Lockheed Martin test pilot Dan Canin flew the 12th “weight-optimized” F-35 Lightning II test airframe on May 21, completing the allotted trials batch. CF-3, the third of the F-35C carrier versions, is now undergoing initial trials before joining two other F-35Cs and four F-35B STOVL test aircraft at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., later this year.
The “Dragon Spear” conversion of U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command MC-130W special mission aircraft, incorporating a new 30-mm chain gun and other enhancements, has given the command a lethal gunship.
By the end of this month the U.S. Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) is expected to finish letting three to five contracts valued at $3 to $4 million aimed at kick-starting the next generation of military helicopter, the Joint Multi-Role(JMR), that would be used by all branches of the armed forces.
More imagery has been released through the Chinese media showing the Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark, a “Flanker” derivative intended for service aboard China's first aircraft carrier. The new material includes video of the fighter taking off.
Bell Helicopter made the first flight of its OH-58 Block II demonstrator at its Xworx research and development facility in Fort Worth on April 14.
Indonesia has provisionally selected the KAI T-50 Golden Eagle as a new jet trainer, and will buy 16, according to the Chosunilbo newspaper in Seoul. The paper said that Korea Aerospace Industries “slashed the price of the T-50 to less than $25 million per jet” to head off competition from the Russian Yak-130.
Columbia Helicopters has broken ground at its Aurora, Ore. headquarters for the expansion of its T55 engine maintenance program. The building will include a T55-714 engine test cell to allow the MRO to provide complete engine overhaul and quick-turn-around service for troubleshooting and engine testing. Columbia has more than 26 years’ experience operating the Model 234, the civilian version of the CH-47 Chinook.
Thales UK announced that its lightweight multirole missile (LMM) has been confirmed for maritime strikes by the UK Lynx Wildcat helicopter. The launch order is for 1,000 missiles with guidance by laser-beam rider to meet the UK’s future anti-surface guided weapon (Light) requirement.
Bell Helicopter (Booth No. 237) and helicopter mods specialist LifePort (Booth No. 2737) teamed to develop a customized, advanced armament solution for a Huey II now in service with the Rio de Janeiro Policia Militar. The customized armor adds security for pilots, passengers and crew.
The Australian Army has chosen Sandel Avionics’ four-inch flat-panel primary flight and navigation displays to upgrade its fleet of Bell 206B/OH-58 Kiowa helicopters. Redesign of the legacy OH-58 instrument panel and installation work was accomplished by Sikorsky Helitech in Brisbane, Queensland.