Colombia to expand S-70i fleet with new order

Colombia’s army is to expand its fleet of five Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk utility helicopters, with a further two of the Polish-built aircraft to be delivered late this year.

A first batch of five S-70is arrived at Tolemaida air base in Colombia on 30 January, at the end of delivery flights performed from Sikorsky’s Hartford site in Connecticut. The aircraft had been equipped with customer-specific equipment at the US location, after being built in Mielec, Poland.

 

 

Sikorsky

“The [new] aircraft are expected to be delivered by October 2013,” Sikorsky says.

Boeing X-48C Blended Wing Body Research Aircraft Completes Flight Testing

By on Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

x-48c

The Boeing X-48C research aircraft flew for the 30th and final time April 9, marking the successful completion of an eight-month flight-test program to explore and further validate the aerodynamic characteristics of the Blended Wing Body design concept.

All 30 flights were conducted at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center. The X-48C typically flew for approximately 30 minutes on most flights, reaching speeds of up to 140 miles per hour and attaining an altitude of about 10,000 feet. X-48C flight testing began Aug. 7, 2012.

“Working closely with NASA, we have been privileged throughout X-48 flight-testing to explore and validate what we believe is a significant breakthrough in the science of flight – and it has been a tremendous success for Boeing,” said Bob Liebeck, a Boeing Senior Technical Fellow and the company’s BWB program manager.

“We have shown that a BWB aircraft, which offers the tremendous promise of significantly greater fuel efficiency and reduced noise, can be controlled as effectively as a conventional tube-and-wing aircraft during takeoffs, landings and other low-speed segments of the flight regime,” Liebeck said.

The X-48C, designed by Boeing Research & Technology, built by Cranfield Aerospace Ltd., and flown in partnership with NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, is a scale model of a heavy-lift, subsonic vehicle that forgoes the conventional tube-and-wing airplane design in favor of a triangular tailless aircraft that effectively merges the vehicle’s wing and body. Boeing believes the concept could be developed in the next 15 to 20 years for military applications such as aerial refueling and cargo missions.

The X-48C is a modified version of the X-48B aircraft, which flew 92 times at NASA Dryden between 2007 and 2010. The X-48C is configured with two 89-pound thrust turbojet engines, instead of three 50-pound thrust engines on the B-model. In addition, the wingtip winglets were relocated inboard next to the engines on the C-model and the aft deck was extended about 2 feet at the rear.

“With the completion of X-48C flight testing, we have accomplished our goal of establishing a ground-to-flight database, and proving the low-speed controllability of concept throughout the flight envelope,” said Fay Collier, director of NASA’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) project. “Both very quiet and efficient, the concept has shown promise for meeting all of NASA’s environmental goals for future aircraft designs.”

Boeing and NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate funded the X-48 technology demonstration research. The effort was aligned with NASA’s ERA project, which has the goals to reduce fuel burn, emissions and noise of future aircraft.

Boeing and NASA will continue to develop Blended Wing Body technology, with the aspiration of developing a larger-scale, transonic BWB demonstrator in the future.

Additional S-70i BLACK HAWK Helicopters for Colombian Army

black hawk

Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (UTX) announced today at the LAAD Defence & Security International Exhibition that the Colombian Army has contracted to buy two additional S-70i BLACK HAWK helicopters. The two aircraft will augment five S-70i helicopters that arrived January 30 in Colombia to join the Special Forces of the Colombian Army’s Air Assault Division.

“We thank the Colombian Armed Forces for their continued confidence in Sikorsky and the S-70i variant of the BLACK HAWK helicopter,” said Jennifer Caruso, Sikorsky Vice President of Army and Air Force Programs. “We are pleased once again to be able to respond quickly to the request for new aircraft.”

Like the five previous multi-mission aircraft, the two new aircraft will feature dual GPS/INS system and digital map for accurate navigation and enhanced situational awareness. The aircraft will be custom-equipped with a rescue hoist and an Integrated Vehicle Health Management System that will monitor the aircrafts’ engines, transmission and rotors. The contract also includes ground support equipment, spares and technical training.

The aircraft are expected to be delivered by October 2013, and then flown by Colombian aircrew to the Army Special Operation Aviation Military base in Tolemaida.

