International Aerospace Discussion

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Sanjay M
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 11 Oct 2008 21:07

ESA's Vega to launch Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle in 2012:

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Launchers_H ... 0MF_0.html

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Gerard » 12 Oct 2008 08:18

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b48_1223752352

video released Monday by NASA, the Jules Verne unmanned cargo ship put on a rare fireworks display as it burned up and exploded on September 29, 2008

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Nayak » 14 Oct 2008 14:21

For U.S. Astronauts, a Russian Second Home

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/14/scien ... ref=slogin

STAR CITY, Russia — Garrett Reisman was on his way to this formerly secret military base for several weeks of training, making his way through Kennedy Airport, when his cellphone rang. It was his boss, Steven W. Lindsey, the head of NASA’s astronaut office.
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The Long Countdown: One Way Up: U.S. Space Plan Relies on Russia (October 6, 2008)
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Cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov and astronaut Mike Fincke took part in a simulation exercise at a training center in Star City. More Photos »

“Come back to Houston. They’ve canceled your training — they’re playing hardball,” Mr. Reisman recalled his boss saying. He was caught in a momentarily important dispute between NASA and the Russian space agency, Roscosmos.

Ultimately, Mr. Reisman’s aborted trip was just a bump in the road on the way to space: he spent three months aboard the International Space Station earlier this year, performed a spacewalk and even traded jokes over a video link with Stephen Colbert.

Everyone who works with the Russian space program has similar stories to tell of implacable bureaucrats, byzantine rules and decisions that seem capricious at best. And many of those stories are played out here in Star City, where cosmonauts and, now, astronauts from all over the world train to fly on Russian Soyuz spacecraft to go to the $100 billion International Space Station.

Star City has become an important second home for Americans working with their Russian counterparts, and it is about to become more important still. During the five-year gap after NASA shuts down the space shuttle program in 2010 and the next generation of spacecraft makes its debut by 2015, Russia will have the only ride for humans to the station.

The gap, which was planned by the Bush administration to create the next generation of American spacecraft without significantly increasing NASA’s budget, is controversial. But it is also all but inevitable, because much of the work to shut down the shuttles is under way, and the path to the new Constellation craft would be hard to compress even with additional financing.

Those who work side by side with their Russian counterparts say that strong relationships and mutual respect have resulted from the many years of collaboration. And they say that whatever the broader geopolitical concerns about relying on Russia for space transportation during the five years when the United States cannot get to the space station on its own rockets, they believe that the multinational partnership that built the station will hold.

“It’s an amazing political achievement,” Mr. Reisman said. “We’ve gone through so many different administrations,” not just in the United States and Russia, but in the dozen other nations that have taken part in building the orbiting laboratory. “It survived all of that,” he said. “It’s held together, and it’s only strengthened over time as we’ve learned to work together.”

To understand why people like Mr. Reisman believe the next 7 years can work, it is important to understand the previous 15, when the United States and Russia joined forces, first putting Americans aboard the Russian Mir space station and then building the International Space Station together. That joining of forces occurred here, at Star City. And in some ways, it did not have an auspicious start.

In the earliest days of the partnership, in the mid-1990s, after the Soviet Union had crumbled and the new Russia was struggling to be born, scarcity of supplies meant real hunger. “There was no food on the shelves at all,” said Dr. Michael Barratt, who worked among the first crews to prepare astronauts who would serve aboard the Mir. “Five nights out of seven, we had rice and beans.” John McBrine, the current director of American operations at Star City, lost 30 pounds during his first stint, from July to October of 1994.

Those early days were also marked by wariness and distrust, and the first Americans had a strong impression they were being watched. Mark Bowman, an early contract employee in Russia who is now back in Moscow as deputy director of NASA’s human space flight program in Russia, recalled a weekly teleconference with his boss in Houston. “Thirty minutes into the call the line would go dead,” Mr. Bowman said. “And that would happen every 30 minutes.”

One day during the teleconference, Mr. Bowman warned 28 minutes in that the line was about to go dead and said testily, “I sure wish these damned KGB guys would get longer tapes.”

“The next telecon we had,” Mr. Bowman recalled, “I swear to you, it went 45 minutes and then it went dead.” Apparently, he said, his hosts had upgraded to 90-minute cassettes.

Energia, the spacecraft manufacturing company near the Mission Control Center in Korolev, near Moscow, would not let the Americans enter its facilities. Instead, Energia rented part of a nearby engineering college to prepare American hardware for the station. “The heat didn’t work,” Mr. Bowman said, and the winter of 1994-95 was particularly bitter, he said, with temperatures that reached minus-30 degrees. The workers wore gloves and parkas indoors. Delicate biological experiments designed for use inside the climate-controlled station froze and had to be replaced.

Energia ultimately put a heating unit into the Americans’ office: workers wrapped a wire made from a heat-resistant alloy, nichrome, around an asbestos-covered pipe and plugged it into the wall outlet. The exposed wire was doubly dangerous, Mr. Bowman recalled: brush up against it, and “you’d get a zap and a burn at the same time.” The glow was warning enough; no one touched it.

Beyond the lack of creature comforts, the high level of secrecy in the Russian program troubled Americans even more deeply. The Russians did not fully explain in June 1997, for example, how risky an attempted manual docking with a cargo vehicle would be for the Mir and its crew. When the rendezvous resulted in a collision that endangered the lives of two cosmonauts and Michael Foale, the American astronaut aboard the rickety station at the time, the Americans were largely in the dark.

