International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

The Military Issues & History Forum is a venue to discuss issues relating to the military aspects of the Indian Armed Forces, whether the past, present or future. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
ArjunPandit
BRFite
Posts: 1422
Joined: 29 Mar 2017 06:37

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby ArjunPandit » 07 Nov 2018 22:46

OT and in a lighter vein, but for long I have wondered why does canada need to have such potent AF. Assuming US is not going to attack. Russia, to take what? Even if it does, what could Canada anyways do?

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6711
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 08 Nov 2018 01:46

Canada is a US partner in NORAD and as such shares the responsibility for Air Surveillance (maintained through the North Warning System), and sovereignty to which it contributes with its fixed winged fighter fleet. Canada is also a member of NATO, and as long as it remains so, it will be invested in the collective capability of the alliance.

Because they have delayed their fighter modernization, they'll have to concurrently fund both CF-18 recap and the NWS recapitalization efforts and given that Lockheed has the latter market fairly tightly locked down it seems that the company will probably use that as a means to bundle up the two as an offering via offsets.

ArjunPandit wrote:Even if it does, what could Canada anyways do?


Invoke Article 5 of NATO. Given the capabilities of the members and the alliance, that is a pretty strong deterrent to which Canada also contributes.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6711
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 08 Nov 2018 07:41

Taiwan Receives First F-16V Upgrade


The Taiwanese Air Force, or the Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF), has taken delivery of its first upgraded Lockheed Martin F-16V Fighting Falcon. The first aircraft, serial 6626, was spotted landing at Chiayi airbase on October 19. The aircraft sports a new coat of paint, but no squadron markings were worn on the tail.

The first four F-16A/B Block 20s began refurbishment at the state-owned Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) facility in Taichung in January 2017, and 6626 entered flight test in August this year, flown by Lockheed Martin test pilots.

Under Project Rising Phoenix the island state is upgrading 144 F-16A/Bs with the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, new mission computer, embedded inertial navigation system/global positioning system, and the Terma ALQ-213(V) electronic warfare management units. The upgraded jets will also be certified for the AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missile, AGM-154 joint standoff weapons, and the AGM-88B anti-radiation missile.

Modifications will proceed at a rate of 20 to 23 aircraft annually and the program is expected to be completed by no later than 2023. The government also increased the budget for the program from NT$129.6 billion ($4.2 billion) to NT$140.2 billion ($4.5 billion) in September, factoring in the acquisition of new missiles and a ground proximity warning system.

The Republic of Singapore Air Force has also contracted Lockheed Martin to upgrade three squadrons of F-16C/D/D+ Block 52 to F-16V standards. The Mid Life Upgrade (MLU) program began in 2016, and it is likely that the first platform will be rolled out soon with testing and certification of the prototype aircraft averaging around two years.

Greece is the latest air arm to commence its own F-16 MLU program, which began in mid-September. The Hellenic Air Force will upgrade 85 F-16 C/D Block 52+s for around €1.1 billion ($1.33 billion) and has struck a deal with the United States to pay €110 million annually over a decade to assist the debt-ridden country.

ArjunPandit
BRFite
Posts: 1422
Joined: 29 Mar 2017 06:37

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby ArjunPandit » 08 Nov 2018 09:01

brar_w wrote:
Invoke Article 5 of NATO. Given the capabilities of the members and the alliance, that is a pretty strong deterrent to which Canada also contributes.

Thanks brar while the post was in jest, your answer still made me learn about NORAD part. I was aware of NATO but not NORAD

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6711
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 16 Nov 2018 18:03

Boeing Begins Buildup Of Phantom Express Spaceplane


Image

Buildup of the first major components for Boeing’s Phantom Express reusable launch vehicle is underway at the company’s facilities in Washington, with assembly of the complete airframe on course to begin by mid-2019.

Developed for DARPA’s XSP (Experimental Spaceplane) program, the vertical-launch and horizontal-landing Phantom Express is designed to demonstrate the feasibility of boosting payloads into space with an aircraft-like operational tempo. The program is due to start flight tests in 2021 and will culminate with an intense demonstration phase in which the booster will launch and recover 10 times in 10 days.

“Boeing is building up the tanks right now,” DARPA XSP program manager Scott Wierzbanowski says. Work began first on the cryogenic carbon-composite liquid-oxygen (LOX) tank that has been constructed using advanced fiber placement techniques honed by Boeing during development of the 787 commercial airliner and during the recent Composite Cryotank Technologies and Demonstration (CCTD) project with NASA.

