Pratt & Whitney Delivers First Production F135 Short Take Off Vertical Landing Engine

jueves, 9 de diciembre de 2010

EAST HARTFORD, Conn., Dec. 9, 2010 – Pratt & Whitney has delivered the first production F135 Short Take Off/Vertical Landing (STOVL) engine for the F-35 Lightning II, a major milestone and clear demonstration that the F135 STOVL propulsion system has transitioned from development to production. Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company.

“The F135 engine program accomplishments this year have been historical, and this first production STOVL delivery milestone demonstrates our commitment to fielding the most advanced military jet engine technology to the benefit of the war fighter,” said Bennett Croswell, vice president of F119/F135 Engine Programs for Pratt & Whitney. “We are particularly proud to be producing the most advanced propulsion systems ever built and that they will be used by the United States Marine Corp and our allies.”

The Pratt & Whitney F135 continues its steady progress through development testing and validation, into full production and sustainment. The F135 propulsion system has powered 509 flights and more than 740 flight test hours to date. The F135 has also completed more than 20,000 hours of testing - 3,600 test hours during the concept demonstration phase, 15,800 test hours during development and more than 700 hours powering the F-35 Lightning II flight test program. The Conventional Takeoff and Landing (CTOL) / Carrier Variant (CV) engine received Initial Service Release (ISR) in February 2010 indicating that the engine has met the ISR requirements for safety, reliability, durability and performance, and that it is now cleared for use in the field. Pratt & Whitney has delivered all F135 flight test engines required for the program as well as 11 production engines, which includes the first STOVL F135 delivery. The STOVL F135 engine has completed all required testing and is on track to receive ISR certification before the end of the year.

“With both the CTOL and STOVL variant F135 engines in production and performing well in flight test, it is clear that the F135 has demonstrated and earned its position as the Department of Defense’s propulsion system of choice for the F-35 Lightning II,” Croswell said.

Pratt & Whitney, the only engine manufacturer producing fifth-generation propulsion systems, has designed, developed and tested the F135 to deliver this advanced fighter engine capability to the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy and our allies. The F135 is derived from proven technology of the only operational fifth-generation fighter engine, the Pratt & Whitney F119 that exclusively powers the F-22 with more than 375,000 engine hours. It has been further enhanced with technologies developed in several Air Force and Navy technology demonstration programs.

The F135 propulsion system has proven through extensive ground and flight test experience that it can meet diverse aircraft requirements for armed forces around the world. The Pratt & Whitney F135 engine continues to be the only engine powering the successful Lockheed Martin F-35 flight test program.



Airbus supports TAM Airlines, Curcas and Brasil Ecodiesel to establish renewable jet fuel processing plant and biofuel ‘value-chain’ in Brazil

Airbus together with TAM Airlines and a group of specialist companies are working to establish a bio-kerosene jet-fuel processing plant in Brazil, aiming to gradually substitute fossil fuel in aviation with biofuel. On November 22nd a major milestone was accomplished when TAM Airlines and Airbus performed the first Jatropha-based biofuel flight in Latin America, using an Airbus A320 aircraft.

The group of companies is led by Curcas which specialises in Brazilian renewable energy project development, and the Brazilian biofuel producer, Brasil Ecodiesel. In parallel, Airbus and AirBP – the jet fuel distribution unit of BP – are providing their support to the project.

“Airbus is bringing together farmers, oil-refiners and airlines to spearhead the commercialisation of sustainable biofuel production in Brazil and worldwide,” says Paul Nash, Airbus head of New Energies. “As well as analysing the suitability of potential biofuels for aviation, Airbus is also supporting life-cycle and sustainability projects to ensure that any CO2 emissions-reducing solutions have a positive ‘social’ impact and do not compete with local resources including land, food or water,” he added.

The initiative which began in 2009, involved TAM acquiring sufficient jatropha-based oil to conduct the A320 demonstration flight. The jatropha grains produced by farmers throughout agricultural areas in Brazil, were refined through an oil extraction process and exported to the US, where it was processed into bio-kerosene by UOP LLC (a Honeywell Company) to make a 50:50 blend with regular aviation kerosene.

Curcas’ CEO Rafael Abud said: “We are working on an integrated collaborative approach by putting together strong partners from the aviation and the biofuels segments with the purpose of developing a fully integrated ‘value-chain’ in Brazil, from plant sciences and feedstock development to the distribution of the fuel at the airports”. He adds: “In this initial phase we will conduct all studies necessary to verify sustainability and economic viability of producing bio-kerosene. This project strengthens the Brazilian leadership in biofuels and will produce relevant environmental and social benefits”.

