Unmanned K-Max Copter Expands Capabilities

 - March 3, 2011, 9:46 AM

Kaman and Lockheed Martin continue to expand the missions being flown by the unmanned K-Max  helicopter at the Army’s Yuma, Ariz.,  Proving Ground. The helicopter recently made multiple guided airdrops at 10,000 feet msl. The 16 payloads airdropped included medical equipment, food, simulated leaflets and bulk cargo and were programmed by the GPS-guided Joint Precision Delivery System (JPADS) or triggered from a remote ground control station. The drops included payloads up to 4,400 pounds and included JPADS systems from a sling load, a HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) parachute system to deliver simulated leaflets, and a non-line-of-sight ability to dynamically re-task sling load JPADS ground target points.    The final flight test consisted of four 64-foot diameter parachutes with A22 containers, airdropped in two- to three-second intervals at 60 -knots airspeed from an altitude of 2,000 feet agl. The 1,100-pound containers landed on target. The unmanned K-Max has been flying since 2007.  The manned K-Max has accumulated more than 250,000 flight hours, conducting repetitive lift operations for the construction and logging industries worldwide.

Also Noted…

Daher-Socata recently delivered the first TBM 850 to be based in Singapore. The new turboprop single went to John Giddens, the CEO of Hallin Marine, during the Wings Over Asia TBM 850 Appreciation Day. Flown from Socata’s Tarbes, France, production facility by Giddens and Ng Yeow Meng, the founder of Wings Over Asia, this new aircraft arrived in Singapore after a journey through Europe, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.

The FAA and the European Union today signed an agreement today to work together on NextGen research. The agreement, signed in Budapest, calls for both sides to research the interoperability of avionics, communication protocols and procedures, as well as operational methods under NextGen and its European counterpart, the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR). The collaborative arrangement will lay the foundation for expanding air traffic modernization around the world, the FAA said.

Embraer received certification for the Phenom 300 premium in-flight cabin entertainment (IFE) system. This version enhances the current IFE option by adding seven7-inch individual seat monitors and a new cabin management system (CMS) LCD screen installed near the VIP seat. In addition to the new CMS and the individual seat monitors, the premium package also includes the Rosenview VX worldwide moving map, region- free DVD player, XM radio, portable media player interface, wireless headsets and a 10.4-inch ceiling-mounted monitor.

Hawker Beechcraft today announced that its super-midsize Hawker 4000 obtained type certification from the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). “There is growing interest in the Hawker 4000 throughout the Asia-Pacific market,” according to Hawker Beechcraft vice president for South Asia Pacific Dan Keady. The twinjet is able to make transcontinental missions in Australia, while also providing the range to reach into Southeast Asia.

Signature Flight Support has agreed to acquire substantially all of the assets of Yellowstone Jetcenter at Gallatin Field Airport in Bozeman, Mont. This acquisition increases Signature’s international network of FBOs to 104 locations worldwide. Yellowstone Jetcenter will retain its brand name but will operate fully as a location within the Signature network–a move that the FBO chain did with four Executive Beechcraft locations it bought several yearsin 2007 ago.