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A pilotless X-47B is slated to be subjected to a burst of electromagnetic energy that will be 10 times that endured by other aircraft being tested to survive the electronic pollution found on an aircraft carrier.
Aerospace officials are pointing to that closely held plan as an important clue about a key mission that the U.S. Navy’s next-generation, unmanned combat air system is being designed to perform. The mission is electronic attack—using bursts of high-power microwave (HPM) energy—against enemy electronics such as surface-to-air missiles and the radars that control them. Targets also could include computers, command-and-control centers or anything else that involves the heavy use of electronics.
Unlike other seagoing aircraft, the X-47B, a surrogate for the unmanned carrier-launched airborne surveillance and strike (Uclass) aircraft, will not be tested to an electromagnetic interference (EMI) level of 200 volts per meter. Instead, the design will have to survive and operate in a stunning environment of 2,000 volts per meter.
That means the Navy wants a design for its Uclass program that would be able to fire a permanently installed, rechargeable, anti-electronics weapon and withstand the sidelobes and errant electronic spikes that may occur when it is fired. Such an HPM device could be used at close range against enemy electronics without damaging the Uclass system’s own electronics and flight controls.
As part of the testing, a trip to the anechoic chamber at NAS Patuxent River, Md., is next on the X-47B‘s test agenda.
“We will spend the better part of this spring doing electromagnetic compatibility testing,” says Capt. Jaime Engdahl, who represents the unmanned combat air system demonstration (UCAS-D) program.
“Does [the future Uclass aircraft] have to be the [X-47B size]?” he asks. “It was developed under the J-UCAS [Joint Unmanned Combat Air System] program and was sized for an internal weapons bay to carry 4,500 pounds of weapons and some electronic warfare weapons.”
Congress is already weighing in on the Navy’s future unmanned strike options. A draft authorization bill keeps four major contractors—General Atomics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Boeing—alive in the hunt for a Uclass until 2016, stipulating that the program remain in the critical design review phase until that time.
Right now, the Navy’s unmanned strike aircraft program is proceeding with two Northrop Grumman X-47B test aircraft. One (AV-1) is at NAS Patuxent River for the autonomous aircraft carrier landing program. It is slated to demonstrate the first carrier-based catapults and arrested landings in 2014.
The other aircraft (AV-2) is undergoing flight testing at Edwards AFB, Calif., and will be used eventually to autonomously find and rendezvous with two tankers, says Capt. Jaime Engdahl. That evaluation will be followed by an approach, a plug-in and the receipt of 3,000 lb. of fuel. One tanker will have a Navy probe-and-drogue refueling system; the other will have an Air Force-type boom refueling system. The transfer of fuel will be followed by a disconnect, detachment and flight away from the tanker using all the onboard sensors and software.
“All of that will have to be done in a closed loop,” says Engdahl. “There are phases that drive the program. For the carrier [demonstration], it’s the final approach, the last half-mile before landing. You need to do that autonomously.
“You also need to hit the basket on a Navy-style [probe-and-drogue] tanker autonomously instead of it being remotely piloted,” he adds. “The air vehicles can’t be commanded by operators on the ground, the carrier or another aircraft.
“We’re taking the exact same software and processors and putting them on the the tankers and using GPS algorithms for both carrier landings and autonomous aerial refueling.”
The American demonstration Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle X-47B first flew in 2011. Acquire quality X-47B scale models only at Warplanes.
News source: aviationweek.com
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TAHOE/TRUCKEE, California — Aircraft enthusiasts and festival followers alike will be tantalized by the roar of T-38s flying overhead and SambaDa, a Santa Cruz group informed by bloco afro (Afro-Brazilian percussion music), samba-reggae, surf-rock, and California funk on Saturday, July 7 at the inaugural Truckee Tahoe AirFair & Family Festival.
This free all day (7 a.m.-4 p.m.) fundraising event with free vehicle and $1 bike parking in a gated corral is in support of Tahoe-Truckee youth programs.
The Opening Ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. and will feature special performances by the “Just-In-Time Skydivers” and the Red Star Formation Flying Group. Both are certain to get the energy flying high.
“Never seen a skydiving performance or a formation flying team? Then don’t miss the opening ceremony. It will truly wow spectators. Smoke, a flag and cheers will explode at this time during the event,” says AirFair & Family Festival Chairman Tim LoDolce. “The Red Star formation flying team, soaring in YAK 52s, and the ‘Just-in-Time Sky Diving Team’ are going to make the Truckee sky come alive!”
The AirFair will feature a wide variety of aircraft on the ramp and in the air including the World War II era B-25 Old Glory and P-51 Man O’ War. Possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many, the Man O’ War is offering rides with profits going to the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). The CAF is the premier warbird organization now operating 156 vintage aircraft in honor of American military aviation. Ride fares are tax deductible.
AirFair spectators will also be thrilled by the “Parade of Planes” throughout the day. The airport ramp will crackle with all types of static aircraft displays and pilot docents explaining the details about each aircraft. Military, experimental, corporate and everyday general aviation aircraft offer something for everyone.
Free EAA Chapter 1073 Young Eagle flights for youth ages 8-17 are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Rides are subject to weather conditions, and parents must accompany their children at time of sign-up. Prior notice of those children interested in a free flight is highly recommended so AirFair planners may schedule planes and pilots. Call EAA Young Eagle Coordinator Michael Golden at 530-587-8017.