Brasil Ecodiesel’s CEO José Carlos Aguilera said: “The bio-kerosene market is a reality and promises significant growth potential, especially since the European Union has included aviation as an important element for global carbon emission reductions. Our participation in this pioneering project is aligned with our plans for diversifying our biofuel portfolio”.

  • The project will use diverse biomass sources as feedstock, with a special interest in the jatropha plant, grown by family farmers and large plantations in Brazil. TAM is implementing a ‘jatropha placement trial’ at its Technology Center in São Carlos, Brazil with the purpose of assessing sustainability of different production models in order to identify the best techniques and genetic material.
  • The sustainability studies relating to this placement trial are sponsored by Airbus and will be conducted at Yale University in the US.
  • The processing plant should start operations in 2013 with initial processing capacity of 80,000 tonnes per annum of the fuel.
  • Airbus supports all industry wide efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Bio-kerosene is in the final stage of approval by ASTM in the US to be blended up to 50 percent with regular jet fuel when used in commercial flights.


Brazil to seek deal for A330 tankers

After issuing a request for proposals in September, the Brazilian air force's KC-X tanker/transport procurement has taken an unexpected turn. Despite having initially forecast the participation of at least three bidders, sources in Brasilia indicate that Airbus Military's A330 multi-role tanker/transport might be selected before the end of the year.


EADS North America conducts first flight of its Armed Aerial Scout 72X Technical Demonstration Aircraft

EADS North America today announced that it has flown the second of three company-funded Armed Aerial Scout 72X Technical Demonstration Aircraft (TDA).

The flight took place yesterday at the company's American Eurocopter facility in Grand Prairie, Texas and lasted 40 minutes. The objective of this flight was to demonstrate integrated targeting sensor, manned/unmanned teaming (MUM-T) and communications and navigation capabilities. Subsequent test flights will demonstrate additional capabilities required to meet the U.S. Army's current Armed Aerial Scout mission requirements.

The EADS North America-led industry team, comprised of Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), Eurocopter and American Eurocopter, is developing three AAS-72X aircraft to demonstrate the total capability of the aircraft with a fully-integrated Mission Equipment Package (MEP).

"This is a significant milestone for our industry team as we further demonstrate the capabilities of our aircraft and its ability to meet the Army's warfighting requirement," said Sean O'Keefe, CEO of EADS North America. "We're pleased with our progress to date and remain fully committed to developing and demonstrating a solution for the Armed Aerial Scout mission."

The first TDA aircraft has been in use to demonstrate anticipated AAS-72X requirements for the Army's Armed Aerial Scout mission. This includes a July 2009 series of successful high/hot test flights that achieved all test objectives including hover-out-of-ground-effect and flight endurance with a 2,300-pound simulated MEP, and a transportability demonstration of five helicopters on a C-17 transport aircraft.

Since that time other advancements on the program include the development of the MEP Systems Integration Laboratory at Lockheed Martin's Orlando, Florida facility.

"Lockheed Martin's considerable progress in maturing the state-of-the-art AAS MEP demonstrates our commitment to providing a best-value, superior solution to meet the warfighters' armed scout need," said Bob Gunning, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control vice president of Fire Control programs. "We are leveraging our expertise from other combat-proven rotary- and fixed-wing programs to develop the lowest risk MEP. This first flight marks a significant achievement on our path towards flying a production prototype."

As a highly capable helicopter for the Armed Aerial Scout mission, the AAS-72X combines twin-engine safety and the high and hot operating performance critical to the Army's armed scout mission. The AAS-72X is derived from the same family of aircraft as the UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter, offering a low-risk evolution of the U.S. Army's newest rotary-wing aircraft, which is widely considered one of the most successful acquisition programs in the service's history.

"Today's event proves our commitment to this project in terms of our financial investment and emphasizes our enhanced engineering capability to serve our U.S. Army customer. This is yet another example of delivering on our promise," said Marc Paganini, President and CEO American Eurocopter.

Production of the AAS-72X would take place at the Columbus, Miss. helicopter center of excellence operated by American Eurocopter, an EADS North America operating unit, where the UH-72A currently is assembled for the U.S. Army. EADS North America has delivered 146 UH-72As on time and within budget, including five to the U.S. Navy.

For additional information about EADS North America's AAS-72X, visit the website at:


EADS North America prepares to build KC-45 tanker production facility in Mobile, Alabama

EADS North America today announced that it is soliciting bids through its recently selected program management firm for design and construction of the Mobile Conversion Center where KC-45 aerial refueling tanker aircraft will be militarized for the United States Air Force. Preparation for construction of the facility began in November with the selection of Hoar Program Management to oversee the project.

The selection of a program manager and initiation of work on the Mobile Conversion Center reflects EADS North America's commitment to produce the KC-45 in the U.S. and put Americans on the job as soon as possible.

