The F-22 spokesperson former USAF secretary Michael Wynne, discharged by Defense Secretary Robert Gates in 2008, penned a piece yesterday over at the Second Line of Defense site making the case for a limited buy of 75 more of his cherished aircraft.
After a somewhat convoluted argument that ventures across industrial base issues and the eventual production of a sixth generation fighter, Wynne argues that at $173 million per copy, the F-22 is a “bargain,” particularly as a hedge against what appears to be a very delayed delivery of the F-35 JSF. He urges Congress, as the final arbiters, to examine the cost of continuing F-22 production versus developing a sixth generation fighter that wouldn’t be fielded for many years. The $173 number comes from the RAND team, which calculated the per unit F-22 cost if the production line was shut down for two years and then restarted ($20 billion total cost).
With F-35 development approaching $40 billion, and delayed, compared to $20 billion already invested to develop the F-22, Wynne argues that another $20 billion put into a shutdown and restart gets you “75 deployable aircraft almost as a bonus and you get them in five years, instead of twenty.”
Wynne contends that the performance characteristics of the F-22, the “best air dominance fighter this nation has ever produced,” are not “transferable” to the F-35. Moreover, as the Air Force looks at a sixth generation fighter, “the F-22 might not be exceeded in any of its attributes,” especially accounting for previously scheduled F-22 development blocks.
Ever wondered how it is like living a life of famous people like Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford? Aside from the beautiful houses, the attention and the perks, a life of a certified VIP is not complete without a luxurious ride!
Here are some well-known people who gave the word “ride” a whole new meaning! On the list includes Jim Carey, Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie and Mark Cuban. We hope to get you inspired by knowing that some of our stars are also aviation enthusiasts like you!
Tom Cruise – this successful actor owns luxurious airplanes like his $100,000 Aviat – Pitts S-2B, a $1.2 million Beech F90 and a $28 million-plus Gulfstream IV jet.
Harrison Ford – Another well-known aviation enthusiast, Harrison Ford owns eight planes several planes which include De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver , Cessna – 525 and Aviat – A-1B. Harrison Ford’s De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver is a former US military model restored by Kenmore Air.
Paul Allen – Mr. Allen owns two customized Boeing 757s — one for personal use, and one for his sports teams (the Portland TrailBlazers and the Seattle Seahawks). Both are registered to Vulcan Aircraft Inc. He also owns a Dehavilland – DHC-6-300
Angelina Jolie – One of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People.” Flies a Cessna 208B (N48JA) registered to Chivan Productions, Inc.
Mark Cuban – Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban bought his GV , purchased a new ultra-long range Gulfstream V via the Internet in 19999. The sale is the first new aircraft sold over the Internet by Gulfstream. With a retail price in excess of $40 million, it is the largest transaction ever conducted over the World Wide Web, securing a Guinness Record for “the largest single e-commerce transaction.” He takes advantage of his Gulfstream, licensed to “Radical Ventures LLC,” to catch away games.
Oprah Winfrey – Oprah’s ride is a $42 million custom-build Global Express XRS built by Bombardier Aerospace. Ms. Winfrey recently joined the likes of Steven Spielberg and Bill Gates as the proud new owner of a Bombardier Global Express XRS jet. She said that flying in a private jet is one of the great material perks that money can buy.
Sergey Brin and Larry Page – Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are customizing a Boeing 767-200 for private travel
John Travolta – Mr. Travolta acquired his customized Boeing 707 as part of a Qantas promotion; as an honorary pilot of the company, he personally flew the Australian soccer team to Germany for the 2006 World Cup. His 707 is registered under “Jett Clipper Johnny LLC.” He also owns a Grumman – G-1159 and a Beech – V35B
Jim Carrey – Owns a private jet aircraft, Gulfstream V, with tail number N162JC. Jim Carrey enjoys his private jet, but he also leases his Gulfstream V, which he purchased in 2001, for $8,000 an hour.
Sources: www.toptentopten.com, www.celebrityaircraft.com,photos from Google
March 29, 2010 marks a historic event for Team Dover. It is the day that the 1st of 13 C-17 Globemasters arrives at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware.