The next seven years look brighter, and warmer. “Things have improved so much since then,” Mr. Bowman said. The Russian system has become more open, and the level of personal comfort and convenience has improved greatly.

Instead of the unreliable telephone service of the old days, Mr. Bowman’s digital phone system can be reached as if it were a local phone on the NASA network. “It’s just as if I was at the Johnson Space Center,” he said.

The American offices at Star City are in a building known as the Prophy, for Prophylactorium, where cosmonauts lived in quarantine before flights. Today it is called the Apollo-Soyuz Hotel, in honor of the historic rendezvous. At least the Americans call it that, Mr. McBrine said; the Russians, he said, “call it the Soyuz-Apollo Hotel.”

NASA rents the second floor, dull offices with wood paneling and greenish fluorescent lighting. “We’re not very aesthetic here,” said Mr. McBrine, apologetically. Here translators interpret the voluminous course materials for the astronauts — who learn Russian and take their classes in the language — and administrative assistants schedule the vans that ferry visitors from the airports to Star City and into Moscow.

All told, 7 NASA civil servants, 9 American contractors and 55 Russian contractors are working in Russia for the American space agency. A steady stream of astronauts, flight controllers, doctors, scientists, engineers and officials cycles through — and many of them want to be taken to see the sights and restaurants of Moscow.

“It’s a work hard, play hard environment,” Mr. McBrine said, but he added that the play used to be much harder. Tales of excess from the early days of the American-Russian partnership are legendary; many involve the Russian hosts urging their guests into epic rounds of vodka toasts. Over time, Mr. McBrine said, “The novelty has kind of worn off.” Instead of testing one another’s ability to handle alcohol, he said, “we’ve become colleagues and great friends. There’s none of that pressure anymore.”

Many of the Americans live in a set of duplexes at Star City that look a little like suburban condominiums that have been dropped, seemingly, from space into this Soviet landscape of brick buildings, fences and barriers. They were designed and built to United States standards so that visitors could, for example, plug their laptops into the wall without having to dig around for an adapter.

Mr. McBrine and his staff work at building a sense of community. Each day starts in Mr. McBrine’s cottage with a gathering around a large coffeepot for Americans who are working long term or just passing through. Regular potluck dinners are an even larger part of fighting the sense of isolation. On any given evening, Mr. McBrine’s dining room might be crowded with American astronauts, NASA staff members, Russian cosmonauts, spacefarers from agencies in Japan and Europe, or the occasional multimillionaire space tourist.

At a typical dinner in April, two astronauts, Dr. Barratt and Cmdr. Scott J. Kelly, were bantering about food. Dr. Barratt had earned raves for a homemade Thai peanut chicken dish with a surprisingly hearty burn and excellent smoked salmon from Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle. Commander Kelly, taking a more Jersey Guy perspective, extolled the virtues of Jimmy Buffs, a restaurant in West Orange where the hot dogs are loaded with onions, peppers and potatoes. “Heart attack on a plate!” he said with pride.

Downstairs, Shep’s Bar waited for them. It is a dim basement room down a flight of rough wooden steps, with a few couches and chairs, a big-screen television, a pool table and tired bar decorations. Duck through a low rectangular hole in one of the room’s walls and there is the gym, full of American-made treadmills and other exercise machines.

“Shep” is William Shepherd, the first commander of the International Space Station, who set the place up with private donations. Mr. McBrine lauds the gathering spot as “our own little Americana,” a homey place in an isolated location.

These days, Shep’s is a sensitive subject. NASA is still stinging from a report in 2007 that suggested astronauts may have flown while drunk. The report referred to two incidents in anonymous accusations from flight surgeons, and no one was found to have actually piloted a shuttle while drunk. And nothing in the report had anything to do with Shep’s Bar. But the late-night jokes and editorial cartoons created an image of a space agency packed with boozers, and workers like Mr. McBrine remain a bit sensitive about reinforcing that impression by talking about their modest clubhouse.

“You know what we do in Shep’s Bar more than just about anything else?” he asked. “Just watch movies.”

“We should really change the name to Shep’s Theater,” he said.

Whatever it should be called, Mr. McBrine said, it is a comfortable place to grab a beer and kick back on a slow night. “Or a Coke,” Mr. McBrine said, a little nervously. “Or a lemonade.”

Significant cultural differences remain between the Russians and Americans here. For example, working side by side with the Russians, the Americans say, has helped them understand the nations’ approaches to safety.

Dr. Barratt said that when he first walked the grounds of Star City, he was surprised by how uneven the sidewalks were. At NASA, he said, “there’d be big red placards” warning people to watch their step. And if someone did fall, a lawsuit would soon follow. In Russia, he said, people simply watch their step.

The underlying point, said Mark Thiessen, the deputy to Mr. McBrine, is that “Russians accept risk.” Americans try “to eliminate risk instead of minimize it.” The American approach is laudable, he said, but not always possible, and Americans end up more cautious than Russians. “No one is willing to say, ‘I accept this risk,’ ” he said.

Many who write about the Russian space program focus on the impression of creaky age that the program can give — the abandoned buildings and rust at the launching site in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, and the fact that the basic design of the Soyuz spacecraft has not changed in some 40 years.

But American experts suggest that the Russians’ disregard for cosmetic perfection and development is immaterial, and that the age of the design shows a conservative approach to the risks of space travel that has served them well. “They spend their money where they have to,” said Philip Cleary, a former director of NASA’s human space flight program in Russia. “They’re not so much worried about splashing a new coat of paint on a building if it’s not required.”

