Insitu, FAA hold meeting to demonstrate UAS type certification

martes, 6 de noviembre de 2018


New Aircraft Carriers, New Camouflage schemes, New Flying Boat and New Drones for China.


Can Germany’s new radar detect the F-35? German Air Force to test covert radar in large-scale demo over Bavaria


ndia tests nuclear-capable missile


First A330-800 successfully completes maiden flight

Press Release

  • Dedicated flight-test aircraft to perform flight-physics tests for the A330-800 variant;
  • The newest, most efficient longest range entry level widebody
  • Development on track for A330-800 certification in 2019.

Toulouse, 6 November 2018 – The first A330-800 development aircraft to fly, MSN1888, has landed at Toulouse-Blagnac, France at 2:35pm local time after successfully completing its first flight which lasted four hours and four minutes. The aircraft, the second member of the A330neo Family, is powered by the latest technology Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 turbofans.

The crew in the cockpit comprised: Experimental Test Pilots Malcolm RIDLEY and François BARRE and Test-Flight Engineer Ludovic GIRARD. Meanwhile, monitoring the aircraft systems and performance in real-time at the flight-test-engineer’s (FTE) station were Catherine SCHNEIDER and Jose CORUGEDO BERMEJO.

“Today’s first flight of the A330-800 is the latest addition to our efficient Widebody family,” said Guillaume Faury, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft. “The A330-800 is an exceptionally versatile ‘route-opener’, offering unbeatable economics for airlines – encompassing everything from short to very-long haul widebody missions.” He added: “We look forward to the successful flight-test campaign, leading to certification next year.”

The A330-800’s development programme will include around 300 flight-test hours, paving the way for certification in 2019. Its sibling, the larger A330-900 family member, recently completed its development testing and certification programme which validated the A330neo Family’s common engines, systems, cabin and flight & ground operations.

The A330neo comprises two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900. Both of these widebody aircraft incorporate new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, nacelle, titanium pylon, new wings and offer an exclusive ‘Airspace by Airbus’ passenger experience. The larger A330-900 will accommodate up to 287 seats in a typical three-class layout, while the A330-800 typically will seat 257 passengers in three classes.

At the end of September 2018, Airbus’ orderbook includes 14 customers who have placed orders for a total of 224 A330neos, with more to be added soon.

A330-800 overviewThe A330-800 is the second member of the A330neo family and is the market’s newest-generation 250-seat aircraft, and is also the new entry-level widebody aircraft in the Airbus Family. Based on the A330-200 which itself has sold 650+ aircraft with hundreds of operators, the new -800 version offers an even greater range capability of up to 8,150nm (similar to the A350) and representing more than 17 hours flying time, which covers 98% of all widebody routes flown today. This performance, which is made possible thanks to the NEO’s 3D-optimised wing, fuel-efficient Trent 7000 engines and a new optional maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 251 metric tonnes, unlocks up to 1,300nm more range versus the earlier A330-200 models and enables non-stop routes from South-East Asia to Europe and transpacific routes from South East Asia to the US West Coast. Moreover, with its superior economics, range, cabin comfort and passenger experience versus the 787-8, the A330-800 is also best placed to replace ageing 767s in the near-term, and eventually the older A330-200s in service.

The A330 is one of the most popular widebody families ever, having received over 1,700 orders from 120 customers. More than 1,400 A330s are flying with over 120 operators worldwide. The A330neo is the latest addition to the leading Airbus widebody family, which also includes the A350 XWB and the A380, all featuring unmatched space and comfort combined with unprecedented efficiency levels and unrivalled range capability.


South Korea and Spain seek deal to swap trainer jets for airlifters


New instrument joins the hunt for Earth-like planets

UNSW press release
UNSW scientists have led the launch of a revolutionary new Australian instrument to detect small planets orbiting sun-like stars.

A ground-breaking $3.8 million instrument, used by astronomers to discover and study Earth-like planets, has been launched by a team from UNSW Sydney, The Australian National University (ANU) and Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO) at Macquarie University.

The astronomical instrument, known as Veloce, has been built for the four-metre Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT), Australia’s largest on-shore optical telescope, which is located at the ANU Siding Spring Observatory, near Coonabarabran in north-western NSW.

“Veloce will allow us to detect the tiny velocity wobbles that planets produce in their host stars. It is the first Australian facility able to deliver the extraordinarily high velocity precision needed to detect very small planets,” said Professor Chris Tinney, from Exoplanetary Science at UNSW.

“These planets are important, because it’s on these small, rocky and potentially habitable planets that astronomers will one day search for signs of life,” said Professor Tinney.

Veloce can detect planets orbiting the small, faint and red dwarf stars known to astronomers as “M dwarfs”. These stars are so dim that a potentially habitable planet must huddle close to its star to stay warm enough to support life. This makes the velocity wobble of these planets easier to detect, so that Veloce (which focuses on light at red wavelengths) can measure masses for planets down to the size of the Earth.

