A DC-10-10 airliner modified for aerial firefighting is making a spectacular debut at this year’s show. The DC-10 Super Tanker dumps 7,000 U.S. gallons of water in only eight seconds along the airshow flightline, from a series of external tanks mounted along the centerline (see picture page 1).
The first of four Boeing 767s destined for the Japan Tanker Program arrived at the modification center in Wichita, Kansas, last week for conversion into a KC-767 aerial refueler. The Japan defense agency ordered the tanker for the Japan air self defense force in 2001 after a competition between the KC-767 and the Airbus A310. Boeing plans to deliver the first Japanese KC-767 in December 2006.
Bloodied and bruised by the U.S. Air Force tanker fiasco, Boeing has fought back this week by bringing the first KC-767A to the Paris show. But yet another damning report on the aborted U.S. lease deal has not only further tarnished the company’s reputation but also cast doubt on whether the Pentagon really needs a new fleet of tankers anytime soon.
When Minden Air contacted BAE Systems’ regional aircraft division to ask about leasing a 146 jetliner to use as a water-bomber, it came as something of a surprise to director Mark Taylor. “When they explained the characteristics they were looking for, we began to see its potential,” he told Aviation International News.
Unless you have stood next to a Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor–and you won’t be able to at Le Bourget this week because it’s not here–it is difficult to fully comprehend what an impressive piece of engineering it is and what a struggle of wills it must have taken to bring it to this stage.
Just before the 2003 Paris Air Show, the long-running saga of the Airbus Military A400M finally resulted in a definitive launch for the project, when seven European nations signed up to purchase 180 of the military transports.
The handover of the first of 16 Boeing AH-64Ds for Kuwait on August 11 highlighted the importance of the type to Boeing’s business in the region, not just through sales of new aircraft but also through the AH-64A to AH-64D upgrade program. “The Middle East has always been strong for us–the best outside the U.S.,” said Roger Krone, senior vice president army systems of Boeing’s Integrated Defense Systems business unit.
Described as a “sunrise platform” by Marc Lindsley, Northrop Grumman’s director of business development for the Airbus A330-based KC-30 program, the aircraft is perceived to be a worthy successor to the KC-135, which will still be around for many years. He points to the success of the A330 in winning both the Australian and UK air force tanker competitions in which a transport capability was an important requirement.
Although pilots often overlook evaluating the quality of the fuel they pump into their aircraft, fuel quality warrants a close look.
There is an instance of pilots finding milk in their fuel tanks. No one ever determined how the milk found its way into the aircraft.
With crude oil and jet-A prices rising and demand continuing to grow, retail purchasers of fuel might wonder why fuel companies bother with promotional programs. Isn’t jet-A a commodity, easily mixed among brands? Does it matter what kind of jet-A you put in your airplane?
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