IRIAF F-14A Tomcat crashes, both crew members ejected safely

lunes, 20 de mayo de 2019


Applications open to host world’s first-ever electric air race

Press release

20 May, 2019 – Cities around the globe have the chance to become a part of aviation history with today’s announcement from Air Race E that it has opened applications to host to the world’s first ever electric airplane race next year.

Air Race E plans to run a series of international electric air racing events, starting with the inaugural race in 2020, in an effort to facilitate the development and promotion of cleaner, faster and more technologically-advanced electric engines.

The series will be run by Air Race Events and led by world-leading air racing promoter Jeff Zaltman, the man behind the globally successful Air Race 1 series – the fuel-powered equivalent.

Organisers are now calling for cities to submit their applications via a formal bidding process through which a shortlist of cities will be determined by October. A final decision on the selection of the first race venue is expected by December this year.

“It’s an extraordinary opportunity for a city to be at the leading edge of the electric revolution in aviation and demonstrate its public commitment to cutting carbon emissions from air travel,” Zaltman said.

Eight European countries have already signed a proposal calling for 25 percent of the EU’s budget to be spent fighting climate change, stating the EU should aim for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – and air travel is expected to be the biggest contributor to greenhouse gases by that time. Air Race E offers the opportunity to dramatically accelerate the move towards carbon-free air travel by nurturing the development of an electric alternative to fuel-powered engines, according to the organisers.

“Air Race E is the ideal catalyst for engineering teams to test cutting-edge electric propulsion technology, under the rigours of a proven racing format, while also providing high quality entertainment for international visitors and global TV audiences. We look forward to reviewing the host city bids and working with the successful destination to create a truly historic event,” said Zaltman.

Previous Air Race 1 events run by the company have attracted visitors and media from around the world, reaching an audience of over 1.3 billion people in 127 countries and a reach of more than 4.2 million on social media alone. Zaltman said the potential for Air Race E will be even higher, with support from industry leaders like Airbus, recently announced as the Official Founding Partner of Air Race E, providing industry insight and research to participating teams as they build their electric race aircraft.

“Industry partners of all types are piling in to the sport. The attention focused on this pioneering effort will thrust Air Race E to the forefront of the World’s mission to produce cleaner transportation solutions,” said Zaltman.

Air Race E notes that a suitable airport would be a critical factor in the viability of a city’s bid.

For more information on becoming a host city or to apply go to:

About Air Race E

Air Race E will become the world’s first all-electric airplane race when it launches its inaugural series of international races in 2020. Run by Air Race Events and led by world-leading air racing promoter Jeff Zaltman, the man behind the globally successful Air Race 1 World Cup, the race is set to revolutionise air racing and pioneer innovations in electric aviation. Air Race E will see electric airplanes race directly against each other on a tight 5km circuit just 10m above the ground and at speeds faster than any land-based motorsport. The demand for speed, performance and power management under the rigors of a competitive race environment provide the perfect platform for the development and promotion of cleaner, faster and more technologically-advanced electric engines. The Light Aircraft Association (LAA), has committed its support in developing the technical regulations and providing design oversight for the sport, soon to be sanctioned by the Formula Air Racing Association (FARA) and its counter-part in France, the Association des Pilotes D'Avions de Formules (APAF).


ICAO's 75th Anniversary: Future Aircraft Designs and Competitions - Uniting Aviation

domingo, 19 de mayo de 2019


Airbus announces senior leadership changes

viernes, 17 de mayo de 2019

press release

  • Antoine Bouvier to become Head of Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions and Public Affairs
  • Eric Béranger to succeed Antoine Bouvier as Chief Executive Officer of MBDA
  • Patrick de Castelbajac appointed Head of Region Asia-Pacific for Airbus

Amsterdam – Airbus SE (stock exchange symbol: AIR) has appointed Antoine Bouvier, 59, Head of Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions and Public Affairs, effective 1 June 2019. In this position, he will report to Guillaume Faury, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airbus.

At MBDA, Antoine Bouvier will be succeeded as CEO by Eric Béranger, 56, who has held a number of leadership positions in Airbus Defence and Space. His appointment will also become effective 1 June 2019. MBDA, a joint venture between Airbus (37.5%), BAE Systems PLC (37.5%) and Leonardo S.p.A. (25%), is Europe’s leading missile systems house.

Furthermore, Patrick de Castelbajac, 47, is appointed Head of Region Asia-Pacific for Airbus, effective 1 June 2019. In this capacity, he succeeds Jean-Marc Nasr who was recently appointed Executive Vice President Space Systems within Airbus Defence and Space. Patrick de Castelbajac is also named Head of Sales Asia-Pacific for the Company’s commercial aircraft business as of 1 July 2019. Patrick de Castelbajac will report to Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer and Member of the Executive Committee at Airbus.

“Today’s senior leadership announcements are further important elements to shape the Company’s next chapter,” said Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus. “Antoine Bouvier has demonstrated his leadership at the helm of MBDA since 2007, firmly establishing it as Europe’s premier missile company. Antoine brings a rich experience in the Aerospace and Defence sector as well as a strategic vision in an international environment.”

“With Eric Béranger we have a renowned industry leader joining the MBDA Board of Directors to succeed Antoine. Eric is taking over as CEO of MBDA and I wish him all the success for this new professional challenge”, said Faury.

He added: “Patrick de Castelbajac will now be responsible for one of Airbus’ most strategic growth regions with Asia-Pacific. Patrick has demonstrated, at Airbus and at ATR, his strong business knowledge and proximity to our stakeholders – all assets which are needed to successfully advance our business in this dynamic part of the world.”


Embraer earnings results 1st quarter 2019

press release

HIGHLIGHTS Embraer delivered 11 commercial jets and 11 executive jets (8 light / 3 large) in 1Q19; The Company’s firm order backlog at the end of 1Q19 was US$ 16 billion considering all deliveries as well as firm orders obtained during the period; EBIT and EBITDA in 1Q19 were US$ (15.2) million and US$ 30.9 million, respectively, yielding EBIT margin of -1.8% and EBITDA margin of 3.8%. This compares to EBIT of US$ (5.3) million (-0.6% EBIT margin) and EBITDA of US$ 57.8 million (6.0% EBITDA margin) in 1Q18; 1Q19 Net loss attributable to Embraer shareholders and Loss per ADS were US$ (42.5) million and US$ (0.23), respectively. Adjusted net loss (excluding deferred income tax and social contribution) for 1Q19 was US$ (61.8) million, with Adjusted loss per ADS of US$ (0.34). Embraer reported adjusted net loss in 1Q18 of US$ (60.5) million, for an adjusted loss per ADS of US$ (0.33) in the quarter; Embraer reported Free cash flow of US$ (665.3) million in 1Q19, compared to free cash flow of US$ (435.2) million reported in 1Q18. The Company finished the quarter with total cash of US$ 2,483.4 million and total debt of US$ 3,587.1 million, yielding a net debt position of US$ 1,103.7 million versus net debt of US$ 439.9 million at the end of 2018; The Company’s shareholders approved the proposed strategic partnership between Boeing and Embraer during an Extraordinary General Shareholders’ Meeting on February 26, 2019. At the meeting, 96.8% of all valid votes were in favor of the transaction, with participation of roughly 67% of all outstanding shares; The closing of the transaction between Boeing and Embraer remains subject to obtaining regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions, expected by the end of 2019; The Company reaffirms all aspects of its 2019 financial and deliveries guidance. Learn more in the full report below: Download


Bombardier’s Global 7500 Jet Demonstrates Unmatched Performance:Non-stop Mission from London City Airport to Los Angeles

press release

  • Bombardier’s Global 7500 Jet Demonstrates Unmatched Performance with Industry’s First Ever Non-stop Mission from London City Airport to Los Angeles Mission highlights Global 7500 jet’s outstanding short-field performance and steep approach capabilities, giving passengers direct access to one of the world’s greatest financial centres
  • Aircraft showcased its impressive field performance and low-speed versatility during takeoff from London City Airport
  • The multiple award-winning Global 7500 aircraft offers Bombardier’s signature smooth ride and a spaciousness that is unique among business jets

Bombardier today announced that its Global 7500 aircraft, the world’s largest and longest range business jet, has demonstrated its unmatched performance capabilities with the first ever flight from London City Airport to Los Angeles, CA.