The Americans insist that, appearances aside, the Russians take safety every bit as seriously as they do. The result, several astronauts said, is that they have confidence in the Soyuz, which is as sturdy and dependable as a Kalashnikov rifle.

“Its inherent design is very robust,” said Edward T. Lu, an astronaut who lived aboard the station in 2003 and now works for Google. He has flown to the space station and returned on a Soyuz, and he brought up two recent Soyuz re-entries, in which the capsule malfunctioned and tumbled back to Earth in a steep “ballistic” path that subjected those inside to G-forces higher than usual. The astronauts were safe, however, because of the simplicity and strength of the Soyuz design.

As Capt. Mark E. Kelly, an astronaut and the twin brother of Scott Kelly, put it, “You could throw that thing into the atmosphere like a rock,” with its orientation “sideways and backwards,” and “as long as the parachute opens, the crew is probably going to live. You can’t do that with the shuttle, as everybody knows.”

But the shuttle will soon be out of the picture. Those who are most familiar with the nations’ joint efforts in space say that the controversial pause between American flights can go smoothly, if the politicians would only stay out of the way.

The Americans say they have learned a great deal about getting things done in Russia. They know that the first answer to any request is likely to be no, but that negotiations can often bring things around to yes. Getting to know the people you deal with is more important than the rules. “No agreement is better than your relationship,” Dr. Barratt said.

And none of them questions the dedication of the Russian counterparts. At the worst of the Soviet economic crisis, Dr. Barratt said, workers “were told to go on vacation” for a couple of months so they would not have to be paid. “They showed up at work the next day,” he recalled.

Michael Foale, who has lived aboard both the Mir and the International Space Station, said, “Russia has always seen the United States as both Enemy No. 1 and Partner No. 1.” The leaders take a very long view, he said, and “they do not play chess badly.”

The most important thing to ensure future cooperation, Dr. Foale said, is to firm up a strategy for international cooperation in getting to the Moon, so that Russia will have a stake in the partnership and the outcome. “We only have to hint at a strategy, and I don’t think we’ll have a problem,” he said. “But we have to have a strategy.”

The American workers at Star City say that on a personal level, geopolitics simply do not matter. Mr. Thiessen said that when such issues came up in conversation with his Russian counterparts, they would say: “That’s politics. Let the government worry about the government. We’re engineers. Let’s solve this problem.”

More Articles in Science » A version of this article appeared in print on October 14, 2008, on page D1 of the New York edition.
Free trial. Read the complete New York edition of The Times on computer, just as it appears in print.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Ajay K » 14 Oct 2008 18:54

Folks, here is an article describing how a Black jack penetrated UK airspace. Another interesting reference in the article is about how US stealth aircraft penetrated UK defenses.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/ne ... 749464.ece

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby PaulJI » 14 Oct 2008 19:15

Ajay K wrote:Folks, here is an article describing how a Black jack penetrated UK airspace. Another interesting reference in the article is about how US stealth aircraft penetrated UK defenses.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/ne ... 749464.ece


"it changed course just 20 miles from UK territorial airspace. "
i.e. didn't penetrate. If you're going to post links to garbage like The Scum, at least get the trash right.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Ajay K » 14 Oct 2008 20:14

PaulJI
Post
"it changed course just 20 miles from UK territorial airspace. "
i.e. didn't penetrate. If you're going to post links to garbage like The Scum, at least get the trash right.


PaulJI, if 20 miles to UK territorial airspace is not penetration then what is penetration for you sirji? Even with E-3A and other AEW gizmos RAF could not detect this would mean a total catastrophe.
I am not a prevue to 'The Sun' being the S*** of the UK media, sirji.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby vavinash » 14 Oct 2008 20:17

The jist of the article seems to be retiring the Jags and tornados was wrong. I agree.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby PaulJI » 14 Oct 2008 21:36

Ajay K wrote:
PaulJI
Post
"it changed course just 20 miles from UK territorial airspace. "
i.e. didn't penetrate. If you're going to post links to garbage like The Scum, at least get the trash right.


PaulJI, if 20 miles to UK territorial airspace is not penetration then what is penetration for you sirji? Even with E-3A and other AEW gizmos RAF could not detect this would mean a total catastrophe.
I am not a prevue to 'The Sun' being the S*** of the UK media, sirji.

To penetrate it would have to enter UK airspace. See the definition of the word penetrate. It did not enter, therefore it did not penetrate.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/penetrate
AFAIK there were no AEW aircraft operating over the UK at the time. When there's no alert, the RAF does not mount standing patrols. Costs money . . . & the Cold War has been over for many years. Also the Tu-160 was detected. Even The Scum admits that. Nobody is saying exactly where it was detected, & it was obviously undesirably late, but it wouldn't be known that it had approached so closely if it hadn't been detected, identified, & located, would it?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby PaulJI » 14 Oct 2008 21:38

vavinash wrote:The jist of the article seems to be retiring the Jags and tornados was wrong. I agree.

The Tornados haven't been retired, though some may be retired far too soon, & neither Jaguars nor Tornado IDS are air defence aircraft. They're irrelevant to the detection and interception of bombers.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby vivek_ahuja » 14 Oct 2008 21:50

PaulJI wrote:
vavinash wrote:The jist of the article seems to be retiring the Jags and tornados was wrong. I agree.

The Tornados haven't been retired, though some may be retired far too soon, & neither Jaguars nor Tornado IDS are air defence aircraft. They're irrelevant to the detection and interception of bombers.


