AIN recently obtained the video footage of China’s indigenous J-10 fighter, which was released when the aircraft was officially revealed just over a year ago. Development of the J-10 started in the mid-1990s but was shrouded in secrecy amid speculation about technology theft from the West and of assistance from Israel following the cancellation of that country’s own Lavi fighter.
The choice of a multi-role fighter aircraft for the Polish air force could result in the launch of a “private jet” in Poland, depending on the offset proposals of the winning bidder. In competition are Lockheed Martin (F-16), SAAB-British Aerospace (Gripen) and Dassault Aviation (Mirage 2000). The contract is expected to be signed in the first quarter of this year and the offset agreements are required to be signed within 60 days after that.
According to Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne, the French aircraft manufacturer is planning on moving some of its activities out of Europe because of the weak dollar’s effect on its bottom line. The company’s production is based in Europe and its costs are calculated in euros, but it sells its airplanes in dollars. Since 2005, the U.S. dollar has depreciated 30 percent against the euro.
The first Lockheed Martin (LM) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) has now been grounded for more than six months. But program officials hope to get the world’s largest combat aircraft program airborne again by the end of this month. “We have a very aggressive flight test schedule to get everything done by October 2012,” Bill Coutts, LM’s F-35 site director, told AIN at Fort Worth recently.
Test flights of a completely upgraded Sukhoi Su-35 will start before year-end, according to Sukhoi general director Mikhail Pogosyan. The Russian design bureau (Stand E738) hopes the super-maneuverable multi-role fighter will secure its future in the global fighter market shortly and is promoting it as an interim model between the existing Su-30MK and an advanced fifth-generation aircraft.
While the first two prototypes of the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 lead-in fighter trainer are engaged in a development program, a third is taking shape at the Italian manufacturer’s Venegono facility. It incorporates some differences from the two existing aircraft, having benefited from test and evaluation programs Alenia Aermacchi conducted with air force pilots from various countries.
When Rockwell Collins introduced the Pro Line 21 integrated avionics system in 1996, the company proclaimed voice recognition would play a significant role in the avionics’ so-called man-machine interface. More than 10 years later the use of voice recognition in civil aviation has yet to emerge as a viable technology, but that could be about to change with the introduction of Pro Line Fusion.
The first Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter) has now been grounded for nearly six months. On its 19th flight in early May, the aircraft encountered an electrical arcing problem in the flight control unit of the right horizontal tail. The F-35 has a unique electro-hydrostatic actuation system.
For the very elite, a BBJ could be considered a personal jet. But for most owner-pilots, the term “personal jet” conjures up visions of something considerably smaller, perhaps even fighter-like. Interestingly, George Bye’s vision of a personal jet grew out of a course in advanced aerodynamics he taught to budding fighter pilots at Sheppard AFB in the 1980s. “The Javelin is the fighter we used in the course,” he told AIN.
The good news is that a supersonic business jet (SSBJ) is almost inevitable. The not so good news is that it is probably at least a decade away. And securing the funding for research may be as problematic as the noise from any sonic boom.