The aircraft flew non-stop from London City Airport (LCY), one of the most notable airports requiring steep approach capabilities, to Van Nuys, CA, one of the most popular business aviation airports serving the Los Angeles area. The flight was carried out by a flight test vehicle (FTV5) called “The Masterpiece,” in London City to complete the Global 7500 aircraft’s steep approach certification flight test campaign for Transport Canada.

The Masterpiece was configured with the equivalent weight of a fully fitted interior, including a stateroom and shower, and 2,400 lbs of additional payload, representing about 11 passengers and their baggage.

As part of its steep approach certification flight test campaign, the aircraft also performed several takeoffs and landings at London City Airport to demonstrate this operational capability. With its tremendous performance and flexibility, the Global 7500 aircraft gives passengers direct access to any location in the U.S. from the airfield deep in the heart of one of the world’s greatest financial centres.

“The Global 7500 aircraft’s combination of unrivalled performance, exquisite cabin experience and size simply cannot be matched,” said Peter Likoray, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Bombardier Business Aircraft. “This demonstration continues to cement the Global 7500 jet as the industry leader, showcasing once again to customers the real-world capabilities of this revolutionary aircraft that can deliver uncompromising value to customers under any conditions, at any time, without the need for tailwinds.”

“Welcoming the Bombardier Global 7500 aircraft to London City Airport for its flight test campaign is a crucial milestone towards certification and subsequent business jet operations at London’s most central airport,” said Gary Hodgetts, Director of Operations at London City Airport. “The flight completed by the Global 7500 FTV on May 11th is the longest flight ever out of London City and simply demonstrates the exceptional performance of the aircraft.”

The Global 7500 aircraft is the largest business jet with short-field performance and steep approach capabilities able to operate out of London City Airport and to connect any city in the continental U.S., Africa or the Middle East*. Its long-range performance can go even further traveling eastward, reaching most major cities in Asia.

This latest mission comes only weeks after the aircraft set back-to-back city-pair speed records for the fastest ever business jet flights between New York and London, and between Los Angeles and New York. Prior to that, the Global 7500 aircraft also completed an unprecedented long-range mission from Singapore to Tucson, Arizona, departing as planned during its busy world-tour schedule—without the need to linger at the airfield for days on end, waiting for exponentially stronger tailwinds, as some smaller aircraft do.

Winner of the 2019 Aviation Week Grand Laureate Award and a Red Dot award for design, the Global 7500 jet offers Bombardier’s signature smooth ride and a spaciousness that is unique among business jets. Featuring a full-size kitchen and four true living spaces, the Global 7500 aircraft sets the benchmark for the most exceptional cabin interior. The aircraft offers the most innovative features such as the recently unveiled Soleil lighting system, the industry’s most advanced cabin lighting technology. Designed and developed exclusively for the Global 7500 aircraft, the innovative Soleil lighting system is aviation’s first circadian rhythm-based cabin lighting technology fully integrated with the Flight Management System, and it introduces the revolutionary Dynamic Daylight Simulation feature, which can help combat jet lag. The Global 7500 business jet also offers the patented Nuage seat, meticulously designed for maximum comfort, which introduces an all-new, ergonomically-perfected deep recline position – unavailable on any other business aircraft.

About Bombardier

With over 68,000 employees, Bombardier is a global leader in the transportation industry, creating innovative and game-changing planes and trains. Our products and services provide world-class transportation experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Bombardier has production and engineering sites in 28 countries as well as a broad portfolio of products and services for the business aviation, commercial aviation and rail transportation markets. Bombardier shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, Bombardier posted revenues of $16.2 billion US. The company is recognized on the 2019 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World Index. News and information are available at or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.


Boeing Statement on 737 MAX Certification and Return to Service

press release

CICAGO, May 16, 2019 – Boeing has completed development of the updated software for the 737 MAX, along with associated simulator testing and the company’s engineering test flight. To date, Boeing has flown the 737 MAX with updated MCAS software for more than 360 hours on 207 flights.

Boeing is now providing additional information to address Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requests that include detail on how pilots interact with the airplane controls and displays in different flight scenarios. Once the requests are addressed, Boeing will work with the FAA to schedule its certification test flight and submit final certification documentation.

“With safety as our clear priority, we have completed all of the engineering test flights for the software update and are preparing for the final certification flight,” said Boeing Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg. “We’re committed to providing the FAA and global regulators all the information they need, and to getting it right. We’re making clear and steady progress and are confident that the 737 MAX with updated MCAS software will be one of the safest airplanes ever to fly. The accidents have only intensified our commitment to our values, including safety, quality and integrity, because we know lives depend on what we do.”

In addition, Boeing has developed enhanced training and education materials that are now being reviewed with the FAA, global regulators, and airline customers to support return-to-service and longer-term operations. This includes a series of regional customer conferences being conducted around the world.


2019 General Aviation Design Challenge winning teams revealed

jueves, 16 de mayo de 2019


Perpignan : la collection du musée du Mas Palegry aux enchères

miércoles, 15 de mayo de 2019


Indra to supply a state-of-the-art deployable military radar to the United Kingdom | indra

martes, 14 de mayo de 2019


Hummingbird robot using AI to go soon where drones can’t

press release

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — What can fly like a bird and hover like an insect?

Your friendly neighborhood hummingbirds. If drones had this combo, they would be able to maneuver better through collapsed buildings and other cluttered spaces to find trapped victims.

Purdue University researchers have engineered flying robots that behave like hummingbirds, trained by machine learning algorithms based on various techniques the bird uses naturally every day.

This means that after learning from a simulation, the robot “knows” how to move around on its own like a hummingbird would, such as discerning when to perform an escape maneuver.

Artificial intelligence, combined with flexible flapping wings, also allows the robot to teach itself new tricks. Even though the robot can’t see yet, for example, it senses by touching surfaces. Each touch alters an electrical current, which the researchers realized they could track.

“The robot can essentially create a map without seeing its surroundings. This could be helpful in a situation when the robot might be searching for victims in a dark place – and it means one less sensor to add when we do give the robot the ability to see,” said Xinyan Deng, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue.

The researchers will present their work on May 20 at the 2019 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Montreal.

A YouTube video is available at

Drones can’t be made infinitely smaller, due to the way conventional aerodynamics work. They wouldn’t be able to generate enough lift to support their weight.

But hummingbirds don’t use conventional aerodynamics – and their wings are resilient. “The physics is simply different; the aerodynamics is inherently unsteady, with high angles of attack and high lift. This makes it possible for smaller, flying animals to exist, and also possible for us to scale down flapping wing robots,” Deng said.

Researchers have been trying for years to decode hummingbird flight so that robots can fly where larger aircraft can’t. In 2011, the company AeroVironment, commissioned by DARPA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Defense, built a robotic hummingbird that was heavier than a real one but not as fast, with helicopter-like flight controls and limited maneuverability. It required a human to be behind a remote control at all times.

Deng’s group and her collaborators studied hummingbirds themselves for multiple summers in Montana. They documented key hummingbird maneuvers, such as making a rapid 180-degree turn, and translated them to computer algorithms that the robot could learn from when hooked up to a simulation.

