Sikorsky Aircraft yesterday disclosed at the American Helicopter Society International annual technical forum in Grapevine, Texas, plans to build and test a demonstrator for a new class of coaxial helicopters that will have improved vertical flight capabilities and will cruise at 250 knots. The Stratford, Conn.
Bell Helicopter has initiated an engineering study with a number of partners for a rather unconventional aircraft that designers say would be especially well suited to urban operations. The Bell X-Hawk would feature two shrouded main rotors in tandem configuration, fore and aft, and two smaller shrouded rotors acting as thrusters. Although Bell is targeting military applications, a civil variant is under consideration by its partners.
Pratt & Whitney is preparing five more ground-test engines to support seven units already participating in the F135 engine development and demonstration program for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). Two of the five will be used to qualify propulsion-system configuration ahead of planned delivery of the first-flight engine to Lockheed Martin by year’s end.
Irvine, California-based Aerospace division of Eaton Corporation arrived at Le Bourget flush with orders to provide major sub components for several of the latest generation U.S. military aircraft programs.
Here at the Paris Air Show yesterday, Stork and Northrop Grumman signed a framework contract worth $150 million for Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter airframe components. If the agreement translates into a firm order, Stork will produce 520 in-flight opening doors for all three types and 110 inner weapons bay doors for the STOVL version during the low-rate initial production phase.
Technology developed by Qinetiq has allowed a Harrier jump jet to complete the world’s first automatic vertical landing on a ship. Using position data from GPS receivers aboard the airplane and the ship, the Qinetiq-developed system was able to track the precise relative position of both to allow a successful landing without intervention from the pilot.
United Technologies subsidiary Sikorsky Aircraft announced at the American Helicopter Society annual forum earlier this month that it plans to build an experimental helicopter using a coaxial main rotor system that it says will achieve cruise speeds well above that of conventional helicopters. Coaxial helicopters have two counterrotating rotors on the same vertical axis.
U.S. firm Pratt & Whitney is at the forefront of building the international partnerships that are the foundation of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. On Tuesday at Le Bourget, P&W president Louis Chênevert and Turkish undersecretary for defense industries Murad Bayar signed a letter of intent to award part of the production of the F-35’s F135 engine to Turkish aerospace companies Alp Aviation and KaleKalip.
A big part of making the JSF affordable is the production plan. Managers from BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman discussed here Monday how they have adopted ‘lean manufacturing’ processes and philosophies from the automotive industry. With the production rate planned to reach one per working day (e.g., about 260 per year) in 2012, there is plenty of scope for adopting the techniques of mass production.
A new set of technology-sharing memoranda of understanding are to be negotiated between the U.S. government and the eight partner nations in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, Aviation International News has learned.