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International Aerospace Discussion

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brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 27 Sep 2017 18:38

USAF Preparing To Send Light Attack Contenders To Combat


The U.S. Air Force is moving forward with preparations to take two off-the-shelf light attack turboprop aircraft downrange to fight terrorists next year.
Preparations for the combat demonstration, called Combat Dragon III, are notably far along—especially since Air Force leadership has not yet made a final decision on whether to move forward with the exercise. The Air Force has picked a squadron commander, a designation, and a total detachment size of about 70 people, said Air Force Reserve Col. Mike Pietrucha, light attack adviser to Air Combat Command (ACC).

The service has decided to take four total aircraft downrange—two each of the Embraer/Sierra Nevada Corp. A-29 Super Tucano and Textron’s AT-6 Wolverine, Pietrucha said.

“We are preparing as if we’re going,” he said.

Combat Dragon III would be the follow-on to the Air Force’s light attack demonstration that took place this summer at Holloman AFB, New Mexico. The goal of the high-profile experiment was to evaluate four off-the-shelf aircraft for the light-attack counterterrorism mission: top candidates Super Tucano and Wolverine, as well as two “tier two” contenders—Textron’s Scorpion jet and L-3-Air Tractor’s AT-802L Longsword.

The Air Force released the interim report from the light attack experiment internally on Sept. 21, and leadership expects to make a final decision on moving forward with the combat demonstration by year’s end, Pietrucha said.


Meanwhile the LA Experiment patch is doing the rounds in social media -

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 27 Sep 2017 21:48


chola
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby chola » 28 Sep 2017 19:47

V J wrote:


Between Airbus and Boeing, the PRC will have the opportunity to steal everthing they need to know about building commercial jets. You just watch. Must be nice to have a government that knows how to strong-arm firangies by leveraging the domestic market.

I mean how many fvcking fast-growing billion plus customers aviation markets are out there, right?

http://m.todayonline.com/business/boeing-invest-33-million-joint-venture-comac-china-plant-china-daily

SHANGHAI - Boeing Co <BA.N> will invest $33 million for a majority stake in a joint venture with Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) that will oversee the U.S. planemaker's new 737 completion plant in China

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Philip » 29 Sep 2017 11:56

The Belgian dilemma,F-35 or Rafales? Both require a political decision.

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... go%3F.html
Belgian Fighter Competition: Three Down, Two to Go?
(Source: Defense-Aerospace.com; posted Sept. 8, 2017)

By Giovanni de Briganti
France did not submit an offer to the Belgian fighter competition, and instead offered a wide-ranging, government-to-government partnership based on the Rafale, and including a substantial offsets and training package. (Dassault photo)
PARIS --- France’s decision to make a last-minute, unsolicited offer to Belgium of a strategic partnership based on the Rafale combat aircraft is a gamble, pushing the issue into the political arena and away from purely technical considerations.

Although the Belgian government tried to ensure a fair competition by dealing with governments, instead of directly with the bidding companies, its Request for Government Proposals could not hide the fact that operational requirements were written by its air force, where many consider the F-35 a desirable aircraft despite its long history of ballooning costs and technical problems.

Politicians generally tend to trust their military, and so support their recommendations because they do not have the knowledge to double-guess them or to realize whether specs were slanted.

This pro-F-35 slant is the reason for Boeing’s withdrawal from the Belgian competition, while Sweden pulled out in June because it was not prepared to support Belgian fighters on foreign operations.

Slanted requirements are also the reason Dassault did not compete the Rafale in Denmark, where the competition was so partial that Boeing is now suing the Danish government.

The real question: go Dutch or go French?

But whether the Belgian competition is fair or not is beside the point. From the outset, the only question is whether Belgium wants its air force to go Dutch or French.

Over the past decade or two, Belgium has merged its navy with that of The Netherlands, its northern neighbor, and the two have recently launched a joint naval shipbuilding program.

As for the army, Belgium in June chose to buy the same new-generation armored vehicles that France is developing under the Scorpion program, and said it would invest billions of euros to buy and operate them in close cooperation with the French army.

Now, decision-time has arrived for its air force.

Belgium currently operates F-16s like the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway, with which it acquired them in a joint buy; all three have already opted for the F-35.

If Belgium wants its air force to closely cooperate or more closely integrate with France’s Armée de l’air, it will buy the Rafale. This would give it access to French airspace, training, joint operations, as well as allowing Belgium to share in the definition of the next variant of Rafale. Its aerospace industry would also gain access to the Rafale supply chain, and possibly more.

If it wants to go Dutch – and half of Belgium speaks Dutch, while the other half speaks French – then it will choose the F-35, and prolong their relationship they have on the F-16. But it would not have access to many of the benefits offered by France.

Nor would it benefit from maintenance and overhaul work on its own F-35s, as this work has been assigned by Washington to The Netherlands, the UK and Norway.

There is, however, one other significant factor.

Some of Belgium’s F-16s are assigned a nuclear strike role by NATO, using B-61 free-fall tactical bombs provided by the United States. The current government plans to continue this capability, although public opinion is opposed, and only the F-35 would be allowed to carry the B-61 and its successor, the modernized B-61-12 that the US is developing.

The likelihood that an aircraft carrying a free-fall bomb would reach its target is extremely remote, and this mission could well be phased out in the mid-2020s, a NATO official suggested a few months ago. But Belgium apparently wants to keep its options open, even though this was not a formal requirement.

Politics trumps capabilities

But, whichever aircraft wins, the sad fact is that Belgium’s final decision will be barely influenced by operational aspects, and even less by whether the aircraft it buys is suited to its needs and capabilities.

So, why bother to hold long, expensive and bothersome competitions at all?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Philip » 29 Sep 2017 11:59

F-35 woes continue.

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... 6991/.html
Safety Experts: Some F-35 Ejections Pose ‘Serious’ Death Risk (excerpt)
(Source: Roll Call; posted Sep 18, 2017)
By John M. Donnelly
The F-35 fighter jets’ flawed ejection seats, which Air Force officials said in May had been fixed, still pose a “serious” risk that will probably injure or kill nearly two dozen pilots, according to an internal Air Force safety report that service officials withheld from the press.

The F-35 Joint Program Office — which runs the $406.5 billion initiative, the most expensive weapons program in history — has declined to try to save those lives by conducting less than a year’s worth of additional testing that would cost a relatively paltry few million dollars, the report shows.

Mannequin tests in 2015 had demonstrated that some F-35 pilots were at risk of fatal neck injuries if they had to eject in the original seats under some emergency conditions. Air Force officials said in a news conference in May that changes made to the seat since then, including a new head support, had essentially solved the problem.

“I’m confident our pilots are no longer concerned with the F-35 ejection system,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, a top official overseeing the program, told reporters.

But two weeks before the press conference, the internal Air Force report from the service’s top aviation safety experts, the Technical Airworthiness Authority, had told a different story.