Further study on the physics of insects and hummingbirds allowed Purdue researchers to build robots smaller than hummingbirds – and even as small as insects – without compromising the way they fly. The smaller the size, the greater the wing flapping frequency, and the more efficiently they fly, Deng says.

The robots have 3D-printed bodies, wings made of carbon fiber and laser-cut membranes. The researchers have built one hummingbird robot weighing 12 grams – the weight of the average adult magnificent hummingbird – and another insect-sized robot weighing 1 gram. The hummingbird robot can lift more than its own weight, up to 27 grams.

Designing their robots with higher lift gives the researchers more wiggle room to eventually add a battery and sensing technology, such as a camera or GPS. Currently, the robot needs to be tethered to an energy source while it flies – but that won’t be for much longer, the researchers say.

The robots could fly silently just as a real hummingbird does, making them more ideal for covert operations. And they stay steady through turbulence, which the researchers demonstrated by testing the dynamically scaled wings in an oil tank.

The robot requires only two motors and can control each wing independently of the other, which is how flying animals perform highly agile maneuvers in nature.

“An actual hummingbird has multiple groups of muscles to do power and steering strokes, but a robot should be as light as possible, so that you have maximum performance on minimal weight,” Deng said.

Robotic hummingbirds wouldn’t only help with search-and-rescue missions, but also would allow biologists to study hummingbirds more reliably in their natural environment through the senses of a realistic robot.

“We learned from biology to build the robot, and now biological discoveries can happen with extra help from robots,” Deng said.

Simulations of the technology are available open-source at

Early stages of the work, including the Montana hummingbird experiments in collaboration with Bret Tobalske’s group at the University of Montana, were financially supported by the National Science Foundation.

This work aligns with Purdue's Giant Leaps celebration, acknowledging the university’s global advancements made in AI, algorithms and automation as part of Purdue’s 150th anniversary. This is one of the four themes of the yearlong celebration’s Ideas Festival, designed to showcase Purdue as an intellectual center solving real-world issues.

Writer: Kayla Wiles, 765-494-2432,

Source: Xinyan Deng, 765-494-1513,

Note to Journalists: Links to the paper preprints are available in the abstracts. A YouTube video is available at and other multimedia can be found in a Google Drive folder at Video and photos were prepared by Jared Pike, communications specialist for Purdue University’s School of Mechanical Engineering.

Learning Extreme Hummingbird Maneuvers on Flapping Wing Robots
Fan Fei, Zhan Tu, Jian Zhang, and Xinyan Deng
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
Biological studies show that hummingbirds can perform extreme aerobatic maneuvers during fast escape. Given a sudden looming visual stimulus at hover, a hummingbird initiates a fast backward translation coupled with a 180-degree yaw turn, which is followed  by  instant  posture  stabilization in just under 10 wingbeats. Consider the wingbeat frequency of 40Hz, this aggressive maneuver is carried out in just 0.2 seconds. Inspired by the hummingbirds’ near-maximal performance during such extreme maneuvers, we developed a flight control strategy and experimentally demonstrated that such maneuverability can be achieved  by  an  at-scale  12-  gram hummingbird robot equipped with just two actuators. The proposed hybrid control policy combines model-based nonlinear control with model-free reinforcement learning. We use model-based nonlinear control for nominal flight control, as the dynamic model is relatively accurate for these conditions. However, during extreme maneuver, the modeling error becomes unmanageable. A model-free reinforcement learning policy trained in simulation was optimized to ’destabilize’ the system and maximize the performance during maneuvering. The hybrid policy manifests a maneuver that is close to that observed in hummingbirds. Direct simulation-to-real transfer  is achieved, demonstrating the hummingbird-like fast evasive maneuvers on the at-scale hummingbird robot.

Acting is Seeing: Navigating Tight Space Using Flapping Wings
Zhan Tu, Fan Fei, Jian Zhang, and Xinyan Deng
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
Wings of flying animals can not only generate lift and control torques but also can sense their surroundings. Such dual functions of sensing and actuation coupled in one element are particularly useful for small sized bio-inspired robotic flyers, whose weight, size, and power are under stringent constraint. In this work, we present the first flapping-wing robot using its flapping wings for environmental perception and navigation in tight space, without the need for any visual feedback. As the test platform, we introduce the Purdue Hummingbird, a flapping-wing robot with 17cm wingspan and 12 grams weight, with a pair of 30-40Hz flapping wings driven by only two actuators. By interpreting the wing loading feedback and its variations, the vehicle can detect the presence of environmental changes such as grounds, walls, stairs, obstacles and wind gust. The instantaneous wing loading can be obtained through the measurements and interpretation of the current feedback by the motors that actuate the wings. The effectiveness of the proposed approach  is experimentally demonstrated on several challenging flight tasks without vision: terrain following, wall following and going through a narrow corridor. To ensure flight stability, a robust controller was designed for handling unforeseen disturbances during the flight. Sensing and navigating one’s environment through actuator loading is a promising method for mobile robots, and it can serve as an alternative or complementary method to visual perception.

Flappy Hummingbird: An Open Source Dynamic Simulation of Flapping Wing Robots and Animals
Fan Fei, Zhan Tu, Yilun Yang, Jian Zhang, and Xinyan Deng
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
Insects and hummingbirds exhibit extraordinary flight capabilities and can simultaneously master seemingly conflicting goals: stable hovering and aggressive maneuvering, unmatched by small scale man-made vehicles. Flapping Wing Micro Air Vehicles (FWMAVs) hold great promise for closing this performance gap. However, design and control of such systems remain challenging due to various constraints. Here, we present an open source high fidelity dynamic simulation for FWMAVs to serve as a testbed for the  design,  optimization and flight control  of  FWMAVs.  For  simulation  validation, we recreated the hummingbird-scale robot developed in our lab in the  simulation.  System  identification  was  performed  to obtain the model parameters. The force generation, open- loop and closed-loop dynamic response between simulated and experimental flights were compared and validated. The unsteady aerodynamics and the highly nonlinear flight dynamics present challenging control problems for conventional and learning control algorithms such as Reinforcement Learning. The interface of the simulation is fully compatible with OpenAI Gym environment. As a benchmark study, we present a linear controller for hovering stabilization and a Deep Reinforcement Learning control policy for goal-directed maneuvering. Finally, we demonstrate direct simulation-to-real transfer of both control policies onto the physical robot, further demonstrating the fidelity of the simulation.


DARPA to launch competition for AI-powered aircraft dogfighting

DARPA's press release

Artificial intelligence has defeated chess grandmasters, Go champions, professional poker players, and, now, world-class human experts in the online strategy games Dota 2 and StarCraft II. No AI currently exists, however, that can outduel a human strapped into a fighter jet in a high-speed, high-G dogfight. As modern warfare evolves to incorporate more human-machine teaming, DARPA seeks to automate air-to-air combat, enabling reaction times at machine speeds and freeing pilots to concentrate on the larger air battle.

Turning aerial dogfighting over to AI is less about dogfighting, which should be rare in the future, and more about giving pilots the confidence that AI and automation can handle a high-end fight. As soon as new human fighter pilots learn to take-off, navigate, and land, they are taught aerial combat maneuvers. Contrary to popular belief, new fighter pilots learn to dogfight because it represents a crucible where pilot performance and trust can be refined. To accelerate the transformation of pilots from aircraft operators to mission battle commanders — who can entrust dynamic air combat tasks to unmanned, semi-autonomous airborne assets from the cockpit — the AI must first prove it can handle the basics.

To pursue this vision, DARPA created the Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program. ACE aims to increase warfighter trust in autonomous combat technology by using human-machine collaborative dogfighting as its initial challenge scenario. DARPA will hold a Proposers Day for interested researchers on May 17, 2019, in Arlington, Virginia.