Indeed. But what I read from the issue is that low level penetration tactics are still valid to a degree. It would be under this situation that retiring aircraft that took the low level route like the Jaguars etc might have been a bad decision. But yes, reading this between the lines still required some imagination.

Also, without going into terms like true defintion of "penetration" etc, I am sure you will still agree that given the current world situation, perhaps the RAF is spread a little too thin for its own good. As far as I know, twenty miles is far too close for comfort...

-Vivek

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby kit » 18 Oct 2008 20:39


ChandraS

Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby ChandraS » 18 Oct 2008 22:12



Chinese J-10.

Figured it out from the URL actually :)

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby renukb » 19 Oct 2008 11:55

ChandraS wrote:


Chinese J-10.

Figured it out from the URL actually :)


Why it has a 'L' board in the front?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby vivek_ahuja » 19 Oct 2008 13:59

renukb wrote:Why it has a 'L' board in the front?


Look carefully.

You are looking not at a "'L' Board" but rather three different things that are making it look like an 'L' board. You have the cover of the nose undercarriage acting as the background for the streamlined antennae jutting below the engine air intake just forward of it and you have what could possibly be a instruction panel painted on the undercarriage cover!!!!

-Vivek

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby kit » 19 Oct 2008 18:04

the chengdu J 10 pilot canopy is a straight copycat of the F16's .. via Lavi... the pilot would have very good visibility .. i would say better than LCA

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby kit » 19 Oct 2008 18:09

one more pic of J 10

does this at least look like a a hybrid of flanker and f16
http://www.ausairpower.net/Chengdu-J-10-Xinhua-3ES.jpg


cockpit
http://www.strategycenter.net/imgLib/20 ... ockpit.jpg

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby kit » 19 Oct 2008 18:14

5th airshow China November 1-7, 2004

16 new combat aircraft programs and seven training aircraft programs in China. These include: the Sukhoi Su-30MKK; Su-30MKK2; Sukhoi/Shenyang J-11; Shenyang J-8H; Shenyang XXJ; Chengdu J-10; Chengdu FC-1; Chengdu J-7G; Chengdu XXJ; Xian JH-7A; Xian H-6; Hongdu Q-5; Guizhou LCS-16; CHRDI WZ-10; WZ-11; and the Harbin WZ-9. In addition, China may be developing an advanced long-range strike bomber and has the Chengdu J-7MF lightweight fighter program in reserve. Severn training aircraft in production or development include: the Hongdu JL-8; Hongdu L-15; Hongdu JQ-5J; Guizhou JJ-7; Guizhou JL-9; Chengdu J-10B; and the Chengdu FC-1B.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Gerard » 19 Oct 2008 20:04

NASA to Webcast IBEX spacecraft launch
IBEX -- the Interstellar Boundary Explorer -- is the first U.S. spacecraft designed to map the dynamic interactions taking place "where the hot solar wind slams into the cold expanse of space," NASA said. The spacecraft is to be launched at 1:48 p.m. EDT Sunday, which is the midpoint of an 8-minute launch window.

IBEX will initially be deployed from an L-1011 aircraft over the Pacific Ocean about 125 miles north of Kwajalein. The spacecraft will then be carried into orbit by a Pegasus XL rocket built by Orbital Sciences (NYSE:ORB), which also built IBEX.
The live streaming video of the countdown and launch will be available on the NASA home page at http://www.nasa.gov

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby kit » 19 Oct 2008 22:37


kit
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby kit » 19 Oct 2008 22:38

Is the Rooivalk still in production ?

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/aircr ... small.html

kit
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby kit » 19 Oct 2008 22:42

Wasnt a similar tender cancelled by India ?

http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Army_ca ... t_999.html

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Neshant » 20 Oct 2008 01:06

the eurocopter was cancelled due to alleged kickbacks and corruption.

have not followed the story so it may be incorrect.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Philip » 21 Oct 2008 13:08

Check out the site for best UFO pics/drawings,from the recently released British UFO archives.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.j ... sciufo.xml

,,,and this one in a failed attempt to shoot down an "aircraft carrier" size UFO!

UK UFO files reveal alleged attempt to shoot UFO
By RAPHAEL G. SATTER – 13 hours ago

LONDON (AP) — An American fighter pilot flying from an English air base at the height of the Cold War was ordered to open fire on a massive UFO that lit up his radar, according to an account published by Britain's National Archives on Monday.

The fighter pilot said he was ordered to fire a full salvo of rockets at the UFO moving erratically over the North Sea — but that at the last minute the object picked up enormous speed and disappeared. The account, first published in Britain's Daily Star newspaper more than 17 years ago and to this day unverified by military authorities, was one of many carried in the 1,500 pages the archives made available online.

The unnamed pilot said he and another airman were scrambled on the night of May 20, 1957 to intercept an unusual "bogey" on radars at a Royal Air Force Station Manston, an airfield at the southeastern tip of England about 75 miles from central London.

"This was a flying object with very unusual flight patterns," the pilot said, according to a typed manuscript of his account mailed to Britain's Ministry of Defense by a UFO enthusiast in 1988. "In the initial briefing it was suggested to us that the bogey actually was motionless for long intervals."

Ordered to fly at full throttle in cloudy weather, the pilot said he was given the order to fire a volley of 24 rockets at the mysterious object.

"To be quite candid I almost (expletive) my pants!" the pilot said, saying he asked for confirmation — which he received.

