Dallas Airmotive unveiled its new logo here at NBAA 2013. Using the company’s traditional red and blue colors, the new logo morphs spinning turbine engine blades into the shape of a Phoenix.
Raytheon’s AN/TPY-2 X-band mobile radar is one of the United States’ most powerful assets in the defense against ballistic missiles. That threat is an increasingly worrisome one: according to unclassified U.S. Missile Defense Agency data the number of such missiles outside the control of the U.S., NATO, Russia and China is around 6,300. That figure is forecast to grow to nearly 8,000 in the next decade.
A major breakthrough in heat exchanger technology has removed one of the greatest obstacles to development of an air-breathing rocket engine slated to enable spaceflight by the Skylon reusable spaceplane.
UK company Fine Tubes (Hall 2B E170) has managed to produce 2,000 kilometers of ultra-fine, lightweight nickel alloy tubing necessary to enable the heat exchangers at the heart of the new engine to cool airstreams from over 1000 degrees C to minus 150 degrees C in less than 1/100th of a second. The wall thickness of the tubing is half the diameter of a human hair.
The drive for low collateral damage weapons continues, and one recent focus has been on making air-ground rockets ‘smarter’ by adding seekers. The U.S. has led the way, but Europe is catching up. Rocketsan of Turkey has developed a product; and now Thales subsidiary TDA Armaments is flight-testing a metric precision rocket (French acronym RPM) on the Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopter.
On May 16, at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, a Raytheon SM-3 Block IB hit-to-kill interceptor was successfully fired by the Aegis-equipped cruiser U.S.S. Lake Erie at a separating short-range ballistic missile target. The FTM-19 test was not only the 23rd successful intercept for the SM-3 weapon, but the third consecutive success for the latest Block IB version. Having achieved three successful strikes in a row, the Block IB is now authorized for production.
Bell Helicopters (Booth No. N5612) and BAE Systems announced the successful qualification of BAE’s Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) on the Bell 407GT. The APKWS technology transforms a standard 2.75-inch rocket Hydra-type unguided rocket into a laser-guided precision weapon able to strike soft and lightly armored targets in built-up and confined areas. BAE Systems designed the APKWS technology to fill the gap between the Hellfire missile and unguided rockets. The company is the prime contractor for the program, which is managed by the Navy.
At the NBAA Convention today, Dassault Falcon introduced yet another new version of its Falcon 2000 super-midsize twin. The new Falcon 2000LXS combines the range and amenities of the Falcon 2000LX with the short-field capabilities of the Falcon 2000S. The $32.8 million, Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308C-powered Falcon 2000LXS will replace the 2000LX when it gains certification in 2014.
Aeronautics engineer Richard Whitcomb–whose research at NASA produced the area rule, supercritical wing and winglets–was posthumously inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame earlier this month. He died in 2008 at the age of 88. During Whitcomb’s almost four decades at NASA his “fundamental insight into aerodynamics and his practical solutions led to three of the most significant and practical contributions to aeronautics in the 20th century,” said NASA Langley Research Center director Lesa Roe.
UK-based Reaction Engines has carried out a series of tests on a key component for its new engine, the Sabre, which is capable of operating as both a jet and a rocket engine by employing a translating intake. The novel feature will enable the aircraft–such as the Skylon reusable spaceplane–that the Sabre will power to fly anywhere on earth in less than four hours or directly into space and back to deliver satellites or cargo.
Late last month Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing officials gathered to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their partnership developing the Arrow anti-ballistic missile defense system. At the same time, they announced an extension to the partnership, which at present is working on the Arrow 3 two-stage interceptor.