“Being able to trust autonomy is critical as we move toward a future of warfare involving manned platforms fighting alongside unmanned systems,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Dan Javorsek (Ph.D.), ACE program manager in DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office (STO). “We envision a future in which AI handles the split-second maneuvering during within-visual-range dogfights, keeping pilots safer and more effective as they orchestrate large numbers of unmanned systems into a web of overwhelming combat effects.”

ACE is one of several STO programs designed to enable DARPA’s “mosaic warfare” vision. Mosaic warfare shifts warfighting concepts away from a primary emphasis on highly capable manned systems — with their high costs and lengthy development timelines — to a mix of manned and less-expensive unmanned systems that can be rapidly developed, fielded, and upgraded with the latest technology to address changing threats. Linking together manned aircraft with significantly cheaper unmanned systems creates a “mosaic” where the individual “pieces” can easily be recomposed to create different effects or quickly replaced if destroyed, resulting in a more resilient warfighting capability.

The ACE program will train AI in the rules of aerial dogfighting similar to how new fighter pilots are taught, starting with basic fighter maneuvers in simple, one-on-one scenarios. While highly nonlinear in behavior, dogfights have a clearly defined objective, measureable outcome, and the inherent physical limitations of aircraft dynamics, making them a good test case for advanced tactical automation. Like human pilot combat training, the AI performance expansion will be closely monitored by fighter instructor pilots in the autonomous aircraft, which will help co-evolve tactics with the technology. These subject matter experts will play a key role throughout the program.

“Only after human pilots are confident that the AI algorithms are trustworthy in handling bounded, transparent and predictable behaviors will the aerial engagement scenarios increase in difficulty and realism,” Javorsek said. “Following virtual testing, we plan to demonstrate the dogfighting algorithms on sub-scale aircraft leading ultimately to live, full-scale manned-unmanned team dogfighting with operationally representative aircraft.”

DARPA seeks a broad spectrum of potential proposers for each area of study, including small companies and academics with little previous experience with the Defense Department. To that end, before Phase 1 of the program begins, DARPA will sponsor a stand-alone, limited-scope effort focused on the first technical area: automating individual tactical behavior for one-on-one dogfights. Called the “AlphaDogfight Trials,” this initial solicitation will be issued by AFWERX, an Air Force innovation catalyst with the mission of finding novel solutions to Air Force challenges at startup speed. The AFWERX trials will pit AI dogfighting algorithms against each other in a tournament-style competition.

“Through the AFWERX trials, we intend to tap the top algorithm developers in the air combat simulation and gaming communities,” Javorsek said. “We want them to help lay the foundational AI elements for dogfights, on which we can build as the program progresses.”

AFWERX will announce the trials in the near future on its website:

For ACE Proposers Day registration details, please visit:


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XTI TriFan Prototype Makes First Flight

viernes, 10 de mayo de 2019


Thales Alenia Space Marks Key Milestone in the ExoMars 2020 ESA mission

press release

The laboratory to analyze samples and discover traces of present and past life on Mars is now ready to be integrated on-board the rover

Turin – 8 May 2019 - After a challenging engineering phase, the Analytical Laboratory Drawer (ALD), the core of the Rover of the ExoMars 2020 ESA Program, has been successfully integrated and tested by Thales Alenia Space, Joint Venture between Thales 67% and Leonardo 33%, in its facility in Torino, Italy. Now it is ready to be integrated inside the Rover named Rosalind Franklin, that is provided by Airbus Defense and Space in UK.

The European Rover will be the first capable of drilling two meters into Mars, where ancient biomarkers may still be preserved from the harsh radiation environment on the surface and collecting samples.

The ALD will cover this ambitious task by analyzing the samples, in particular pyrolysis/chemicals derivate, detecting potential organic groups while characterizing the soil’s sample mineralogy with unprecedented microscopic resolution.

The Laboratory embed a set of sophisticated scientific instruments (the infrared hyperspectral microscope MicrOmega, the Raman Laser Spectrometer RLS, the Mars Organic Molecule Analyser MOMA) directly served by a set of mechanisms able to retrieve and process soil samples cored by the Drill, developed and built by Leonardo, in the Mars subsurface. A set of detailed chemistry, physical, and spectral analyses are then run internally to the ALD.

“We are proud of reaching this milestone, a key technical challenge to prove that the unique ALD design and the methodologies specifically studied and adopted for the ExoMars 2020 meets the expectations”, said Walter Cugno – Vice President, Exploration and Science at Thales Alenia Space – “Using its miniaturized life search laboratory and advanced robotic technology, the ExoMars 2020 mission will explore the red planet in search of new evidence to answer questions that have long fascinated humanity”.

In order to exclusively find traces of life on Mars, without bringing some terrestrial ones from the Earth, the laboratory in which the sample is processed and analyzed (UCZ) has been strictly sterilized, ultra-cleaned and integrated in the dedicated Glove Box facility, reaching an unprecedented level of cleanliness for Space application.

To guarantee its proper duty once arrived on Mars facing the Martian environment, the integral combined functionality of the ALD equipment have been verified in the Planetary Environment Simulation Facility located in the Thales Alenia Space, Torino premises, witnessing excellent results, as also recognized by the scientific community:

Jorge Vago, ExoMars mission scientist, ESA: "The ALD is the heart of the ExoMars rover; it is uniquely suited to search for signs of life and obtain corroborating geological information. We have great hopes for this mission's scientific discoveries and thank Thales Alenia Space for their professional work and dedication."

Prof. Fred Goesmann, MOMA Principal investigator, Max Plank Institute (D): “MOMA is perfectly equipped to search for molecular and chiral biosignatures. The final tests after integration at Thales Alenia Space showed that MOMA is working to expectations and that the system is clean. We thank the Thales Alenia Space team for their care and dedication."

Prof. Jean Pierre Bibring, MicrOmega Principal investigator, CNES (F): “With MicrOmega, coupled in the ALD to RLS and MOMA, ExoMars will perform the unprecedented microscopic characterization of martian samples, aimed at identifying potential witnesses of extra-terrestrial life. Congratulation again to this brilliant achievement of ALD FM integration and test.”

Prof Fernando Rull, RLS Principal investigator, INTA (Sp): “The RLS team would like to underline the technical excellence demonstrated by Thales Alenia Space and their industrial team in implementing a technical solution allowing the instruments in the ALD to investigate the sample material in ultraclean way, an engineering first for planetary missions.”

In Thales Alenia Space the effort continues with the integration and testing of the Rover Ground Test Module, a full Rover simulator equipped with a copy of the ALD module, that will be used to rehearse from Torino all activities commanded to the Rover exploring and running science on Mars. The ExoMars 2016 Mission TGO (Trace Gas Orbiter), also leaded by Thales Alenia Space, will enable the communication with the ExoMars 2020 Rover processing around the Martian orbit all the information to and from Mars.

In parallel, Thales Alenia Space will proceed with the development of the Mission Control Software, and complete the integration and testing of the Descent Module (provided by Lavochkin) including its mating to the Carrier Module (provided by OHB). The two integrated elements will move in July to the Thales Alenia Space Facility in Cannes, where will take place the environmental testing. Before leaving the Thales Alenia Space Facility in Cannes, the Rover, Rosalind Franklin, will meet the Landing Platform Kazachok and the Carrier Module, and jointed together will compose the final Spacecraft flying in July 2020 from Baikonur in Kazakhstan to red planet Mars.

