Air Force, News F-35, F-35 design issue, f-35 joint strike fighter, f-35 jsf, F-35B, f35, F35 problem
The Joint Strike Fighter program office has provided the detail behind defense secretary Robert Gates’ Jan. 6 comment that issues with the STOVL F-35 “may lead to a redesign of the aircraft’s structure and propulsion”.
There are no surprises on the list. The issues detailed by the JPO have been reported on before, and in most cases fixes are in design or in test. They are: lift-fan clutch heating, driveshaft thermal expansion, roll-post heating, lift-fan doors, bulkhead cracking and pilot-vehicle interface issues.
Following the latest replan of the F-35 program, which adds $4.6 billion to development, the JPO tells Amy there is money “to address known discrete improvements” and additional reserves “to address unknown items that may be discovered in developmental flight test”. The program office describes the known issues as “readily solvable through engineering adjustments.”
Lift-fan clutch heating has been addressed by adding a passive cooling circuit to provide cooling air to the clutch in up-and-away flight when the forced-cooling fan used in STOVL mode is turned off.
Lift-system prime contractor Pratt & Whitney says the lift-fan clutch and roll-post actuators can get too warm in certain flight conditions “because the environment surrounding the hardware is more demanding than in the original design”. Sensors are being installed to monitor temperatures.
The driveshaft has been redesigned with a new bellows coupling to accommodate greater-than-predicted variations in length resulting from airframe and propulsion system build tolerances, thermal and pressure growth and maneuver deflection. For the development jets, spacers will match the driveshafts to individual aircraft.
Auxiliary-inlet door hinges have been redesigned to increase durability, and scheduling of the large lift-fan door adjusted – and sideslip flight-control laws refined – to reduce airloads on the doors. Allowable slideslip is now limited above 150kt in semi-jetborne flight.
Cracking of the fuselage bulkhead – switched from titanium to aluminum in the STOVL F-35B to save weight – is being addressed by thickening the bulkhead for production aircraft and by “local blending” on assembled aircraft (all three variants). Lockheed says blending involves machining smoother curves on bends and corners in two small areas of the bulkhead to eliminate stress concentrations and prevent cracks starting.
It’s a longish list, but in many ways the issues look less challenging than those already overcome during design and development of the lift system. I want to address those, too, but rather than drone on and on here, I’ll do a follow-up post looking back over the issues faced during development of the STOVL propulsion system.
News, Travel a330, a330-300, airbus a330, Airbus A330-300, aircraft models, airplane models, helicopter models, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, plane models, TUI Travel, TUI Travel PLC, warplanes, wooden airplane models
TUI Travel PLC has become a new direct customer for Airbus, with an order for two A330-300 aircraft. The European travel group has ordered these aircraft for its French airline subsidiary, Corsairfly. The two wide-bodied A330-300s are the latest 235 tonne maximum take-off weight variants and will be operated on the airline’s popular long-haul routes from Paris across the Atlantic to the French Caribbean islands and North America, in addition to Indian Ocean destinations.
Pascal de Izaguirre, Managing Director of Corsairfly, says “We are delighted with this decision by TUI Travel to buy Airbus A330 aircraft.” He adds “We already experience excellent performance from the A330-200s we currently operate and these new aircraft with a track record of spectacular efficiency, reliability and low operating costs will allow us to perfectly match our new strategy. Moreover, aircraft commonality, unique to Airbus, will allow us to meet our restructuring programme target.”
John Leahy, Airbus COO Customers, says “The A330-300 is not only the most efficient aircraft in its class with lowest fuel consumption in service today, it is also the aircraft which best fulfils airline’s needs in terms of range and capacity.” He also says “TUI travel’s decision to acquire our mid-size long-haul star is further proof that the A330 delivers exactly what the market needs.”
The aircraft will be configured in two classes with a total of 362 seats.
