Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter succeeds in first vertical landing

A supersonic Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter rode more than 41,000 pounds of thrust to a vertical landing for the first time, confirming its required ability to land in confined areas both ashore and afloat. Pilot Graham Tomlinson performed an 80-knot (93 miles per hour) short takeoff from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., at 1:09 p.m. EDT. About 13 minutes into the flight, he positioned the aircraft 150 feet above the airfield, where he commanded the F-35 to hover for approximately one minute then descend to the runway.

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Spirit AeroSystems named to Boeing Tanker Supplier Team

Spirit AeroSystems has been named to the Boeing NewGen Tanker Supplier Team. Boeing, Spirit’s largest customer, is bidding on the KC-X program, the U.S. Air Force’s next line of tanker aircraft. Upon a contract award from the United States government to Boeing, Spirit will build the Boeing tanker’s forward fuselage section in Wichita, Kan. After completion, Spirit will ship the hardware to Boeing’s Everett, Wash., facility for final assembly.

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Manufacturing work starts on first UK F35 Lightning II aircraft

Manufacturing work has started on the first F-35 Lightning II aircraft that will be delivered to the UK Ministry of Defence. Quentin Davies, UK Minister of Defence Equipment and Support, marked the occasion by signing the F-35 frame before it was loaded into the assembly jig at the BAE Systems site in Samlesbury, Lancashire. The frame will come out of the jig in Quarter 3 2010 as an assembled aft fuselage, part of the first UK F-35 Lightning II ever to be built. The UK Ministry of Defence has committed to the purchase of three aircraft to allow testing and Read more

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Rockwell Collins transportable Black Hawk simulator headed to Bahrain

The Kingdom of Bahrain has selected the Rockwell Collins Transportable Blackhawk Operations Simulator (T-BOS) to train their UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter pilots. The T-BOS will be delivered to the government of Bahrain under a Foreign Military Sale contract administered by the U.S. Army’s Utility Helicopter Project Office (UHPO). The Bahrain T-BOS is the second foreign sale of the Rockwell Collins developed T-BOS system. The first foreign T-BOS will be delivered to United Arab Emirates in early 2010.

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Northrop Grumman expands composites manufacturing training for Turkish F-35 supplier

Northrop Grumman is adding momentum to Turkish Aerospace Industries Inc.’s (TAI) readiness to build complete center fuselages for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft by teaching its engineers how to build the complex composite structures used in the jet. From Jan. 18 to Feb. 12, the company conducted rigorous classroom and hands-on training at its Advanced Composites Center in El Segundo for more than a dozen engineers and manufacturing specialists from TAI. The training was the third in a planned series of classes designed to teach TAI employees, ultimately, how to build a complete F-35 center fuselage.

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Customer Nations and EADS come to principle agreement on A400M

Customer Nations and EADS have come to a principle agreement regarding the A400M military transport aircraft with the intention to amend the original contract accordingly in the coming weeks. In this principle agreement, the Customer Nations agree to increase the price of the contract by EUR 2 billion, waive all liquidated damages related to current delays; provide an additional amount of EUR 1.5 billion in exchange for a participation in future export sales (Export Levy Facilities); accelerate pre-delivery payments in the period of 2010 to 2014, a new schedule of which will be finalised in the amended contract; Based on Read more

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Boeing to offer NewGen tanker to US Air Force

Boeing reported it will offer the Boeing NewGen Tanker in the competition to supply the U.S. Air Force with a multi-mission aerial refueling aircraft that will meet all the warfighter’s mission requirements for the next several decades. Boeing studied the mission requirements closely to determine the optimal airframe size that would deliver the most capability for the lowest cost to own and operate. The result was the NewGen Tanker, a widebody, multi-mission aircraft based on the proven Boeing 767 commercial aircraft, updated with the latest and most advanced technology and capable of fulfilling the Air Force’s needs for transport of Read more

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