The launch comes just months after NASA’s planet-finder satellite, TESS, started a survey of the entire sky for planets that transit their host star, passing between the star and Earth and making the star get periodically dimmer.

In its first month of data, TESS has already uncovered 75 candidate planets. “There now is a global race on to be first to measure the masses of these planets, and to determine whether they are rocky like Earth, ice giants like Neptune, or gas giants like Jupiter. Or, even better, if they are something stranger,” said Professor Tinney.

“Veloce is one of just a handful of facilities available in the southern hemisphere that can transform those candidates into confirmed planets with measured masses. And it’s the only one working at the red wavelengths ideal for observing these faint, red, M-dwarf planet hosts.”

On its first night in operation, Veloce targeted an M dwarf that TESS had found to host a planet just 1.4 times the size of the Earth that is orbiting its star every 0.46 days.

“This is exactly the type of object we built Veloce for. Our scientific understanding of how life gets started is minimal. The only place we know that it did start was on Earth: a small, rocky planet orbiting its star at just the right distance that liquid water can exist on its surface. Finding small planets, orbiting where water is liquid, is crucial for finding planets that could host life like our own home.”

The instrument saw its first photon from an astronomical source in September and is expected to deliver initial test results within the next month or so.

“With Veloce our first target was a nearby star called Tau Ceti. We then immediately switched to science targets and over the next 10 nights observed new candidate planets from NASA’s TESS mission, as well as a handful of known planets from previous work and stars known not to have planets to measure instrumental stability,” said Professor Tinney.Chris Lidman, Director of Siding Spring Observatory and Associate Professor at the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, said Veloce is the first facility built specifically for this purpose in Australia.

“We have had the ability to do this sort of science for a long time and have used it to discover over 40 planets to date. Now, with Veloce, we can discover very small planets for the first time,” said Associate Professor Lidman.

“There are other purpose-built facilities in the south, based in Chile. But with Veloce we have a major point of difference - those facilities operate at yellow-green wavelengths, while Veloce operates in the red. Veloce is the only southern hemisphere facility optimised for the habitable planets that TESS is discovering.

“Veloce is a great example of how Australian scientists and engineers can work together to equip telescopes like the AAT, built in the 1970s, with instrumentation that enables ground-breaking scientific research,” said Associate Professor Lidman.

The Veloce project is being led by scientists from UNSW, with ANU designing and building the instrument, and fibre optics and software provided by AAO at Macquarie University. Other partners in the project are spread across the country, including the University of Southern Queensland, Macquarie University, Swinburne University of Technology and the University of Sydney. The spectrograph was funded with a series of grants and funds from the partner universities and the Australian Research Council totalling $5.4 million.


U.S. Army flies autonomous Sikorsky Optionally Piloted helicopter [video]

DARPA and Lockheed Martin's press release

An S-76B commercial helicopter flew over a small crowd gathered at Fort Eustis, Virginia, landed in an adjacent field after adjusting to miss a vehicle, and rose up to hover perfectly motionless for several minutes. The mid-October demonstration was remarkable because the pilot carried out the maneuvers using supervised autonomy in an aircraft equipped with DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS). He operated the system via novel control interceptors and a tablet he had used for the first time just three days beforehand.

“Hovering in adverse winds is a task that consumes a human pilot’s attention, but automated flight control achieves ‘rock steady’ precision,” said Graham Drozeski, the DARPA program manager for ALIAS, explaining how offloading pilots’ cognitive burden frees them to focus on mission execution.

“Really, we want the pilot’s eyes and mind on the fight rather than holding an altitude. That’s the core focus of ALIAS: bringing the latest advances from unmanned aircraft into a piloted aircraft through an interface that provides fluid interaction with the autonomous capabilities.”

The U.S. Army pilot conducting the demonstration agreed, noting that as autonomous systems become more prevalent, aircraft systems can take on the role of a traditional co-pilot.

“The Army refers to this as Mission Adaptive Autonomy. It’s there when the pilot needs the aircraft to fly itself and keep it free of obstacles, so the pilot can focus on more of the mission commander type role. But the pilot is able to interact with the system to re-suggest, re-route or re-plan on the fly,” said Lt. Col. Carl Ott, chief of Flight Test for the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center's Aviation Development Directorate.

During the hour-long flight demonstration, Ott interfaced with the autonomous capabilities of the system to conduct a series of realistic missions, including aircrew tasks such as low-level terrain flight, confined area takeoffs and landings, landing zone selection, trajectory planning, and wire-obstacle avoidance.

Before climbing in the cockpit, Ott practiced the mission plan with the ALIAS simulator, a tool that could help reduce mission planning and preparation time for future operators, allowing them to rehearse maneuvers in advance.

