UK Royal Air Force (RAF) fast jet pilot training is now more representative of flying front line aircraft than ever before thanks to engineers at BAE Systems

miércoles, 20 de abril de 2011

A software upgrade, referred to as Operational Capability 2 (OC2), is a significant and sophisticated enhancement to the existing software on the RAF’s Hawk TMk2. Designed and developed by BAE Systems engineers, work to install the new software upgrades on the Hawk TMk2 has commenced at RAF Valley, Anglesey. This work demonstrates the Company’s ability to support the RAF’s need for improved efficiency and capability enhancement.

The software provides the Hawk with simulated radar and sensor capability including: a radar warning receiver, defensive aids, and an enhanced weapons suite including medium range air-to-air missiles. With the new upgrade the aircraft can also simulate the threat posed by a sophisticated surface-to-air missile site. OC2 is fully integrated with mission planning and debrief systems, which allow the student pilot to plan, train and fly simulated missions using synthetic radar. The pilot can also carry out virtual operational manoeuvres to defeat threats using synthetic weapons.

The capability to generate a virtual training environment has long term benefits for the customer. It will enable the trainee pilot to train longer in a Hawk before moving their training to front line operational aircraft such as Tornado, Typhoon and F-35 Lightning II, better preparing the trainee pilots of the future at an affordable cost.

Wing Commander Brian Braid, Officer Commanding 19 Squadron, said: “The new TMk2 is an absolute step change in the way we can conduct our fast jet flying training. The pilots experience a totally different training environment. Now the navigating and flying is the easy part. The real challenge is trying to interpret the information and interact with the technology.

“The new Hawk was streets ahead of its predecessor even before the software upload, but with it the pilots are able to train almost exactly as they are on the front line. They could not be happier. It takes students a lot further down the training road and gives them something much more akin to a front line training experience.”

Video Clip Link – Interview with Wing Commander Brian Braid

Martin Rushton Senior Vice President Training Services & Solutions said: “The capabilities that the OC2 upgrade delivers make the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer stand out from other training aircraft. Armed forces are now able to have the confidence that their fast jet trainee pilots are trained to the highest standard at an affordable cost.”

Over 900 Hawk aircraft have been sold, or are on order to date and the aircraft is currently helping produce highly trained pilots across 25 countries. With 18 customers worldwide including Australia, Canada, South Africa, Bahrain, India and the UK Royal Air Force, the Hawk aircraft has been widely exported around the world.



NASA Awards Next Set Of Commercial Crew Development Agreements

WASHINGTON -- NASA has awarded four Space Act Agreements in the second round of the agency's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev2) effort. Each company will receive between $22 million and $92.3 million to advance commercial crew space transportation system concepts and mature the design and development of elements of their systems, such as launch vehicles and spacecraft.

The selectees for CCDev2 awards are:
-- Blue Origin, Kent, Wash., $22 million
-- Sierra Nevada Corporation, Louisville, Colo., $80 million
-- Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), Hawthorne, Calif., $75 million
-- The Boeing Company, Houston, $92.3 million

"We're committed to safely transporting U.S. astronauts on American-made spacecraft and ending the outsourcing of this work to foreign governments," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "These agreements are significant milestones in NASA's plans to take advantage of American ingenuity to get to low-Earth orbit, so we can concentrate our resources on deep space exploration."

The goal of CCDev2 is to accelerate the availability of U.S. commercial crew transportation capabilities and reduce the gap in American human spaceflight capability. Through this activity, NASA also may be able to spur economic growth as potential new space markets are created.

Once developed, crew transportation capabilities could become available to commercial and government customers.

"The next American-flagged vehicle to carry our astronauts into space is going to be a U.S. commercial provider," said Ed Mango, NASA's Commercial Crew Program manager. "The partnerships NASA is forming with industry will support the development of multiple American systems capable of providing future access to low-Earth orbit."

These awards are a continuation of NASA's CCDev initiatives, which began in 2009 to stimulate efforts within U.S. industry to develop and demonstrate human spaceflight capabilities. For more information about NASA's Commercial Crew Program, visit:

Copies of the Space Act Agreements are available at:



Video: J20 Stealth Chinese fighter 2nd fling


Boeing South Carolina site to operate as 100 percent renewable energy site

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C., April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) and South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) today announced an energy partnership that will enable Boeing South Carolina to operate as a 100 percent renewable energy site.

"This is an important announcement for Boeing and we're honored to share it with South Carolina Electric & Gas," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Our 787 Dreamliner is manufactured using fewer hazardous materials and designed to consume less fuel, and produce fewer emissions. It only makes sense that our business operations in South Carolina reflect the environmental progressiveness of the airplane we'll build here."