More about the Exomars 2020 mission

ExoMars is an European Space Agency program executed in cooperation with Russian Space Agency Roscosmos with contribution of NASA. The chronology can be summarized as follows: Launch from Baikonur between 26 July and 11 Aug 2020, cruise to Mars through a direct ballistic trajectory, separate the CM from DM, entry into the Martian atmosphere and the subsequent descent and landing of the Descent Module and its Rover, weighing approximately 2 metric tons, on 19 March 2021; the arrival of a landing platform and egress of the rover; exploration by the rover of a vast area of Mars, with geological/scientific sampling of both the planet’s surface and subsoil, by taking and analyzing soil samples to a depth of 2 meters; search for present or past forms of life in the soil samples that will be processed on the spacecraft; geochemical and atmospheric studies of the surface and underground environments.

More about the industrial consortium

On the 2020 mission, Thales Alenia Space in Italy, is in charge of the design, development and verification of the entire system, the development of the Carrier Module navigation and guidance system and perform EDL/GNC development, the Rover System, including the Analytical Laboratory Drawer (ALD) as well as supplying basic parts of the DM, including the Radar Altimeter. In addition, Thales Alenia Space in Italy implements a deep technical partnership with Lavochkin (RUS) with European contributions for the development Descent Module (DM) Kazachok. OHB is in charge to develop the CM as well as some ALD subsystems (SPDS Mechanisms, Structure and Harness). The Rover Vehicle itself is provided by Airbus Defence and Space in UK. Leonardo is developing the ExoMars drill, which will dig into the

Mars subsoil at a depth of two meters plus the Drill and ALD mechanisms control unit and software. ALTEC – Aerospace Logistics Technology Engineering, a Thales Alenia Space in Italy (63.75%) and ASI (36.25%) company – will also be responsible for the design, development and maintenance of the ROCC (Rover Operation Control Center) and for controlling the Rover on the Martian surface.

About Thales Alenia Space

Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of about 2.5 billion euros in 2018 and has around 8,000 employees in nine countries.


Take it Beyond the Limit: Lockheed Martin Completes Critical Testing Milestone for NASA JPL's Mars 2020 Rover Heat Shield

press release

DENVER, May 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Protecting against the extremes of space travel is critical to the success of any mission. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has successfully completed the flight hardware structure of the heat shield, validating the physical integrity with a final static test after exposing it to flight-like thermal conditions. The heat shield is half of the large and sophisticated two-part aeroshell that Lockheed Martin is designing and building to encapsulate NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars 2020 rover from the punishing heat and friction of entry through the Martian atmosphere.

The Mars 2020 mission will be one of the most challenging entry, descent and landings ever attempted on the Red Planet. The heat shield aerodynamics serve as a "brake" to slow the spacecraft from about 12,000 mph (19,300 kph) so the structure needs to be flawless. As the tenth aeroshell system that Lockheed Martin has produced for NASA, this is one of the largest at 15 feet (4.5 meters) in diameter.

"Our experience building aeroshells for NASA Mars missions does not mean that it is 'easy'," said Neil Tice, Lockheed Martin Mars 2020 Aeroshell program manager. "Tests like this structural test are absolutely essential to ensuring mission success in the long-run."

The static test was conducted on April 25 and was designed to mimic the load that the heat shield will experience during the most extreme part of its journey; the entry phase. To do that, engineers used vacuum pumps to simulate the pressure of approximately 140,000 pounds on the structure. The structure was tested to 120% of the expected flight load to push it to the limit.

For this particular test, the team also integrated a new form of instrumentation. Historically, this test utilizes conventional strain gauges and extensometers to monitor structural response at distinct points during loading. Partnering with NASA Langley Research Center, the team also applied a new tool called Photogrammetry or Digital Image Correlation. This allowed the team to monitor full-field strains and displacements over the entire visible area of the structure in real time. To use this technique, a vinyl wrap, similar to a decal, that has different visual cues (dark random speckles over a white background) was applied to the heat shield. During the test, a set of digital cameras optically monitor any changes in the pattern and generate a three-dimensional map of displacements and surface strains as the applied load increases.

"While we have used this full-field photogrammetry technique on test articles in the past, this is the first successful implementation on official flight hardware," said Dr. Sotiris Kellas, NASA Langley aerospace engineer and lead for the technical demonstration. "This technology will allow us to safeguard hardware during testing but more importantly provide data for test analysis correlation and improvement of our design and analysis tools."

Following this test, the Lockheed Martin team will apply Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator (PICA) thermal protection system tiles to the structure. Once complete and through all environmental testing, the full heat shield will be mated to the backshell in early fall.

The Mars 2020 Project at NASA JPL manages rover development for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The NASA Engineering and Safety Center at NASA Langley Research Center provided the photogrammetry support for this test.


Trump's Trade War With China Hasn't Wrecked Tech—Yet

jueves, 9 de mayo de 2019

Now for your latest installment of the on-again, off-again trade war between the US and China, we have President Trump blasting Beijing for reneging on commitments to clamp down on intellectual property theft, end forced technology transfers from US tech companies, and allow US companies greater …

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Viking Launches Avionics Upgrade Program (AUP) for Canadair CL-215T / CL-415 Aerial Firefighter Fleet

press release

Pictured above: Proposed layout of the Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion integrated avionics suite featuring 3-screen LCD displays.

Nimes, France, March 18, 2019: Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia has launched an Avionics Upgrade Program (AUP) for the Canadair CL-215T and CL-415 fleet of aerial firefighting aircraft. The program will incorporate modernized technologies in communications, navigation, surveillance, and air-traffic management functionality in an integrated platform featuring the Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion avionics suite.

To face challenges with supportability and end-of-life components inherent with aging technology, the AUP will utilize modern and reliable COTS systems that will easily interface with specialized mission equipment. The system is designed as a complete integrated solution for a harmonized cockpit that will not only meet current regulatory requirements, it will also address future operational and technical requirements over a 25+ year horizon.

The standardized cockpit will feature an ergonomic flight deck with three large LCD displays and low instrument footprint for enhanced Flight Data Visualization that will help reduce pilot workload and provide focused information in a streamlined, simplified cockpit design.

A key component of the AUP is the introduction of the Collins Pro Line Fusion digital avionics suite, a FAR/Part 25 certified scalable software-based system. The avionics suite’s core configuration features Flight Director, Flight Management System (FMS) coupled with SBAS-GPS and LPV capability, Terrain Awareness Warning System (TAWS), ADS-B Out, Synthetic Vision, crew alerting system display indicators, and a multi-functional keyboard panel with dual cursor controls providing an alternative to touch screen commands.

A SATCOM system, Latitude Technologies Ionode System, Weather Radar, and Auto-Pilot are few of the available options to further enhance and customize the avionics system based on operator requirements.

Dan Seroussi, Viking’s Customer Service & Product Support Program Director, stated, “The Canadair Aerial Firefighters are at the heart of Viking’s development strategy. These aircraft have incredible operational capabilities, and their versatility will allow them to accomplish a variety of missions in the future. We’re confident that not only will the Collins Pro Line Fusion Avionics suite help address the obsolescence issues and new regulatory requirements currently facing operators of CL-215T and CL-415 aircraft, it will also extend operators’ fleet longevity for many years to come.”

Gregory Davis, Viking’s vice president Customer Service and Product Support, added, “The Pro Line Fusion’s advanced technology will be the backbone for the evolution and support of these incredible aircraft for the next 25+ years, and I am excited to see this integrated avionics suite equipping current CL fleets as well as the new Viking CL-415EAF Enhanced Aerial Firefighter. This system will also form the basis for any new production aircraft, allowing for seamless interoperability and maintainability between new and legacy aircraft.”

The AUP will initially be offered as an upgrade to operators of CL-215T or CL-415 who can select either a complete modification including the supply and installation of the avionics suite, or as a parts kit for installation by an approved Maintenance Repair Organization.