The conversion center is one part of a large aircraft production facility that EADS North America will construct in Mobile, Alabama, to build the KC-45 in the United States if the Air Force selects it as its new aerial refueler. The KC-45 will create or support 48,000 American jobs across the country, and create more than 1,500 direct positions in Mobile. Construction of the production facilities also will create thousands of related jobs in the Gulf Coast area.

EADS North America has also committed to build commercial A330 freighter aircraft at the same site, resulting in the capability to produce more than twice as many aircraft annually in the U.S. than required to support the U.S. tanker program.

EADS North America already has begun work related to the KC-45 in Alabama. Earlier this year, the company began its transfer of the KC-45 program management team –nearly 200 employees – to new offices in Mobile.

"The Air Force has had to wait far too long for a new tanker, and the 48,000 Americans who will build the KC-45 have had to wait far too long for the jobs," said Ralph D. Crosby Jr., EADS North America Chairman. "If our tanker is selected by the Air Force, we are well positioned to hit the ground running on day one."

"All of us at Hoar were thrilled and humbled to be selected for a project that is so vitally needed by our nation and our state," said Mike Lanier, Principal with Hoar Program Management. "This selection was a testimony to all of the great work our people do for our clients each and every day, and we are eager to begin work at once."

Hoar Program Management will begin Advertisements for Qualifications effective December 12, 2010 and will begin issuance of Request for Qualification packages effective December 13, 2010. All interested parties, represented by one primary point of contact, may submit their information electronically via the web at

The KC-45 is the U.S. configuration of the Airbus Military A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport, which is in production for four U.S. allies who selected it over Boeing tankers in four straight competitions. The KC-45 is the only tanker offered to the U.S. Air Force that is flying and refueling today, with more than 1,300 aerial refueling contacts and 1.2 million pounds of fuel transferred.

Hoar Program Management was established in 1998 and is headquartered in Birmingham, with a regional office in Mobile, Alabama. The firm is a leading national and regional provider of construction management, program management, pre-construction, and design management ser¬vices. The firm man¬ages in excess of $300 million in capital projects annually. Hoar is Alabama's largest Program Manager and consistently lands among the Top 50 Program Managers in the nation as ranked by Engineering News-Record magazine, a leading industry publication.

About EADS North America
EADS North America is the North American operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $11 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 200,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. Operating in 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.

About EADS
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. In 2009, the Group - comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 42.8 billion and employed a workforce of more than 119,000.



Three more Trent 900s found with manufacturing defect

Inspections on Rolls-Royce Trent 900  engines have found three additional powerplants with a fault in the oil pipe tube, indicating that the manufacturing defect behind the uncontained engine failure on a Qantas Airways Airbus A380 was not a one-off occurrence


Russia's Central Aerodynamics Institute develops vertical take-off UAV for eco-monitoring

Russia's Central Aerodynamics Institute (TsAGI) is testing a model unmanned air vehicle (UAV) developed at the institute with vertical take-off and landing capability suitable for local-area ecological monitoring and a range of other surveillance duties, TsAGI said on Thursday.

"We have now developed a model V/TOL UAV for test flights which will begin in 2011," TsAGI said.


EADS y Boeing luchan por captar un mercado de 22.000 aviones

Airbus (filial de EADS) y Boeing ya han perfilado su estrategia para competir en los próximos diez años por el mercado de los aviones de media distancia. Hasta ahora, ambos han logrado acaparar este negocio gracias al cómodo duopolio que les han proporcionado sus respectivos modelos bestsellers: el europeo A320 y el estadounidense 737 (la aeronave más vendida de la historia).


Alcanzado un importante hito de velocidad en el X3 (con video)

El objetivo de desarrollar una velocidad de 180 kts en el Step 1 de la innovadora aeronave de ala rotatoria se logra antes de lo previsto en el calendario.

El X3, el demostrador híbrido de helicóptero de alta velocidad de Eurocopter, que voló por primera vez el 6 de septiembre de 2010, alcanzó, el 29 de noviembre, el objetivo establecido para el Step 1 al desarrollar una velocidad verdadera de 180 kts (333 km/h) en vuelo nivelado y régimen de potencia reducida en los motores. Lo hizo en el polígono de pruebas en vuelo de la DGA situado en Istres, Francia

Los ensayos tuvieron lugar con envolvente de vuelo abierta y sin piloto automático para validar la estabilidad y las características de gobierno del demostrador híbrido básico. El X3 ascendió a una altura de 12.500 pies (3.810 metros) y maniobró en ángulos de viraje a izquierda y derecha con una inclinación de hasta 60 grados.