Renewable energy will be generated at the North Charleston site in part with thin-film solar laminate panels owned, installed and maintained by SCE&G on the new Boeing 787 Final Assembly building roof. This solar installation will provide up to 2.6 megawatts of electrical power for the site, enough to power approximately 250 homes. The installation will be the largest in the Southeast by production capacity, and the sixth largest in the U.S.

"South Carolina Electric & Gas is pleased to partner with Boeing and provide the energy resources needed to meet their commitment to a 100 percent renewable energy site," said Kevin Marsh, president of SCE&G. "Customer service is one of our core values. We understand Boeing's business objectives and commitment to the environment and are delighted we can be a partner to provide this energy solution."

Under this arrangement, SCE&G will install the solar generation system and dedicate the power from the system to the Boeing site. SCE&G will then supplement the solar generated energy with power from its system resources, coupled with renewable energy certificates from its renewable generating facility, to meet all of Boeing's energy requirements.

"Our customers expect that Boeing's products and services be environmentally progressive, and our communities expect that we take credible actions to reduce our impact on the environment," said Mary Armstrong, vice president of Environment, Health and Safety for Boeing. "This partnership demonstrates that we share those priorities, and shows that it is possible to commit to renewable energy on a large scale."

For more information on this announcement and Boeing's environmental responsibility, see this video:



Boeing Introduces More Capable, Lower Cost Flight Simulator Hardware

Simulated Electronic Flight Bag to improve quality and reliability of flight training

ORLANDO, Fla., April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) is introducing simulated Electronic Flight Bag (simEFB) hardware for flight simulator training devices at the World Aviation Training Conference and Tradeshow (WATS) this week in Orlando, Fla.

The new hardware will enhance the quality and efficiency of flight training for Boeing Next-Generation 737 and 777 models. Compared to an airplane component, simEFB hardware uploads customized data faster, is purchased and maintained at a lower cost and includes all elements and systems required for training.

"Because we've always been at the forefront of EFB training, we have the industry knowledge and technical expertise to create ground-breaking solutions such as simEFB," said Len Weber, chief operating officer, Boeing Training & Flight Services. "Our simEFB is specifically designed to handle the rigors of simulator operations, to improve the reliability of training devices and the quality of the training experience."

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has qualified the installation of simEFB on Next-Generation 737 and 777 training devices at Boeing's Seattle training campus. In accordance with European technical requirements, the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has qualified a simEFB-equipped Boeing Next-Generation 737 simulator at Boeing's Gatwick, U.K., training campus.

In addition to offering a simulated EFB solution for flight training devices, Boeing continues to provide the hardware and installation for airplane component EFB solutions for the Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767 and 777.

Boeing offers a comprehensive portfolio of pilot, crew and maintenance training products and services to deliver safe and efficient operations for more than 400 customers around the world, at 18 campuses on six continents with more than 80 full-flight simulators. In addition to training, Boeing Flight Services provides integrated solutions for navigation, flight planning and scheduling, airport technology, air traffic management, inflight optimization and fuel efficiency consulting.



Honeywell T-Hawk Aids Fukushima Daiichi Disaster Recovery

PHOENIX, April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Honeywell's (NYSE: HON) T-Hawk Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) is helping emergency workers at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility get up-close video and photos inside the plant as they work to limit further radiation releases.

Three Honeywell employees, trained to fly the unmanned T-Hawks remotely, have flown five successful missions and captured hours of video and dozens of photos of the nuclear reactor. The four T-Hawks in service at Fukushima Daiichi have been adapted to carry radiation sensors.

"On behalf of all of us at Honeywell, our hearts go out to the people of Japan, particularly those who have suffered as a result of the earthquake and tsunami that damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and surrounding areas," said Tim Mahoney, president and chief executive officer of Honeywell Aerospace. "At Honeywell, we are proud of our commitment to safety and security, and we are grateful that our technologies can be deployed now to help the people of Japan in this historic time of need."

Currently deployed in war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, the T-Hawk features unique hover-and-stare capability that enables pilots to hold it in one place and zoom in on features inside the damaged reactors while the T-Hawk sends live video and still images back to recovery workers. The T-Hawk also is capable of sending live in-flight video feeds to help workers focus on critical areas and adjust direction mid-flight. Pilots can control T-Hawk cameras to alter angles and get better views of damaged equipment. Just 14 inches in diameter, the T-Hawk can be flown into tight spaces where humans and other aircraft cannot go.

"The T-Hawk reminds us that innovative technologies initially created for defense purposes can find crucial roles in humanitarian and disaster recovery efforts," Mahoney said.

Weighing just 17 pounds, the T-Hawk is a ducted-fan vertical takeoff and landing air vehicle originally designed in conjunction with a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) program. Pilots can determine manual or autonomous flight paths from up to six miles away for up to 40 minutes at a time.

