Boeing and the U.S. Air Force completed the first flight of an unmanned QF-16 aerial target from Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., on September 19. Flown by two Air Force test pilots in a ground station, the modified Lockheed Martin F-16 reached an altitude of 40,000 feet and a speed of Mach 1.47.
United States Air Force
The U.S. Air Force reinstated flight training at combat squadrons that saw their operations curtailed in April by “sequestration” budget cuts. The service announced the resumption of flight training on July 15; it stays in effect until the new fiscal year begins on October 1.
A commercial pilot for Orlando-based Flight Express, a subsidiary of Columbus, Ohio’s AirNet Cargo, is facing a maximum of 15 years in a federal prison after pleading guilty last month to operating an aircraft while under the influence on December 8 last year. Authorities said the pilot was flying with a blood-alcohol level six times over the legal limit for aviators on a trip between North Carolina and Tampa Fla., at the time of the incident.
The PPG Industries Foundation has donated $15,000 to the Air Force Museum Foundation for construction of a fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. The grant was made on behalf of PPG Industries’ aerospace business. The new building, scheduled to open in 2015, will feature four galleries illustrating the U.S. Air Force’s contribution to the space program; its role in transporting the president and other leaders; its contribution to global airlift missions; and research and development aircraft.
Russian aviation will make a splash at this year’s Paris Air Show with the fourth-generation-plus Su-35 multirole fighter flying unrivaled by anything comparable from the U.S. military. In fact, there will be no U.S. government-owned military airplanes either flying or on static display because of the automatic “sequestration” budget cuts roiling the Pentagon. This is the first time since 2001 that a Russian fighter will take part in the Paris flying display and the first time that a U.S. fighter is absent from the event since 1991.
L-3’s acquisition last year of UK-based Thales Training & Simulation has broadened its Link subsidiary’s capabilities and truly put it back in the civil aircraft training business. Since the announcement last year, L-3 Link Simulation & Training, an 85-year-old flight training specialist, has won significant new airliner training system business in key new markets.
Boeing will seek two separate certifications from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its new KC-46A tanker, the commercial 767 derivative it is developing for the U.S. Air Force (USAF). The manufacturer will first apply for an amended type certificate from the FAA for a 767-2C “provisioned freighter” without the aerial refueling components and military avionics planned for the tanker. It will then seek a supplemental type certificate (STC) for a fully equipped KC-46A.
Tinker Air Force Base near Oklahoma City, Okla., the state’s largest single-site employer with some 20,000 civilian employees, is preparing for a lead role in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
Aviation employment services company HQ Aero Management (US) recently entered into a partnership with Workforce West Virginia and local aviation companies to create an eight-week Aircraft Structures Training Program at Pierpont Community and Technical College in Fairmont, W.V.
The U.S. Air Force (USAF) for a second time has selected the Embraer A-29 Super Tucano for its Light Air Support (LAS) requirement, according to Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), the U.S. proponent.