Retired U.S. airman Milton Torres told Britain's Sky News on Monday that he was the pilot and has spent 50 frustrating years attempting to uncover the truth of his mid-air encounter.

Speaking from his home in Miami, Florida, Torres said he never saw the UFO with his naked eye, but watched in awe as it appeared on his jet's radar and sped off before he had chance to fire.

"All of a sudden as it was coming in, it decided to take off and leave me behind ... The next thing I know it was gone," Torres told Sky News. "It was some kind of space alien craft. It was so fast, it was so incredible ... it was absolutely death defying."

In the newly published government file, the U.S. airman said the UFO appeared impossible to miss.

"The blip was burning a hole in the radar with its incredible intensity," the pilot said. "It was similar to a blip I had received from B-52's and seemed to be a magnet of light. ... I had a lock on that had the proportions of a flying aircraft carrier."

As he closed in on the object to prepare for combat, however, the object began to move wildly before fading off his radar. The target gone, the mission was called off, and he returned to base to an odd reception.

"I had not the foggiest idea what had actually occurred, nor would anyone explain anything to me," the pilot said. He said he was led to a man in civilian clothes, who "advised me that this would be considered highly classified and that I should not discuss it with anybody not even my commander."

"He disappeared without so much as a goodbye and that was that, as far as I was concerned," the pilot said, according to the account.

Britain's military said it had no record of the incident, according to the files. Neither did the U.S. military. The second pilot's account, also included in the files, paints a somewhat different picture of events, saying there were not one but several "unknowns" and that he did not remember being contacted by anyone about staying quiet. He did not mention the targets' size.

"I know this is not a very exciting narrative but it is all I can recall," the second pilot said.

His name, like his colleague's, was redacted from the files.

David Clarke, a UFO expert who has worked with the National Archives on the document release, said it was one of the most intriguing stories he had culled from the batch of files released Monday.

He said that the CIA once had a program intended to create phantom signals on radar — and that this may have been an exercise in electronic warfare. Whatever the case, Clarke argued that "there's no doubt something very unusual happened."

Clarke said the batch of files released Monday — which include witness accounts, investigations, and sketches — was part of a three to four year program intended to make a total of 160 UFO-related files available to the public.

On the Net:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/
Hosted by Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 22 Oct 2008 03:29

U.S. Aircraft Research Looks Ahead Three Generations !!!!!!!!!!!

Oct 19, 2008

By Graham Warwick

Six U.S. teams have won contracts to develop concepts and identify technologies for future subsonic and supersonic aircraft to help NASA set its aeronautics research agenda for the next 20 years.

The studies will develop advanced concepts meeting NASA's environmental and performance goals for aircraft that could enter service in 25-30 years - so-called "N+3" designs three generations beyond today's commercial aircraft.

The studies will also support future development of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), which will have to evolve to accommodate new classes of aircraft. New designs that fly lower and slower to save fuel, or higher and faster to save time, or operate from short runways to increase airport capacity will all impact air traffic management.

NASA's aeronautics research is aligned with three generations of aircraft: N+1 for entry into service around 2015, N+2 around 2020 and N+3 in 2030-35. Each generation has associated goals for reductions in noise, emissions, fuel burn and field length relative to today's CFM56-powered 737. For N+3, they are an 81-dB. reduction in noise below Stage 3, better than 80% lower NOx emissions, 70% lower fuel burn and the ability to operate from small airports.

These goals were derived from the need to mitigate the environmental impact of a projected 2-3-fold growth in U.S. air traffic by 2030. "We know the N+3 goals are very aggressive, but we can't get there by just evolving incrementally," says Ajay Misra, acting director of NASA's fundamental aeronautics program. "We need to see revolutionary shifts to make it possible."

The six contracts to study advanced concepts are the result of a NASA research announcement designed to elicit industry's ideas for N+3 aircraft able to meet the noise, emissions, fuel burn and field length goals simultaneously. "It will take new concepts, and the integration of new technologies," says Misra. "The idea is for industry to tell NASA to go and invest in these technologies for the future."

Whereas the agency's N+1 research will be completed by 2010-11, ready for industry to begin development of next-generation single-aisle airliners, N+2 and N+3 work is aimed at technologies that are not yet ready for use in product development. N+2 is focused on integrated airframe and propulsion concepts such as hybrid wing-body aircraft offering improved capacity and efficiency. N+3 is looking even further ahead. "If we want to fly in 2030-35, we need to start the pipeline now," says Misra. "That's the reason we needed the N+3 solicitation, to get the ideas on the table."

Of the six Phase 1 study contracts, each worth around $2 million and lasting 18 months, four involve subsonic fixed-wing concepts. Two are for supersonic aircraft, which have their own set of N+3 goals centering on substantial reductions in airport noise and sonic boom. NASA is still drawing up N+2 and N+3 goals for rotorcraft, but similar studies are planned, Misra says.The four subsonic teams are led by Boeing, GE Aviation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Northrop Grumman. The supersonic teams are led by Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

In the first phase, each team will develop a future scenario and define advanced concepts, then use these to identify and prioritize enabling technologies. They will assess the risks in these technologies and prepare a road map with tasks and timelines for delivery to NASA to help it set its research agenda.

The teams will focus on different aspects of N+3. GE, with Cessna and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), will look at small 10-30-passenger aircraft with the short-field performance to operate point-to-point service between small community airports. One of the team's design concepts looks like a Citation Sovereign business jet with open-rotor engines.