Nearly the size of the largest-diameter propellent tanks built during CCTD, which was aimed primarily at maturing the technology for the Space Launch System and other heavy-lift space applications, the advanced structures for Phantom Express will still benefit from being almost 40% lighter as well as cheaper than conventional aluminum-lithium cryogenic fuel tanks. “It’s been very successful. They are not seeing any of the [material] degradation they’d typically see through a traditional hand layup,” Wierzbanowski says.

Built at the Boeing Advanced Developmental Composites facility in Tukwila, Washington, the tanks will be the first of their kind to fly and are already proving durable, says Steve Johnston, launch director for Boeing Phantom Works. “We have completed the LOX tank pressure shell, and it has been through nondestructive testing without defects. That’s a pretty darn good outcome for a first article,” he adds.

Unlike the CCTD program, which focused on proof-of-concept tanks 2.4 m (7.9 ft.) and 5.5 m in diameter, the XSP pressure vessels are around 4 m in diameter and longer than either of the NASA sample structures. Boeing is currently joining the forward and aft skirts to the LOX tanks in a careful operation that is expected to take “a few months,” Johnston says. Unlike the CCTD, the skirts do not form part of the pressure vessels. However, joining the skirt to the tank is “an interesting problem,” he adds. “It’s a little bit challenging to go from the dome end of the barrel to the cylindrical section, but we think we have it licked, and we are in the process of confirming that now.”

Building on lessons learned from the LOX tank, Boeing then plans to start assembling the much larger liquid-hydrogen tank, which is almost double the size of the oxidizer vessel. Together, the two propellant tanks will constitute two-thirds of the length of the 100-ft.-long spaceplane.

The size of the tanks also played into the need for robotic laydown of the composite material. “This allows us to really accelerate getting the tapes down, which helps us keep the material within time limits,” Johnston says. “Boeing has invested quite a bit of money in composite technology, both in terms of the material itself and the robotic manufacturing technology used to fabricate the barrel sections of the 787 airliner. NASA had an interest in understanding whether that investment could be leveraged into developing large composite cryogenic tanks. So we are using technology from the 787 to develop large cryotanks for liquid hydrogen, which is not easy to do.”

The NASA program also cured the parts out of autoclave to make them more affordable. However, Boeing is not using this approach for XSP. “We did explore it, but we weren’t mass producing, so adding the structural rigor and integrity we got with the autoclave was worth it. We are trying to build a rocket plane that can be turned around every day, and so we want it to be robust,” Johnston says.

The Phantom Express is “more of an aircraft-inspired design approach,” he notes. “We have a lot of people on this program that have rocketry experience with the Delta and DC-X, but this is a collaborative effort, and we have military and commercial design experience involved as well. This is a very rugged vehicle and more so than the traditional design practices for rocketry, which are usually [to] make it as light as you can, particularly if you are throwing it away every time. That’s not the approach we took. We are really making a system with similar damage tolerance to an airplane, and that gives us confidence we will be able to turn this around quickly and affordably.”

The design of the spaceplane’s sharply swept cranked delta wing is also underway at the company’s St. Louis facility. The wingbox will receive its composite skin at Tukwila using the same robotic laydown process employed for the tanks. “The wing has very interesting contours and shapes that are hard to make in any other way. It really is enabled by the composite manufacturing process,” Johnston says.

The spaceplane will be powered by a single LOX, liquid-hydrogen-fueled Aerojet Rocketdyne AR-22 rocket engine, a derivative of the company’s reusable RS-25 space shuttle main engine. The fundamental ability of the 375,000-lb.-thrust engine to perform at the tempo required for the XSP program was demonstrated when back-to-back runs at full throttle were completed over 10 days this summer at NASA Stennis Space Center.

“Engine drying time is one of the single longest items in the turnaround flow, and proving we could do that in the time predicted gives us a lot of confidence and informs the detailed planning we have to do to turn this vehicle around,” Johnston says. “It’s going to be an orchestrated event. We will have people working the engine section while others work on the vehicle, so understanding what operations can be done in parallel versus in series has been factored into the design from the very beginning.”

Critical design reviews (CDR) for subsystems have already begun, though the program itself is taking a different approach to the traditional milestone reviews, Wierzbanowski says. “DARPA decides with them what defines a CDR, because this is not going to be a standard acquisition type CDR,” he notes. “We figure out where that maturity level needs to be and the amount of risk we are willing to accept as we go forward. We call it a tailored CDR process. We go through all the criteria and decide which ones matter to us and which we are willing to go through by analysis.”