Hasta la fecha, los vuelos del X3 han estado a cargo del piloto de pruebas de Eurocopter Hervé Jammayrac y del ingeniero de navegación Daniel Semioli en el polígono de pruebas en vuelo de la DGA francesa situado en Istres. "El comportamiento del X3 ha sido bueno en extremo, mostrando así que las cualidades de manejo y de vuelo coinciden exactamente con la evaluación de las simulaciones efectuadas en tierra", dijo Jammayrac. "Este helicóptero está hecho realmente para la velocidad, y nuestro equipo de pruebas se alegra de dar ya los próximos pasos en el régimen de vuelos del X3".

Habiendo superado ya la velocidad de los helicópteros tradicionales, el hito siguiente fijado para el demostrador es la fase del Step 2, que se desarrollará en la planta de Eurocopter de Marignane, Francia. El X3 pasará allí a la segunda serie de pruebas en vuelo. Se espera que en ellas alcance una velocidad sostenida de crucero superior a 220 kts.

El X3, para el que se utiliza la estructura del Dauphin de Eurocopter, está equipado con dos motores turboeje que propulsan un sistema de rotor de cinco palas y dos hélices montadas sobre alas fijas de corta envergadura. Su configuración híbrida constituye un moderno sistema de transporte que combina la velocidad de un avión turbohélice con la plena capacidad de vuelo estacionario de un helicóptero. Está hecho a la medida para utilizarlo cuando los costes operacionales, la duración de los vuelos y el éxito de las misiones dependan directamente de la velocidad máxima de crucero.

El X3 conjuga excelentes propiedades de despegue y aterrizaje verticales con altas velocidades de crucero superiores a 220 kts. Eurocopter enfoca su concepción hacia un amplio abanico de utilizaciones, incluidas misiones de búsqueda y rescate (SAR, por sus siglas en inglés) a larga distancia, operaciones de guardacostas y de patrullas fronterizas, así como transporte de pasajeros y entre ciudades. Asimismo podría ser muy adecuada para operaciones de fuerzas especiales militares, transporte de tropas, SAR en combate y evacuación sanitaria, dado que en ellas podrá beneficiarse de la combinación de la mayor velocidad de crucero desarrollada por el aparato con las excelentes características de despegue y aterrizaje verticales.



A major milestone for Eurocopter’s X3 hybrid helicopter: speed objective of 180 kts is attained (with video)

Step 1 speed objective of 180 kts is attained ahead of schedule for this innovative rotary-wing aircraft.

Eurocopter's X3 high-speed hybrid helicopter demonstrator, which performed its maiden flight on September 6, 2010, has reached on November 29th the program's Step 1 speed objective: attaining a true airspeed of 180 kts (333 km/hr) in level flight at a reduced level of engine power. This performance was obtained at the DGA Flight Test base in Istres, France.

In the flight testing performed thus far, the flight envelope has been opened with and without autopilot to validate the basic hybrid demonstrator aircraft's stability and handling characteristics.  The X3 has reached an altitude of 12,500 feet (3,810 meters) and performed maneuvers with left and right turns at bank angles of up to 60 degrees.

The X3 flights to date were performed by Eurocopter test pilot Hervé Jammayrac and flight test engineer Daniel Semioli at the French DGA test facility in Istres. "The X3 has performed extremely well, demonstrating handling and flight qualities that are exactly in line with our ground-based simulator evaluations," Jammayrac said.  "This helicopter is really built for speed, and our test team looks forward to taking the X3 to the next steps of its flight regime."

Having already surpassed the speed of a traditional helicopter, the next milestone for the demonstrator is the Step 2 phase at Eurocopter's headquarters in Marignane, France, where the X3 will enter a second set of flight tests during which it is expected to reach sustained cruise speeds in excess of 220 kts.

The X3 utilizes a Eurocopter Dauphin helicopter airframe.  It is equipped with two turboshaft engines that power a five-blade main rotor system, along with two propellers installed on short-span fixed wings. This hybrid configuration creates an advanced transportation system that offers the speed of a turboprop-powered aircraft and the full hover flight capabilities of a helicopter. It is tailored to applications where operational costs, flight duration and mission success depend directly on the maximum cruising speed.

The X3  combines excellent vertical takeoff and landing capabilities with fast cruise speeds of more than 220 kts.  Eurocopter envisions a wide range of applications for this concept,  including long-distance search and rescue (SAR) missions, coast guard duties, border patrol missions, passenger transportation and inter-city shuttle services. It could also be well-tailored for military missions in Special Forces' operations, troop transportation, combat SAR and medical evacuation – benefitting from the hybrid aircraft's combination of higher cruise speeds with excellent vertical takeoff/landing performance.




Qantas A380 In-flight uncontained engine failure oficial preliminary report

Preliminary report in GoogleDocs
You also can download it from Australian Transport Safety Bureau in PDF (3.64Mb) or MS-Word (12.29Mb) formats


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