Boeing Completes 1st Flight of QF-16 Aerial Target for US Air Force

viernes, 11 de mayo de 2012

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., May 10, 2012 – The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] and the U.S. Air Force completed the first manned flight of the QF-16 Full Scale Aerial Target (FSAT) on May 4 at Cecil Field in Jacksonville. The QF-16 took off at 3:05 p.m. Eastern time and climbed to an altitude of 41,000 feet during its 66-minute flight.

The Air Force awarded a multi-year contract to Boeing in March 2010 that represented Phase I of the initial engineering, manufacturing and development of the QF-16, with options to buy up to 126 FSATs.

"With this successful first flight of the QF-16, the Air Force, Boeing and our supplier-partners have laid the groundwork for the program to enter low-rate production in 2013 and make its first production delivery in 2014," said Torbjorn Sjogren, Boeing vice president, Global Maintenance and Upgrades.

The functional check flight of the F-16, under control of a Boeing test pilot, validated the basic aircraft performance with the QF-16 drone modification package installed. The additional hardware Boeing installs allows the QF-16 to fly in an unmanned mode while under the control of a ground-based control system such as the Gulf Range Drone Control System (GRDCS) at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., or the Drone Formation Control System (DFCS) at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), N.M. During the current test phase in Jacksonville, a GRDCS mobile trailer with portable transmission towers provides communications between the flight controller and other personnel on the ground and the QF-16 pilot.

"This was a tremendous milestone for the program and for Boeing because it signals our continued success as an off-Boeing platform support and sustainment provider," said Bob Insinna, Boeing QF-16 program manager.

The QF-16s will be a higher-performing aircraft than the QF-4 they replace and representative of fourth-generation targets. They will be flown manned or unmanned within a controlled range and equipped to evaluate how U.S. fighters and weapons will operate against potential adversaries.

Boeing will deliver six QF-16 test aircraft to Tyndall in October for additional testing over the Gulf Range. Following the successful conclusion of these tests, Boeing will support government flight testing from Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., over the WSMR complex.

 

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  • Kazakhstan has signed a letter of intent to acquire 20 Eurocopter EC725 helicopters, marking a major new commitment for this medium-lift rotorcraft. These aircraft, which will be assembled in Kazakhstan, will be used by the country's Ministry of Defense in a full range of mission applications.
 
Astana, Kazakhstan,  10 May 2012
 
The agreement, formalized at this month's KADEX-2012 military exposition in Astana, further expands Kazakhstan's relationship as a Eurocopter helicopter operator and industrial partner. It also provides a helicopter that is complementary to Eurocopter's EC145, for which Kazakhstan is purchasing 45 under terms of a framework contract involving in-country assembly by the Eurocopter Kazakhstan Engineering 50/50 joint venture at Astana.
 
"With an ongoing success story based on the EC145 assembled locally in Astana, Eurocopter is proud to strengthen its strategic partnership with the Republic of Kazakhstan and Kazakhstan Engineering. Based on both a long term plan and mutual trust, our joint goal is to create a sustainable helicopter industry in Kazakhstan" said Olivier Lambert, Eurocopter's Senior Vice President for Sales and Customer Relations. "We are confident that the unequalled versatility and operational performances of the EC725 make it the best choice to fulfill 21st century operational requirements".
 
The EC725 is a member of Eurocopter's 11-metric-ton Cougar military helicopter family. The most recent contracts have been signed with several military services including France, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, and recently Indonesia. Its capabilities are being clearly demonstrated by the rotorcraft's current Afghanistan deployment with the French Forces in its Caracal version.
 
Designed for operations from land and ships, the multi-role EC725 is equipped with a de-icing system and is qualified for flight in cold weather conditions. Its avionics includes a four-axis autopilot, and the helicopter's large cabin is complemented by the ability to carry a range of armament and sensors.
 
Thanks to all of these equipments, the EC725 will allow a large panel of missions that includes tactical transport, Search and Rescue (SAR), special operations (C.SAR), naval operations (from ships and land).
 
The Republic of Kazakhstan has already chosen the civil version of the EC725 (EC225) for governmental VIP transportation.
 
 

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Eurocopter’s X3 Development Team wins Howard Hughes Award for Outstanding Improvement in Helicopter Technology

The American Helicopter Society (AHS) International today awarded its annual recognition for helicopter technology improvement to Eurocopter's team that developed its X3 hybrid demonstrator aircraft, which Eurocopter announced will be presented to both civil and military customers during a United States tour this summer.

Presented at AHS' 68th Annual Forum in Fort Worth, Texas, the society's prestigious Howard Hughes award acknowledged Eurocopter's successful validation of its helicopter hybrid concept, which uses two turboshaft engines to power a main rotor along with two propellers installed on the tip of short-span fixed wings. The result is an advanced, cost effective, VTOL transportation system offering the speed of a turboprop-powered aircraft and the full flight capabilities of a helicopter. Accepting the American Helicopter Society International's Howard Hughes award for helicopter technology improvement was Jean-Jacques Ferrier, the company's Innovation Vice President, and his team who joined Eurocopter President & CEO Bertling at the event.

