OK, so it wasn’t an accident; it’s just that the NASA folks are getting rather good at intentionally crashing helicopters. The latest in its series of engineered rotorcraft crashes was conducted earlier this month when the agency dropped the more than four-and-a-half-ton fuselage of a former U.S. Navy CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter for the second time in little more than a year.
The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command awarded Pratt & Whitney a contract modification on October 14 for a seventh low-rate initial production lot (LRIP) of F135 engines for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The agreement includes the engine maker’s commitment to pay the cost of modifying the fan section in 150 delivered engines following a June engine fire that grounded the F-35 fleet and prevented its international debut in the UK.
U.S. secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson used an analogy from American football to explain why his department will open new customs pre-clearance facilities at foreign airports to screen against potential terrorists. “Any opportunity I have to defend the end zone from the 50 (yard line) and not just my one-yard line, I will take,” Johnson said October 14 in a speech to the Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Airbus won another big endorsement for its single-aisle series—potentially the biggest in its history—by securing a memorandum of understanding from India’s IndiGo covering 250 A320neos, the company said Wednesday.
Etihad Airways is betting on the Airbus A380 cabin to launch “reimagined” premium classes, according to airline CEO James Hogan. Speaking recently at the unveiling of the carrier’s new livery, Hogan also singled out India and Abu Dhabi as major growth destinations.
Gulfstream Aerospace’s launch today of its new G500 and G600 large-cabin business jets was a well-kept secret, especially since the programs have been in the works for five years. During an event at its Savannah, Ga., headquarters, the company surprised guests by rolling out a prototype of the G500 under its own power.
The trade organization representing major U.S. airlines is conducting its own study of the pros and cons of privatizing the nation’s ATC system. Airlines for America (A4A) plans to release its findings as Congress drafts the next long-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration.
The U.S. government will begin screening arriving travelers from West Africa for the Ebola virus at five major airports beginning this weekend. New layers of screening will be conducted at New York JFK International Airport on October 11, followed by Washington-Dulles, Newark Liberty, Chicago O’Hare, and Atlanta international airports, which combined receive 94 percent of travelers from Ebola-affected nations.
The Federal Aviation Administration will not relent from requiring operators in the U.S. to equip their aircraft for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) by 2020, the agency’s deputy administrator Michael Whitaker told an industry-government committee. The ADS-B equipage mandate is the next major milestone of the agency’s NextGen ATC modernization effort.
Sagem has revealed more details of its Patroller UAV, as the French army prepares to issue a request for proposal for the Système de Drone Tactique (SDT), for which it is a contender. The program is expected to be worth €200 to €250 million (up to $310 million), for the acquisition of 8-10 systems, with three UAVs per system. The other contenders are likely to be the Thales Watchkeeper, and a version of the Textron Shadow M2 that Airbus Defence & Space will propose.