Twenty-two pilots will be injured or killed in the coming decades, unless the upgraded ejection seats undergo additional testing to show they work in “off-nominal” cases — in other words, when the plane is out of control, not just in optimal flight conditions, said the May 1 report on “F-35-A Residual Risk Acceptance,” obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Such cases would be rare — perhaps 2 percent of ejections, by one estimate. But the results could be “catastrophic” for the pilots, the report said.

For “no less than $1 million” worth of tests taking “nine to 12 months,” the result could be “no additional losses” of pilots, the report said. But the program office “non-concurs” with the recommended testing, the report said.

Air Force public affairs officials at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, where the safety report was produced, declined to provide a copy of the report and said a Freedom of Information Act request would have to be filed to obtain it. (end of excerpt)

Will the U.S. Retrofit Older F-35s to Fight or Buy New? (excerpt)
(Source: Aviation Week; posted Sep 20, 2017)
By Jen DiMascio
Paper Lightning? After having declared that two F-35 variants had reached Initial Operational Capability, and then deploying them to Europe and Asia, the Pentagon has finally had to admit that over half its F-35s cannot fly combat missions. (JPO photo)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD. --- Faced with a set of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters that are too limited to fly in combat, the U.S. military is faced with the question of what to do with them—upgrade or buy new?

The F-35 Joint Program Office is on the cusp of a major increase in F-35 production of F-35s. In 2016, Lockheed Martin delivered 46 of the fighters. By the end of 2018, the company should be producing 130 per year, according to Vice Adm. Mat Winter, the head of the program. And the rate of production will increase even further.

At the same time, the program is juggling multiple configurations of the aircraft—not just because there are Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy variants, but also because production began before flight tests were finished. That issue, known as concurrency, continues to bedevil the military’s ability to afford the program, as it will take a lot of work to bring some of the oldest F-35s up to the standard they will need to fight in combat.

“From a production perspective, we have literally 150 to 160 modifications (Emphasis added—Ed.) that have to occur on some of our tails to get it to a Block 3 configuration,” Winter said during a Sept. 18 speech at the Air Force Association’s annual Air, Space and Cyber conference here. “Our mods program is almost as exciting and dwarfing our production program.” (end of excerpt)


Aviation Week Reader Comments Above Story
(Source: Don Bacon; posted Sep 20, 2017)
"We have literally 150 to 160 modifications that have to occur on some of our tails to get it to a Block 3 configuration."

That's disingenuous. As another reader said, the over 200 modifications include many problems, including structural ones, uncovered in testing, with the more rigorous tests yet to come. It's not a "Block 3 configuration" software problem.

The F-35 system is still deep in development with a lot of work yet to be done, including on ALIS, to enable the start of initial operational test and evaluation.

They don't know what the prototype plane actually costs (1) nor what the modification of the current crop of prototypes would cost to make them combat capable since the remaining testing will uncover the need for yet more modifications (2).

And it's not over yet, with more program delays while premature prototype manufacturing continues and even increases. The F-35 project office won't be able to provide 23 aircraft in a production representative configuration for initial operational test and evaluation scheduled to begin in February 2018, and it has no estimate of when it will be able to do so.

The important Milestone C production decision must be delayed beyond the current April 2019 date.

NOTES:
(1) The Pentagon’s director of defense pricing announced that his office would conduct a “deep dive” to find the “true cost” of the joint strike fighter prototype F-35 aircraft currently being manufactured.

(2) The JSF program executive officer has said that looming modification bills are threatening to suck resources from manufacturing costs of more than 900 prototype aircraft projected for delivery over the next five years.


-ends-

brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 29 Sep 2017 14:45

Quoting full time internet trolls such as Don Bacon. Now this has to be a first, even for you :)

On the ejection seat issue (or rather the ejection seat + HMD + Pilot) this is a known risk with all ejection systems + HMD combos due to the latter adding aditional bulk over and above the baseline helmet. The Navy assumes the same with JHMCS and their standard Hornet/SH ejection system (I' have posted technical papers to that end before). Ejecting form an aircraft that is capable of high Gs and speed always comes with a risk no matter which ejection system, helmet or aircraft combo you look at. Scientifically, you test to measure the risk and deem it either acceptable, or unacceptable. When the lightweight pilot risk was evaluated it was deemed unacceptable below a weight class (less than 60 kg for pilot) and hence a restriction was put in place which only effected one service (USN and USMC pilots can't fly fighters below 60 kg anyways) and actually just one pilot in that service. Once the modifications were tested this restriction was lifted but the risk across the envelope and weight classes does not go away, it always stays but is deemed acceptable. There is no helmet+ejection system combo that is "No Risk". Simply put, ejecting from an aircraft involves risk.

The F-35's seat is designed around weight standards, no fighter ejection system till now has been, and the AF lifted the restrictions after careful analysis of the risk. The weight restrictions that led to modifications that they are talking about only apply to one service (no international customer or USN and USMC pilots are allowed to fly at those weights) and even they do not have any pilot at the lowest end of that margin. The modifications to the seat itself, will be completed in the next months on most of the AF aircraft, even though no pilot meets that criteria yet. And no, no one will die because of this but plenty of sensationalism will be floated around by the likes of Bacon and Brigannti out with an agenda. At least we know who the latter is (known shill for French wares) , the former is an anonymous internet troll.

EDIT: Regarding the point Phillip made in the Vik thread about modifications and "go to war" configurations. Here is what the F-35 bed down looks like by end of next year (annotated graphic below). The bases with a green star are the ones that will house operational "Go to War" units, while the ones with red circles are training, test, and tactics units for either the US services or a mix of US and international customers (mostly Luke).

The plans for COMBAT USAF UNITS is to finish deliveries of the 70+ F-35As at Hill AFB Utah (which will happen by end of next year), and then begin delivering operational aircraft meant for Eielson AFB in Alaska which will get just a little over 50 aircraft. Then they will begin supplying operational squadrons out at RAF Lakenheath which will house 48 F-35As. Both Alaska and the UK base should begin getting deliveries between the 2019 - 2020 period. Additional operational bases beyond these three will be decided shortly.

There is also an ANG unit up in Vermont that will get operational aircraft delivered to it within the same window. The USMC and USN stand up "Operational Units" are also identified here (plus aircraft in Japan). The first USMC squadron to have declared IOC is in 2B configuration, and will be transitioning through the depot to get the appropriate hardware changes so that it can get full 3F capability. That cycle will be based on ops tempo demands since those jets are doing quite a bit of flying of late given the situation in the Pacific.

But, that is the only operational set of aircraft that are currently out in the US services without Tech Refresh 2 hardware changes..the USAF which has bulk of the operational aircraft delivered, made it a point to only IOC once the hardware portion of block 3 changes were incorporated into their aircraft so for them, moving to 3F simply is a wait for all variants of the software build to be cleared for fleet release. This has started happening (see article linked below) and will progressively, over the next few months (by early to mid 2018) conclude the entire 3F build minus a few things they defer to later in the year.

