The United States Marine Crop came out with new statistics showing that only 276 Horney strike jets are airworthy, meaning there are over 1,000 strike jets not fit to fly the skies. That statistics also show, that only 42 of their 147 heavy-lift Super Stallion helicopters are fully operational
These are some alarming numbers, for one of the world’s strongest militaries. This situation can get much worst especially since the US military spending dropped to $560 Billion under president Obama’s administration. In 2010, the spending budget was as high as $691 Billion. Many people in the industry feel that we were put in these situations due to budget cuts, altercations with the Islamic State in Syria, and the wears and tears of the previous fights in Afghanistan and Iraq.
For the many aircrafts that are ground, the USMC is stuck waiting up to 18 months for parts, or they are pulling parts from decommissioned plans and using them on the aircrafts scheduled to fly out. In one case, they had grab parts from aircrafts on display in museums to keep a certain plane flying.
Sgt. Argentry Uebelhoer compares the situation saying,
“Imaging taking a 1995 Cadillac and trying to make it Ferrari,”.
Many military personnel are not taking a liking to the situation. While, Lt. Col. Matthew “Pablo” Brown, commanding officer of VMFA(AW)-533 feels that this situation is unfair for the younger personnel that joined Marines. Many of the highly trained and highly skilled mechanics have left the depots for aviation jobs in the private sector, leaving the newbies high and dry.
Many soldiers and experts feel that these cost saving measures are affecting not only the military balance, but can affect all the lives of mechanics, pilots, and all that serve and protect us overseas.
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Lockheed Martin’s F35 fighter jet will be making its first appearance in Europe, but to the surprise of many it will not take place in the United Kingdom.
Instead, the fighter jet will make its debut across the pond at the Leeuwarden Air Show in the Netherlands next month. Lieutenant Colonel Sidney Plankamn, the chief of public affairs for the Royal Netherlands Air Force confirmed that the F35 will be on display and may even be used for a test flight.
The plane is currently making its transit from Edwards Air Force Base in California to the Dutch location for the air show on June 10th and 11th. There it will undergo tests to make sure it does not cause a disturbance in the neighborhoods.
The tests are
“done in full cooperation with the residents and our local environmental groups, and [that the exercises are designed to] just get the people acquainted with the F-35,”
according to Plankman.
Starting in 2019, the Leeuwarden and Vokel Air bases will be the home to a total of 37 F-35As, joining the two they already have.
Some general characteristics of the aircraft include a Pratt & Whitney F135 after-burning turbofan and a total weapons payload of 18,000 lbs.
Length: 50.5 ft
Wingspan: 35 ft
Height: 14.2 ft
Wing area: 460 ft²
Maximum speed: Mach 1.6+ (1,200 mph)
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A group of aviation experts from the Netherlands will be assessing Georgia’s Military aviation division. They are set to overhaul their lacking and out of date fleet.
Georgian Armed Forces Aviation division consists of 11 Russian combat aircrafts, 2 Ukrainian Transport planes, 38 utility and attack helicopters, and 8 training aircrafts. These planes are stationed between two main airfields located near Tbilsi at Alekseevka and Marneuli.
According to Wiki.com in 2014 at the Wales Summit
“Georgia was granted a NATO military assistance package which includes the support in acquisition of military equipment from alliance members”.
Tinatin Khidasheli, Georgia’s Minister of Defense states that the assessment will becoming very soon and with the changes to come this will empower Georgia’s military into the right direction. This was stated after meeting with Jos Douma, Ambassador of the Kingdome of the Netherlands for Georgia on March 23, 2016. There were many talks that the Netherlands were not to participate in this overhaul, but the Ambassador confirmed that they will assist Georgia in the aviation reforms.
Currently there is a team of French experts that is overseeing the air defense portion of the NATO-Georgia Substantial Package. This package is will help Georgia advance in becoming a part of the NATO alliance, opening up the gates of the aviation industry that were closed previously. This agreement between the Netherlands and Georgia fall within the frameworks of the NATO-Georgia Substantial Package.
With the help from France and the Netherlands, Georgia is aligning themselves accordingly to be a part of the NATO alliance, all while strengthening their aviation armed forces.
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The Boeing Company was recently awarded a contract of nearly one billion dollars for their AH-64E re-manufacturing process.
The exact value of the contract W58RGZ-14-C-0018 is $922,628,257. The rebuilding process of 117 Boeing helicopters will be done at Boeing’s facility in Mesa, Arizona. The project is expected to be completed in just over two years.
The United States Army has been making numerous upgrades to the Apache Longbow attack helicopter over the years. This contract will allow the chopper to undergo some much-needed maintenance.