With the X3 demonstrator aircraft confirming – and exceeding – Eurocopter's expectations during flight tests performed since 2010, the company is now pursuing applications for the hybrid concept, ranging from long-distance search and rescue (SAR), coast guard, border patrol and special forces operations to inter-city passenger shuttle services, and offshore oil and gas transportation.

"The American Helicopter Society's award is a true recognition of the men and women who are making Eurocopter's vision for our industry's future a reality today," said Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling. "It also provides a highly appropriate opportunity for Eurocopter to formally announce our all-American tour with the X3 beginning next month, which will enable both the U.S. military and civil operators the opportunity to see – and fly – this truly remarkable aircraft."

During its upcoming tour, Eurocopter's X3 will make several stopovers at U.S. locations, including the Grand Prairie, Texas headquarters of American Eurocopter. "It is important for Eurocopter to provide a first-hand experience for future potential U.S. users with our hybrid helicopter concept, which opens exciting new horizons in operations by delivering cruise speeds 50 percent faster than standard helicopters at very affordable costs allowing for significant increases in mission productivity," Bertling added.

Eurocopter foresees many applications for the hybrid helicopter concept in the U.S. market, where its rotary-wing aircraft innovation has made the company a major supplier for the commercial sector, to law enforcement agencies, emergency medical airlift service providers, and government users such as the U.S. Army, Coast Guard, Navy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and FBI. During X3 flight testing performed to date, the demonstrator aircraft surpassed its original speed target of 220 kts., reaching 232 kts. using less than 80 percent of the available power. Additionally, the X3 exhibited excellent flight qualities, maneuverability, outstanding acceleration and deceleration capabilities, exceptional climb and descent rates as well as very low vibration levels – all without any need for passive or active anti-vibration systems. The X3 is a five-ton class helicopter, offering a cabin size for up to 11 passenger seats.

The American Helicopter Society (AHS) International is the world's oldest and largest technical society dedicated to enhancing the understanding of vertical flight technology. Since its founding in 1943, the society has been a primary forum for the exchange of information on vertical flight technology.

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First Malaysia AirlineS A380 moves to flight line in preparation for delivery


10 May 2012 Press Release

The first A380 for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) returned to Toulouse on 9th May following completion of interior furnishing and cabin system tests in Hamburg. The aircraft is now stationed at the Airbus flight line for final system checks prior to the start of the customer acceptance process and delivery at the end of the month.

The national airline of Malaysia will become the eighth operator of the A380 and will commence commercial service between Kuala Lumpur and London effective 1 July this year. Altogether, the carrier has ordered six A380s and has specified a premium three-class layout for the aircraft, seating a total of 494 passengers. The MAS A380 fleet will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines.

The aircraft is painted with the base design of Malaysia Airlines' bright new livery. Additional features of the livery developed specially for the MAS A380 will be applied post-delivery

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Airbus is displaying an ACJ319 at EBACE

Features widest and tallest cabin of any business jet

10 May 2012 Press Release

Airbus is again exhibiting an ACJ319 at the EBACE show in Geneva, giving visitors the opportunity to see how the widest and tallest corporate jet cabin fits into the same ramp space as traditional business jets.

The Airbus ACJ319 is the newest in the Comlux fleet, is being exhibited for the first time, and features a cabin by Comlux America. It is certificated to carry 19 passengers, and features lounge areas, club seating and two private rooms that convert to bedrooms, one of which has an ensuite bathroom.

More than 15 Airbus corporate jets are offered for VVIP charter worldwide by almost 15 companies, highlighting their popular appeal.

"Exhibiting an Airbus corporate jet alongside traditional offerings from other manufacturers allows potential customers to see and touch what we have to offer, which is quite simply the best cabin in the sky," comments Airbus COO, Customers, John Leahy. "Airbus corporate jet cabins offer more where it counts, in comfort, space and freedom of movement," he adds.

With extra fuel-tanks for intercontinental range, the Airbus ACJ319 can fly nonstop from Europe to much of Africa, the Americas and Asia, and one-stop to most of the world.

Airbus corporate jets are derived from the world's most modern aircraft family, delivering benefits such as fuel-efficiency, reliability and ease of maintenance.

These benefits are enhanced by regular product improvements, which enable them to maintain their competitive edge over time.

Airbus corporate jets have won some 170 orders since the company delivered its first corporate jet in the mid-Eighties, and are the only bizjets flying on every continent, including Antarctica.

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Frozen in the sands of time: P40 RAF fighter plane discovered in the Sahara... 70 years after it crashed in the desert [w/lots of pics]

  • Pilot of the Kittyhawk P-40 was thought to have survived crash, but died trying to walk out of the desert
  • Aircraft was found almost perfectly preserved, unseen and untouched, after it came down in 1942
  • Historian describes find as 'an incredible time capsule' and 'the aviation equivalent of Tutankhamun's Tomb'
 
 
 
 
 

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