Boeing Australia completes first Loyal Wingman fuselage

©Boeing Australia has completed the major fuselage structural assembly for its first Loyal Wingman aircraft

The Boeing Australia team has completed major fuselage structural assembly for the first Loyal Wingman. The aircraft is one of three prototypes that will be developed as a part of the Loyal Wingman – Advanced Development Program in partnership with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The Australian team has applied digital engineering and advanced composite materials to achieve cost and agility goals for the 38-ft (11.7-meter) aircraft, which is designed to use artificial intelligence in teaming with other manned and unmanned platforms. This first Loyal Wingman prototype will provide key lessons toward production of the ATS, which Boeing Australia Read more

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Boeing and U.S. Navy successfully link piloted, unmanned Growlers

Boeing and the U.S. Navy successfully flew two autonomously controlled EA-18G Growlers at Naval Air Station Patuxent River as unmanned air systems using a third Growler as a mission controller for the other two. The flights, conducted during the Navy Warfare Development Command’s annual fleet experiment (FLEX) exercises, proved the effectiveness of technology allowing F/A-18 Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers to perform combat missions with unmanned systems. “This demonstration allows Boeing and the Navy the opportunity to analyze the data collected and decide where to make investments in future technologies,” said Tom Brandt, Boeing Manned-UnManned Teaming demonstration lead. “It could Read more

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Airbus C295 successfully performs wet contacts as a tanker

AAR tanker flight test ©Airbus/Sergio Flores

The Airbus C295 tactical airlifter has successfully achieved its first wet contacts during an air-to-air (AAR) tanker flight-test campaign. First dry contacts of this flight test took place in December 2019 and were achieved using a closed ramp configuration, 100ft hose and remote vision system. The wet contacts, conducted out of Seville, Spain, took place in January 2020, between one Airbus C295 aircraft in tanker configuration and a Spanish Air Force C295 acting as receiver at flight speeds between 100-130 knots. In total the aircraft, fitted with the removable AAR kit, performed five wet contacts transferring a total 1.5 tons Read more

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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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