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BIW Connector Systems, the industry leader of manufacturing and designing of highly engineered connector solutions for the gas and oil industries, has recently debuted their unique seven-contact wellhead outlet which has been designed to connect reliably and safely to monitoring equipment in gas and oil production wells. ITT Corporation’s BIW Connector Systems brand has created this wellhead outlet in order to serve as the first of its kind for the upstream production market. This innovative penetrator system was designed for the demanding underground conditions which are often experienced in conventional as well as steam flood wells.
"In recent years, monitoring tools have become more sophisticated, and single conductor instrument cables are increasingly being replaced with multi-conductor cables,"
said the general manager and vice president of ITT BIW Connector Systems, John Dutil.
"Our new feedthru will help customers achieve smarter, more efficient well management while protecting valuable equipment like electric submersible pumps."
ITT BIW Connector Systems’ smart well feedthru is the first multi-pin wellhead outlet ever to provide interconnect capabilities intended for tubing encapsulated cables with as many as seven conductors. The smart well feedthru provides increased data transmission through the pressure barrier. The feedthru is also equipped with a specialized visual safety indicator which displays a visual warning if high pressure is noticed within the outlet housing in order to prevent disassembly while in unsafe conditions.
“Featuring National Pipe Thread Taper (NPT) fittings for easy installation on top of the wellhead bonnet or on the side of the bowl, the smart well feedthru utilizes glass-to-metal seals and gold plated contacts to provide reliable pressure blocking and electrical performance. Its higher temperature rating makes it a suitable solution for both steam floods and conventional wells, and a separate surface cable allows for easy cable dis-assembly during work-overs.”
stated a news release from ITT BIW Connector Systems.
“The smart well feedthru reinforces ITT's commitment to serving the needs of customers in upstream oil and gas production with innovative technology designed to solve pressing challenges in ever-harsher conditions.”
Starting in April of 2016, this new smart well feedthru will be available for purchase.
Valve has announced that their Steam Controller will be getting a much needed makeover in terms of design and functionality. The original design for the controller was released back in 2013 and although it has undergone several design changes since it was released, we were led to believe that that the final designed was locked in. During a recent presentation at the GDC, Valve announced that they have plans to make changes to the hardware of its Steam Controller. Although no updates have been given on what exactly those changes are, consumers can expect that there won’t be any radical or drastic changes made to the existing model of the Steam Controller. The company released their statement saying,
“In the future we are working on a hardware revision to the controller to improve look and feel, but we’re pretty happy with the feature set we have now and do not intend to drastically change it, or even change it at all.”
An underlying issue with the new changes resides in the fact that first-gen Steam Controller owners are used to the design and feel comfortable or even content with the product in place. Most people are resistant to change and Valve might find there is considerable push-back on revamping what is known as original. Valve has kept mum on the details as they are still in the designing phase with a product testing phase to follow shortly after. It could be some time before the approved changes take place in a production line and marketed to the masses.
Meanwhile Valve has revealed that over 400,000 Steam Controllers have been purchased by the public and the company has even allowed its users to print their own 3D versions of the controller. This was an attempt to cater to the gamers’ desire to fully customize their controllers to their heart’s desire. The existing Steam Controller features two large HD haptic track pads, a single analogue stick for your thumbs and buttons. It was designed with the expressed purpose of bring precision controls of the mouse/keyboard to a handheld controller. Valve believed that the ease and comfortability of using their Steam handheld Controller would be the future of PC/platform gaming.
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Garmin, the international developer of aviation, marine, consumer, fitness, and outdoor technologies, has recently launched their latest equipment of audio panel and backup instrumentation which will soon be available for light sports aircraft as well as experimental aircraft. Garmin’s new technology allows for an electronic flight instrument and new audio panel options.
According to Garmin’s vice president of aviation marketing and sales, Carl Wolf, Garmin’s new GMA 245 as well as their remotely mounted GMA 245R audio panels will offer “home theatre sound quality to the cockpit.” These innovative audio panels will also offer a variety of new features, including Bluetooth connectivity for phone calls and music through a tablet or smartphone. Garmin’s new audio panels will also feature Garmin’s 3D Audio technology, which focuses audio input into various locations of the headset in order to make it more intuitive for the pilot to differentiate between communication sources.
“You’ve got to hear it with your own ears to appreciate how rich and clear the sound quality really is,” said a Garmin spokeswoman, Jessica Koss. “You can easily differentiate between multiple voices on the radio or intercom and listen to the one you want to hear.”
The GMA 245 has a retail price of $1,325 while the Garmin GMA 245R will sell for $1,199. The GMA 245 will release about a month after the GMA 245R, which is anticipated to be available in April.
Garmin has also revealed their G5 electronic flight instrument for the light sport aircraft and experimental aircraft market. The G5 can be utilized as a primary flight instrument, while also having the capabilities of acting as a backup for the G3X or other EFIS systems. The unit is compatible with the standard 3 1/8-inch panel slot. The G5 integrates with a variety of Garmin’s autopilot equipment and provides primary flight data.