Image

http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your- ... -squadron/

Now to the training, test and tactics units: A portion of these aircraft are in 2B configuration since they were delivered long ago when production was still at TR-1. Some of these are to be upgraded to 3F over the next few months, starting with the units headed for Operational Test and Evaluation. Some if not most of them also have "concurrency changes" that are to be applied to them at the depot. Things as minor as changing wires on some, to as major as replacing parts that have been modified through the testing and feedback process. Each batch has lesser and lesser of these changes but there are a high number of per aircraft changes in pre LRIP-5 jets which are a fraction of the overall fleet. Others that have been conducting DT work will NEVER be converted since they will either be retired, or kept aside for current and future test needs as the program transitions to follow on development. This leaves aircraft currently with the USAF training and tactics squadrons that are likely also in 2B configuration which the USAF has to develop a plan for bringing up to the standard of the current operational fleet.

This is a financial decision for them, but keep in mind the "Operational Fleet Standard" is dynamic, as there will be a Tech-Refresh-3, hardware change associated with early Block 4, and another Tech Refresh later with block 5. Simply put, the program since day one planned a tic-tock refresh cycle with critical hardware and software upgrades. On the F-22, and even the F-16, they maintained a small subset of the training and tactics fleet at a baseline standard to avoid costs every time the ops aircraft were upgraded to a higher capability. They may decide to do the same here as well but keep in mind that these aircraft ARE NOT OPERATIONAL and these units are not COMBAT CODED.

The USAF/ANG Aircraft out at Hill, Eielson, Lakenheath, and Burlington DO HAVE (in case of Hill's aircraft), or will have (future deliveries to Hill and other bases) TR-2 hardware from the time these units declared IOC. . These are the only combat coded units with the service. These units have since day 1 (when they went operational) had the ability to go to war in an IOC configuration, and will shortly get FOC standard software build.

Bottom line, unlike the F-22, or even F-15, this is a very large program at a production rate that has not been seen in the west since the F-16 ramp up. There were a little over 100 aircraft in 2014/15, and there will be over 1000 aircraft flying worldwide by 2023. This has an impact on expectations for thing such as pilot training, maintainer training, weapons school units, and tactics development. They front loaded a lot of this infrastructure in anticipation of this ramp up which is now happening with the surge in production. Contracted lot sizes are approaching the triple digits. You need a large infrastructure to train, and equip such an aggressive ramp up. Those are not combat coded units, and they are focused at pilot training, testing or other tasks. Would you like each and every one of them to be combat coded? Possibly, but I think it is a Nice to Have vs a Must Have, at least in the short-medium term.

Having front loaded a lot of the non combat units, the USAF is now buying roughly (+/- 5%) 4 dozen F-35As a year until the middle of the next decade when they expect to get up closer to 60. Those are almost all headed to combat coded squadrons.
Last edited by brar_w on 29 Sep 2017 20:18, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby VishalJ » 29 Sep 2017 16:48

Image

Photographer Remarks: The very elusive and highly modified ELTA Radar testbed 737-400 taxiing out for departure on a morning sortie as "Bedek 6 Experimental" carrying a reconnaissance pod on its belly and a modified nose cone complete with many antennas.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 29 Sep 2017 18:41


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Zynda » 29 Sep 2017 22:08

I am sure brar_w ji would have posted tons of info about S-97 chopper here...another article about the same.

Sikorsky's S-97 Raider Could Be A Revolutionary Light Helicopter

The U.S. Army is the biggest operator of military helicopters in the world. However, all of its combat rotorcraft were developed during the Cold War, and despite upgrades are beginning to show their age. In fact, the Army's main reconnaissance ("scout") helicopter, the Kiowa Warrior, grew so decrepit after 16 years of fighting in Southwest Asia that they were retired despite the absence of a dedicated successor.

Apache, the Army's preeminent tank-killer, will do double duty as an armed recon helicopter for the time being, but Army leaders admit lack of a next-generation recon helicopter is the gap in aviation capabilities that most worries them. Armed recon plays a central role in Army plans for securing battlefield intelligence and attacking forward targets, but in today's lethal warfighting environment the mission requires an unusually agile and survivable airframe.

It appears a solution to the Army's needs already exists in the form of the Sikorsky S-97 Raider, a highly maneuverable light helicopter begun in 2010 in response to a solicitation for next-gen scout helicopters that was later canceled due to scarce funding. Raider got some negative media coverage last month when it suffered a hard landing at Sikorsky's West Palm Beach testing facility, but the fact a prototype was undergoing its 15th test flight underscores the fact that this is not just a neat idea. It's a real helicopter.

Compared to legacy helicopters, Raider will offer a 100% increase in speed and endurance, a 50% decrease in turning radius, a 50% decrease in acoustic "signature," and a 40% increase in payload -- all wrapped in a composite airframe that is 15% smaller then the venerable Kiowa. Whereas the current fleet of Army helicopters is only capable of providing coverage to 40% of Afghanistan, Raider will be able to cover 97%.

The performance differential with the Kiowa Warrior speaks for itself. Whereas the last fielded version of Kiowa had a cruise speed 127 miles per hour and a range of 161 miles, Raider will deliver a cruise speed of 253 miles per hour and a range of 354 miles. That means that if applied to the armed recon mission, Raider can reach key objectives twice as fast, and cover four times as much area around its base of operations. It can also hover for much longer periods, and optimize its orientation to ground objectives to maximize effectiveness.

One striking feature of Raider's "rigid coaxial" design is that because the rear propeller is not required for stabilization, it can be disengaged to minimize noise. Acoustic signatures can alert enemies to an approaching rotorcraft, and rear propellers generate much of the noise. By disengaging the propeller, pilots can enhance the helicopter's survivability. Other onboard defensive features include 360-degree sensor coverage for situational awareness and management of other signatures such as heat emissions.

Another novel feature of Raider is the breadth of its main rotors, which is less than that of Kiowa and much less than the diameter of other Army combat helicopters. What that means in practical terms is that Raider can land in urban settings that would be too confining for other Army rotorcraft. That's important because as a multi-mission system, Raider probably would not be used just for scouting or deep strike. It could also be used to insert half a dozen special operators behind enemy lines; to conduct medical evacuations; and to rescue endangered soldiers.

Lockheed Martin and several of its competitors contribute to my think tank. Lockheed is also a consulting client.


Image

brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 29 Sep 2017 22:38

Sikorsky likely has better chance in this class than the larger one and I wouldn't be surprised if they just continue to pursue the development of the S97 independently now that they have LM cash. They'll find it tough to compete on speed and range with the V280 but who knows how the blackhawk class helicopter requirement evolves next decade.

Problem is that there is no cash. FVL will likely accelerate Blackhawk replacement and push out Apache recapitalization since there is scope to go beyond the E variant.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Indranil » 30 Sep 2017 03:24

Absolutely gorgeous machine!

