Bell Boeing CMV-22B Osprey completes first flight

The maiden flight of the first CMV-22B Osprey ©Boeing

The first CMV-22B Osprey, built by Boeing and Bell Textron, has completed first flight operations at Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center. The CMV-22B is the latest variant of the tiltrotor fleet, joining the MV-22 and CV-22 used by the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force. The U.S. Navy will use the CMV-22B to replace the C-2A Greyhound for transporting personnel, mail, supplies and high-priority cargo from shore bases to aircraft carriers at sea. Bell Boeing designed the Navy variant specifically for carrier fleet operations by providing increased fuel capacity for the extended range requirement. The mission flexibility of the Osprey Read more

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Boeing and U.S. Navy complete first Super Hornet IRST Block II flight

An F/A-18 Super Hornet equipped with a Block II Infrared Search and Track prepares for its first flight with the long-range sensor.

In late 2019 and for the first time, Boeing and the U.S. Navy flew an F/A-18 Super Hornet equipped with an Infrared Search & Track (IRST) Block II pod. IRST Block II is a critical component of the Block III Super Hornet. The Block III conversion will include enhanced network capability, longer range with conformal fuel tanks, an advanced cockpit system, signature improvements and an enhanced communication system. The updates are expected to keep the F/A-18 in active service for decades to come. IRST is a passive, long-range sensor incorporating infrared and other sensor technologies for highly accurate targeting. Currently Read more

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U.S. Department of Defense orders 32 TH-73A helicopters from Leonardo

The U.S. Department of Defense has ordered 32 TH-73A helicopters ©Leonardo

Leonardo, through AgustaWestland Philadelphia, has been awarded a firm-fixed-price contract valued at US$176,472,608 for the production and delivery of 32 TH-73A helicopters, initial spares, support and dedicated equipment, and specific pilot and maintenance training services. This contract, as Fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds, was competitively procured via a request for the proposal of various offers. Work will be mainly performed at Leonardo’s Philadelphia facility and is expected to be completed in October 2021.

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Lufthansa Group plans more than 4,500 new hires

The ©Lufthansa Group will be hiring more than 4,500 new employees in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

This year the Lufthansa Group will be hiring more than 4,500 new employees in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as things currently stand; among them 3,000 hires will take place in Germany. This involves both re-placement appointments due to fluctuation and, in some cases, job increases. The focus of the recruitment planned in the DACH countries is “on the ground” with around 2,500 positions. Almost 1,300 new flight attendants are to be hired across the Lufthansa Group. Around 1,000 new employees are slated to be hired at the core brand Lufthansa in 2020. 450 prospective flight attendants alone will begin their Read more

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Embraer KC-390 Millennium airlifter successfully concludes airdrop testing campaign

KC airdrop ©Embraer

The KC-390 Millennium new-generation multi-mission medium airlifter has successfully concluded the testing campaign for gravity airdrop and extraction drop of heavy loads by the use of the Container Delivery System (CDS) and Low Velocity Air Drop (LVAD), respectively. The KC-390 Millennium has a fully automated Cargo Handling and Aerial Delivery System on the cargo compartment, where a loadmaster can perform all activities, while reducing workload and improving awareness. For the pilots, a system called CCDP (Continuously Computed Drop Point) calculates the optimum airdrop release point for better accuracy on the mission accomplishment. Both systems were developed by Embraer. The tests, Read more

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GE Aviation awarded U.S. Army contract to produce 1,700 T700 engines

The U.S. Army has awarded GE Aviation an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract for the continued production of T700 turboshaft engines in support of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and other government agency program requirements through 2024. The production contract is valued at more than US$1 billion for as many as 1,700 T700 engines if completely exercised. These engines are manufactured and shipped from GE Aviation’s facility in Lynn, Mass. Developed for the U.S. Army to overcome the many shortcomings 1960s-era helicopter engines experienced in Southeast Asia, the T700/CT7 turboshaft was designed to operate Read more

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Czech Air Force orders two additional Airbus C295 aircraft

The Czech Air Force ordered two additional C295 aircraft from ©Airbus

The Czech Air Force has signed a contract for the acquisition of two additional Airbus C295 medium airlifters. The aircraft, equipped with winglets and ordered in transport configuration, are due to be delivered in the first half of 2021. The agreement takes the Czech Air Force’s total C295 fleet up to six aircraft. Together with this agreement, an additional contract was also signed for the upgrade of the four C295s currently in operation with the Czech Air Force.

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Irish Department of Defence orders two Airbus C295 aircraft

©Airbus C295 aircraft

Ireland’s Department of Defence has ordered two Airbus C295 medium airlifters in a maritime surveillance configuration. With this new order, the Irish Air Corps will become the 33rd C295 operator worldwide. Both aircraft will be equipped with the Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) and specific state-of-the-art mission sensors together with the recently announced Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion avionics. 

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Airbus Helicopters signs Global Support Contract for Tiger helicopters

Tiger Helicopter ©Airbus Helicopters/Anthony Pecchi

Airbus Helicopters and OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement / Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation) have signed a tri-lateral Global Support Contract aimed at boosting the availability rate of the Tigers in service in the French, German, and Spanish armies. With this long-term support agreement, Tiger readiness and supportability will be secured for the next decade and beyond. The contract covers critical items such as continuous improvement and obsolescence treatment as well as securing repair and spares capabilities with all vendors involved. In addition, it provides for the individual needs of each customer in line with their operational Read more

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Safran and MTU get step nearer development of NGF engine

The Future Combat Air System (FCAS) program has taken a major step forward now that Safran Aircraft Engines and MTU Aero Engines have settled the details concerning their eye-level partnership to develop the engine of the next-generation fighter aircraft NGF. The agreement will rely on the principles of the Letter of Intent (LOI) which were signed between the two companies in February 2019 and which specified that Safran will take the lead in engine design and integration, while MTU Aero Engines will take the lead in engine services. For Phase 1A, Safran Aircraft Engines will be the prime contractor and Read more

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