The Moroccan government’s military transport wing has taken delivery of the first of four C-27J Spartans that it ordered from Alenia Aeronautica in October 2008. The aircraft, which arrived at Kenitra air base on July 7, is equipped with the self-protection suite but does not feature an in-flight refuelling probe.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates chose the Navy League convention to spell out some hard truths about future funding. After paying tribute to the thousands of sailors and marines deployed on combat operations in the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan, Gates noted that the Navy has been the most vocal of the U.S. armed services in protecting its force size.
Abu Dhabi-based charter operator Royal Jet is taking increasing numbers of bookings for flights into Iraq. Since the 2003 invasion of the country by the U.S. and its allies, the operator has made more than 100 flights into Iraq, including private charters and emergency medical evacuations. Following the 2003 conflict, Royal Jet was the first commercial flight provider to enter the market.
On Monday three U.S. Air Force nuclear-capable bomber wings joined the new Air Force Global Strike Command, bringing together the USAF’s nuclear strike assets in a single organization for the first time since the dismantling of Strategic Air Command in 1992.
“The U.S. wants to be number one, but China doesn’t want to be number two!” That was how Indian academic Deba Mohanty characterized the shifting strategic dynamics, at Monday’s Asia Pacific Security Conference (APSEC) here in Singapore.
The B-52 design may be 58 years old, but the “Buff” is keeping pace with modern technology. On January 17 Boeing flew the latest upgrade of its mighty bomber for the first time in a three-hour sortie from Edwards AFB. The B-52H was outfitted with the combat network communications technology (CONECT) modification, which allows the B-52 to receive and send digital information in real time during missions.
Scott’s Helicopter of Le Sueur, Minn., has acquired the type certificate and assumed all aspects of commercial spares support, technical support and continued airworthiness for the FAA type-certified Bell 47 (H-1, 2H1, and 2H3). Henceforth the aircraft will be known as “Scott’s-Bell 47.” The Bell 47 made its first flight on Dec. 8, 1945, and Bell and its licensees built more than 5,600 before production ended in 1974.
Pratt & Whitney Canada and Blackhawk Modifications held a celebration ceremony at the engine manufacturer’s Montreal headquarters earlier this week highlighting Blackhawk’s 500th PT6A engine sale and the company’s 250th customer. Blackhawk began offering modifications to improve aircraft performance with PT6A upgrades in 1999. Dan Rogers of Franklin, N.C., is the 250th customer, with an upgrade to his Piper Cheyenne II.
Former Lear Jet chief test pilot Henry “Hank” Beaird Jr. died February 2 at the age of 84. Beaird was a World War II aviator, flying fighters and transports for the U.S. Army Air Force. After a stint at Chance Vought, Beaird joined Lear Jet, where he made the first flights of the Lear 23, 24 and 25. He also made first flights on the Lear Fan and OMAC aircraft.