NASA, News aircraft models, airplane models, Astrium Liberty rocket, Atlas V, Atlas V rocket, Authentic Models, Boeing, Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation vehicle, CST-100, Delta IV, falcon 9, Featured Hand-Carved Models, helicopter models, Model Accessories, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, NASA, Other Nautical/Aviation and Decor, plane models, Space Craft and NASA Models, SpaceX Falcon 9, warplanes, wooden airplane models
Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation vehicle, the CST-100, will climb to orbit aboard the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket through a series of unpiloted and piloted test flights planned for 2015-16, officials from the two companies announced Aug. 4.
A series of three test flights with the Atlas V and the seven-person CST-100 capsule are planned for 2015; with sufficient funding from NASA’s Commercial Crew Development program, Boeing could be ready to begin transporting astronauts to the International Space Station aboard the re-usable capsule in the first quarter of 2016 with all-NASA crews, says John Elbon, Boeing vice president and program manager of the company’s Houston-based Commercial Crew Program.
Boeing becomes the third of four companies developing a crew transportation service under the $270 million NASA CCDev-2 initiative announced earlier this year to select Centennial, Colo.-based ULA and the Atlas V for the launch component. The Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser lifting body space plane and the Blue Origin capsule are the others.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp., has naturally chosen its own Falcon 9 for crewed as well as cargo versions of its Dragon capsule.
“This is the quickest way to close the gap and get U.S. crews flying again,” Elbon told reporters during a briefing. “It’s an affordable approach that will leave NASA funding to develop capabilities for exploration beyond low Earth orbit.”
With the retirement of the long-running space shuttle program last month, NASA must rely on Russia’s venerable Soyuz for the transportation of astronauts to and from the space station until U.S. commercial providers are available.
Elbon and George Sowers, ULA vice president of business development, laid out a flight test schedule that would follow a 2014 pad abort demonstration of the CST-100. Unpiloted flight tests would follow with an orbital systems checkout in the first quarter of 2015 and an abort demonstration at maximum dynamic pressure in mid-2015. The CST-100, crewed with Boeing test pilots, would attempt a rendezvous with the space station in late 2015. With sufficient develop funds, Boeing would be ready to launch its first NASA crews to the orbiting science laboratory in the first quarter of 2016.
Boeing selected the Atlas V 412 version, which is the core rocket configured with a single solid-rocket booster and a dual engine Centaur upper stage, for the test and demonstration phase. Operations are planned for Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Boeing completed an evaluation process in late July that included assessments of the SpaceX Falcon 9 and the ATK/Astrium Liberty rocket that would combine first and second stages from the U.S. and European partnership, as well as ULA’s Atlas V.
The final selection was based on performance, reliability and cost, Elbon says. The Atlas V has scored 26 consecutive launch successes for national security, NASA and commercial payloads.
Nonetheless, Boeing intends to host a second launch component competition for operations beyond the 2015-16 test activities, Elbon said.
On July 18, ULA and NASA announced an unfunded Space Act Agreement to start qualifying the Atlas V as a human-rated spacecraft for CCDev-2 participants. The effort includes a “part-by-part” assessment of the rocket, a probabilistic risk assessment of spacecraft safety and a systems requirement review.
ULA also is working on an Emergency Detection System (EDS) as part of the initiative with $6.7 million in federal stimulus funding the company received under the 2010 CCDev-1 program. The EDS in combination with pad escape systems, also in development, should make a significant contribution to matching NASA’s human rating requirements, according to Elbon and Sowers.
ULA was formed in 2006 as a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin to produce the Delta IV as well as the Atlas V under the U. S. Air Force Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program.
NASA, News aircraft models, airplane models, atlantis, Challenger, Clear Canopy Model Planes, Columbia, Columbia orbiter, custom models, discovery, endeavour, helicopter models, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, NASA, NASA Challenger, NASA Columbia, NASA space shuttle Columbia, plane models, Signature Series, Space Craft and NASA Models, space shuttle Columbia, warplanes, wooden airplane models
A piece of debris from NASA’s space shuttle Columbia has been discovered in Texas, eight years after the 2003 disaster that destroyed the spacecraft and killed its seven-astronaut crew during re-entry, NASA officials confirmed on Aug. 2.
The debris was discovered last week in eastern Texas. It is a round aluminum power reactant storage and distribution tank from Columbia, which disintegrated over Texas as it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere near the end of a 16-day science mission.
The tank was discovered in an exposed area of Lake Nacogdoches, in Nacogdoches, Texas, about 160 miles northeast of Houston.
“The only reason it’s exposed is because there’s a drought going on and the tank was under the lake,” Lisa Malone, a NASA spokeswoman at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, told SPACE.com. “The tank itself is full of mud.”
Nacogdoches police informed NASA of the find and sent pictures for identification. NASA engineers who work on the shuttle’s power reactant storage and distribution systems were able to confirm the piece belonged to Columbia.
“One of the guys had been here more than 30 years and recognized it, and said, ‘That’s one of the tanks,’” Malone said.
The piece was one of 16 tanks on the shuttle that stored supercold liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. The spherical tank, about 40 inches (1 meter) in diameter, will eventually be shipped back to Kennedy Space Center, where NASA stores all the collected debris from Columbia in a climate controlled area in the giant Vehicle Assembly Building.