Now in Phase 3, the Sikorsky engineers developing ALIAS have begun to integrate the system into a UH-60 Black Hawk for testing and flight demonstration in 2019. As the biggest fleet of aircraft in the Army and widely relied on by the Department of Defense, Drozeski said the Black Hawk is the ideal platform for ALIAS to quickly benefit service partners.

“We’ve chosen the Black Hawk as the platform we want to demonstrate full integration of ALIAS-type capabilities – all the circuit breakers and switches and instruments in the aircraft, so that the capability ALIAS provides to a crew member is really like a co-pilot,” said Drozeski. “It can fly routes, plan routes, execute emergency procedures, and do all that perfectly.”

  • Highlights of ALIAS’ flexible architecture include:
  • The potential for integration onto multiple fixed and rotary-wing platforms, both military and commercial;
  • Cockpit displays and human interfaces that support reduced workload and/or reduced crew, as well as improved safety, such as terrain avoidance;
  • Full coverage of typical aircrew tasks and emergency procedures;
  • The ability to integrate directly with existing air vehicle systems, subsystems, and mission payloads;
  • Redundancy and software assurance to support certification for human occupancy; and
  • The ability to rapidly integrate new applications including third-party algorithms and applications onto existing aircraft.


SAR unmanned air vehichles could fly though dense forests without using GPS

MIT's press release
  • Fleets of drones could aid searches for lost hikers
  • System allows drones to cooperatively explore terrain under thick forest canopies where GPS signals are unreliable


Hovermap drones dive underground to autonomously map mines and tunnels


Embraer and American Airlines Sign a New Contract for 15 E175s

Embraer's press release

São José dos Campos, Brazil, November 5, 2018 – Embraer and American Airlines Inc. signed a firm order for 15 E175 jets in a 76-seat configuration. The contract has a value of USD 705 million, based on current list prices, and will be included in Embraer’s 2018 fourth-quarter backlog. Deliveries will take place in 2020. Combined with the airline’s previous orders for the E175, this new contract results in a total of 104 E175 jets for American Airlines since 2013. The most recent order took place in May 2018 for 15 aircraft. American Airlines selected Envoy, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group, to operate the 15 aircraft, which will be configured with a total of 76 seats, being 12 in First Class and 64 in Main Cabin, including Main Cabin Extra seats. “This new order from American Airlines continues to show the value that airlines place on our best-selling E175 aircraft,” said Charlie Hillis, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, North America, Embraer Commercial Aviation. “We are fully committed to providing fleet solutions that have a positive bottom line impact, and our E175 leads the charge with over 80 percent market share in the North American market.” Including this new contract, Embraer has sold more than 435 E175s to airlines in North America since January 2013, earning more than 80% of all orders in this 76-seat jet segment. Embraer is the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial jets up to 150 seats. The Company has 100 customers from all over the world operating the ERJ and E-Jet families of aircraft. For the E-Jets program alone, Embraer has logged more than 1,800 orders and 1,400 deliveries, redefining the traditional concept of regional aircraft.


Airbus delivers first European Service Module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft

Airbus' press release

Europe is providing propulsion and life support systems for missions that will take astronauts beyond the Moon

Airbus is leading the European project team on behalf of ESA from Bremen, Germany

First mission in 2020 will herald a new era of human spaceflight

@NASA @Nasa_Orion @ESA @LockheedMartin #OrionESM @AirbusSpace

Bremen, 02 November 2018 – Airbus will deliver the first European Service Module (ESM) for NASA’s Orion spacecraft from its aerospace site in Bremen, Germany on 5 November 2018. An Antonov cargo aircraft will fly the ESM to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. This is the result of four years of development and construction, and represents the achievement of a key milestone in the project. ESA selected Airbus as the prime contractor for the development and manufacturing of the first ESM in November 2014.

The ESM is a key element of Orion, the next-generation spacecraft that will transport astronauts beyond low Earth orbit for the first time since the end of the Apollo programme in the 1970s. The module provides propulsion, power and thermal control and will supply astronauts with water and oxygen on future missions. The ESM is installed underneath the crew module.

“The delivery of the first European Service Module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft is a hugely significant moment, and NASA’s ground-breaking deep-space mission is continuing to pick up speed. Very soon, the crew module and the service module will come together for the first time at Kennedy Space Center, and integration and testing can then begin,” said Oliver Juckenhöfel, Head of On-Orbit Services and Exploration at Airbus. “Working on the Orion project has cemented our exceptional, efficient and close relationships with our customers, ESA and NASA, and with our industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Space. We are committed to further reinforcing the trust that ESA and NASA have already placed in our know-how and expertise when it comes to the development and construction of the first ESM. We have already begun work on the integration of the second service module in our clean rooms.”

