambulance and defense ministries all looking for new, purpose-built aircraft, the demand for and benefits of helicopter usage are clear,” said Roberts. The Rolls-Royce market forecast also projects approximately 6,000 new military helicopter deliveries during the ten year period, with an airframe value of around $104 billion and installed engine value of around $8 billion.
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Rolls-Royce announced its sixth new civil engine program in less than three years with the introduction of a new turboshaft engine, the RR500TS. This is a further step in the Group's strategy of creating new market opportunities by expanding its portfolio of engines, already one of the most extensive in the aerospace industry. The 500 shaft horsepower (shp) RR500TS shares a high degree of commonality with the RR500 turboprop which was unveiled at EAA AirVenture in 2008. In addition to offering more power at take-off and in hot-and-high conditions than existing engines in this class, the RR500TS will deliver operational benefits to users through extended engine overhaul intervals and lower total ownership costs. The RR500 core is a scaled version of the RR300, which was launched in 2007 to power the Robinson R66. The RR300 was certified in late 2007 and is now in production.
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Northrop Grumman Corporation's MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) program moves closer to Operational Evaluation (OpEval) with a recent U.S. Navy modification award to a previous firm fixed-price contract for the procurement of three VTUAV systems. This award, for an amount not to exceed $40 million, is the last of three planned low-rate initial production (LRIP) buys. The Navy authorized an LRIP 1 contract to Northrop Grumman for the Fire Scout VTUAV program in June 2007. The program achieved a series of program milestones and the Navy awarded an LRIP 2 contract in September 2008.
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It was announced that the current CEO of Eurofighter, Aloysius Rauen will be leaving the company at the end of April 2009. Herr Rauen, who has been the Head of Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH for five years, will be moving to take up the position of CEO for Demag Cranes AG from the 1st May 2009. Prior to joining Eurofighter GmbH, Aloysius Rauen was President and CEO of the EADS (European Aeronautics Defence and Space Company) Military Aircraft Unit.
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Bombardier Aerospace confirmed that a firm order for six CRJ700 NextGen regional jets plus 10 options, which was previously announced on March 20, 2008, was placed by GoJet Airlines of St. Louis, Missouri. The airline had requested to remain unidentified at the time of the announcement. Based on the list price for the CRJ700 NextGen aircraft, the value of the firm order contract is approximately $207 million U.S.
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The US Air Force and Army chiefs of staff signed a plan recently in Washington, D.C., taking the two services one step closer to supporting the full spectrum of conflict with their larger, multirole unmanned aircraft. Military officials presented the Army/Air Force Multirole Unmanned Aircraft System Enabling Concept to leaders at the Army/Air Force Warfighter's Conference. Major Gen. Frank Gorenc, the Air Combat Command air and space operations director, and Brig. Gen. Walter Davis, the aviation director of the Army Training and Doctrine Command prepared the doctrine for the services after a year of joint development. "This is a major step forward," General Gorenc said. "The presentation was well received and the concept embraced by both chiefs of service as a way to better utilized UAS operations in the fight." The enabling concept, also known as "Task 11," outlines the effects, capabilities and missions both the Army and the Air Force are to develop as their UAS programs move forward. Specifically, both services are now required to support the joint forces commander across the full spectrum of conflict. Operations such as air interdiction in the early phases of a conflict, to direct support to maneuver units during the security phase and everything in between will be supported by either service. The concept specifies that both Army and Air Force theater-capable, multirole UAS forces will be able to support either a ground or air commander.
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Cessna announced it has gained full type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for the 400 Corvalis TT high performance, single-engine piston aircraft. “This is a significant milestone for Cessna, opening a market that has been clamoring for a new, high-performance aircraft like the 400 Corvalis TT,” said John Doman, vice president, Worldwide Propeller Aircraft Sales. “This aircraft is perfectly suited for Europe, both as a business aircraft with comfortable seating for four people and their luggage, and for personal use with a range of some 1,250 nautical miles (2,315 km), allowing fast, convenient trips to anywhere in Europe in a matter of hours.”
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