Bombardier Reports First Quarter 2019 Financial Results and New Strategic Direction for Aerospace, the formation of Bombardier Aviation

press release

  • First quarter results in line with preliminary results announced last week.
  • Announces the strategic formation of Bombardier Aviation, consolidating all aerospace assets into a single, streamlined and fully integrated business. As a result, Bombardier will pursue the divestiture of its Belfast and Morocco aerostructures businesses.

All amounts in this press release are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated. Amounts in tables are in millions except per share amounts, unless otherwise indicated.

Bombardier (TSX: BBD.B) announced today its financial results for the first quarter of 2019, in line with the preliminary results published on April 25, 2019. The Company also announced that it will consolidate its aerospace assets into a single, streamlined, and fully integrated Bombardier Aviation business unit, which will be led by David Coleal.

“We are very excited to announce the strategic formation of Bombardier Aviation,” said Alain Bellemare, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc. “It is the right next step in our transformation. The consolidation will simplify and better focus our organization on our leading brands, Global, Challenger, Learjet and the CRJ. It will also allow us to better support our customers and generate value for shareholders.”

“With our clear vision for the future of Bombardier Aviation, we will focus our aerostructures activities around our core capabilities in Montréal, Mexico and our newly acquired Global 7500 wing operations in Texas,” Bellemare continued. “Collectively, these facilities provide Bombardier with all the skills, technologies and capabilities to design, produce and service the current and next generation of aircraft.”

As the Company moves to optimize its global manufacturing footprint, Bombardier will pursue the divestiture of the Belfast and Morocco aerostructures businesses. These are great businesses with tremendous capabilities.

Bombardier Aviation will continue to be the best business aircraft franchise in the world, and well positioned to maximize the value of its proven CRJ regional jets. Together, Bombardier Aviation and Bombardier Transportation will be two strong pillars supporting Bombardier’s future.

Financial Results

First quarter 2019 adjusted EBITDA(1) and adjusted EBIT(1) were $266 million and $171 million, respectively, on revenues of $3.5 billion. On a reported basis, EBIT was $684 million, driven higher by the $516 million gain on disposal of the training business closed during the quarter. Free cash flow usage(1) in the first quarter was $1.0 billion, supporting the intense ramp-up of key rail projects and Global 7500 aircraft deliveries in the second half of the year. Cash flow usage from operating activities amounted to $907 million in the first quarter.

As announced last week, Bombardier’s consolidated revenue guidance for 2019 has been adjusted to reflect revised expectations at Transportation and Commercial Aircraft. Full year revenues are expected to be approximately $17.0 billion, approximately $1.0 billion lower than originally anticipated. Year over year, the revised guidance represents approximately 10% organic growth over 2018, excluding currency effects and divestitures.

While earnings expectations across the aerospace businesses are unchanged, Transportation’s adjusted EBIT guidance is reduced by approximately $150 million for the year. As a result, the Company expects to report full year consolidated adjusted EBITDA of $1.50-1.65 billion, implying growth of almost 20% year over year. Consolidated adjusted EBIT guidance is also revised, and is now expected at $1.0-1.15 billion.

Commenting on Transportation’s ramp-up challenges, Bellemare stated, “despite the current industrial challenges we are facing, the business fundamentals at Bombardier Transportation remain very strong. We have a refreshed product portfolio, a broad global customer base and a strong $34-billion backlog. The team is making steady progress addressing our challenging legacy projects, however, it will take us a few more quarters to manage these projects to completion.”

Free cash flow guidance for the full year remains unchanged, at breakeven plus or minus $250 million, as Global 7500 aircraft and key Transportation project deliveries are expected to accelerate in the second half of the year.

Termination of the Corporation’s Automatic Securities Disposition Plan

Bombardier also announced today that its Board of Directors, upon the recommendation of its Human Resources and Compensation Committee, decided to terminate its automatic securities disposition plan (ASDP) established on August 15, 2018 in accordance with its terms.

  Selected results (PDF)
Business Aircraft (PDF)
  • Revenues totaled $970 million on 24 aircraft, as deliveries ramp-up through the year to reach full year guidance.
  • Aftermarket service revenues continued to grow double-digit, at 20% year over year, supported by the strategy to expand footprint and move closer to customers. During the quarter, Business Aircraft announced the expansion of its Singapore Service Centre to further bolster customer service capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020.
  • Adjusted EBIT margin of 7.6% reflects the Global 7500 ramp-up and higher aftermarket revenues. The intensification of Global 7500 activities is expected to weigh on earnings before adjusted EBIT margin recovers towards full year guidance of approximately 7.5%.
  • Reported EBIT for the quarter of $594 million is largely driven by the $516 million gain on the sale of the Business Aircraft training activities to CAE.
  • Backlog increased by $0.6 billion, to an industry leading $14.9 billion, reflecting broad market interest across all regions and customer types.
  • The Global 7500 has been on a record-setting streak and continues to surpass expectations in terms of cabin experience and performance. Interest in this unique business aircraft has only intensified since entering into service at the end of 2018 as demonstrated with the recent order confirmation of four additional Global 7500 business jets by HK Bellawings.
Commercial Aircraft (PDF)
  • Revenues reached $241 million in the quarter, reducing year-over-year as a result of the deconsolidation of CSALP starting in the third quarter of 2018 as well as lower deliveries.
  • EBIT of $22 million reflects the deconsolidation of CSALP, higher proportion of aftermarket revenues and a proactive management of residual value guarantees exposure.
  • During the quarter, a subsidiary of Chorus Aviation Inc. has finalized a firm purchase agreement for nine CRJ900 aircraft to be operated by Jazz Aviation LP, making them the first Canadian operator of the new ATMOSPHERE cabin.
  • Commercial Aircraft launched the CRJ550 aircraft. Leveraging current aircraft platform, it is designed to replace the existing fleet of aging 50-seaters, while maximizing revenue potential with a triple-class cabin offering. United Airlines is the launch operator of this new model.
  • Commercial Aircraft’s expected deliveries for the year are lowered to approximately 30 aircraft as a result of the closing of the Q400 divestiture, which is now expected mid-year. Revenue guidance for the year is correspondingly adjusted to approximately $1.15 billion, with no change to adjusted EBIT(7) guidance at a loss of approximately $125 million.
Aerostructures and Engineering Services (PDF)
  • Revenues at Aerostructures and Engineering Services grew year-over-year to $470 million as it continued to ramp up the Global 7500 and the A220 programs.
  • External revenues increased year-over-year to 43% of total revenues as A220 components are now third party sales.
  • The EBIT margin for the three-month period increased mainly as a result of a positive impact from revenue mix skewed towards more mature programs. As Global 7500 and A220 deliveries ramp-up, full year adjusted EBIT margin guidance remains at approximately 7.5% for the year.
  • Since closing the acquisition of the Global 7500 aircraft wing program on February 6, 2019, Aerostructures and Engineering Services has focused on integrating the Red Oak, Texas facility to support the ramp-up of the Global 7500.
Transportation (PDF)
  • Transportation’s revenues for the first quarter reached $2.1 billion, 5% lower year-over-year excluding currency impacts, reflecting a slower production ramp-up on certain large projects as the Corporation better synchronizes its production output to customer requirements and delivery schedules.
  • EBIT margin of 3.9% is impacted by lower revenues and the related fixed cost absorption, as well as revised cost estimates on certain challenging projects. While cost absorption headwinds are expected to be resolved as production and revenues return to planned levels later this year, the ongoing and gradual phase out of legacy projects over the course of 2019 and 2020 is expected to support improving margins.
  • Full-year revenues and adjusted EBIT guidance are adjusted to reflect the revised project delivery schedules.
    • Revenue guidance is adjusted to approximately $8.75 billion, resulting in approximately 3.5% year-over-year growth, excluding currency impacts. This reduction is driven by approximately $500 million from slower production ramp-up, which defers revenues, and approximately $250 million of unfavourable currency impact at current rates.
    • Adjusted EBIT margin is revised from approximately 9% to approximately 8%.
  • Transportation’s backlog of $33.8 billion reflects book-to-bill of 0.8 and is expected to improve throughout the year based on a strong pipeline of opportunities.


