Selex Galileo has announced a new sale for its Falco tactical unmanned air system, bringing the number of export customers to four. The company has also revealed that more than 50 air vehicles are in operation.
At last week’s Paris Air Show Selex Galileo displayed a larger version of its Falco unmanned air vehicle, fitted with longer wings for greater endurance and better payload capability. Designated Falco EVO, the new version has a wingspan of 12.5 meters (41 feet) compared with 7.2 meters (23.62 feet), allowing an increase in maximum takeoff weight to 650 kilograms (1,430 pounds), up from 450 kg (990 pounds).
Farnborough Aircraft business development director Adrian Norris told AIN yesterday at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla., that his UK-based company is contemplating the formation of a partnership with Liberty Aerospace to further develop, certify and manufacture Farnborough’s all-composite Kestrel turboprop single.
Farnborough Aircraft’s commercial director, Richard Blain, believes that size certainly has its advantages when it comes to his company’s F-1 Kestrel turboprop single. That the airplane is larger than that found on most so-called very light jets, combined with the 352-knot cruise speed at 28,000 ft and access to 500-meter grass strips, places the Kestrel in a category apart from the new breed of private airplanes, Blain said.
French manufacturer Dassault delivered 10 Falcons in the third quarter, compared with 18 in the same period last year. In the nine months ending September 30, the company had shipped 25 Falcons, just over half as many as the 48 delivered in the January to September period last year.
You might want to think twice about taking off at 10 a.m. in the months of May, August, September or October, because the U.S. Air Force’s copious statistics (http://afsafety.af.mil/AFSC/Bash/ home.html) on the birdstrikes it has suffered from 1973 through January this year show those to be the peak risk periods.
It has been little more than a century since mankind figured out how birds do it and applied that knowledge to slipping the surly bonds. Ever since, we have been relying on the airfoil shape of a bird’s wing to shed gravity’s shackles and enter the sky on wings of our own. We have applied that same clever curvature to propellers, to the blades that force air through turbine engines and to the other end of a helicopter’s collective control.