Overall, CDRs are expected to be finished around February, clearing the way for final assembly due to get underway in mid-2019. “It will take about 18 months to build the system and go through the ground tests,” he says. “Then there will be some sort of phase of flight expansion, followed by 10 flights in 10 days—and that’s just with the booster, not the upper stage.

“The objective is to ‘gas and go’ with this vehicle, and the trajectory will be as fast and high as we can go without putting the vehicle at risk,” Wierzbanowski says. “We will go to Mach 5 before we get too much energy and can’t get back, so we will probably go to around 100,000-150,000 ft. before we turn around and come back.”

Test flights will culminate with the orbital launch of the expendable upper stage, the design of which is expected to be outlined in detail early next year. “That will end the DARPA part of the program, which should be about a nine-month period of flight test, depending on what happens during the test effort itself, and the 10 flights/10 days trial is part of that,” Wierzbanowski says.

The precise details of exactly how this will be accomplished are still being discussed, he adds. “We can fly out to Mach 5 and either just return to the launch station and land, or find two land-and-launch locations and fly back and forth between them," he says. "I’d love to go inland and use a couple of places we’ve never done before, but there’s also a business case to do that along the coast. That’s a conversation we’ll have with Boeing as we get closer.”

Wierzbanowski says these negotiations will also involve the FAA: “We have to understand the complexity of this test, which is being done on the back of an FAA launch license. We have to make sure we look at what we are overflying and see if the FAA will allow us to make these sorts of turns.”

For each flight, the spaceplane will be moved to the launch site on a mobile transporter-erector vehicle. While the aim is to make the process as aircraft-like as possible, there are some concessions. “We do need a water deluge system to deal with the acoustics of the space shuttle main engine, for instance,” he explains. Once erected into the vertical position, the spaceplane is loaded with propellants and launched.

Recovery during standard operations will involve a horizontal landing at a different facility downrange, where it will be towed to a hangar for checks and inspection. “All that processing right now is expected to be with the vehicle in a horizontal position,” Wierzbanowski says. Boeing and DARPA currently envisage a series of co-located launch and landing sites. “The best situation is to have spaceports or launch sites at both locations, or maybe three locations, so you can make sure you can get to the right [orbital] inclinations,”
he says. “Otherwise, there are ways to bring it back by barge along waterways, and we have also looked at using lighter-than-air/hybrid airships or airlifters—that’s to be determined. Inland, we would just fly it between three or four areas, whereas along the coast we’d probably use some sort of barge system.”




Image
^Boeing has completed nondestructive tests of the Phantom Express liquid-oxygen propellant composite cryotank, which is almost 40% lighter than comparable aluminum tanks. Credit: Boeing


Image

^Forward and aft skirts are now being attached to the liquid-oxygen cryotank, which was built from composites using technology developed for the Boeing 787 program and enhanced through follow-on NASA testing. Credit: Boeing

ks_sachin
BRFite
Posts: 657
Joined: 24 Jun 2000 11:31
Location: Sydney

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby ks_sachin » 16 Nov 2018 18:58

Brar Ji,

How is this relevant to BR?
Whis udan khatola will this tank be used in?

Regards

PS - Have great respect for your knowledge u bring to BR.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6711
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 16 Nov 2018 19:02

International Space programs are not relevant in the international aerospace thread? Please feel free to delete if this is the case.

ks_sachin wrote:Whis udan khatola will this tank be used in?


The object of the program is to demonstrate cheap (<$5 M cost for a payload of up to 2000 kg), and rapid turnaround for small Military satellite launch. The objective is to launch-recover-re-launch the vehicle 10 times in 10 days as the AvWeek article states. This will be attempted around 2021.


ks_sachin
BRFite
Posts: 657
Joined: 24 Jun 2000 11:31
Location: Sydney

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby ks_sachin » 16 Nov 2018 19:37

brar_w wrote:International Space programs are not relevant in the international aerospace thread? Please feel free to delete if this is the case.

ks_sachin wrote:Whis udan khatola will this tank be used in?


The object of the program is to demonstrate cheap (<$5 M cost for a payload of up to 2000 kg), and rapid turnaround for small Military satellite launch. The objective is to launch-recover-re-launch the vehicle 10 times in 10 days as the AvWeek article states. This will be attempted around 2021.



Jawohl Mein Herr.


Return to “Military Issues & History Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 23 guests