With a true wide-body fuselage allowing very high comfort standards, the A330-300 is able to accommodate seat and class configurations to suit diverse customer requirements. It has a range of up to 5,600 nm / 10,400 km with a typical 300 passenger load. Highly efficient and optimised for the medium – to long range market, the A330-300 offers the best balance between range and cost. The A330-300 remains the most economic means of flying 300 or so passengers on medium range routes in true long haul comfort. Orders for the aircraft stand at more than 480.
The A330 Family, which spans 200 to 400 seats for the passenger variants, also includes Freighter, VIP, and Military Transport/Tanker variants, has now attracted more than 1,100 orders.
Air Force, News Afghan Air Force, Afghan drones, Afghanistan C27A, C-27A, C-27A Spartan, New C-27, Spartan plane
The Afghan Air Force received an addition to its forces last week with the arrival of the ninth C-27A Spartan transport aircraft at the Afghan Air Force Base in Kabul, creating an 11% immediate increase in the number of C-27s and brings the AAF closer to its ultimate goal of 20 Spartans.
The C-27A is a rugged, twin-engine turboprop aircraft with short take-off and landing capability. The Spartan is well suited for Afghanistan’s mountainous terrain and limited road network. These obstacles make air power critical to the mobility of the Afghan National Security Forces. A C-27 can carry up to 20,000 pounds of cargo and fuel and operate on unimproved airfields as short as 3,000 feet, which allows access to airstrips unreachable by most fixed-wing aircraft.
Seen as a key contributor to the future of the Afghan Air Force, the C-27 is fazing out the Antonov-32 transport aircraft as the centerpiece of Afghanistan’s cargo/transport mission, said Maj. Jay Troxell, a C-27 advisor with the NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan/538th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron.
Troxell, who helped fly the aircraft from Italy to Kabul, believes that the new C-27 also brings value not only in bolstering the size of the AAF’s fixed wing assets, but provides a good training platform for the force’s developing pilot corps.
The Afghan Air Force is expected to receive its 10th C-27A Spartan in early February. These new aircraft will provide increased support for the Afghan National Security Force.
Blog Articles Corsair, F2G-1 Corsair, F4U, F4U Corsair, F4U-4 Corsair, FG-1D Corsair, Vought F4U-4 Corsair
Originally designed as a carrier-based fighter, the Corsair’s difficult handling and landing characteristics caused the Navy to rely on the Grumman Hellcat instead. The Marine Corps benefited from this policy change, and its land-based units eagerly adopted the “Bent-wing Bird.” The famous Jolly Rogers, the Navy’s VF-17, also flew the Corsair during its tour in the Solomons. Late in the war, as the handling problems were resolved, both Marine and Navy pilots operated F4U’s from carrier decks.
But its speed, firepower, maneuverability, and ruggedness cause many to rate it with the Mustang as the best fighter plane of World War Two.
Here are few of the surviving F4U Corsair today:
Vought F4U-4 Corsair Bureau number (Bu#97264), registered on the French register as F-AZVJ, and owned by Christophe Jacquard. Previously owned by Charles Hall of Pinedale, Wyoming.
Goodyear FG-1D Corsair Bu# 88391, flying in the UK as G-BXUL on the British register for the Old Flying Machine Company and based at the Duxford Airfield. This Corsair formerly flew in a VF-17 paint scheme as N55JP and painted up as ‘Big Hog’, the mount of VF-17 commanding officer Tommy Blackburn before being repainted into New Zealand markings.
It is the sole remaining flying ‘Clipped-wing’ New Zealand Corsair, having seen duty with the RNZAF in WWII.
Goodyear FG-1D Corsair Bu#67089, carrying U.S. Civil registration number N83JC, has passed through the hands of several owners before coming to its current owner, Jeff Clyman-once a member of the ‘Tired Iron Racing Team’ and owner Don Davis up in Casper, WY, it flew as race #82, ‘Wart Hog’ before being sold on to Gary Meermans of Long Beach, CA in 1986. Mr. Clyman purchased the Corsair in early 1994 and has made the plane a cornerstone of a new museum and aviation complex with the backing of the State of New York and several corporations.
