The first airplane to make a powered, controlled and sustained flight in Britain took place at Farnborough on October 16, 1908, continuing a tradition that had already made the airfield a center of aviation excellence. To celebrate that event, a full-size replica of Samuel Franklin Cody’s British army airplane Number 1A is making its first public appearance here.
Future British requirements for missiles and other guided weapons seem likely to be met by a partnership sealed here yesterday. Four companies and the UK Ministry of Defence teamed up for a £74 million ($145 million) assessment phase over the next year. The companies in “Team Complex Weapons” are MBDA, QinetiQ, Roxel and Thales.
Officials from the UK’s up-and-coming UAV test airfield are negotiating here this week with several American companies who have expressed frustration with the lack of timely cooperation from their own Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Aerospace, which employs 12,000 people in the UK and is worth an annual £20 billion ($39.8 billion) to the country’s gross domestic product, “will remain central to the British economy and our future as a high-tech manufacturing nation.”
A BAE Systems Regional Aircraft regional jet is flying over Asia to improve understanding of how equatorial rain forests influence climate change. The BAe 146 atmospheric research aircraft (146ARA) is being used at Kota Kinabalu in a four-week operation supporting academic research into the way emissions from vegetation effect concentrations of ozone and methane.
Last week Marshall Specialist Vehicles delivered a second ground control station shelter to BAE Systems Integrated Systems Technologies (Insyte) for use with the Herti unmanned air system. Marshall SV’s 14-foot shelter is sized for air deployment by the short-fuselage Hercules version, which can also transport the air vehicle.
The Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) announced last week that it appointed Bruno Esposito as its new director of civil air transport. Esposito’s 30 years in aviation include pilot and air traffic control experience, followed by senior industry positions with Finmeccanica and BAE Consulting Services. He begins his new role at SBAC in September.
BAE Systems unveils the Mantis UAV at its outdoor exhibition site today. The Mantis, shown in full-scale model form, is armed with GBU-12 laser-guided bombs and Brimstone missiles on its six weapon pylons. The twin-prop, T-tailed vehicle is equipped with a multi-sensor turret and radar under the fuselage, and a satcom antenna in the upper nose section. It employs a triplex flight control system.
In a continuing expansion of its presence in aerospace, UK firm ENL (Hall 4 Stand E14) has opened an injection molding center in Slovakia with the support of BAE Systems. The company supplies precision injection molded and machined components to Airbus, Thales, BAE Systems and Raytheon, and soon plans to begin manufacturing composite parts.