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Zynda » 30 Sep 2017 03:30

This is supposed to be an improved variant, the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) T-130 helicopter. Supposed to include an indigenous engine as well as an indigenous MMW FCR mounted on the rotor mast.

Image

BTW, it seems like TSP & Turkey have reached an agreement in 2016 to produce/assemble T-129s in Pakistan.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 30 Sep 2017 04:12

Amid SR-72 Rumors, Skunk Works Ramps Up Hypersonics
Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Sep 27, 2017


Lockheed Martin is ramping up development of hypersonic system technology as observers report the first sightings of a demonstrator vehicle believed to be linked to the Skunk Works’ planned SR-72 high-speed aircraft project.
“Although I can’t go into specifics, let us just say the Skunk Works team in Palmdale, California, is doubling down on our commitment to speed,” says Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of aeronautics at Lockheed Martin, speaking at the SAE International Aerotech Congress and Exhibition here.

“Simply put, I believe the United States is on the verge of a hypersonics revolution,” he says.

Referencing ongoing development of the Darpa/U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Tactical Boost Glide weapon and Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept research program, the latter in competition with Raytheon, Carvalho says, “Over the last decade progress has been moving quickly, and hypersonic technology is clearly becoming apparent to everyone as a game changer. We continue to advance and test technology which will benefit hypersonic flight and are working on multiple programs, including two Darpa efforts. Speed matters, especially when it comes to national security.”

While making no specific mention of the SR-72, which the company is proposing as a hypersonic replacement for the long-retired high-supersonic SR-71 Blackbird, Carvalho’s positive remarks echo recent comments by Rob Weiss, executive vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs organization. Speaking to Aviation Week in June, Weiss hinted that progress towards an optionally piloted SR-72 precursor flight research vehicle (FRV) was proceeding on schedule.

Skunk Works is believed to be planning the start of FRV development next year, with first flight targeted for 2020. The FRV will be around the same size as an F-22 and powered by a full-scale, combined-cycle engine. However, in the run-up to the demonstrator development, Lockheed is thought to be testing several discrete technologies in a series of ground and flight tests.

According to information provided to Aviation Week, one such technology demonstrator, believed to be an unmanned subscale aircraft, was observed flying into the U.S. Air Force’s Plant 42 at Palmdale, where Skunk Works is headquartered. The vehicle, which was noted landing in the early hours at an unspecified date in late July, was seen with two T-38 escorts. Lockheed Martin declined to comment directly on the sighting.

The company previously has said the follow-on step would be development of a full-scale, twin-engined SR-72. With roughly the same proportions as the SR-71, the larger vehicle would enter flight test in the late 2020s.


“Hypersonics is like stealth. It is a disruptive technology and will enable various platforms to operate at two to three times the speed of the Blackbird,” Carvalho says. “Operational survivability and lethality is the ultimate deterrent. Security classification guidance will only allow us to say the speed is greater than Mach 5.”

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby vasu raya » 30 Sep 2017 18:58

The S-97 raider is gorgeous, almost like Liz Hurley!

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 30 Sep 2017 19:57

At this moment, their intentions with the S-97 is to de-risk technology for their JMR Technology Demonstrator - SB1 Defiant, which is a larger aircraft. They are now in the process if finalizing that build and intend on a first flight early next year. The second S97 prototype is also being pursued after the first one had a hard landing and has been taken out of the test program. They are likely to pursue both for different missions but as of this moment they only have CRAD on the SB1.

https://media.giphy.com/media/3o7aD9SP8 ... /giphy.gif

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Karthik S » 01 Oct 2017 11:25

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Jacob Soboroff‏Verified account
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Just got this pic from friend aboard the Air France CDG to LAX flight that suffered engine failure & landed safely in Canada. Terrifying.

brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 04 Oct 2017 15:09

A very large and unusual request from Australia (for a weapon at this stage of development and integration) for the SDBII but I assume they wanted the case to be cleared and will order it in batches over a long duration of time :

US clears $815M sale of F-35 weapons for Australia


WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department has cleared a potential sale of weapons to Australia to augment that country’s future procurement of the F-35A joint strike fighter.

The deal primarily centers around selling the GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb Increment II, or SDB II, to Australia, potentially worth $815 million. All such announcements are notifications to Congress that the State Department is okay with selling the weapons and not an indication of a final deal.

The proposed sale would cover up to 3,900 GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb Increment II, up to 30 GBU-53/B Guided Test Vehicles (GTV) and up to 60 GBU-53/B Captive Carry Reliability Trainers (CCRT). Also included would be maintenance, transportation and support for the weapons.n an announcement by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the U.S. notes that “the proposed sale of SDB II supports and complements the ongoing sale of the F-35A to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). This capability will strengthen combined operations, particularly air to ground strike missions in all-weather conditions, and increase interoperability between the United States and the RAAF.”

Australia intends to procure 72 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing models, with the first planned for delivery in 2018 and entering service in 2020.

Raytheon will be the prime contractor for the agreement, with work done at its Tuscon, Ariz., facility.

DSCA said it alerted Congress of the potential sale on Sept. 29, making it the final DSCA alter of fiscal year 2017, which had already set a record of $68.6 billion in arms announcements cleared by the State Department.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby vasu raya » 05 Oct 2017 00:09

brar_w wrote:At this moment, their intentions with the S-97 is to de-risk technology for their JMR Technology Demonstrator - SB1 Defiant, which is a larger aircraft. They are now in the process if finalizing that build and intend on a first flight early next year. The second S97 prototype is also being pursued after the first one had a hard landing and has been taken out of the test program. They are likely to pursue both for different missions but as of this moment they only have CRAD on the SB1.

https://media.giphy.com/media/3o7aD9SP8 ... /giphy.gif


From the gif, the coaxial rotor stem is almost the height of the cabin itself, would it serve the requirement to be carrier based where they may have to stow it under deck?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Indranil » 05 Oct 2017 01:02

WE have always been able to stow away the Kamovs.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 05 Oct 2017 06:19

Amid SR-72 Rumors, Skunk Works Ramps Up Hypersonics

Image

FORT WORTH, Texas—Lockheed Martin is ramping up development of hypersonic system technology as observers report the first sightings of a demonstrator vehicle believed to be linked to the Skunk Works’ planned SR-72 high-speed aircraft project.

“Although I can’t go into specifics, let us just say the Skunk Works team in Palmdale, California, is doubling down on our commitment to speed,” says Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of aeronautics at Lockheed Martin, speaking at the SAE International Aerotech Congress and Exhibition here.

“Simply put, I believe the United States is on the verge of a hypersonics revolution,” he says.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 05 Oct 2017 06:23

‘Helicopter With Wings’ Aims For Surveillance Market

Image

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Designed for seeing rather than being seen, the aircraft is as practical as its visage is, well, unusual. The two-place pusher has a wraparound windscreen reminiscent of the Bell 47 and large side windows. The high wing gives those within unobstructed views of what’s below. A taildragger, it can operate out of small, unimproved fields. Intended to linger, it stalls at 58 kt and can remain aloft for 5.5 hr.

