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Friday, September 17th, 2021

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SpaceX trumps Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin as all-civilian crew orbit Earth

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has successfully sent the first-ever all-civilian crew into orbit onboard the Crew Dragon Capsule which blasted off from Florida at 8.30 p.m. local time on Wednesday atop a SpaceX two-stage Falcon 9 rocket ship. The flight, estimated to cost US$200 million for the astronauts, will last three days while the capsule orbits the Earth at an altitude of 363 miles (585km), which is appreciably higher than the Hubble Telescope or the International Space Station. The capsule will orbit the Earth once every 90 minutes, travelling at a speed of 17,000 miles per hour (27,360 kph) or approximately 22-times the speed of sound.

Once the flight has ended, the capsule is expected to splashdown in the Atlantic. The crew comprises Jared Isaacman 38, Sian Proctor, 51, Hayley Arceneaux, 29, and Chris Sembroski, 42 and it is understood that Isaacman personally paid for the flight and the three others were his invitees. He read an in-flight statement in which he thanked those who had made possible a journey "right to the doorstep of an exciting and unexplored frontier, where few have come before and many are about to follow," adding that: "The door is open now, and it's pretty incredible." The crew are not involved in flying the spacecraft as it is all being performed by on-board guidance systems and ground-based flight technicians. However, the crew will be involved in performing a number of medical experiments with "potential applications for human health on Earth and during future spaceflights."

Additionally, biomedical data and biological samples, including ultrasound scans, will be collected from crew members before, during and after the flight. SpaceX is one the most established of the new commercial space flight ventures having launched multiple satellites into space as well as transporting numerous cargo payloads and astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA. Two of its Dragon capsules are currently docked there.

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Rolls-Royce developing revolutionary digital system to improve U.S. Air Force air refueling efficiency

Rolls-Royce North America has been awarded a U.S. Transportation Command contract for the demonstration and continued development of a revolutionary new software system that will maximize efficiency in managing air refueling assets, improving mission availability and reducing cost for the U.S. Air Force.

The Rolls-Royce Air Refueling Optimization and Planning System, or AROPS, is part of the new suite of digital services known as TwinAlytix® from Rolls-Royce Defense. TwinAlytix features the benefits of digital twins and digital analytics to improve customer services through advanced, secure software applications.

The AROPS software package contract, valued at US$800,000, is intended to increase air tanker availability and eliminate inefficiencies caused by disconnected systems and process challenges within a highly complex air refueling enterprise. Working with our partners at Applied Aeronautical Systems Inc. (AASI), Rolls-Royce has developed and continues to improve on a solution to make the overall air refueling enterprise more effective and efficient, which could lead to millions of dollars in cost savings and a reduced environmental impact.

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Collins Aerospace continues to advance actuation systems for Tempest

Collins Aerospace continues to make progress on actuation capabilities for the U.K.’s Tempest program. Under a contract with BAE Systems, Collins will develop a number of demonstration components as part of continuing technology de-risking work on the program. Collins will support the program from its Actuation Systems headquarters in Wolverhampton, U.K.

Since announcing it had been selected to provide actuation systems for Tempest in 2020, Collins has begun producing components in preparation for testing later in the year.

“Our systems will help protect the Tempest’s aggressive program schedule and cost targets, to help ensure the continued success and timely development of this critical initiative for the U.K. aerospace and defense industry.” said Ed Dryden, vice president, Actuation Systems for Collins Aerospace.

Leonardo and Northrop Grumman join forces on future rotorcraft UAS opportunities

Leonardo and Northrop Grumman have announced their intention to jointly pursue opportunities in the Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) domain.

Drawing on Leonardo’s expertise in rotorcraft and Northrop Grumman’s capabilities in advanced aeronautics and next generation autonomous uncrewed aerial systems, the companies will focus on jointly addressing global opportunities in the VTOL UAS market. The companies will consider collaboration on air vehicle design, system architectures, payload optimisation and integration within next generation battlespace architectures, with a focus on customer requirements and mission-based Concepts of Operations.  

The agreement is the latest development in a successful long-term partnership between Northrop Grumman and Leonardo. The companies work closely together on airborne platform protection. This collaboration goes back to 1995 when the team jointly developed the AN/AAQ-24(V) Nemesis DIRCM for the US Department of Defense and UK Ministry of Defence. Today the companies are working to deliver the United States Army’s Common Infrared Countermeasures (CIRCM) programme, which will protect hundreds of aircraft. 

