Aurora Flight Sciences Rolls Out Orion UAS

lunes, 22 de noviembre de 2010

Aurora Flight Sciences today unveiled the Orion unmanned aerial system, a flight vehicle demonstrator that will stay aloft for up to five days. Orion was selected by the US Air Force Research Laboratory in late August to meet the objectives of the Medium Altitude Global ISR and Communications (MAGIC) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD).

“Orion was developed under the MAGIC JCTD program to meet CENTCOM’s urgent operational need and deliver this capability rapidly to our nation’s war fighters,” said Aurora CEO John Langford at today’s ceremony.

The MAGIC JCTD is sponsored by US CENTCOM to meet its demands for persistent ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance). The JCTD’s goal is to demonstrate five day flight of the Orion UAS at 20,000 feet with 1,000 pounds of payload. In the JCTD ranking process last year, five US Combatant Commands ranked Orion as their number one priority.

US Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker attended the Orion rollout ceremony today. “We can be proud that Aurora’s facility in Columbus is giving our Armed Forces an unmanned aerial vehicle with the potential for new surveillance capabilities,” said Cochran, vice chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. “Aurora has once again demonstrated the innovation and can-do spirit of its Mississippi workforce by producing the first Orion only ninety days after receiving the contract award,” said Wicker. “This will provide help for our troops on an expedited basis.”

“Orion is a model for several of the new acquisition efficiency goals recently announced by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates”, said John Tylko, Aurora’s Vice President for Development. “It uses open system architectures to support a continuous competitive environment. It involves dynamic small businesses in key roles in defense acquisition. It helps restore competition, affordability and productivity in defense spending and it encourages the rapid assimilation of disruptive technologies.”

The Orion vehicle rolled out today will be the first to be flight-tested to demonstrate endurance flights of 120 hours. Orion’s first flight will take place in mid 2011. Orion was developed under the sponsorship of both the US Air Force Research Laboratory and the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command and with Aurora private funding.

About Aurora Flight Sciences

Aurora Flight Sciences designs and builds robotic aircraft and other advanced aerospace vehicles for scientific and military applications. Aurora is headquartered in Manassas, VA and operates production plants in Bridgeport, WV and Columbus, MS and a Research and Development Center in Cambridge, MA. To view recent press releases and more about Aurora please visit our web site at


USAF retrasa la decisión sobre el contrato hasta 2011

Las Fuerzas Armadas de Estados Unidos retrasarán su decisión sobre conceder a Boeing o EADS la adjudicación de un contrato, valorado en 35.000 millones de dólares, para la construcción de aviones cisternas, según un portavoz militar citado por Bloomberg.


Boeing Proposes Embraer Link In Bid For Brazil Contract / Boeing ofrece asociación a Embraer para fabricar avión caza

Boeing is offering to partner with Brazil's Embraer on a new fighter jet, in an effort to strengthen its bid for a multi-billion-dollar Brazilian defense contract, the U.S. manufacturer said in a report Nov. 22.

Joseph McAndrew, Boeing's vice president for Europe, Israel and America, told business publication Valor that the firm proposed 10 partnership projects with Brazil's aviation leader, including building a new plant in the country to build parts for Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet.

La aeronáutica estadounidense Boeing ofreció al fabricante Embraer una asociación para la construcción de partes de su avión caza, que compite con otras dos empresas por un contrato con el estado brasileño, informó un directivo de la empresa al diario Valor de este lunes.

Según Joseph T. McAndrew, vicepresidente de Boeing para Europa, Israel y América, el fabricante ofreció un paquete de diez proyectos de asociación a la firma brasileña, que incluye la construcción de una fábrica en Brasil que proveería piezas necesarias a la construcción del caza F/A-18 Super Hornet.


Boeing Phantom Ray Completes Low-speed Taxi Tests

The Boeing [NYSE: BA] Phantom Ray unmanned airborne system successfully completed low-speed taxi tests on Nov. 18 at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis.

"Phantom Ray did exactly what it was supposed to do," said Craig Brown, Phantom Ray program manager for Boeing. "It communicated with the ground control station, received its orders and made its way down the runway multiple times, allowing us to assess its performance and monitor the advanced systems on board."

The tests were the first for the Phantom Ray following its rollout ceremony in May. Boeing now will prepare Phantom Ray to travel to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on top of one of NASA’s modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. At Edwards, Phantom Ray will undergo high-speed taxi tests before making its first flight. The flight-test program will last approximately six months.

"The autonomous nature of this system is unique, so achieving this milestone speaks volumes about the technology and expertise of Boeing, the Phantom Works organization and the Phantom Ray team," said Dave Koopersmith, vice president, Advanced Boeing Military Aircraft.
Phantom Ray is designed to support potential missions that may include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; suppression of enemy air defenses; electronic attack; strike; and autonomous aerial refueling.



A350 XWB longest fuselage panel successfully manufactured

Airbus partner, Spirit AeroSystems, has completed the curing of one of the panels that make up the longest section of the A350 XWB’s all carbon fibre fuselage. The 19.7 metre long, 77 square metre centre fuselage “crown” panel was cured at Spirit’s Kinston, North Carolina (USA) site. In the coming weeks, the panel will undergo trimming, drilling and non-destructive inspection.

This latest A350 XWB industrial milestone illustrates the sound progress being made as the first components for the first aircraft are being manufactured both at Airbus and Airbus’ partners’ sites around the globe. Another recent production achievement for the A350 XWB was the successful cure of the first forward fuselage section crown panel that took place in Nordenham (Germany) in September by Premium Aerotech.



The Airbus Military A400M new generation airlifter has been recognised by leading US magazine Popular Science as one of the major innovations in the aviation world in 2010.

Airbus Military is honoured to receive this accolade from a magazine which is one of the world´s foremost science publications for a general audience, with more than 1.1 million subscribers.

Editor-in-chief Mark Jannot says: “For 23 years, Popular Science has honoured the innovations that surprise and amaze us − those that make a positive impact on our world today and challenge our views of what’s possible in the future.

“The Best of What’s New Award is the magazine’s top honour, and the 100 winners − chosen from among thousands of entrants − represent the highest level of achievement in their fields.”

In its citation, Popular Science highlights the A400M´s remarkable load-carrying capability allied to its ability to operate from front-line airfields.

The magazine comments: “The A400M can haul two attack helicopters or 116 soldiers, while remaining manoeuvrable enough to get in and out of the front lines quickly. The relatively lightweight carbon-composite wings keep the plane’s weight low enough (the exact figure is a trade secret) that, when equipped with reinforced shocks, rugged tyres and debris-resistant turboprops, the A400M can land on and take off from dirt and gravel runways. Yet the craft can carry 80,000 pounds, nearly twice as much as the rival Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules.”

Read Popular Science´s full report on the Best of What´s New 2010 at: