We all know that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) present operational challenges, and making them into stealthy, tailless jets and asking them to do combat is even more challenging. But what about an unmanned stealthy tailless combat jet that must take off and land on an aircraft carrier?
CFM International (Hall 2 Stand B149) is studying a next generation of turbofans to power single-aisle commercial aircraft, hoping to secure a role in future replacements for the Airbus A320 family and the Boeing 737. Under the LEAP-X advanced turbofan program, joint venture partners Snecma and General Electric are pursuing innovations such as increased use of composite materials in engines.
Bombardier has already thrown its hat into the more-than-100-seats jetliner ring with its C Series design and Embraer is considering its response to perceived market requirements (see box). But industry leaders Airbus and Boeing have been markedly reticent to reveal more of their thinking on the characteristics needed in designs to replace their A320 and 737, respectively, in the 150-passenger class by the end of the next decade.
Thales is engineering a series of upgrades to the sensor systems aboard France’s Rafale that will be incorporated in the next batch of aircraft for the French armed forces and should enhance Dassault’s chances in current fighter procurements contests in Brazil, India and Switzerland.
Is Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter a “bomb truck,” optimized for the stealthy attack of ground targets but of limited value as a defender of airspace? Critics and rivals of the multibillion-dollar international program have been sniping at the F-35’s air-to-air maneuvering performance for years.
As a result of the slumping global economy, first-quarter business jet deliveries for 2009 paled in comparison to the same period in 2008, according to numbers released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.
Although the Pentagon last month declared that it was increasing the early production tempo of the F-35, the decision to buy 30 aircraft next year does not actually change previous plans. Moreover, there is still no U.S. commitment to multi-year procurement (MYP) before 2015. Mindful of repeated criticism by the U.S.
Bombardier told AIN yesterday at EBACE that development of the “clean sheet” all-composite Bombardier Learjet 85 continues on track for entry-into-service in 2013. The company is using its new production facility in the Queretaro Aerospace Park in Mexico to fabricate the composite structure for the Learjet 85, which is expected to become the first certified all-composite Part 25 business jet.
Pratt & Whitney this spring held a media event at its Hartford, Connecticut headquarters and provided an overview of its milestones and advances in environmental cleanliness and so on. Some samples:
Nordam (Booth No. 1539) recently delivered the first shipset of cabinets for Dassault Aviation’s Falcon 7X, less than a year after being selected to produce all cabinetry for the large cabin trijet back in April 2008. A three-stage delivery of the first shipset began on March 9 from the company’s cabinetry division in Wichita, Kansas.