MIT, teamed with Aurora Flight Sciences, Aerodyne Research, Pratt & Whitney and Boeing Phantom Works, will look at 150-200-passenger "737-replacement-type" aircraft, says Misra. Concepts to be evaluated include liquid natural-gas-fueled aircraft and distributed multiple-engine propulsion systems. Northrop Grumman, with Tufts University, Sensis, Spirit AeroSystems and Rolls-Royce, will look at bigger short takeoff and landing aircraft, says Misra. These would be able to use smaller airports available within a large metroplex area, he says, relieving congestion at the major airports.

Boeing Phantom Works' subsonic ultra-green aircraft research (Sugar) team, which includes Georgia Tech and GE, will begin by looking at a range of aircraft sizes and then work with NASA to select specific concepts for detailed analysis, says principal investigator Marty Bradley of Boeing's Phantom Works. "We have more concepts than we can analyze," he adds.

One of these is an aircraft with an unswept strut-braced wing, Bradley says. This allows a high aspect ratio and laminar flow control for better aerodynamic efficiency than today's swept wings. The concept reduces fuel consumption, "but the aircraft wants to go a little slower," says Bradley.

"What NASA is really looking for is structured data on which to make good technology decisions," he says. "We will produce a reference mission and reference concepts with which to assess technologies, analyze the risk and draw up technology development road maps." For each of the concepts selected, a suite of technologies will be developed and evaluated against the N+3 noise, emissions, fuel burn and field performance goals.

"We will determine which technologies make the biggest contribution, and identify those that enable particular concepts or NASA goals," says Bradley. The deliverables are similar for the supersonic study, for which Boeing Phantom Works is teamed with engine makers GE, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce, as well as Georgia Tech, structural-analysis specialist M4 Engineering and sonic-boom experts Wyle Laboratories.

The supersonic study is focused on identifying technologies, rather than different concepts, says Boeing Phantom Works' Bob Welge, principal investigator. "We are looking at a 100-200-passenger aircraft with similar airport noise and emissions goals as the subsonic aircraft, but with the added sonic boom issue." The NASA study will build on low-boom design work performed under the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Quiet Supersonic Platform. This demonstrated airframe contouring could produce a shaped sonic boom that would be quieter.

"We are very focused on the technologies," says Welge. "We will integrate the technologies into a configuration and make the trades. We will develop road maps with tasks and timescales to enable supersonic transports to be considered." Lockheed Martin is teamed with GE, Purdue University and Wyle Labs for its similar low-boom supersonic study.

After Phase 1, Misra says, NASA plans to downselect from the six teams and begin funding technology research aimed at the N+3 concepts. "In Phase 2, we will take a look at the technologies in more detail," he says. "We've not decided whether to divide it up based on technologies or flight regimes, but it will be based on the technology road maps they produce."

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Gerard » 23 Oct 2008 05:21


andy B
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby andy B » 23 Oct 2008 06:33



Thanks for posting that Gerad,

I think this is a good opportunity for ISRO to have a tie up and play a consultant role for joint development. I understand that the russians are helping em out however we can also play an important part in regards to the launch vehicle development and more specifically satellite development as well.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby vavinash » 23 Oct 2008 07:07

Why??

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby andy B » 23 Oct 2008 07:30

Because considering the growing bilateral trade between Brazil and India it would be a good thing to take it up a notch.

- ISRO has relatively less funding compared to other international agencies, IMHO this would give us more international exposure and also give us access to joint funding thus increase the monetary flow for future R&D.

- Considering that this is going to be a "basic" satellite launch vehicle we should be able to give valuable advise and input, also IMHO we would be a lot cheaper than the russians.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby renukb » 24 Oct 2008 18:04

Russia to keep upgraded Su-25 strike aircraft until 2020
16:34 | 20/ 10/ 2008

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20081020/117836190.html

MOSCOW, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will keep a modernized version of its Su-25 strike aircraft in service with the Air Force until 2020, an aircraft industry official said on Monday. (VIDEO)

The Su-25 Frogfoot is a single-seat, twin-engine combat aircraft developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau to provide close air support for ground troops.

"Considering the fact that Russia is not planning to develop a new strike aircraft in the near future, we will continue to upgrade outdated Su-25s into a modernized version, Su-25SM, until 2020," said Yakov Kazhdan, general director of an aircraft maintenance and repair plant in the Moscow Region.

The Su-25 aircraft has been in service with the Russian Air Force for more than 25 years. In 1999, Russia adopted a program to upgrade part of its aging Su-25 fleet. The Air Force received the first six modernized Su-25SM planes in December 2006.

The Su-25SM version features the Panther fire-control system with the Kopyo-25 radar in a rebuilt nose and the Glonass satellite navigation system. It also has a redesigned cockpit with a new HUD and two large color LCD monitors.

"Thanks to thorough modernization, the combat capabilities of the aircraft have increased threefold," Kazhdan said.

The Su-25SM can carry more than 4,000 kilograms (8,800 pounds) of weaponry, including R-73M2 (AA-11 Archer) short-range air-to-air missiles and can provide close infantry support regardless of weather conditions or time of day.

The Russian Air Force is planning to equip at least two air regiments with Su-25SM planes in the future.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby renukb » 26 Oct 2008 10:19

Russia live-fires cruise missiles from nuke bombers
From upi.com

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Russia's front-line long-range strategic nuclear bombers have carried out a new series of major weeklong exercises, the Russian air force announced last week.

