Boeing and the U.S. Air Force completed the first flight of an unmanned QF-16 aerial target from Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., on September 19. Flown by two Air Force test pilots in a ground station, the modified Lockheed Martin F-16 reached an altitude of 40,000 feet and a speed of Mach 1.47.
McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II
Columbus, Ohio-based Spirit Avionics named Tony Bailey as president. Bailey has more than 30 years’ experience in various leadership roles and has held such positions at Comlux Aviation Services and Pentastar Aviation. “Tony was the perfect choice to help us renew our leadership and implement a strategy to [expand] our worldwide footprint,” said Rick Ochs, chairman and founder of Spirit Avionics.
Japan has selected the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II to meet its F-X requirement. The losing contenders were the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Eurofighter Typhoon. The Japanese Defence Ministry said that, while all three contenders met the essential requirements, the F-35 scored highest after points were awarded for performance, cost, logistics support and domestic industrial participation. Japanese newspapers quoted defense officials saying that the aircraft’s stealth and networking capabilities were key deciding factors.