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ATR and Braathens Regional Airlines partner with Neste to accelerate 100% SAF certification

As part of its commitment to meet the challenges of decarbonisation of the aviation industry, Swedish airline Braathens Regional Airlines (BRA), turboprop manufacturer ATR and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) producer Neste will partner to achieve the collective aim of accelerating the certification of 100% SAF of ATR aircraft to fly with 100% Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ – a key pillar of the industry’s decarbonisation strategy, which has an immediate impact in reducing CO2 emissions.

The companies aim to show a demonstration flight in 2022, with one of Braathens Regional Airlines’ ATR aircraft flying with 100% SAF in one engine and 50% SAF in the other, for an anticipated emissions reduction of 64%. It is expected that an ATR flying with 100% sustainable aviation fuel in both engines would reduce CO2 emissions by 82%, if it were flying one of Braathens Regional Airlines’ typical routes. This collaboration follows the successful Perfect Flight venture in 2019 in which every aspect of a BRA ATR flight was optimised, including the use of a 50% SAF blend. This led to a saving of 46% of CO2 emissions, compared to a standard flight.

Eurowings opens base in Sweden

Eurowings is further developing its European network to Scandinavia with the opening of its new location in Stockholm. The popular German airline is offering new services in Scandinavia and will initially station five Airbus A320 aircraft in Stockholm by March 2022. This will be the eleventh Eurowings base of operations in Europe and the fifth outside its home market of Germany after Palma de Mallorca, Prague, Pristina, and Salzburg.

For the first time, the Lufthansa Group value carrier will offer attractive direct connections from Scandinavia to business and vacation destinations throughout Europe. With its increased presence in the Nordics, Eurowings will not only provide better connections to and from Sweden, but especially flights to popular beach destinations in Southern Europe for Swedish customers. The latest Eurowings base at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport also brings hundreds of new jobs to the region and – in what is hopefully the final phase of the Corona pandemic – an important stimulus for employment in the Scandinavian aviation market.

Eurowings CEO Jens Bischof: "Sweden is a market that fits perfectly with our goal to be the number one European value carrier. Since the pandemic, many travelers are no longer looking first for the cheapest ticket, but for an airline they can unconditionally trust in terms of safety, reliability, and social responsibility. With our Lufthansa DNA – for example an attractive network of low-cost direct flights and an unmatched customer service – we can offer just that."

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Boeing appoints Ziad Ojakli to head government operations

The Boeing Company has named Ziad S. Ojakli as the company's executive vice president of government operations effective October 1, 2021.

In this role, Ojakli will lead Boeing's public policy efforts, serve as chief lobbyist for the global enterprise, and oversee Boeing Global Engagement, the company's global philanthropic organization. He will report to Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun and will serve on the company's Executive Council. In this role, Ojakli succeeds Marc Allen, Boeing's Chief Strategy Officer, who has served as interim executive vice president of Government Operations since this past June.

Most recently, Ojakli served as the managing partner and senior vice president of Softbank from 2018-20, where he created and led the investment company's first global government affairs operation in support of all legislative, regulatory and political matters for the company. Prior to joining Softbank, Ojakli spent 14 years at Ford Motor Company as group vice president, where he led a global team that amplified the company's core business objectives and managed interactions with governments in 110 markets around the world. In that role, he also directed Ford's philanthropic arm devoted to supporting global causes.

Previously, Ojakli served in the White House as Principal Deputy for Legislative Affairs for President George W. Bush from 2001-04. Earlier, Ojakli was Chief of Staff and Policy Director for U.S. Senator Paul Coverdell and he began his career in the office of U.S. Senator Dan Coats.

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Phoenix Police Department to upgrade fleet with five new H125 helicopters

The Phoenix Police Department has signed a new order to upgrade its airborne law enforcement helicopter fleet with five new H125 helicopters. Deliveries are expected to begin next year.

“We spent a lot of time analyzing which platform would best fit all of our operational needs as we began to renew our fleet, and the H125 met all of our requirements,” said Paul Apolinar, chief pilot at Phoenix Police Department. “Our responsibility is to protect and serve the Phoenix community, and these aircraft will allow us not only to protect from the skies, but to perform rescues in remote locations all over Arizona. We needed an aircraft that excels in hot temperatures, and the H125 is really the best aircraft for the job in such conditions.”

Known for its power, versatility and excellent performance in hot and high conditions, the H125 features dual hydraulics, dual channel FADEC, a crash resistant fuel system, and advanced glass-panel cockpit displays. The H125 accounts for nearly half of all intermediate single engine helicopters delivered for airborne law enforcement missions in North America over the last decade. It is built at Airbus Helicopters, Inc.’s production and completion facility in Columbus, Mississippi, by a team made up of 40% U.S. veterans.
AviTrader_Weekly_Headline_News_Cover_2021-09-13

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