Boeing Statement on AOA Disagree Alert

press release

On every airplane delivered to our customers, including the MAX, all flight data and information needed to safely operate the aircraft is provided in the flight deck on the primary flight deck displays. This information is provided full-time in the pilots’ primary field of view, and it always has been.

Air speed, attitude, altitude, vertical speed, heading and engine power settings are the primary parameters the flight crews use to safely operate the airplane in normal flight. Stick shaker and the pitch limit indicator are the primary features used for the operation of the airplane at elevated angles of attack. All recommended pilot actions, checklists, and training are based upon these primary indicators. Neither the angle of attack indicator nor the AOA Disagree alert are necessary for the safe operation of the airplane. They provide supplemental information only, and have never been considered safety features on commercial jet transport airplanes.

The Boeing design requirements for the 737 MAX included the AOA Disagree alert as a standard, standalone feature, in keeping with Boeing’s fundamental design philosophy of retaining commonality with the 737NG. In 2017, within several months after beginning 737 MAX deliveries, engineers at Boeing identified that the 737 MAX display system software did not correctly meet the AOA Disagree alert requirements. The software delivered to Boeing linked the AOA Disagree alert to the AOA indicator, which is an optional feature on the MAX and the NG. Accordingly, the software activated the AOA Disagree alert only if an airline opted for the AOA indicator.

When the discrepancy between the requirements and the software was identified, Boeing followed its standard process for determining the appropriate resolution of such issues. That review, which involved multiple company subject matter experts, determined that the absence of the AOA Disagree alert did not adversely impact airplane safety or operation. Accordingly, the review concluded, the existing functionality was acceptable until the alert and the indicator could be delinked in the next planned display system software update. Senior company leadership was not involved in the review and first became aware of this issue in the aftermath of the Lion Air accident.

Approximately a week after the Lion Air accident, on November 6, 2018, Boeing issued an Operations Manual Bulletin (OMB), which was followed a day later by the FAA’s issuance of an Airworthiness Directive (AD). In identifying the AOA Disagree alert as one among a number of indications that could result from erroneous AOA, both the OMB and the AD described the AOA Disagree alert feature as available only if the AOA indicator option is installed.

Boeing discussed the status of the AOA Disagree alert with the FAA in the wake of the Lion Air accident. At that time, Boeing informed the FAA that Boeing engineers had identified the software issue in 2017 and had determined per Boeing’s standard process that the issue did not adversely impact airplane safety or operation. In December 2018, Boeing convened a Safety Review Board (SRB) to consider again whether the absence of the AOA Disagree alert from certain 737 MAX flight displays presented a safety issue. That SRB confirmed Boeing’s prior conclusion that it did not. Boeing shared this conclusion and the supporting SRB analysis with the FAA.

Boeing is issuing a display system software update, to implement the AOA Disagree alert as a standard, standalone feature before the MAX returns to service. When the MAX returns to service, all MAX production aircraft will have an activated and operable AOA Disagree alert and an optional angle of attack indicator. All customers with previously delivered MAX airplanes will have the ability to activate the AOA Disagree alert.


Airbus and Siemens highlighting their collaboration for hybrid-electric propulsion at Bauhaus Luftfahrt Symposium

press release

Representatives of Airbus and Siemens are attending the Bauhaus Luftfahrt Symposium “Ambition 2050”, which is taking place in Taufkirchen on May 7 and 8. The event is bringing together science, industry, and politicians to tackle head on how to work together to meet the EU Flightpath 2050 goals to meet aviation’s challenging environmental targets. Topics to be explored include operations, alternative fuels, as well as energy technologies and power systems, which is at the heart of the work being carried out within the Airbus E-Aircraft Systems Programme in Taufkirchen/Ottobrunn near Munich.

While no single technology will allow the industry to become emission free, as Glenn Llewellyn, Electrification General Manager at Airbus will highlight on day one of the symposium, electric and hybrid electric propulsion technologies are some of the most promising. This is why Airbus is actively exploring how to apply such technologies across its portfolio, from helicopters and VTOLs all the way to commercial aircraft, with demonstrators such as CityAirbus and E-Fan X.

A key part of this research started in April 2016, Airbus and Siemens started a joint collaboration for hybrid-electric propulsion systems with the objective to demonstrate the technical feasibility of these eco-friendly technologies.

“We have worked very closely with Siemens eAircraft over the course of the last three years to research hybrid-electric technologies,” said Martin Nuesseler, Head of E-Aircraft Systems Programme at Airbus. “Siemens contributed their profound know-how in electric drives and power electronics and their strong capability to deliver innovative solutions to our ambitious projects. The results we have achieved this far pave the way towards the future of hybrid electric flight. We are sure that Siemens eAircraft will continue to be a close partner of Airbus in future.”

“It was a great experience to work together in tightly-knit teams with Airbus colleagues,” stated Frank Anton, Head of Siemens eAircraft, on the topic of the companies’ collaboration. “Their competence in aircraft architecture and design offered us the chance as a propulsion system provider to develop our solutions for concrete platforms. We very much look forward to being able to take these competencies in industrialized manner to our partners.”


Tecnam: Three New Models at AERO 19 Friedrichshafen. Tecnam Celebrates 70 Years With Outstanding Sales At AERO Germany

press release

The popular low-wing two-seat P2002JF is now completing full IFR certification in both the CS23 EASA and FAR23 FAA categories.

The iconic Tecnam P92 Echo, after 27 years and many different versions, now comes with a carbon fibre fuselage, coupling retro style and modern technology.

Also presented at AERO 2019, complying with the new European Union 600kg ULM category is the low wing Sierra MkII. This is immediately available for delivery to those countries where this category is approved by their local Civil Aviation Authorities.

Tecnam Celebrates 70 Years With Outstanding Sales At AERO Germany

Friedrichshafen, Germany – As AERO 2019 closes the final day, Italian aircraft manufacturer TECNAM has exceeded all of its pre-show expectations with the sale of 51 aircraft covering Certified and Light categories. This great achievement confirms that Tecnam is the one favourite manufacturer by flight schools and private owners.

The line of certified CS23 FAR23 aircraft displayed were the Twin Engine P2006T both in civilian and Special Mission Platform version, the Single Engine Piston four seat P2010 and the newest addition to the CS23 fleet: the new P2002JF two seat IFR. This two seater premiered at AERO 2019 featuring the new Garmin G500 Txi and it is without any doubt the most affordable solution on the market for a IFR training. The line of certified CS23 FAR23 aircraft displayed were the Twin Engine P2006T both in civilian and Special Mission Platform version, the Single Engine Piston four seat P2010 and the newest addition to the CS23 fleet: the new P2002JF two seat IFR. This two seater premiered at AERO 2019 featuring the new Garmin G500 Txi and it is without any doubt the most affordable solution on the market for a IFR training. During AERO, a number of flight schools, including three launch customers F-AIR from Czech Republic, Bartolini Air from Poland and EAS Barcelona Europe from Spain have already selected the P2002JF MkII as their ideal aeroplane for students initial training towards the ATPL.

As well as sales of the CS23 FAR 23 lines confirmed the sales expectation, there was an outstanding reaction to the new UL model showcasing for the first time at AERO19, as the new P92 Echo MkII. After 27 years and many different versions, the P92 Echo MkII arrives as the modern culmination of Tecnam knowhow and expertise in aircraft manufacturing, coupling retro style and modern solutions.