Considered, quite possibly, by Corsair enthusiasts to be THE ultimate Corsair restoration of the last 50 years, Goodyear F2G-1 Corsair Bu#88457, carrying U.S. Civil registration number NX5588N turns heads wherever it goes. Owner Robert Odegaard took delivery of the Corsair in 1996 and made the plane into what it is today-a tribute to a fighter built to do one thing-combat Japanese Kamikaze suicide aircraft. With a huge 4 row radial R-4360 engine on the front, the plane was capable of outclimbing any early jet, and had a top speed around 450 mph. Unfortunately, the end of the war came about and only a limited number of F2G’s were built (10 or 12, depending on the source), and today only 3 exist. Post-war, F2G Corsairs captured 2 Thompson Trophies in air racing, and this particular aircraft in 1999 won the Rolls Royce award at Reno for excellence in aircraft restoration. A must see aircraft for Corsair enthusiasts.
News aircraft models, airplane models, Chance Vought F4U Corsair, Connecticut Corsair Project, Corsair, F4U, F4U Corsair, helicopter models, Joining Technologies, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, plane models, warplanes, wooden airplane models
Last Jan. 10, Joining Technologies, an innovator in laser cladding, electron beam and laser welding applications, announced that its laser technology is playing a key role in the Connecticut Corsair project. The said project is a volunteer effort aimed at restoring Connecticut’s official state aircraft, the F4U Corsair. Joining Technologies’ laser equipment is helping restore worn-out parts and components to their original form.
Flown extensively during WWII, the F4U Corsair was the first US military single engine aircraft to fly faster than 400 miles per hour. The plane was fully designed and built in Connecticut and was designated the state’s official state aircraft in 2005. The Connecticut Corsair project is restoring a plane built in 1945 and sold as scrap metal by the US Navy in 1957.
The goal of the Connecticut Corsair project is to restore the aircraft to flying condition. However, functioning components are not available anymore; even the plane’s spare parts are extremely worn-out. Connecticut Corsair is therefore turning to modern technology to salvage parts once considered unsalvageable.
Joining Technologies, also headquartered in Connecticut, is providing its laser technology and expertise to the project. Through computer-aided design and modern laser technology, the company is modeling parts and restoring components back to original shape. “As a Connecticut business, we are proud to be a part of the Corsair restoration project,” said company founder and CEO Mike Francoeur. “It’s very exciting that the power of modern technology is putting an historic aircraft back in the air.”
The Chance Vought F4U Corsair was a carrier-capable fighter aircraft that saw service primarily in World War II and the Korean War. From the first prototype delivery to the U.S. Navy in 1940, to final delivery in 1953 to the French, 12,571 F4U Corsairs were manufactured by Vought, in 16 separate models, in the longest production run of any piston-engine fighter in U.S. history (1942–1953).
Navy, News Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, All female catapult, CVN-72, CVN-72 Abraham Lincoln, USS Abraham Lincoln, USS Lincoln CVN-72
USS Abraham Lincoln
Fourteen female Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln’s (CVN 72) Air department formed an all-female catapult crew to launch aircraft in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Jan. 23.
Thirteen Aviation Boatswain’s Mates (Equipment) (ABE) joined catapult and arresting gear officer, or “shooter”, Lt. Cmdr. Jessica Parker, from St. Louis, to form the all-female launch crew manning critical positions such as topside safety petty officer and catapult deck edge operator to launch the missions over the deck.
On and below the flight deck, 167 ABEs maintain and operate the catapults on a daily basis; six percent of which are females.
“The rate for females only opened up not too long ago,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Airman Sheila Seripap, from Atlanta, Ga. “Every work center only has a handful of females in it.”
Lincoln’s ABEs work long days and nights to keep the catapults in a readiness condition, which has led to more than 1,400 sortie missions launched since October 2010 in support of OEF.
Parker, the only female shooter aboard Lincoln, inspected the waist catapults prior to flight operations and signaled the launch of aircraft. She attributed the unique opportunity to field an all-female team to the tenacity of the team members.
