Airbus to upgrade training capabilities of German Eurofighter pilots

Airbus, acting as the main contractor within the industrial Pilot Synthetic Training System (PSTS) consortium, has been awarded two contracts to extend the Eurofighter PSTS at the Main Operating Base (MOB) in Laage and introduce state-of-the-art simulator cockpits at all Eurofighter MOBs in Germany. The first contract includes the upgrade of existing Full Mission Simulators (FMS) and Cockpit Trainers (CT) in Laage and the provision of two additional FMS according to the new standard, extending the training capability from two to four simulators. This will enable the German Air Force to perform four-ship training at a single location and multi-ship Read more

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Boeing delivers first F/A-18 Block III Super Hornets to U.S. Navy for flight test

F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet test jet first flight

Boeing has delivered the first two F/A-18 Block III Super Hornets to the U.S. Navy for flight testing. One jet is a single-seat E model and the other is a two-seat F model. The Navy will use the aircraft to familiarize pilots with the advanced cockpit system’s new 10-inch-by-19-inch touchscreen display and test the capabilities delivered with the enhanced network capability. In addition to these enhancements, the Block III configuration adds capability upgrades that include longer range, reduced radar signature and an enhanced communication system. The fighter’s life will also be extended from 6,000 hours to 10,000 hours.

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Bell Textron selects GE Aviation for Aircraft Health Awareness System

GE Aviation has been selected by Bell Textron to provide the Aircraft Health Awareness System as part of Team Invictus for the Bell 360 Invictus competitive prototype, a part of the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program. The health awareness system integrates decades of GE’s proven health management technologies on rotorcraft with its vehicle management system on fixed wing to drive increased operational safety and availability of the fleet. GE Aviation’s Health Awareness System is an end-to-end solution that advances traditional rotorcraft Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) capabilities by combining it with proven fixed-wing aircraft health management Read more

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Bell Boeing delivers 400th V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft

Delivery of the 400th Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft ©Boeing

The Bell Boeing V-22 team has delivered its 400th aircraft, a CV-22 for U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command. The first production V-22 was delivered on May 24, 1999, and today deliveries occur under the Multi-year Procurement III contract valued at US$5 billion. That contract runs through 2024 and includes variants for the Marines, Air Force, and Navy, as well as the first international customer, Japan. The V-22 takes off, hovers, and lands like a helicopter yet flies long distances like a turboprop aircraft. The CV-22 variant performs special operations missions, including infiltration, extraction, and resupply, that conventional aircraft can’t. Read more

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Honeywell and U.S. Army to demonstrate next-generation T55 engine for Chinook helicopters

T55 engine ©Honeywell

Honeywell has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Army to demonstrate and fly its upgraded T55 engine on the heavy-lift, twin-engine Chinook helicopter. The new 6,000-horespower engine is 25% more powerful and consumes 10% less fuel than the current T55. New modifications also make the next-generation T55 easier to maintain with lower operating costs and increased readiness for the warfighter. The new T55-GA-714C engine is specifically designed for next-generation military operators, and will improve the Chinook helicopter’s ability to lift troops and heavy cargo for the U.S. Army and National Guard. Because the engine is based closely on the Read more

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GKN Aerospace’s thermoplastic components flight tested on Bell V-280 Valor

Bell V-280 Valor ©GKN Aerospace

GKN Aerospace has delivered a pair of thermoplastic composite, induction-welded Ruddervators and two compression-molded Access Panels manufactured from reused thermoplastic waste material to Bell in June 2019. The newly installed components have now flown more than 12 hours on V-280 test flights, including during the recently completed autonomous flight testing. The Bell test pilots were happy with the seamless integration of the newly installed parts, noting that the V-280 continued to exhibit excellent responsiveness through test maneuvers. This has made the V-280, which recently celebrated completion of its second full year of flight tests, one of the first military aircraft Read more

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Airbus A400M completes full paratrooper simultaneous dispatch certification

Dispatch of paratroopers during the flight test campaign over Ger Azet drop zone in southern France in September 2019 ©Airbus

The Airbus A400M new-generation airlifter has successfully achieved certification of the simultaneous paratrooper dispatch capability and completed the full industrial development of the type’s paratrooping deployment capacity, with a maximum dispatch of 116 paratroopers using both side doors (58 + 58). The certification fight test, completed in May 2020 in coordination with the French Armament General Directorate (DGA) and supported by the French and Belgian Armed Forces, combined an extensive paratrooping campaign of more than 1,000 jumps along with the implementation of new capability development methodologies based on recording and 3D modelling of paratrooper jump trajectories. With the completion of Read more

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Lockheed Martin delivers first KC-130J Super Hercules Tanker to U.S. Marine Corps Reserve squadron

©Lockheed Martin delivered the first KC-130J Super Hercules tanker assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 (VMGR-452)

Lockheed Martin has delivered the first KC-130J Super Hercules tanker assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 (VMGR-452), the Marine Forces Reserve squadron at Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York. A U.S. Marine Corps crew ferried the aircraft from Lockheed Martin’s facility on May 28 to the aircraft’s new home. VMGR-452 is the second Marine Reserve squadron to operate KC-130Js and this delivery signifies the recapitalization of the squadron’s existing KC-130T fleet. VMGR-452 — known as the Yankees — has operated Hercules tankers for more than 30 years, flying KC-130s in support of Operations Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom Read more

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Airbus A400M achieves Automatic Low Level Flight certification

RAF A400M performing low level flights in Wales ©Scott Norbury

The Airbus A400M new generation airlifter has achieved a new decisive milestone after the certification of its Automatic Low Level Flight capability, offering a unique capability in its class for a military transport aircraft.  The certification campaign, performed in April above the Pyrenees and central France, involved operations down to 500ft, including transitions from low-level flight to other operations like aerial delivery. This first certification phase concerns operations with Visual Meteorological Conditions, meaning with crew visibility. There will be a second phase including Instrumental Meteorological Conditions, without visibility, to be certified in the second quarter of 2021.

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Boeing delivers 100th P-8A Poseidon built for U.S. Navy

The 100th P-8A Poseidon for the U.S. Navy ©Boeing

The U.S. Navy has received its 100th P-8A aircraft from Boeing as the global fleet, which also includes the Indian navy and the Australian and U.K. air forces, approaches 300,000 flight hours of hunting submarines and providing aerial reconnaissance capabilities around the world. The P-8 is a proven long-range multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and coastal operations. A military derivative of the Boeing 737 Next-Generation airplane, the P-8 combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the battle space. This is the 94th mission-capable airplane to enter the U.S. Navy Read more

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