As its name suggests, the Seeker’s purpose is to go find things. And its design certainly facilitates that for its pilot and observer, with its 270-deg. field of view. Further, because its gear is conventional and its engine is in back, when Seeker is equipped with an electro-optical infrared sensor, the ball can hang from the center of the aircraft’s belly, clear of ground debris, unobstructed and in air unaffected by engine heat or emissions.

Depending on the sensor package selected, the information entering the cockpit and possibly being transmitted to personnel on the ground can be comprehensive, exacting, extensive and in real time.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 05 Oct 2017 06:29

New Sensors, Payloads Expanding Small UAS Capabilities

Having widely deployed small tactical unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) across its forces, the U.S. military is moving to increase their usefulness through sensor upgrades and new payloads. The most numerous are Insitu’s ScanEagle, Textron Systems’ RQ-7 Shadow and AeroVironment’s RQ-11 Raven and RQ-20 Puma. And while the procurement peak is past, upgrades are continuing.

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Puma’s new Mantis i45 gimbal packs multiple sensors into a waterproof, retractable unit. Credit: AeroVironment

In volume terms, AeroVironment is the largest supplier of UAS to the Defense Department. Its widely deployed RQ-11B Raven was upgraded in 2012 with a gimballed payload comprising EO/IR sensor and laser illuminator. With Raven deliveries to the Pentagon complete, the focus has shifted to the larger RQ-20B Puma, deliveries of which continue to the Marine Corps and Special Operations Command.

In May, AeroVironment began shipping the Mantis i45 EO/IR sensor gimbal for the Puma. This provides the same EO image resolution as the previous i25 gimbal at seven times the distance, augmented by enhanced onboard digital stabilization, improving survivability and increasing intelligence.

The gimbal provides dual 15-megapixel EO color cameras with 50X electronic zoom, improved IR sensor, new low-light camera and a high-power laser illuminator, as well as an onboard image processor and optional onboard storage of high-definition imagery—all in an 850-gram (2-lb.)waterproof package that retracts into the Puma’s fuselage to protect the payload during takeoff and landing.

With migration of its family of small UAS to the encrypted, IP-based Digital Data Link complete, AeroVironment has delivered the first Ravens and Pumas equipped to use the Defense Department’s reallocated small UAS radio frequencies, called M1/M2/M5. All three frequency bands are combined in a single transceiver module.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby vasu raya » 05 Oct 2017 06:52

Indranil wrote:WE have always been able to stow away the Kamovs.


The Raider's rotors are termed as rigid while I remember chetak saying that the Kamov's co-axial in some circumstances had blade rendezvous but no incidents of crashes attributed to that.

IN considers the Dhruv as in between the Chetak and the yet to materialize Naval ASW helicopter, so is your suggestion of offering a S-97 Raider type of configuration by HAL teaming with the Russians say using the Dhruv as the base can fulfil the specifications of a Naval medium lift helicopter? ASW sensors are a different package say.

The tripartite stuff, IL-76 based Phalcon follow ons are in trouble currently, maybe we are getting ahead of ourselves here

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 05 Oct 2017 07:03

U.S. Army Eyes F-35 As Missile Defense Sensor

"HUNTSVILLE, Alabama—The U.S. Army is interested in the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, but not for dropping bombs, close air support or dogfighting. The service believes the F-35 has potential as an airborne sensor for integrated air and missile defense.

The F-35 could essentially support the Army the same way that the Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye acts as the eyes of the U.S. Navy for early detecting and tracking of airborne threats. It could provide targeting data to land-based interceptor systems such as Patriot long before those threats show up on ground radars. An official with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) says a classified forum has been established to investigate how the F-35 community can support the air and missile defense mission.

Richard De Fatta, director of the USASMDC/ARSTRAT’s future warfare center, says discussions are ongoing about how to integrate the Joint Strike Fighter for taking out ballistic and cruise missiles. “It’s a great capability, so let’s see where it can contribute as an overhead asset,” he said at a Raytheon-sponsored forum here on Aug. 7, ahead of the annual Space and Missile Defense Symposium. “We’re seeing where we could go with it and what’s the art of the possible.”

Participants in the discussions include the F-35 program office and operational users such as the U.S. Air Force. Army interest in the F-35 follows a successful demonstration by the Navy in 2016, during which a Marine Corps F-35B directed Raytheon’s Standard Missile-6 against a target drone. The flight test took place at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on Sept. 12, 2016, after several years of discussion and preparation.

A Lockheed official said the demonstration resulted in a center-off-mass hit of the target on the first try. The test combined two of Lockheed’s most prominent military systems, the F-35 and Aegis Combat System. Targeting data from the F-35’s active electronically scanned array radar was passed to the Aegis “Desert Ship” at White Sands via the aircraft’s secure data relay systems, the low-probability-of-intercept Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL).

The Navy’s ultimate goal is to seamlessly integrate the F-35 and other airborne sensors into its next-generation networking architecture, the Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air. Although not a substitute for the E-2D, the low-observable F-35 flies faster and is more survivable. The aircraft’s stealth features allow it to get closer to potential threats without being detected.

The Army has long been pursuing tethered aerostats, such as JLens, for detection and tracking of airborne threats. But aerostats, airships and balloons are far less responsive than a fighter jet, despite being far cheaper to operate long-term."

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 05 Oct 2017 16:37

Still planning for a first flight sometime in the next "few weeks".


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby vasu raya » 06 Oct 2017 02:45

^^^
For the most part the wing with the rotors seem borrowed from the Osprey, however the engines seem to be positioned horizontally at all times, a change from Osprey's wing config maybe to protect the decks from the exhaust

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 06 Oct 2017 03:01

There is actually some good information out there on the design differences and similarities between the 1st, second and third gen tilt rotor designs, knowing that this demonstrator is a stepping stone to a FVL (If Bell advances) and the eventual aircraft will use new engines, an all composite fuselage and rotor design.

While the company's V-22 "has been a great platform for the air force and the marine corps", Gehler said Bell has "learned quite a bit since its introduction in the 1990s". For example, because the army wants an assault platform, the company decided to avoid rotating engines to prevent interference with side doors. According to Gehler this eliminates concerns about egress of troops from the aircraft's side doors and increases the field of fire for door gunners approaching a hostile landing zone. Development risk will also be cut because the need to certify engine operation at different angles is eliminated. "With engine technology moving forward, more efficient engines mean we won't need rotating engines anyway," he added.

More broadly, Gehler said, the V-280 will be as affordable to produce as a conventional helicopter because of two major advances: advanced production tools like 3-D prototyping; and updated composite materials that are lighter and stronger due to the use of new techniques that allow for more efficient layering of the material.