The T-Hawk is a proven force multiplier in Afghanistan and Iraq, where systems have been averaging more than six hours of flight time a day. The T-Hawk is used in Afghanistan for route clearance, infantry assault, and explosive ordnance disposal missions, where, together with its similar work in Iraq, it has cumulatively flown more than 17,000 hours. The United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence also deploys the T-Hawk for combat missions in Afghanistan and trains with the T-Hawk in Afghanistan and Jordan. The T-Hawk is currently being tested for urban use by the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Honeywell ( is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell's shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit



"Zeppelin" Argus One UAV Completes Initial Flight Testing

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL--(Marketwire - Apr 19, 2011) - Sanswire Corp. (OTCBB: SNSR), a developer of lighter-than-air unmanned aerial vehicles ("UAVs") and related technologies, announced today that its Argus One UAV has successfully completed its initial series of flight tests to an altitude of 500 feet. The restricted, low altitude flight tests were conducted under tower control at Easton Airport by its technical partner, Eastcor Engineering.

The initial series of flight tests involved aerodynamic assessments of the Argus One's new airship design, its envelope and stability and propulsion systems. The Argus One airship made a number of controlled ascents and descents and was flown both with and without its engine running to evaluate the airship's handling and stability characteristics. At all times during these initial tests, the airship was tethered to the ground to comply with currently applicable regulations and for safety reasons. Control of the Argus One's systems was accomplished during the flight tests by wireless line of sight digital signaling. Subsequent tests of the Argus One in Easton, MD will, among other things, evaluate the electronic flight attitude control systems, autopilot and vehicle control interfaces, sensor command and control, data exfiltration and a new propulsion system with a more powerful engine. This series of low altitude flight testing in Maryland is designed to prepare the Argus One for its upcoming flight tests at the U.S. Army's proving ground facility in Yuma, AZ where higher altitude, untethered flight testing will commence. Once the Argus One airship design has been proven in these controlled tests, the Company expects to file for an experimental license from the Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA") that will enable the Company to perform more wide scale testing of its airship.

Additionally, Sanswire Corp. announced today that it has changed its corporate name to World Surveillance Group Inc. ("WSGI"). The new name reflects the Company's intention to focus on providing enhanced global intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ("ISR") and monitoring services following its recently executed letter of intent to acquire satellite based tracking firm, Global Telesat Corp. ("GTC"). WSGI has been issued a new CUSIP number by Standard and Poor's and has requested a new stock ticker symbol, which it expects FINRA to assign in the near future. The Company will continue trading on The OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB) under the ticker SNSR until it receives its new stock symbol from FINRA. In connection with its name change and the Company's new focus and direction, the Company is unveiling a new website which includes pictures and videos of the Argus One test flights in Maryland.

Glenn Estrella, President and CEO of WSGI stated, "We are very excited by the performance of the Argus One in its initial test flights and plan to continue testing in Maryland in preparation for higher altitude, less restricted testing next month in Yuma. Each new test allows us to advance the development of our airship and we continue to believe the Argus One UAV will be able to deliver capabilities that are currently in strong demand in the marketplace today at acquisition and operating costs that makes the Argus One attractive to both government and commercial customers." Mr. Estrella added, "We look forward to working with our partners to continue the development, demonstration and commercialization of our Argus One airship."

Michael K. Clark, the Company's Chairman of the Board, added, "In connection with our desire to acquire GTC and the combined company's expected focus on providing global ISR and monitoring services through its integrated product offerings, we decided to change our corporate name to reflect the Company's new mission. We have redesigned our corporate website to more fully showcase the advances the Company has made and its new direction."

About World Surveillance Group Inc.

World Surveillance Group Inc. (OTCBB: SNSR) designs, develops, markets and sells autonomous, lighter-than-air UAVs capable of carrying payloads that provide persistent security and/or wireless communications solutions at low, mid, and high altitudes. WSGI's airships, when integrated with electronics systems and other high technology payloads, are designed for use by government-related and commercial entities that require real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance or communications support for military, homeland defense, border control, drug interdiction, natural disaster relief and maritime missions. For more information regarding WSGI, please visit, or view our reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission on



Eurocopter entrega la unidad número 1.000 de su helicóptero Dauphin a la empresa india Pawan Hans Helicopters

Marignane (Francia), 19 de abril de 2011

Hoy se entregó la unidad número 1.000 de la familia de helicópteros Dauphin a la empresa india Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited, el mayor operador civil de esta aeronave de alas rotatorias bimotor y categoría media.

El aparato de Pawan Hans que marca este hito es una versión AS365 N3, configurada para misiones de prospección de petróleo y gas en alta mar, y eleva a 35 la cifra de Dauphin presentes en la flota de este operador.