The operations were carried out within the framework of the Stability-2008 strategic command and staff exercises, from Oct. 6-12 under the command of three-star Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin, the commander in chief of the Russian air force. More than 30 bombers were involved, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

"A total of 40 sorties have been flown with an aggregate of 300 flying hours clocked," according to Maj. Gen. Pavel Androsov, commander of Russian Long-Range Aviation Forces.

The Stability-2008 operations have been carried out all over the huge Russian federation and the former Soviet republic of Belarus to improve the strategic deployment of the Russian armed forces, including the nuclear triad of land-, submarine- and air-launched nuclear missiles. They began on Sept. 22 and were scheduled to conclude Tuesday, Oct. 21, the report said.

The Oct. 6-12 component of the exercise involved Tupolev Tu-160 White Swans (NATO designation Blackjack) and Tupolev Tu-95MS (NATO designation Bear-H). The aircraft operated carrying full combat payloads and, as planned, fired all of their standard-issue X-55 air-launched cruise missiles -- ALCMs. It was the first time cruise missiles had been live-fired from Russian bombers in major tactical exercises in nearly a quarter-century since 1984, during the last major flare-up of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Tupolev Tu-95MS Bears have a payload of six KH-55 (NATO designation AS-15 Kent) long-range cruise missiles, and the gigantic Tu-160s, with their 99,000-pound payload -- twice that of a U.S. B-2 Stealth bomber -- has a payload of 12 KH-55s, RIA Novosti said.

The Russian air force described the scale of the Oct. 6-Oct. 12 operations as unprecedented, RIA Novosti said. The maneuvers also included Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire strategic bombers, air superiority fighters, interceptors and aerial tankers, the report said.

RIA Novosti said the Russian air force was believed to currently be operating 16 Tu-160 Blackjack bombers, 40 Tu-95MS Bear bombers and 141 Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers.

In an earlier RIA Novosti report previously cited in these columns, the former Russian air force commander, four-star General of the Army Pyotr Deynekin said Tu-95 Bear bombers had carried out live-firing of all their cruise missiles only on one previous occasion in all their operational service, in 1984.

"Tu-160 bombers have never done this, because it is very expensive," the general said.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Singha » 26 Oct 2008 10:32

must have been an awesome sight, salvo firing those 12 beasts from the belly as the mothership screams along at mach1. wuff wuff.

we do not need the range and speed of the Tu160 to hit targets deep inside PRC as a suitable
long range ALCM is best released from secure launch airspace within India. would be great
to have a version of the MTA (if it ever appears from the paper phase :evil: ) fitted with a
rotary launcher for 6 sleek Nirbbhay-2 ALCMs...each with a 300kg warhead and INS/IIR/glonass
guidance tri-mode + dsmac for really nap-of-earth flying.

MTA would function as a cheap, reliable and rugged bomb-truck instead of a more complex
dedicated design like Tu22 and Tu160. Uptime can be expected to be a lot higher and
airframe/engine maintainence possible anywhere the regular MTAs are located.

using adaptors each nirbhay pylon could take 2 heavy bombs for a total of 12 and in
that role maybe wing pylons could add 4 more. total=16 x 500kg = 8 tons.

installing a litening flir on a chin pylon should be really easy with OEM support.
the 'bombardier' would replace the cargo master station on the MTA and use
the Litening footage for CCIP high level work/lasing...and tail mounted camera
for BDA imagery which would be instantly transmitted back to base via a satcom
antenna on roof blister.

idea is to use EW-orbat assessments to always stay out manpad/small-SAM ceiling
and avoid areas where high-ceiling SAMs are known to operate. once the big SAMs
are rendered ineffective these things can pound the living s**t out of exposed
supply chain in tibet for instance. a formation of 4 flying lo-lo-lo down some
valley would unleash hell on the faithful below.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby PaulJI » 26 Oct 2008 18:07

Singha wrote:we do not need the range and speed of the Tu160 to hit targets deep inside PRC as a suitable long range ALCM is best released from secure launch airspace within India. would be great to have a version of the MTA (if it ever appears from the paper phase :evil: ) fitted with a rotary launcher for 6 sleek Nirbbhay-2 ALCMs...each with a 300kg warhead and INS/IIR/glonass guidance tri-mode + dsmac for really nap-of-earth flying.

What is the range of Nirbhay-2 expected to be, & when is it expected to enter service? The 1000 km range I have seen claimed for Nirbhay would only cover a very small proportion of China, if launched from within India.
Singha wrote:MTA would function as a cheap, reliable and rugged bomb-truck instead of a more complex dedicated design like Tu22 and Tu160. Uptime can be expected to be a lot higher and airframe/engine maintainence possible anywhere the regular MTAs are located.
using adaptors each nirbhay pylon could take 2 heavy bombs for a total of 12 and in
that role maybe wing pylons could add 4 more. total=16 x 500kg = 8 tons.

installing a litening flir on a chin pylon should be really easy with OEM support.
the 'bombardier' would replace the cargo master station on the MTA and use
the Litening footage for CCIP high level work/lasing...and tail mounted camera
for BDA imagery which would be instantly transmitted back to base via a satcom
antenna on roof blister.

idea is to use EW-orbat assessments to always stay out manpad/small-SAM ceiling
and avoid areas where high-ceiling SAMs are known to operate. once the big SAMs
are rendered ineffective these things can pound the living s**t out of exposed
supply chain in tibet for instance. a formation of 4 flying lo-lo-lo down some
valley would unleash hell on the faithful below.