Sold directly by Sikorsky to international militaries and government agencies, the S-70i helicopter delivers the same power and lift performance as S-70M BLACK HAWK aircraft. The S-70i model can be customized easily by Sikorsky to specific mission needs, to include radar, ballistic protection, medical litters, extended range fuel tanks, an external rescue hoist, and cargo hook among other features.

Colombia is the first South American country to buy the S-70i BLACK HAWK helicopter variant. The Colombian National Police, Colombian Air Force, and Colombian Army also operate 96 UH-60L BLACK HAWK helicopters.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., USA, is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., USA, provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

Boeing P-8 testing complete, set for 2013 deployment

p8

The Boeing P-8 Poseidon has successfully completed operational testing and is set to deploy for the first time later this year with the US Navy, programme and company officials say. The aircraft is also set to enter full-rate production in 2013.

“We’re rapidly coming to the conclusion of almost all of our SDD [system development and demonstration] tasks,” says Rick Heerdt, Boeing vice-president for the P-8A programme, during a briefing at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition. “We’re focused and driving towards a full-rate production decision and initial operational capability later this year.”

The first operational squadron will deploy in December 2013, says Capt Aaron Rondeau, the navy’s P-8A Poseidon integrated product team lead.

The only remaining developmental task left to complete is full fatigue life testing on the Boeing 737-dervived airframe, Heerdt says.

Production is ramping up in 2013 to 10 aircraft, from seven in 2012, with three of this year’s examples being for India, Heerdt says. India’s first P-8 will arrive in the country in the second quarter of 2013, with two more to arrive during the third quarter under an eight-aircraft order with the nation’s navy.

Australia is also expected to order a minimum of eight P-8s, Rondeau says. Canberra is expected to have the aircraft delivered and in service around 2016 or 2017, he adds. Australia is already participating in the development of the P-8’s Increment 2 and Increment 3 upgrades.

Increment 2 is broken up into two parts, the first of which will become operational in 2014, Rondeau says. This includes an early iteration of the Multi-static Active Coherent (MAC) sonar system, which consists of dozens of active sonar buoys that send out sonar pings from various directions while passive sonar buoys listen for the returns. Information is networked together to help the P-8 find and kill submarines.

A second, more advanced package will become operational in 2016. It will include an improved MAC, high altitude anti-submarine warfare (ASW) sensors and a high altitude ASW weapons capability, which Rondeau says is a Mk 54 torpedo with a wing-kit.

Increment 3, which is set to become operational in 2020, will add greater network centric warfare capabilities to the P-8, Rondeau says. It will also greatly improve the aircraft’s computer architecture and add new networked anti-ship weapons.

Lockheed unveils unmanned surveillance and strike aircraft

By:   Dave Majumdar Washington DC

03:08 9 Apr 2013

Source:

ussa

Lockheed Martin is taking the wraps off its submission for the US Navy’s prospective unmanned carrier launched airborne surveillance and strike (UCLASS) aircraft at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition in Washington DC.

According to Lockheed, the bat-wing stealth aircraft, formerly referred to as the Sea Ghost, integrates proven technologies from previous manned and unmanned developments. The company is stressing an open architecture design and the “maximum reuse of hardware and software”.

As such, Lockheed’s UCLASS proposal bears a strong family resemblance to the company’s RQ-170 Sentinel unmanned aircraft, which is being flown by the US Air Force. Technologies from the F-35 programme have also been integrated into the aircraft.

Lockheed says that its UCLASS submission would be adaptable across the whole spectrum of military operations, from counter-terrorism to carrier-based strikes. “Enabling operations in any scenario – and in any environment,” the company says.

To operate in those disparate environments, the aircraft will have “multi-spectral stealth, as well as emissions and bandwidth management to defeat detection and enable mission success”, Lockheed says.

The company also claims that its UCLASS design will reduce manpower requirements because a single operator would be able to operate multiple aircraft. In recent weeks, the USN has announced its intention to fund four companies to design new unmanned air vehicles for the UCLASS programme. Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman “have credible, existing, comprehensive UCLASS design solutions, and associated production capabilities and facilities” to design UAVs through the preliminary design review phase, the USN says.

The pre-solicitation, announced on 26 March, is the first step towards securing funding for the carrier-based strike and surveillance aircraft. A full solicitation is likely to go out “in the summer timeframe”, says the USN.

The first UCLASS aircraft are planned for production beginning in fiscal year 2016, following a likely down-select to a single manufacturer.