The launch of the Orion spacecraft with NASA’s new Space Launch System rocket is known as Exploration Mission-1 and is scheduled for 2020. This mission will be uncrewed and will take the spacecraft more than 64,000 kilometres beyond the Moon in order to demonstrate its capabilities. The first human spaceflight mission, Exploration Mission-2, is planned for 2022.

The design of the Orion spacecraft enables astronauts to be transported further into Space than ever before. The spacecraft will transport the four astronauts into Space, providing life support for the crew during the flight and enabling a safe return to Earth’s atmosphere, at extremely high re-entry speeds. NASA will use this mission beyond the Moon to develop the capabilities to send humans to Mars – heralding a new era of human spaceflight.

More than 20,000 parts and components are installed in the ESM, from electrical equipment to engines, solar panels, fuel tanks and life support materials, as well as several kilometres of cables and tubing.

The ESM is a cylinder that is around four metres in both height and diameter. Comparable to the European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV 2008 – 2015), also built by Airbus, it has a distinctive four-wing solar array (19 metres across when unfurled) that generates enough energy to power two households. The service module’s 8.6 tonnes of fuel can power one main engine and 32 smaller thrusters.

At launch, the ESM weighs a total of just over 13 tonnes. In addition to its function as the main propulsion system for the Orion spacecraft, the ESM will be responsible for orbital manoeuvring and position control. It also provides the crew with the central elements of life support such as water and oxygen, and regulates thermal control while it is docked to the crew module. Furthermore, the unpressurised service module can be used to carry additional payload.

During the development and construction of the ESM, Airbus has drawn on its extensive experience as prime contractor for ESA’s ATV, which provided the crew on board the International Space Station with regular deliveries of test equipment, spare parts, food, air, water and fuel.

Notes for editors: photos, videos, footage, infographics and interviews can be downloaded from our broadcast room at


Vietjet orders 50 more A321neo aircraft

airbus press release

Vietnamese carrier Vietjet has placed a firm order with Airbus for an additional 50 A321neo single aisle aircraft, finalising an MOU signed at the Farnborough International Airshow last July. The purchase agreement was signed in Hanoi today by Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Vietjet President and CEO and Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.

The signing was witnessed by Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Vietnam and Edouard Philippe, Prime Minister of France, during his official visit to Vietnam.

“The fuel efficient A321neo will enable us to increase capacity and help us to expand the network significantly, especially on international routes,” said Vietjet’s President & CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao. “We are honoured to be a long-term partner of Vietjet and to finalise this new order,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer. “The airline’s latest preference for the Airbus product, in particular the A321, is a testimony to Vietjet’s professionalism and a great endorsement for the A321 in the highly competitive market.”

The new purchase agreement increases the number of A320 Family aircraft ordered by Vietjet to 171, of which 46 have already been delivered. This leaves the airline with a backlog of 125 aircraft on order with Airbus for future delivery, comprising 120 A321neo and five A321ceo.

The A321neo is the largest member of the best-selling Airbus single aisle family and is firmly established as the most popular aircraft in its size category, seating up to 240 passengers in a single class layout. It also offers the longest range in its category, flying up to 4,000 nautical miles non-stop. Incorporating the latest engines, aerodynamic advances and cabin innovations, the A321neo offers a reduction in fuel consumption of at least 15 per cent per seat.

To date, the A320 Family has won more than 14,700 orders and over 8,000 aircraft are currently in service with 334 operators worldwide.


Airbus’ A220 embarks on a world demonstration tour

Airbus' press release

Visiting five cities in four countries to showcase its unbeatable efficiency and comfort

Airbus will fly an airBaltic A220-300 new-generation single-aisle aircraft to five cities in four countries as part of a world demonstration tour.

The A220-300 will first attend the Zhuhai airshow (China) from November 5 until November 8 before flying to Chengdu on November 9. The aircraft will continue on its journey with a stopover in Koh Samui (Thailand) on November 10 before flying to Kathmandu (Nepal) on November 11. After that, the airBaltic A220 will go to Istanbul (Turkey) on November 12 before returning to its home base in Riga (Latvia) on November 14.

The A220 demonstration tour is a great opportunity for Airbus to showcase its newest family member in front of airlines and media, and to offer a close up view of the aircraft`s outstanding characteristics, comfort, and performance, that benefit both operators and passengers alike.

airBaltic’s A220-300 features a comfortable cabin arrangement able to accommodate 145 passengers in true widebody comfort. The Latvian airline already operates 13 A220-300s out of a total of 50 ordered.

The A220 is the only aircraft purpose built for the 100-150 seat market, and it delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency and true widebody comfort in a single-aisle aircraft. The A220 brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft. With a range of up to 3,200 nm (5,020 km), the A220 offers the performance of larger single-aisle aircraft.

With an order book of over 400 aircraft to date, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market.