El Dauphin es bien conocido por su característica silueta, en la que el morro del aparato evoca la forma de un delfín. Desde la década de los 70, los Dauphin han prestado servicio a unos 300 clientes de 69 países y han acumulado un total combinado de más de 5,1 millones de horas de vuelo. Los helicópteros, que se utilizan en una gama completa de operaciones en tierra y mar, se han labrado toda una reputación por sus aptitudes, rentabilidad, sencillez de operación y
seguridad de vuelo. Desde 1981 el Dauphin existe también en versión militar, el AS565 Panther.

Para conmemorar los veinticinco años a los que se remonta la colaboración de Eurocopter con su cliente clave en la India asistieron a la entrega de hoy Lutz Bertling, Presidente y Consejero Delegado de Eurocopter y Sanjiv Bahl, Director Ejecutivo de Pawan Hans. También estuvo presente Joseph Saporito, Vicepresidente Ejecutivo de Eurocopter para Programas Comerciales.

"La entrega del milésimo Dauphin es un momento de histórica importancia para Eurocopter y resulta especialmente apropiado que estemos compartiendo este acto con Pawan Hans, que es el operador civil de referencia de este helicóptero tan capaz", declaró Bertling. "Eurocopter está plenamente comprometida con sostener el continuado éxito de Pawan Hans: parte de ese esfuerzo es precisamente la creación de nuestra filial Eurocopter India, y el refuerzo de nuestra
red de servicios en aquel país".

Pawan Hans es el principal cliente de Eurocopter en la India y opera la mayor flota de aparatos Eurocopter del país. Los aparatos se utilizan para transportar personal a las plataformas en alta mar, en vuelos de puente aéreo entre barcazas de prospección, para llevar a altos cargos del Estado y VIP, y en servicios turísticos chárter.

"El Eurocopter Dauphin, que nos ha servido satisfactoriamente durante 25 años, se adapta perfectamente a nuestras necesidades", dijo Sanjiv Bahl. "Contamos con el Dauphin para nuestro crecimiento futuro, ya que la versión N3 ofrece un buen rendimiento operacional en términos de velocidad, potencia de largo alcance, reducción de los niveles sonoros y confort para los pasajeros. Además hemos adquirido significativas competencias operacionales en términos de operaciones y mantenimiento de la serie Dauphin, con los talleres de vanguardia de Mumbai. Tenemos pilotos con mucha experiencia y personal técnico especializado que cumplen con nuestros estrictos estándares de seguridad y consiguen una gran disponibilidad de la flota y un excelente estado de funcionamiento. Los Dauphin son hoy el emblema de nuestra flota por su larga y fiable trayectoria de operaciones mar adentro y en tierra. Estaremos encantados de confiar en el know-how y en el soporte de Eurocopter para crear servicios de MRO en India y para ofrecer a nuestros clientes la mejor relación calidad/precio".

La flota Dauphin de Pawan Hans cuenta con más de 375.000 horas de vuelo y con un índice de disponibilidad superior al 80 por ciento. Además de sus propias operaciones, la compañía tiene un acuerdo con Eurocopter para la creación de unas instalaciones MRO (mantenimiento, revisión y reparación) en la India para dar servicio a los helicópteros Dauphin.

"El Dauphin es toda una historia de éxito y ha contribuido de forma directa a nuestra posición de liderazgo en la fabricación de aeronaves de alas rotatorias," dijo Saporito. "Es también una imagen representativa de la política de innovación continua de la compañía que incluye el uso del rotor carenado Fenestron, el cual ofrece unos niveles de seguridad en operación considerablemente mayores y mejor control de vuelo, además de menores niveles sonoros y vibraciones".

Entre los hitos y logros de este helicóptero se encuentran su récord de velocidad de 372 km/h, obtenido en noviembre de 1991 a lo largo de un circuito de tres kilómetros; la utilización operativa del Dauphin en circunstancias extremas, entre las que se encuentran las misiones de rescate por parte de la U.S. Coast Guard tras el huracán Katrina, en 2005; y el transporte de VIP y jefes del Estado, como la Primera Ministra india Indira Gandhi.

La familia Dauphin ha integrado mejoras a lo largo de los años para satisfacer las demandas de un mercado en constante evolución. Su versión más reciente, el AS365 N3e/AS565 MBe, proporcionará un elevado rendimiento incluso a gran altitud y altas temperaturas, e incorpora nuevas tecnologías y sistemas. Las entregas de esta versión se han previsto para finales de 2013. Sus principales mejoras son la introducción de los motores Arriel 2N con controles FADEC (Control Digital del Motor con Plena Autoridad) de doble canal, el uso de la caja principal de transmisión del EC155 de Eurocopter, la incorporación de una nueva cabeza de rotor Starflex y la aplicación de un mástil reforzado en el rotor principal. Tales cambios proporcionarán un aumento en potencia del 15%, lo que redundará en unas mejores prestaciones, un aumento considerable de la carga útil –la masa máxima al despegue es ahora del 4,5 toneladas– y menores costes de mantenimiento y utilización.


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