“If it weren’t for the guys training the women, and the women having the courage to work in the most dangerous four-and-a-half acres of sovereign U.S. territory there is, then we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to have an all-female catapult crew,” Parker said. “These ladies are awesome, and the guys they work with are awesome too.”
The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.
- US Navy
News A400M, Airbus Military A400M, aircraft models, airplane models, Forty A400M for Germany, helicopter models, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, plane models, warplanes, wooden airplane models
Germany plans to further reduce the number of Airbus Military A400Ms its air force will operate. The Bundestag’s budget committee is expected to follow a proposal made by the ruling coalition to use only 40 of the 53 A400Ms the country plans to order.
The issue is on the committee’s Jan. 26 agenda. Juergen Koppelin, a high-ranking member of the liberal Free Democratic Party, says 13 aircraft will be returned to Airbus for export sales.
Germany is the last A400M launch customer to commit to the details of a compromise formed in early 2010. As part of the basic agreement, the country reduced its order to 53 from 60 aircraft. The deal includes a €2-billion ($2.7-billion) price hike for the first 180 aircraft and a €1.5-billion prepayment that Airbus Military is to return to the governments as export revenues come in, starting with the 185th aircraft.
In return, the A400M launch customers agreed not to cancel more than a total of 10 of the original 180 orders. A reduction of 20 aircraft would far exceed the agreed upon limits and threaten the compromise.
Thus, Germany will buy 53 aircraft but give 13 of them back to Airbus for remarketing.
That plan is almost certain to meet with resistance from the manufacturer and other A400M customers. Airbus would have to compete for export contracts with aircraft that were part of the launch order. While the company would still be required to start paying back the €1.5-billion facility to governments starting with the 185th aircraft delivery, that mark would be reached later if the 13 German transports were sold ahead of any new aircraft. Also, new industrial workshare issues could emerge based on the reduced German contingent of 40 aircraft.
Designed by Airbus Military, the Airbus A400M is a multi-national four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft and tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities.
Air Force, News AF-4, aircraft models, airplane models, C-130J Super Hercules, C-5M Super Galaxy, Edwards AFB, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-2, f-22 raptor, F-35, F-35A, helicopter models, Lockheed Martin, Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, P-3, plane models, T-50, U-2, warplanes, wooden airplane models
Last Jan. 22, a Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter comes in for a landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California after a 3.2-hour ferry flight from Fort Worth, Texas. The jet, known as AF-4, is the fifth F-35A conventional takeoff and landing aircraft to ferry to Edwards for testing. To date, the F-35 program has achieved 578 total test flights.
Lockheed Martin Corporation engages in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services in the United States and internationally.
The company operates in four segments: Electronic Systems, Information Systems & Global Services, Aeronautics, and Space Systems. The Electronic Systems segment offers air and missile defense; tactical missiles; weapon fire control systems; surface ship and submarine combat systems; anti-submarine and undersea warfare systems; land, sea-based, and airborne radars; surveillance and reconnaissance systems; simulation and training systems; and integrated logistics and sustainment services.
The Information Systems & Global Services segment provides federal services; information technology solutions; software and systems engineering support services; logistics, mission operations support, peacekeeping, and nation-building services for the various U.S. defense and civil government agencies.
The Aeronautics segment provides military aircraft, air vehicles, and related technologies. This segment’s products and programs include the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter-multi-role coalition fighter, the F-22 Raptor-air dominance attack and multi-mission stealth fighter, the F-16 Fighting Falcon-multi-role fighter, the C-130J Super Hercules tactical transport aircraft, and the C-5M Super Galaxy strategic airlift aircraft. It also supports P-3 maritime patrol aircraft and U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft; produces components for the F-2 fighter; and serves as a co-developer of the T-50 supersonic jet trainer.
Air Force, News China J-20, China stealth fighter, F-117, f-22 raptor, f117 nighthawk, US F117, USAF F-22
Chinese defense officials and military analysts insisted Monday that the country’s J-20 stealth fighter jet is a result of technological innovation, refuting a report that alleges the aircraft was developed out of technology gleaned from a downed US fighter.