Another event highlight includes the attendance of two of the original Tuskegee Airmen as Grand Marshals: Les Williams and Le Roy F. Gillead. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the United States armed forces. Videos of these veterans can be viewed on the AirFair & Family Festival Facebook page and by watching the newly released Lucas Films movie “Red Tails.”
“The participation of the Tuskegee Airmen is a true honor,” said LoDolce. “Bring your children to meet and shake hands with these military aviator historians. They will also be honored on Friday, July 6 at the pre-AirFair dinner in hangar one.” Tickets for the Friday Night Pre-AirFair Dinner honoring the Tuskegee Airmen are available in advance for $40 per person. Call the Airport at 530-587-4119, ext. 0 for ticket purchasing information.
The Family Festival will boast an array of activities including a participatory bike rodeo with ramps and obstacle course; live music by SambaDa; a live two-hour radio remote from Truckee’s KTKE 101.5FM; giant bubbles; face painting; arts and crafts; stilt walkers; food court; beer garden; souvenirs; vendors and much more family fun.
The last air shows held at the Truckee Tahoe Airport were from 1974-1996 and featured displays like Air Force F-16s, Marine Corps, Vietnam-era helicopters and other privately owned war birds. In addition, some of those planes performed an array of spectacular aerobatics with trailing smoke. The 2012 AirFair will not feature aerobatics; instead periodic fly-overs will occur including the “Parade of Planes” flown by local aviators in different and exciting aircraft.
The AirFair & Family Festival is being put on by the Truckee Tahoe Airport District with the cooperation of Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1073, KidZone Museum and the Truckee Optimist Club. This fundraising event replaces the well-known annual KidZone Family Festival and Truckee Optimist Club’s Cannibal Cruise.
The Truckee Tahoe Airport District is the “Golden Wings” sponsor of this event, meaning they are paying for all operational costs. Other sponsorship monies and proceeds go directly to youth programs.
Major sponsors to date include Amador Cellars Winery; Charter Media; CLM Design; Community Ink; DBI Beverage Company (Coors); Dickson Realty; GLA-Morris Construction, Inc.; KTKE Radio; Paragon PR; Northstar California; Robert E. Sutton Company; Sierra Sun; Suddenlink; Taco Bell; Tahoe Donner Association; Tahoe Forest Health System; Tahoe Mountain Resorts Foundation; Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal; Teichert Aggregates; The Weekly; Truckee Tahoe Lumber and World Fuels.
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News Source: Sierrasun.com
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Last May 2, 2012, the company’s F-22 Raptor Program Manager Jeff Babione handed over a ceremonial key for the last Raptor to the US Air Force (USAF) Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz who then handed it over to pilot Lt Col Paul “Max” Moga, who then passed it onto his crew chief, Staff Sgt Damon Crawford. USAF dignitaries attended the event including Lockheed Martin Chief Executive Bob Stevens, and Generals Mike Hostage, Edward Rice and Gary North.
“The delivery represents an important element in our overall modernisation effort,” Schwartz says. “We continue to focus on ensuring that these capabilities will help shape the future security environment, not just respond to them.”
“If someone had told me in 2004, when I first started flying the Raptor, that I would have the honor of flying the last production jet out of Marietta, I’d have never believed them,” says Moga, commander of 525th FS, who will fly the jet to Alaska. 3rd Wg Cdr Col Dirk “Stuff” Smith will fly tail 4193 Elemendorf-Richardson.
“The F-22 weapon system is a testament to this country’s industrial strength, technological power and aviation ingenuity. Any line worker, engineer or supervisor that was involved in building the Raptor should feel an immense amount of pride in what they have accomplished. It is far and away the most lethal fighter aircraft ever built – a fact that will unfortunately, but most certainly, be proven in combat some day,” Moga added. “Rest assured…the F-22 has and will save lives.” Moga praises those who built the powerful twin-engined stealth fighter.
The F-22 Raptor aircraft served as an air superiority fighter against the Soviet Air Force. This aircraft is capable of ground attack, electronic warfare and signals intelligence roles. F-22 Raptor is a combination of stealth, maneuverability, integrated avionics and improved supportability. It performs both air-to- air and air-to-ground missions, making it an essential property to USAF.
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Enormous, futuristic and expensive – as what the Navy leaders of Maine, City of Bath, would describe their new technology-laden warship. The warship “Zumwalt” is currently being built in Bath Iron Works. The warships seen as one of Obama Administration’s Asia-Pacific strategy and is said to be a representation of the US Navy’s future.
The stealthy warship features a wave-piercing hull, composite deck house, electric drive propulsion, advanced sonar, missiles, and powerful guns that fire rocket-propelled warheads as far as 100 miles. The 600-foot-long warships are so big that the General Dynamics-owned shipyard spent $40 million to construct a 106-foot-tall building just to assemble the giant hull segments.
Originally, the Navy leaders planned to build 32 ships but then, it was reduced to 24 and then became 7. Eventually, the production of the costly warship was down to 3. Jay Korman, an industry analyst from The Avascent Group, said the warship uses so much new technology that Navy says it’s their “silver bullet” to threats and that the only problem is the cost.
The Zumwalt’s new technology will allow the warship to determine, defeat aggression of their opponents and to maintain operations in areas where an enemy seeks to deny access – both on the open ocean and in operations closer to shore, the Navy says. The Zumwalt and the other 2 warships to be built will be out on the ocean next year and will be delivered to the Navy around 2014.
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