“Installation is quick and easy and the integration potential is limitless,”Wolf said. “We’re excited to bring this innovative and safety promoting product to the Experimental and Light Sport market.”
“Airspace by Airbus”, which is the name for the new cabin design will be introduced and launched in Airbus’ A330neo wide body jet. Airbus has worked diligently and created a breathtaking feng shui within the cabin of the A350 XWB. With positive reactions with the A350 XWB, Airbus hopes the positivity is transferred to the A330neo models.
“Airspace by Airbus” was launched on March 23, 2016 encouraging airlines to build personalized passenger experiences, while allowing top aircraft performance. Airbus executive vice president of strategy and marketing, Dr. Kiran Rao, hopes that the technological parts of the advanced A350 XWB will be incorporated within the new “Airspace by Airbus” for the upcoming A330neo models.
This personalized experience with “Airspace by Airbus” emphasizes a general well being for its passengers and will allow for optimum performance for airline customers. It will offer a beautifully lit backdrop canvas encompassing four design elements. These design elements consist of comfort, ambience, service, and design. It also features clean, straight lines; clear surfaces, and ambient lighting. The aesthetic changes allow for comfort and relaxation, while lighting creates mood lighting.
As for technology and accessibility the new cabin interior-design will include interactive entertainment and connectivity throughout the cabin, lavatory, and working environment for the crew. Passengers will immediately notice larger overhead storage bins, spacious lavatories, wider seats and aisles, unobstructed under seat foot space, and the latest LED technology for the ambient lighting.
Dr. Rao stated that
“Airbus’ history of success is down to Innovation”
believing that the innovation was driven by the design of the cabin. He also hopes that the “Airspace by Airbus” will help inspire other airlines to follow suit in upgrading flying experiences for their passengers.
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Jon Fingas released an article on Engadget talking about the hypersonic aircraft. The hypersonic aircraft is considered any aircraft above Mach 5 such at the SR-72. Any type of hypersonic aircraft could be at any destination globally within the span of a few hours. Although many of these hypersonic aircrafts are in speculation, some are starting to show its true colors.
According the Lockheed, there is plans for the company to have a demonstrator hypersonic aircraft that will have a price tag of a little less than $1 billion. In terms of dimensions, Lockheed has mentioned that the hypersonic aircraft will be roughly the size of an F-22 aircraft.
Although this is a high ticket item, there are other programs that cost even more than this. With this being said, it can be inferred that hypersonic aircrafts that Lockheed Martin are planning to build could materialize in the years to come.
Lockheed Martin was founded March 15, 1995 about 21 years ago. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland in the Washington DC area in the United States. The company has a little bit over 120,000 employees around the world. Lockheed Martin is considered one of the largest defense contractors in the realm of aerospace, security, defense, and technology industries.
Fingas mentions a little bit about how the hypersonic aircraft will be able to reach hypersonic speeds without the use of other aircrafts or a booster engine.
“While the existing Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept project will rely on a booster to reach the altitude where its ramjet kicks in, the new concept embraces the SR-72's "turbine-based combined cycle," where conventional jet tech meets a ramjet” writes Fingas.
Even with all the plans in works, it will still be a while before Lockheed and present something tangible. There is a possibility that the hypersonic demonstrator aircraft will be ready by 2018. Along with this, there is also a possibility that it will be into the 2020s when Lockheed Martin will be able to provide hypersonic vehicles. It is said that these hypersonic vehicles will be used as weapons.
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The finishing touches are being applied on the final assembly line for the first ever CSeries CS300 designed for Air Baltic near Montreal at a plant in Mirabel. Concurrently, the first aircraft for the CS100 launch for operator Swiss International Air Lines is being prepped for its first flight in Mirabel as well. The CS100 is scheduled for six flights a day in SWISS service to work out the kinks with the first of the CS100, aircraft P1 to begin rout-proving flights with SWISS providing ground support. The P1 is flown by bombardier pilots and is currently flying back and forth from Brussels to Hannover and has completed three-fourths of its 600-hour extended functionality and reliability testing phase. This testing phase will need to be completed before the P1 can enter into service (EIS). There have been hang-ups but no dispatch interruptions thus far. Meanwhile the FTV7 which is the first of 2 CS00 flight-test aircrafts, is hovering around the 500-hour mark in terms of testing.
The second of the 2 CS flight-test aircrafts has an interior and is on track for certification six months after the CS100 who received its Transport Canada Approval in December of last year. With 9 CSeries having been built, Bombardier is on track to deliver 15-20 CSeries this year to air Batlic, SWISS and other operators who have placed an order for it in the past years. The CS100 can comfortably seat 100-133 passengers while the longer Bombardier CS300 can accommodate up to 160 but is typically specified with 148 seats single-class and 137 for dual.