Bell plans to use the GE T-64 engine - the power plant for the Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion - on its demonstrator, but that engine provides only the power and not the specific fuel consumption required by the army. Gehler noted that any new engine the army chooses for the medium and heavy FVL platforms will benefit from ITEP technology but that the Future Affordable Turbine Engine (FATE) programme will likely provide engines for those classes of aircraft. Modern engines can provide the leap ahead in performance sought by the DoD, but adding ITEP or FATE technology to those power plants will add the requisite fuel efficiency.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 06 Oct 2017 04:28





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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 06 Oct 2017 19:44

Bell Wants To Push V-280 Tiltrotor Above 300 Kt.
Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Oct 02, 2017 , p. 3


AMARILLO, Texas—Bell Helicopter intends to eventually push its V-280 Valor next-generation tiltrotor prototype beyond 300 kt. airspeed, up from its basic design speed of 280 kt.
The firm also wants to fly Valor autonomously without manual pilot inputs to prove that the aircraft could someday perform select missions like transporting cargo or self-deploying to another base without any operators onboard.

The straight-wing rotorcraft is powered by two General Electric T64-419A turboshaft engines borrowed from Sikorsky’s E-model CH-53 Super Stallion. Those engines drive uniquely designed composite rotors, which will propel the V-280 to airspeeds not possible in a conventional helicopter.

Bell’s third-generation tiltrotor, the V-280 is undergoing restrained and unrestrained ground runs on an outdoor test stand here ahead of further first flight within the next month or so. The experimental aircraft has been developed along with the Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant coaxial helicopter for the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator program.

Chris Gehler, Bell’s V-280 program manager, expects to complete the first tiltrotor conversion from forward flight to airplane mode with propellers pitched forward by year’s end. The aircraft will then go through a series of rigorous envelope expansion flights up to the objective cruise speed of 280 kt. in 2018. But Bell will not stop there.

“The Marine Corps and Army are talking about even higher speed requirements in the low-300 kt. range, which is well within the capability of the aircraft,” Gehler said during a media briefing at Bell’s production facility here on Sept. 28. He says Team Valor hopes to demonstrate a top airspeed of about 304-305 kt. The company will also validate what it projects to be the V-280’s optimal long-range cruising speed of about 230 kt. The V-280 has an advertised combat range of about 500-800 nm, or 1,500 nm for one-way trips.

Along with speed and range, Bell is optimistic about Valor’s performance in high and hot conditions. The company expects to beat the Army’s objective performance metrics at 6,000 ft. in 95F temperatures (6K95) by flying up to 8,000 ft. in 95F (8K95) conditions. “The Army wants 6K95; we expect 8K95,” Gehler confirms.


Although the prototype is powered by the 5,000 shp-class T64, future propulsion options include the Bell-BoeingV-22 Osprey’s Rolls-Royce AE1107 CH-53K King Stallion’s GE38/T408, which at 7,500 shp might be overpowered on the V-280. Gehler says engine manufacturers are also working on lighter and more efficient propulsion systems in the optimal 5,000-6,000-shp range. Those new engine designs could be ready in 2019-20, he notes.

During testing, Bell will pay special attention to the performance of the V-tail ruddervators, which are probably oversized. Reducing the size of these control surfaces in future production configurations would allow the V-280 to fit in smaller hangars on ships. The company has been tinkering with alternative tail designs for maritime operations, including inverted or anhedral V-tails.

Five company test pilots and three Army aviators will fly the aircraft during testing. They have been training using the V-280 flight simulator and systems integration laboratory at Bell’s development center near Fort Worth.

Bell had originally been aiming for first flight by September. But Gehler now expects Valor to lift off in late October or early November, depending on how rapidly the team moves through restrained and unrestrained ground runs. Flight testing will continue through 2018 and into 2019. The data Bell collects will inform the Army’s analysis of alternatives and planning for Future Vertical Lift, a multi-service procurement to replace legacy helicopter fleets with new types that can fly much faster and farther.

Bell’s primary competitor is Sikorsky and Boeing’s SB-1, a Sikorsky X2-based coaxial rotorcraft with rigid rotors and a high-speed pusher propeller. Defiant has an anticipated airspeed of around 250 kt. The aircraft is coming together at Sikorsky’s development center in West Palm Beach, Florida, with first flight anticipated by mid-2018.

Bell and Sikorsky have designed their aircraft for speed and endurance, but the firms have also been developing autonomous flight control software for unmanned operations. After verifying the V-280’s basic performance parameters, Bell will fly the aircraft autonomously by adding new software modes to the fly-by-wire flight control system.

“As we expand the envelope, one of the things the Army wants to see now is supervised autonomy,” explains Bell V-280 Build Team Manager Jeff Josselyn. “In the future, I don’t think you’re going to see an Army helicopter fielded that does not have the ability to be ‘optionally’ or ‘optimally’ piloted.”

V-280 prototype is serving as the technological and structural basis for Bell’s prospective V-247 Vigilant, an unmanned tiltrotor designed for the Marine Corps. The V-247 is far smaller and would not have a cockpit or cabin. But it would use the V-280’s flight control systems and many of the same dynamic components, only downscaled.

“The technology the V-247 has is really based on the V-280,” Gehler says. “We plan to fly [Valor] autonomously next year, in the latter part of the flight program.”

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby vasu raya » 06 Oct 2017 23:25

Will this unmanned variant the V-247 have a ASW role at any point in future?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 07 Oct 2017 18:54

brar_w wrote:Having front loaded a lot of the non combat units, the USAF is now buying roughly (+/- 5%) 4 dozen F-35As a year until the middle of the next decade when they expect to get up closer to 60. Those are almost all headed to combat coded squadrons.


Here's a bit of a context to the above statement:

500th F-35 pilot takes to the sky


The U.S. Air Force trained and graduated the 500th F-35 Lightning II pilot across the joint and international enterprise Sept. 19, 2017, here.

Maj. Chris Campbell, 461st Flight Test Squadron director of operations, is an F-16 test pilot with more than 1,000 fighter hours and 245 combat hours. He began F-35 fighter pilot training at the 33rd Fighter Wing this summer and became the 500th pilot to graduate the program.

“As a test pilot, working on the F-35 is an opportunity for me to be a real force-multiplier,” Campbell said. “Flying the F-35 has been a long-term goal of mine. I am thrilled to be part of the program and I hope to make a positive impact.”

While training as an F-35A student pilot at Eglin Air Force Base, Campbell completed approximately 200 hours of academics, 14 simulators, a high-speed taxi, and six flights in the aircraft before being deemed qualified.

The coursework takes full advantage of emerging technology by leveraging virtual reality training for pilots to compliment the military's most advanced weapon system.

“As we discover new ways to employ the F-35 based on its expanding capabilities, we have to adapt the way we train our pilots to ensure they meet the needs of our combat air forces,” said Col. Paul D. Moga, 33rd Fighter Wing commander. “The world of fifth-gen tactics is rapidly evolving. It is changing the way we think, train and execute as a joint and multi-national force.”