The P92 Echo MkII, together with the low wing Sierra MkII, has been developed for the new European Union 600kg ULM category and is available in those countries where this category is approved by their local Civil Aviation Authorities.

Many airlines and operators showed their interest in the flagship 11 seat P2012 Traveller that was certified last December. The Type Certificate was officially handed over during AERO to Tecnam’s CEO, Paolo Pascale, by EASA representatives Rachel Daeschler (Certification Director), Dominique Roland (Head of General Aviation) and Maximilian Maas (PCM P2012 e P2010).

On Friday, April 12th, together with Siemens and Rotax, Tecnam presented to the AERO community the H3PS project, that will research a marketable solution for a parallel hybrid aircraft based on the Tecnam four seat P2010. First testing flights are scheduled for 2021.

Paolo Pascale, Tecnam CEO said: “We are so delightful to feel that we are so much in line with our customers, anticipating their needs and fulfil their taste, providing safe aircraft with pleasant flying qualities, affordable in the acquisition and operating costs and with a pure Italian style. The number of sales during AERO confirms that the work we are doing is in the right direction.”


Ariane 6 series production begins with first batch of 14 launchers

press release

Arianespace has signed an order with ArianeGroup to begin manufacturing the first series-production batch of 14 Ariane 6 launchers across the European space industry.
Production of this initial batch of Ariane 6 launchers, which are to fly during the 2021-2023 timeframe, will be in parallel with the final batch of 8 Ariane 5 launchers.
These first series-production Ariane 6 launchers will roll out of the ArianeGroup plants from early 2021.
Ariane 6 is carried out within a European Space Agency (ESA) program. The Ariane 6 maiden flight is scheduled for 2020.

Following the initial institutional and commercial launch orders for Ariane 6 obtained by Arianespace since the autumn of 2017, and the resolution of the ESA Council on April 17, 2019, related to the rocket’s exploitation framework, ArianeGroup is starting to build the first series-production batch of 14 Ariane 6 launchers.

These 14 launchers, scheduled to fly between 2021 and 2023, will be built in ArianeGroup plants in France and Germany, as well as in those of its European industrial partners in the 13 countries taking part in the Ariane 6 program.

In parallel, ArianeGroup is proceeding with manufacturing of the model to be used for ground qualification tests on the launch pad in French Guiana, as well as the Ariane 62’s first flight vehicle, for which the inaugural launch is planned for 2020.

“Starting work on the first Ariane 6 series-production batch, less than four years after signing the development contract with ESA in August 2015, is a real success for the European space industry as a whole. We have made the necessary efforts to set up a new, more efficient and competitive European industrial organization in record time. We can now ensure the ramp-up of Ariane 6 production and prepare for its launch operations. Our customers are eagerly awaiting Ariane 6, and it will be delivered on time,” said André-Hubert Roussel, CEO of ArianeGroup. “I am particularly grateful to the teams at ArianeGroup, Arianespace, and our industrial partners throughout Europe who – each in their area of responsibility – work hand-in-hand to make the development, production, and marketing of the launcher possible. I also extend my warmest thanks to the European Space Agency, its member states and the national space agencies for their continued support in this great adventure, which is just beginning.”

Luce Fabreguettes, Arianespace’s Executive Director for Missions, Operations and Procurement, added: “With the kick-off of these first 14 series-production Ariane 6 launchers, Arianespace is proud to continue to offer its customers the best launch services. Thanks to its 62 and 64 versions and the re-ignitable Vinci engine, Ariane 6 will be able to offer an increasingly varied range of missions to satisfy the expectations of its institutional customers and address new trends in the commercial market.”

Ariane 6 – an ESA program – will be a versatile and competitive launcher particularly well-adapted to market developments. It is modular and will be available in two versions: Ariane 62 (with two P120 solid fuel boosters, common with Vega-C) and Ariane 64 (with four P120C solid fuel boosters), enabling it to carry out all missions, to all orbits, and to guarantee continued European access to space.

ArianeGroup is the prime contractor for the development and operation of the Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launchers, and coordinates an industrial network of more than 600 companies, including 350 SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in 13 European countries. Arianespace is responsible for the exploitation of Ariane, Soyuz and Vega launch systems, ensuring their commercialization and subsequent flight readiness and mission preparation for customers.
About ArianeGroup

ArianeGroup develops and supplies innovative and competitive solutions for civil and military space launchers, with expertise in all aspects of state-of-the-art propulsion technologies. ArianeGroup is lead contractor for Europe’s Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launcher families, responsible for both design and the entire production chain, up to and including marketing by its Arianespace subsidiary, as well as for the missiles of the French oceanic deterrent force. ArianeGroup and its subsidiaries enjoy a global reputation as specialists in the field of equipment and propulsion for space applications, while their expertise also benefits other industrial sectors. The group is a joint venture equally owned by Airbus and Safran, and employs approximately 9,000 highly qualified staff in France and Germany. Its 2018 revenues amounted to 3.6 billion euros.
About Arianespace

Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services and solutions for all types of satellites (institutional and commercial) into all orbits. It has orbited more than 600 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and Baikonur (Central Asia). Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility in Kourou at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore. Arianespace is a subsidiary of ArianeGroup, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 15 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.


The Air Force Just Shot Down Multiple Missiles With A Laser Destined For Fighter Aircraft - The Drive


Engineers say Boeing pushed to limit safety testing in race to certify planes, including 737 MAX | The Seattle Times

lunes, 6 de mayo de 2019


Pontifications: Rebuilding the MAX and Boeing brands - Leeham News and Analysis


A drone has been used to deliver a donor kidney for the first time - MIT Technology Review


Aero Friedrichshafen 2019 summary, day by day

Aero Friedrichshafen Day 1 Aircraft Highlights: Zlin Ultra 915, Flight Design F=Series, Belmont

Aero Friedrichshafen Day 2: Tecnam Mk II, SkyArrow, Corsair Delivering, Delta Cruiser Floatplane

Aero Friedrichshafen Day 3: ELECTRIC, Hybrid on Tecnam and Comco – Battery on Horten and Bristell

Aero Friedrichshafen Day 4…Wrap — BlackWing 600, JMB Aircraft, FlySynthesis Synchro, ScaleWings P-51 Replica


Sun ‘n Fun 2019 summary, day by day

Sun ‘n Fun 2019 …About to Open — Here’s a Sneak Peek of Two Creations

Sun ‘n Fun Day 1 — Affordable Aircraft: CGS Hawk Ultra, Evolution RevX, Kolb Trifly, Thatcher CX5

Sun ‘n Fun Day 2 — As Summertime Approaches, Light-Sport Seaplanes Draw Interest

Sun ‘n Fun Day 3 — Lightning Fast Kit Aircraft, LSA Regulation Questions, and a Tribute

Sun ‘n Fun Day 4 — Rans Outbound Tricycle, Amphibious Trikes, Electric Powered Paraglider

Sun ‘n Fun Day 5 …Wrap Up — Cub and Mother; Sopwith Camel Replica, Father of Ultralight Aircraft


Moscow plane fire: 41 killed on Aeroflot jet - BBC News


Long before first 737 MAX crash, Boeing knew a key sensor warning light wasn’t working, but told no one | The Seattle Times


Life-saving kidney delivered by drone

domingo, 5 de mayo de 2019

A donor kidney has been delivered to surgeons at a US hospital via drone, in the first flight of its kind.


Could high-flying drones power your home one day?

A growing number of companies believe using tethered kites and drones is a viable way to harness the stronger and more consistent high-altitude winds. Could this tech release wind power's full potential, or will it always remain a niche solution?


Nasa instrument on space station to map CO2

Nasa has sent up an instrument to the International Space Station (ISS) to help track carbon dioxide on Earth.


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