“The C-17 Globemaster III provides a great opportunity for us, the Air Force and our nation, and provides the capability that going to help our capability with the C-5. It’s going to provide a synergy that gets our global mission done worldwide, anywhere, anytime”, says Lt. Col. Patrick Miller, 3rd Airlift Squadron, Director of Operations, 436 Airlift Wing.
The arrival of the C-17 Globemaster is a big deal for the city and for the state of Delaware.
Boeing, the world’s largest maker of commercial jetliners and military aircraft, completed the ultimate-load test on its controversial 787 Dreamliner, yesterday March 28. The initial result of the tests were “positive” however, it needs more extensive study and review before the aircraft maker can say whether it’s a success.
The test involved applying loads to the frame to replicate 150 percent of the most extreme forces the airplane could experience while in service. The wings were pushed upward by about 25 feet (7.6 meters) during the ground test performed at Boeing’s factory.
During the test, thousands of data were collected to monitor the performance of the wing. All of these data will be evaluated and analyzed in the weeks to come. The test lasted for more than two hours.
Scott Fancher, Vice president and General Manager of the 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes said, “It has taken countless hours of hard work by the Boeing team and our partners to work through the static test program.”
Boeing has been testing the plane and its systems for more than three months, after production delays and problems put it nearly three years behind schedule.
“We are looking forward to the technical team’s report on the details of the test results,” Fancher added.
“The problem, is that building something like a jet requires hundreds of thousands of parts from dozens of different suppliers – the wings are from Japan,the fuselage is from Italy, the engines are manufactured in Britain and some are also produced in the United States. Boeing‘s 787 Dreamliner is being built by a global network of suppliers and partners. ”
As Boeing Commercial Airplane CEO Scott Carson once said that they are “challenged by start-up issues in the factory and in extended global supply-chain.”
The company envisioned the Dreamliner, for long-range flights, as an efficient, fuel-saving alternative to Boeing 777 jet. The first commercial airplane made chiefly from plastics, which are lighter and stronger than traditional aluminum, the Dreamliner will use 20 percent less fuel than jets of similar size, while reaching the same top speed as a 777, of about 640 miles per hour.
At the end of the Strategic Dialogue with Pakistan held at the ministerial level in Washington last March 25th, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has openly confirmed that the US is indeed ready to offer drones to Pakistan. Both countries have an agreement to speed up deliveries of military hardware and assure to put their often “mistrustful relationship on a new footing.”
Saturday , March 27, during the briefing about the on-going High Mark-2010 Exercise by PAF in agreement with Pakistan Army and Pakistan Navy, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman disclosed that the United States had agreed to provide another 14 block 52 F-16s to Pakistan.
The Chief of the Air Staff added that PAF (Pakistan Air Force) would start getting military aircrafts form the US, besides getting other modern gadgets and weapons. He said that they are also getting 18 latest version of F-16 fighting falcon aircraft fitted with Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile system by June of this year. However, he did not mention the number of BVR systems being acquired from the US.
He said the existing fleet of F-16s in the PAF inventory would be upgraded in Turkey from September and completion would be by 2014.
He further said that the delivery of aircraft to Pakistan would be complete by the end of the this year, but also said that Pakistan develops its own surveillance drones. The country would definitely invest in research and development to make its own armed drones if it is needed.
Five Super Hornets have departed Naval Air Station Lemoore in California after extensive preparations, including acceptance flights and ground tests. While air to air refuelling is occurring, the long journey to Australia involves several stops, including Hawaii and New Zealand. Air Force is planning to mark the Super Hornet arrival with an escort of F-111s, as the new aircraft fly over Brisbane and Gold Coast on approach to Amberley. The F-111s which have been stalwarts of Australia’s air combat fleet will be retired at the end of 2010.
“The Super Hornets represent a major step forward in air combat capability for Australia. Air Force is acquiring 24 multi-role Super Hornets which will provide a bridging capability during the transition to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter,” Senator Faulkner said.