A Croatian admiral who served during the Kosovo War told the AP on Sunday that China formulated the technology for its J-20 jet from a F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter that was shot down over Serbia in 1999.
“At the time, our intelligence reports told of Chinese agents criss-crossing the region where the F-117 disintegrated, buying up parts of the plane from local farmers,” Admiral Davor Domazet-Loso was quoted as saying. “We believe the Chinese used those materials to gain an insight into secret stealth technologies.”
China successfully debuted the J-20 in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, earlier this month. The test flight coincided with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ visit to Beijing, but he was assured the timing was just a coincidence.
Following the successful test flight, speculations and assessments of Beijing’s military advancement could be heard throughout the world.
“Different from previous fighters such as the J-7 and J-8, which drew on the merits of aircrafts from other countries, the J-20 is a masterpiece of China’s technological innovation,” Xu Yongling, one of China’s top test pilots said, comparing the stealth jet to the US Air Force’s F-22 Raptor stealth jet and Russia’s first stealth fighter, the Sukhoi T-50.
Xu said it would have been impossible for China to glean technology from the US’ F-117, whose stealth technology lags far behind fourth-generation fighters and was regarded as “outdated” even at the time when it was reportedly shot down.
And as for the radiation-absorbent, exterior coating technology adopted by the F-117, Xu said it would be hard to copy that technology from the wreckage due to its complicated production process.
Developed in the 1970s and commencing service in 1983, the F-117 Nighthawk was the world’s first stealth fighter – nearly invisible to radar.
Li Daguang, a Beijing-based military analyst, told the Global Times that such accusations are groundless and originate from envy and wariness of China’s technological advancements.
“China not only has the freedom to develop high-end technologies but also the capability to develop them independently,” he said.
- Global Times
News 429, AgustaWestland AW139, AH-1Z, aircraft models, airplane models, Eurocopter EC175, helicopter models, Model 412, Model 429, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, OH-58D, plane models, UH-1Y, V022 Osprey, warplanes, wooden airplane models
The Magellan program has been launched by Bell Helicopter to develop an unspecified new product as part of an effort to revitalize its commercial rotorcraft business.
A Bell 429 helicopter
The news is contained in a memo released by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, which develops and assembles the company’s commercial helicopters in Mirabel, Quebec.
Bell has previously talked of following the all-new Model 429 light turbine twin by launching a new medium twin to supersede the Model 412, and potentially compete with the AgustaWestland AW139 and Eurocopter EC175.
Formerly known as Project-X, Magellan will involve both internal and external resources, says the memo from Larry Roberts, senior vice president of commercial programs.
“Magellan represents a company commitment to develop and bring to market a new and cost effective product that differentiates itself by applying an intensive effort of listening and meeting our customers’ needs into the product definition,” says the memo. “A Customer Advisory Panel – representing all of the industry segments we serve – has been created to provide input and feedback throughout our product development process,” the memo adds.
Bell launched development of the 429 in 2005 as the first member of its Modular Affordable Product Line (MAPL) family, and a year later was talking of developing the “New Medium Twin” as the second member.
The Canadian federal and Quebec provincial governments each provided C$115 million ($116 million) in repayable loans for the MAPL program, Quebec saying Bell planned a total investment of roughly C$700 million “to develop four new models”.
In 2006, the company canvassed customers on their requirements for medium twin, and in a presentation to analysts showed two notional 16- and 17-passenger configurations, but the plan was shelved in favor of upgrades to the 412.
The 429 was certificated in July 2009, just as the civil helicopter market hit a steep downturn, and only eight had been delivered by late 2010. Bell, however, expects to have delivered around 75 by the end of this year.
The company’s commercial product line has shrunk in recent years and now comprises only the 206L4 and 407 light turbine singles, 429 and 412. Aftermarket upgrades, including re-engining, are in development for the 407 and 412.
In contrast, Bell’s military rotorcraft business is booming, with production of the V022 Osprey tiltrotor, UH-1Y utility and AH-1Z attack helicopters ramping up and continued upgrade work on the OH-58D armed scout helicopter.