Cessna employees celebrated the roll out of the first production Citation XLS+ last Friday at the Cessna Aircraft Company’s primary design and manufacturing facilities in Wichita, Kansas.
The XLS+ is the latest version of the world’s best-selling business jet model. The first production unit will now go to paint and interiors, while two flight test aircraft will continue to work toward type certification.
The upgrade to the mid-size Excel/XLS will feature the fully integrated Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite and electronically controlled (FADEC) engines from Pratt & Whitney Canada. Exterior and interior restyling is also integrated into the new model, most notably the extended contour of the nose and expanded seat widths.
Among the well-known Citation airplanes are Cessna Citation, Cessna Citation I, Cessna Citation II, Cessna Citation III, Cessna Citation Mustang, Citation X Business Jet, and Cessna Citation X.
The US Army plans to build and launch into orbit a constellation of satellites for the first time in 50 years. The Army will also build the cluster of eight miniature communications satellites within nine months.
The $5 million effort is the Army’s commitment to what is known as Operationally Responsive Space. The joint program was created in May 2007, after years of encouragement by Congress to get the US military the way to build and fly satellites. The satellites will provide communications for Army units below the brigade level operating in parts of the world where the military has no current secure satellite communications, such as Africa, said James Lee, chief of strategy and policy for Space and Missile Defense Command in Huntsville, Alabama. He stated further:
“We feel it’s important to have experience at an engineering level to build space capabilities, even if it’s a simple as a cubesat”
“We believe we have the expertise but many of our scientists don’t have the hands on experience.”
The eight satellites will all be launched together, either on a Minotaur or Falcon rocket. The Minotaur is a four-stage solid fuel rocket that uses decommissioned Minutemman missile rocket motors and was built by Orbital Sciences Corp, while the Falcon 1 was built by Paypal millionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX Company. The Minotaur has launched twice but has not successfully lofted a payload into orbit. The satellites will fly in swarm or in loose formation.
Lee added so as not to be offensive, “We don’t really want to replace the Navy or the Air Force.”
After the first ever crash of a B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber in Guam in February 23 this year, the stealth aircraft return to flight April 15 after a 53-day safety pause. Though accident investigation goes on, Air Force and Air Combat Command maintenance and safety experts gave the 509th Bomb Wing officials the green light to fly.
The B-2s have been flying almost 20 years and are renowned in the Air Force for their unprecedented safety record, according to General Harencak.
The B-2 Spirit of Kansas that crashed had logged more than 5,000 flight hours and 1,036 before Feb. 23 and it was renowned in the maintenance community for being a great jet.
The B-2 is airpower at its purest, most elegant and deadliest form. It is an aircraft that cannot be denied access with its range, payload and stealth-ness. It has everything that is required to hold at risk any of America’s enemies anywhere, anytime and we can do it from here.
-Gen. Gary Harencak, 509th Bomb Wing commander
We are all aware that the fastest way to go places that are miles away from each other is to travel by aircraft. Planes fly thousands of feet above the ground and move undoubtedly fast. But unknown to all mankind, there are these giant birds that can actually go for not just hundreds but thousands of miles in an hour. Here are some of the fastest aircrafts on Earth.
- Citation X, also considered as the fastest business jet, can go up to 607 mph.
- The fastest operating commercial plane, Boeing 747 has a speed of 605 mph.
- F-15 SMTD flies 1,650 mph
- F-111 Aardvark is known as the fastest US/Australian strategic bomber and with 1,850 mph
- F-15 Eagle can go 1,875 mph. It’s the fastest US jet fighter.
- MiG-31 Foxhound flies as fast as 1,868 mph.
- XB-70 Valkyrie tops the chart of fastest aircrafts as it goes 2,056 mph
- The fastest jet fighter in the world is MiG-25 Foxbat, having a capacity of 2,115 mph
- Another speedy aircraft is SR-71 Blackbird with 2,293 mph making it the fastest jet aircraft in the world.
- X-15 has 4,520 mph world record, and is considered the fastest manned aircraft. Aside from this, it also hold the record as the highest flying aircraft.
Russia’s rearmament program, official in 2006 for a period until 2015, offers supply modern weapons to its armed forces. One of which is the Su-34 Fullback fighter-bomber, which will replace the Su-24 Fencers.
The process has already started, but some say the replacement is taking too long.
The new fighter-bomber is said to be very excellent. An improvement on the Su-27 Flanker, it has cutting-edge equipment, including a modern crew and equipment protection system. The Su-34 is effective against personnel and military hardware on the battlefield and also against targets behind enemy lines, and can also be used for surveillance and against naval targets.
Airbus has recently announced a price increase across its range of aircraft. The company cited rising metal prices and the weakness of the US dollar as reasons. The list prices of single-aisle planes will rise $2M, while wide-body, long range and A380 aircraft will jump up $4M on top of the annual rise of 2.74%.
The average price for an A380 is $327.4M. An A320 is about $76.9M. Prices paid for aircraft vary, depending on the specifications and the deal reached by the airline.
The Cassini spacecraft was the first orbiter to study planet Saturn in detail and has been in orbit around Saturn for almost four years. In 2005, the European Space Agency’s piggybacked Huygens probe plunged through Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, and was the first probe to land on the moon’s surface. Cassini-Huygens had shown birdseye and ground-level views of Titan, an Earth-like world which features river valley networks and lakes filled with hydrocarbons. Cassini has discovered water-ice geysers spewing from Saturn’s smaller moon, Enceladus, and has detected five new moons and observed a very dynamic ring system.
Joe Burns, a Cassini imaging scientist at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York and a guest co-curator of the American Museum of National History, will feature an exhibition on April 26, 2008 of the best images of Saturn. Burns stated:
“We are excited to have the opportunity to show these breathtaking photographs to the broader public in one of the world’s greatest science museums.”
Burns, along with colleagues at Cornell University and on the Cassini project, have been collaborating with museum curators for the past year on the image selection, scientific captions and exhibit design.
Whether you’re on your way to an important business trip or just any other leisurely flights for vacations, it becomes a nightmare to be seated or be near a crying-not-contented child. It’s known for a fact that toddlers and infants don’t behave the way other people and adults expect them to behave. Excessive noise, screaming, wailing and tantrums blow off the tops of other passengers as well.
Tracy Stewart of Airfarewatchdog.com and the rest came up with an idea to separate the toddlers from the other passengers, if not, have another section on commercial planes that divides the passengers with kids from those who doesn’t have.
Sure, it is going to take a lot of time and effort for such idea to be implemented. For now, here are tips they want to share for short time remedies.
- Bring along in-ear headphones, not all airlines have those.
- Try to sit near the exit rows. Tots can’t sit in exit rows; you’ll be sure no little feet kick your seat.
- Take early morning flights available. Only few parents can manage to organize, bathe, dress up and feed infants and toddlers in time to catch early morning flights.
- Speak up. Talk to the guardian of the offending child, politely but firmly. This doesn’t work all the time, nearest to your last resort is to upgrade your seat.
And if all else fails, it leaves you no choice but to bear with it.
Six passengers were saved from a possible disaster when Pilot Michael Rushton had kept his composure during an aircraft emergency yesterday at 11am in Hilo. Rushton had managed to maneuver the Australian-made Gippsland GA8 Airvan, owned by Island Hoppers safely landed on Highway 130.
No passengers were reported injured in this incident. “The landing was perfect,” he said. “not a scratch. Nothing.”
Rushton had declined to talk about what caused the mechanical problem and had made a humorous comment instead. He told the police, “I got no tip” after the passengers left.
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