Australia’s Super Hornets will arrive at RAAF Amberley progressively during 2010 and 2011.
The Su-37 has a variety of other innovative equipment such as a radar configured for simultaneous surveillance of airspace and the ground and a high-precision laser-inertial/satellite navigation system. The all-weather digital multi-mode phased array radar operates in either air and ground surveillance modes or in both modes simultaneously. Ground surveillance modes include mapping (with Doppler beam sharpening), search-and-track of moving targets, synthetic aperature radar and terrain avoidance. The Su-37 is also equipped with a rearward facing radar in the tail stinger area of the fuselage.
The Su-37 is a super-maneuverable thrust vectoring russian fighter derived from an Su-35 prototype. This demo shows the pilot literally throwing 20 tons of military metal in the sky.
Northrop Grumman Corporation has returned to service with the United States Air Force a newly painted, entirely overhauled B-2 stealth bomber known as the “Spirit of Pennsylvania”.
The aircraft lifted off from Air Force Plant 42 here early in the morning on Jan. 26 for its return flight to Whiteman Air Force Base, operational home of the Air Force’s 509th Bomb Wing and the nation’s fleet of B-2s.
“The Spirit of Pennsylvania is the latest B-2 to complete a comprehensive overhaul process called programmed depot maintenance (PDM) that we perform in Palmdale on every B-2 every seven years,” said Dave Mazur, vice president of long range strike and B-2 program manager for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector. “We’ve put this national asset back into its optimal form to serve the strategic needs of the country.”
The Spirit of Pennsylvania is the first B-2 to be painted with the insignia of the newly formed Global Strike Command, added Mazur. It was also featured in an early 2009 Sports Illustrated photo showing a B-2 flyover of the Rose Bowl football game in Pasadena.
Virgin Galactic’s experimental SpaceshipTwo (SS2), an aircraft designed to 1 day carry paying customers into space, had its first flight in the California desert Monday, company officials declared.
The spacecraft, brainchild of British entrepreneur Richard Branson, took off nestled under the wing of its mothership White Knight Two (WK2).
“Virgin Galactic announced that its commercial manned spaceship, VSS Enterprise, this morning successfully completed its first ‘captive carry’ test flight, taking off at 07:05 am (PST) from Mojave Air and Spaceport, California,” the company said in a statement.
The British magnate lauded the innovative design for Virgin Galactic delivered by Scaled Composites, Burt Rutan’s aircraft maker in Mojave. The design was unveiled December 7 and dubbed Virgin Space Ship (VSS) Enterprise.
In the future, WK2 will carry SpaceshipTwo to an altitude of around 16 kilometers before dropping the smaller spaceship and allowing it to fire up its rocket motor to launch into space.
Monday’s test flight, which lasted just a few minutes, was the first in which both aircraft went aloft without separating. The test flight was carried out about 130 kilometers northeast of Los Angeles.
Virgin Galactic aims to become the world’s first commercial company to promote space tourism. It hopes to start test flights in 2010-2011, with tourists able to shell out 200,000 dollars per person.
The Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II rode more than 41,000 lbs of thrust to a vertical landing on March 22 for the first time, confirming its required ability to land in confined areas both ashore and afloat.
Tomlinson performed an 80-knot (93 miles per hour) short takeoff from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., at 1:09 p.m. EDT. About 13 minutes into the flight, he positioned the aircraft 150 feet above the airfield, where he commanded the F-35 to hover for approximately one minute then descend to the runway.
Doug Pearson, Lockheed Martin vice president of F-35 Test and Verification, said, “The successful first vertical landing today met our test objectives and demonstrates the F-35B’s capacity to operate from a very small area at sea or on shore – a unique capability for a supersonic, stealth fighter. This is the first of many such tests to fully define the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) characteristics of the world’s most capable 5th generation fighter. We will routinely conduct vertical landings and short takeoffs to further expand the operational flight envelope for the F-35B.”
The F-35B will replace U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B STOVL fighters and F/A-18 strike fighters. The United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, and the Italian Air Force and Navy will employ the F-35B as well