Since the first aircraft was delivered in 2011, the F-35 enterprise and integrated training program have delivered more than 200 additional jets, produced more than 4,500 maintainers, and flown more than 100,000 hours.

“The F-35 and the capabilities it brings to the joint fight are key to the Air Force’s ability to dominate in any airspace,” Moga said. “The Airmen we train and graduate today are the finest in the world. Their skills, coupled with the survivability and lethality of this weapon system, will ensure continued air superiority for the U.S., our partners, and our allies for decades to come. Five hundred down, thousands to go.”

“This milestone represents the epitome of a team effort: active duty, Guard, Reserve, civilian, contractor, Air Force and Navy personnel all coming together with a common purpose to accomplish a common mission--train and graduate outstanding professionals for the combat air forces.”


Comparing it to more mature systems like say the Rafale, the F-35, while in LRIP has produced more aircraft, trained more pilots and maintainers than it so that comes with planning of front loading the infrastructure to support a high production rate. You have to get on this earlier in preparation for high LRIP production (90+ aircraft), and full rate production (close to 150 aircraft). Otherwise you'll just have aircraft on the flight line with inadequate number of pilots and support crew to support training needs.


vasu raya wrote:Will this unmanned variant the V-247 have a ASW role at any point in future?


Don't think the Marines are looking at that. I think they want something for ISR, light strike and even light cargo.




“The Marine Corps requires a UAS that is network-enabled, digitally interoperable, and built to execute responsive, persistent, lethal, and adaptive full-spectrum operations,” the document says. “The concept of employment will be shipboard and expeditionary.”

The Aviation Plan says that the MUX would be “a multi-sensor, electronic warfare” aircraft with “strike capability at ranges complementary to MV-22 and F-35,” referring to the Marine Corps version of the Osprey and the new Joint Strike Fighter. Such a shipboard compatible armed drone, the plan adds, will give Marine commanders “flexible, persistent and lethal reach.”

“When I have V-22s in there, I have a 450-mile radius airplane, air refuelable,” Davis said. “I’ve got my F-35 that has a 450-mile radius and air refuelable. I have CH-53 (a heavy lift helicopter), which has about a 350-mile combat radius and air-refuelable.” Davis said. What the Marines need to go with those aircraft is an armed UAS with equal range and much greater endurance, he added..

“The normal sea base operates about a 12-hour day flight ops,”Davis said. “What I’d like to be able to do is, when I’m getting ready to secure flight ops, launch one of these beauties and it’s refuelable.” Such a drone, he said, could be “your picket. It could be out there protecting the ship, protecting the fleet, giving us the deep view out there of the battle space when I don’t have manned platforms up.” LINK

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby vasu raya » 07 Oct 2017 22:39

Thanks brar, watching few videos around it and they term it as a swiss army knife, maybe if needed they can integrate a dunking Sonar and the endurance of 12+ hours is a great positive. what they emphasized was big rotors and a large wing so much so that the wing in extended mode is 65 ft while the fuselage is around 45 ft. With all that stowage optimization they can probably fit in a cruise missile sized airframe for drone from a missile canister capability although recovery needs a heli deck.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 07 Oct 2017 23:02

The USMC requirement for a MUX is to replace the AH-1Z Zulu attack helicopter and it will among other EO/IR and RF systems have to carry the Intrepid Tiger EW pod as well (or integrate the payload some other way). From their official Flight Plan (2017) -

It will be a multi-sensor, electronic warfare, C4 bridge, AAW and strike capability at ranges complementary to MV-22 and F-35, giving MAGTF commanders flexible, persistent, and lethal reach. It will provide scalable MAGTF support deploying as detachments or squadrons supporting commanders at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels.The MUX solution is envisioned as a USMC and USN program of record based on leveraging technology maturation of programs and industry prototypes. Marine Aviation will continue to pursue opportunities to inform programmatic decisions, such as field users’ evaluations, science & technology (S&T) projects, and tactical demonstrations (TACDEMOS) in conjunction with large force exercises (LFE). The DARPA Tern demonstrator system is planned to make its first flight in FY-18 as are several of the industry prototypes.

VMX-1 and MAWTS-1 ADT&E teams will continue to conduct testing and evaluation of UAS and UAS Payloads. The intent of these opportunities is to put emerging UAS technologies into Marines’ hands and allow them to employ the systems in various training or real-world scenarios.
Additionally, during these iterative development processes UAS will be utilized to evaluate software defined radios to support multiple waveforms serving as key persistent nodes in distributed network concepts.


Of course Bell isn't the only player here. In fact, the 247 has not yet secured any government funding, while Northrop Grumman has DARPA funding in place, and is currently assembling its TERN tail sitter demonstrator.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Rakesh » 10 Oct 2017 07:32

JSF in the mix for UAE
http://www.arabianaerospace.aero/jsf-in ... r-uae.html

Following a meeting between US Defence Secretary, James Mattis, and Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, reports emerged of renewed Emirati interest in the F-15, possibly as part of a two-phase deal that would also see the UAE Air Force eventually acquiring the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 10 Oct 2017 15:20

Puts the renewed interest in heavy, large diameter fast missiles on bombers in context. Of course in their current avatar, these concepts call for TBG systems.




Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 10 Oct 2017 18:14

Aerojet Rocketdyne To Demo Combined-Cycle Hypersonic Engine

As the U.S. steps up research and development for hypersonic weapons, DARPA has awarded Aerojet Rocketdyne a contract to demonstrate a turbine-based combined cycle (TBCC) engine that could power a reusable high-speed aircraft from takeoff to beyond Mach 5. The award comes amid reports that Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works is making progress toward flying an F-22-sized, TBCC-powered flight research vehicle by 2020 as a precursor to the larger SR-72 high-speed aircraft proposed for the late 2020s.

“Through the AFRE program, we aim to mature the design and component technologies and bring them together to conduct a full system-level turbine-based combined cycle ground test demonstration,” Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake says.

DARPA documents show AFRE was planned to be based on an available Rolls-Royce F405 Adour small turbofan, possibly fitted with a special afterburner enabling operation to higher Mach number. Aerojet Rocketdyne has previously developed the SXJ61 hydrocarbon-fueled and -cooled scramjet that in 2013 powered the Boeing X-51A WaveRider demonstrator to a speed exceeding Mach 5.1.

Other technical challenges include thermal management in all propulsion phases; integrated propulsion and transition control; matching mass flows through the different flowpaths; achieving combustion stability in the DMRJ; restarting the turbine engine at high speeds and dynamic pressures; and the ability to scale the TBCC design up to power full-size hypersonic vehicles.

Under the program, large-scale components of the propulsion system will first be demonstrated independently, followed by a full-scale freejet ground test of the TBCC mode transition. Accomplishing these objectives will enable future air-breathing hypersonic systems for long-range strike, high-speed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and two-stage-to-orbit space access, DARPA says.