Lo-lo down a valley would put it within range of manpads & small-arms fire. A transport aircraft would not survive well in such an environment.

As a medium-level (can't do high altitude) bomber, it would only be usable in a benign air environment, with no enemy fighters (it'd be dead meat against the oldest, slowest, fighter or armed jet trainer) or medium-level SAMs, i.e. a counter-insurgency or other low-intensity conflict. No use against China, or even Pakistan. UCAVs such as Reaper, Mantis, or Heron TP (or an Indian equivalent) would be a fraction of the cost to operate, & have much better endurance. Better for such low-intensity operations.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 26 Oct 2008 18:27

I wonder when the Russi's will publicly revel the new 5000 km range stealthy Kh-101 cruise missile , only some pics were reveled on the Tu-95 , I think they may be testing some new system as well instead of the X-55.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Sontu » 27 Oct 2008 00:09

renukb wrote:Russia to keep upgraded Su-25 strike aircraft until 2020
16:34 | 20/ 10/ 2008
"Considering the fact that Russia is not planning to develop a new strike aircraft in the near future, we will continue to upgrade outdated Su-25s into a modernized version, Su-25SM, until 2020," said Yakov Kazhdan, general director of an aircraft maintenance and repair plant in the Moscow Region.


That indicates that PAKFA will primarily be configured/optimized for AA role only as per Russian requirements ?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Rahul M » 27 Oct 2008 01:27

frogfoot is a CAS aircraft not a strike a/c, in spite of anything that may be said in the article.
you don't use a/c like pakfa/f-22 for CAS.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby andy B » 27 Oct 2008 04:10

Singha wrote:must have been an awesome sight, salvo firing those 12 beasts from the belly as the mothership screams along at mach1. wuff wuff.

we do not need the range and speed of the Tu160 to hit targets deep inside PRC as a suitable
long range ALCM is best released from secure launch airspace within India. would be great
to have a version of the MTA (if it ever appears from the paper phase :evil: ) fitted with a
rotary launcher for 6 sleek Nirbbhay-2 ALCMs...each with a 300kg warhead and INS/IIR/glonass
guidance tri-mode + dsmac for really nap-of-earth flying.

MTA would function as a cheap, reliable and rugged bomb-truck instead of a more complex
dedicated design like Tu22 and Tu160. Uptime can be expected to be a lot higher and
airframe/engine maintainence possible anywhere the regular MTAs are located.

using adaptors each nirbhay pylon could take 2 heavy bombs for a total of 12 and in
that role maybe wing pylons could add 4 more. total=16 x 500kg = 8 tons.

installing a litening flir on a chin pylon should be really easy with OEM support.
the 'bombardier' would replace the cargo master station on the MTA and use
the Litening footage for CCIP high level work/lasing...and tail mounted camera
for BDA imagery which would be instantly transmitted back to base via a satcom
antenna on roof blister.

idea is to use EW-orbat assessments to always stay out manpad/small-SAM ceiling
and avoid areas where high-ceiling SAMs are known to operate. once the big SAMs
are rendered ineffective these things can pound the living s**t out of exposed
supply chain in tibet for instance. a formation of 4 flying lo-lo-lo down some
valley would unleash hell on the faithful below.


Singha saar, the UK was researching a similar system under FOAS (Future Offensive Air System) and had a similar idea where a military transorter would carry CALCMs as palletised loads and release them midflight, please refer to the 2nd link it is a computer render that shows a C-17 globemaster ejecting these missiles from the rear cargo doors.
The airbus a400 was last chosen as the ideal candidate, however havent heard much about it lately.
Other choices in the FOAS were UCAVs and F-35 and EF2000 advanced derivatives.


http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/row/foas.htm

http://www.airforce-technology.com/proj ... foas4.html

http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/foas/

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Singha » 27 Oct 2008 07:22

Nirbhay-1 =1000km but we all know its only the first cut. eventually 2500km is a must and we will get there soon as we sort out N1.

1000km useless for attacking economic targets in eastern china but quite
useful to target PLA/eco infra in Sinkiang, Tibet, Yunnan and in the chengdu area.

and can be launched in safety from near the indian border.

I have seen footage of afghan war where a B52 is releasing a pile of
parachute retarded bombs and firing off flares from the tail at the same
time. against the pakis and certain areas of Indo-China where air cover
is strong it is possible.

but mainly a utilitarian ALCM platform that can fly 1500km radius with
full payload at 650kmph and return to secure bases in the south.

will deliver the same impact as a half dozen Su30s and you need to
support just one airframe (2 engines vs 12) and one crew not six.

both MTA and Nirbhay1 do not exist today and MTA-mki will take its own
time so not fanciful to imagine a Nirbhay2 in say 7-10 yrs.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby SriniY » 27 Oct 2008 14:26

http://www.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/070814-N-8591H-178.jpg

Excellent photo of B-52 Stratofortress, 16 fighters, 3 aircraft carriers and associated fleet.

Hope to see an Indian equivalent of this some day.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby neerajb » 27 Oct 2008 15:31

Singha wrote:I have seen footage of afghan war where a B52 is releasing a pile of
parachute retarded bombs and firing off flares from the tail at the same
time.


It is a standard practice with attack aircrafts and helicopters to release flares when in a dive for bombing or when attacking targets.

Cheers...

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Drevin » 28 Oct 2008 10:51

Boeing flies first manned aircraft powered by hydrogen. Boeing also recommends electrical power for all auxillary power requirements aboard passenger jets. Just google it up if you want proof.


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