Conceptual design of a hypersonic vehicle was completed in fiscal 2017 to enable definition of the ground demonstration engine performance requirements. Plans for fiscal 2018 include beginning testing of a large-scale common inlet and full-scale DMRJ combustor, completing fabrication of the full-scale common nozzle and beginning integration of the off-the-shelf turbine engine.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Philip » 12 Oct 2017 12:05

Sad to see this iconic aircraft start disappearing forever from the skies. WE used the F-27 extensively in India.Another co. which could've been picked up for a song. Dornier survives.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/trave ... m-history/
The final Fokker: How these iconic aircraft are disappearing from the skies
The last KLM Fokker will fly at the end of the month CREDIT: GETTY
Hugh Morris, travel news editor
11 OCTOBER 2017 • 4:57PM
One of the more enduring relationships in aviation history is about to end.

KLM, the Dutch flag carrier, is preparing to bid a fond farewell to its last Fokker aircraft, marking the final chapter in a partnership that has lasted 97 years. Almost since the dawn of flying.

Fokker, founded in 1912, went bankrupt in 1996, but its aircraft have remained tireless workhorses of KLM - and many other airlines - since. However, the time has come, says the Dutch airline, for the two to part company.

[Gallery] Diver Finds WWII Planes At Bottom Of Pacific , What She Found Inside is so Surprising
y
KLM is currently celebrating its Fokker heritage via the medium of aircraft liveries, with a message that reads “Fokker, thank you” and tail fins emblazoned with an image of the man behind the brand, Anthony Fokker. The airline will also create a film and photo gallery of its final Fokker flight on October 28, when its last Fokker 70 touches down for the final time.

What is so important about Fokker?

Anthony Fokker is hailed as one of the most important entrepreneurs in global aviation history, and earned a somewhat predictable nickname, The Flying Dutchman.

His first propeller-driven plane, which he designed and built in 1910, was called “De Spin” (The Spider), and it was flown for the first time in 1911 over the Dutch town of Haarlem.

The Fokker flown by the Red Baron the First World War

One of the earliest aircraft manufacturers in the world, Fokker (the company) began life in Germany, where Fokker believed there were better opportunities than in his home nation, before returning to the Netherlands. Its initial success was in providing aircraft for the German First World War effort before it found its stride in the inter-war years, becoming the largest company of its kind by the end of the Twenties.

In that time, Fokker was behind the 1925 FVIIA aircraft, used by 54 airlines and as much as 40 per cent of the US market by 1936.

The company launched its last aircraft - the narrow-bodied Fokker 100 and its sister, the Fokker 70 - in the mid-1980s. They have since been used by some of the world's largest carriers, including American Airlines.
Why does KLM love Fokker?

KLM is the world's oldest airline, and its first aircraft, delivered in August 1920, were two Fokker F2s (its first flight, in 1919, was in a leased De Havilland DH-16). It has since operated more than 160 of the manufacturer’s aircraft.

More recently, KLM’s Fokker 50s and 100s have been replaced by Embraer aircraft, but eight Fokker 70s - all between 20 and 22 years old - still remain on the airline’s Cityhopper subsidiary, running between Amsterdam and a host of European cities.
As the flag carrier of the Netherland, KLM's history is closely intertwined with the aviation ambitions of the Flying Dutchman.

Speaking of the KLM’s last Fokker flight, Kim Lammertse from the airline said: “It will be a festive day full of gratitude. I wouldn’t be surprised if the final farewell leaves lots of KLM staff teary-eyed.”

Notable Fokkers

The Fokker EI was the first aircraft to be armed with a synchronised machine gun that fired through the propellor and helped the Kaiser achieve air supremacy in the First World War during an episode known as the Fokker Scourge.
The Red Baron (Manfred von Richthofen) is closely associated with a red Fokker DR.I triplane, the engine of which is on display at the Imperial War Museum.
Such was the popularity and success of the Fokker DVII for the Germans in the First World War, the allies demanded their surrender when the Kaiser capitulated. A DVII is on display at the RAF Museum in London.
Richard E Byrd completed his first trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Paris in 1927 in the Fokker FVII.
Amelia Earhart became the first women to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger in a Fokker FVII.
In 1928 Charles Kingsford-Smith completed the first trans-Pacific flight in another FVII.
How is KLM celebrating?

In addition to the portrait of Fokker on the wing and a book commemorating his relationship with KLM, the airline's newest addition to the tiny model houses it hands out to its business class passengers is a miniature replica of Fokker's childhood home. In an amusing twist, the gentleman who today lives in the house where Fokker grew up, refuses to fly, preferring to walk, cycle or sail.

“We wanted to find a way to thank everyone who has worked on Fokker 70s for their efforts and dedication,” said fleet manager of the Fokker 70 Stefan Vermeeren.

“What better way to do this than by way of the aircraft itself? That’s a lot more festive than a thank you message by email, right?

“By decorating the plane with the festive livery, we not only thank all our colleagues at KLM Cityhopper, but also that staff at all outstations, suppliers, ground handlers at other airlines, and aviation aficionados. It’ s also a tribute to Dutch aviation, to our air transport industry, and it’ s a special way to celebrate the bond between KLM and Fokker.

“The words ‘Thank you’ on the fuselage, together with the photo of Anthony Fokker, acknowledge the bond between KLM, Fokker and the industry, but the words of gratitude are also intended for the broader community and other colleagues, companies and suppliers all over Europe, to thank them for the many years of cooperation.”
Do other airlines still use Fokkers?

Yes, a number of airlines in Australia, including Virgin Australia, as well as Iran Air, though it has plans to replace them with ATRs.

According to AirlineGeeks.com, by Christmas there will only be 12 Fokker 100s left in Europe, with Helvetic Airways in Switzerland the largest operator, with five.

Other airlines continuing to operate Fokkers (70s and 100s) include Papua New Guinea's Air Niugini, Air Panama and Fly All Ways in Suriname.

The remaining Fokkers have either been placed in storage or scrapped.


Austin
BRF Oldie
Posts: 19923
Joined: 23 Jul 2000 11:31

Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 12 Oct 2017 12:27

Yes Fokker was a great aircraft and sad to see it go they could not keep up with their competitors.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6004
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 12 Oct 2017 15:34

Scaled Composites reveals mysterious new ‘Model 401’ prototype


The company has built two Model 401 prototypes in service of an undisclosed customer “to demonstrate advanced, low-cost manufacturing techniques and to provide aircraft for research flight services to industry partners and the United States government,” it said in a news release.

Both Model 401 planes measure 38 feet long with a 38-foot wingspan, and have an empty weight of 4,000 pounds. The aircraft, which are powered by a Pratt & Whitney JTD15D-5D engine, can reach Mach 0.6 and fly up to three hours at a time. Its maximum takeoff weight is 8,000 pounds.


Image


Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3513
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 13 Oct 2017 01:49

Eurofighter crashes in Spain, pilot killed

This is the third fatal Eurofighter Typhoon crash in recent weeks, following on after a RSAF Typhoon crashed or was shot down and an Italian Typhoon crashed.


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