“We’re working the plans and details out right now as to how we would get it shipped back here,” Malone said. “We do want to collect the debris items and keep them in one place.”
To date, about 38-40 percent of the Columbia orbiter‘s wreckage has been recovered. The remainder was either burned up during reentry or is still where it landed in Texas and Louisiana.
“From time to time throughout the year we do get phone calls and emails from people about items they think are debris,” Malone said.
The 2003 disaster was traced back to a hole that was punched into one of Columbia‘s wings by a piece of debris from its fuel tank during launch, according to the findings of a review board that investigated the accident. The hole rendered the orbiter unable to withstand the intense heat of re-entry, causing the vehicle to disintegrate.
Discoveries of debris from the wreck can still serve to reopen old wounds.
“It always makes you think about the accident and Columbia and the crew of course,” Malone said. “It always does serve as a reminder.”
Columbia was carrying commander Rick Husband, pilot William McCool, mission specialists Kalpana Chawla, David Brown, and Laurel Clark, payload commander Michael Anderson, and payload specialist Ilan Ramon, who was Israel’s first astronaut.
Following the catastrophe, NASA upgraded equipment and processes to protect against a similar failure. All post-Columbia shuttles flew with external tanks that had been redesigned to diminish the amount of debris from their insulating foam that fell off during liftoff.
As a further precaution, recent crews conducted thorough inspections of their orbiters’ heat shields once in orbit to make sure they hadn’t sustained any damage that would endanger them during landing.
The Columbia accident was the second disaster in the history of the 30-year space shuttle program. It followed the 1986 destruction of the shuttle Challenger and its crew. Exceptionally cold weather at Challenger’s Florida launch site that day caused a failure in an O-ring seal on one of the shuttle’s solid rocket boosters that ultimately pulled apart the vehicle.
Last month NASA retired its remaining three space shuttle orbiters. The shuttle Atlantis landed July 21 to finish the 135th and final mission of the shuttle program. Now Atlantis and its siblings Discovery and Endeavour will be retired to museums, while NASA embarks on a new program to build vehicles for deep space exploration.
Carriers, News A380, a380 superjumbo, aircraft models, airplane models, Boeing 737, Bombardier CRJ-700, custom models, Delta Air Lines, Delta Boeing 737, Delta Flight 2207, Flight 1777, helicopter models, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, plane models, Popular Airlines, superjumbo, warplanes, wooden airplane models
July 31, Sunday, two Delta Air Lines planes collided on the taxiway at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the fourth incident in four months involving the carrier’s aircraft.
Delta Flight 2207, which was scheduled for Minneapolis, and Flight 1777, headed to Atlanta, had a “taxiway incursion,” said Delta spokeswoman Chris Kelly Singley. She didn’t know the full extent of the damage to the aircraft.
After the incident, which occurred about 7:30 p.m. local time, the passengers of both planes were removed and rescheduled on other Delta flights or those of another airlines last night and this morning, Kelly Singley said. No injuries were reported, said Karen Pride, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Department of Aviation.
“Delta’s No. 1 priority is safety,” Kelly Singley said in a telephone interview.
Earlier this month, a Delta wide-body plane struck the tail of a smaller jet from regional partner Atlantic Southeast Airlines as they prepared for takeoff from Boston’s Logan Airport.
In April, a Bombardier CRJ-700 from Delta’s Comair unit was clipped by the wing of an Air France Airbus SAS A380 superjumbo at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, spinning the smaller plane and 66 occupants through 90 degrees.
A month later, the wing of a Delta Boeing 737 struck the tail of another at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, Delta’s hometown hub.
“Each of the incidents is being looked at individually, and by no means do we believe we have a trend,” said Kelly Singley.
News aircraft models, airplane models, Aviation Wall Clocks, custom models, F-22, f-22 raptor, F-22 Raptor fighter, f22, f22 raptor, helicopter models, Jet Model Planes, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, plane models, Raptor F-22, warplanes, wooden airplane models
Blood tests on F-22 Raptor fighter pilots after they reported “hypoxia-like symptoms” during flight have turned up chemicals from oil fumes, burned antifreeze and propane.
But if the Air Force believes that might be a cause of pilots’ symptoms, it’s not saying, reports the Air Force Times. Carbon monoxide also is suspect in the incidents, but it leaves the blood quickly. Many of the troubled flights originated at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
From the Air Force Times:
“There is a lot of nasty stuff getting pumped into the pilots’ bloodstream through what they’re breathing from that OBOGS [On-Board Oxygen Generation System]. That’s fact,” one former F-22 pilot said. “How bad it is, what type it is, exactly how much of it, how long – all these things have not been answered.”
The blood tests were performed after each of the 14 incidents in which pilots reported various cognitive dysfunctions and other symptoms of hypoxia. One couldn’t remember how to change radio frequencies. Another scraped trees on his final approach to the runway – and later could not recall the incident.
“These guys are getting tested for toxins and they’ve [gotten] toxins out of their bloodstreams,” the source said. “One of the guys was expelling propane.”
This source, along with the others, requested anonymity for fear of retribution.
The Raptor fleet was mostly grounded in May, months after Capt. Jeff Haney died in a so far unexplained crash north of Anchorage. The Air Force said it was investigating the F-22s’ onboard oxygen supply system.
Sources said that in Haney’s last few radio calls before his jet disappeared, he sounded drunk, a classic sign of hypoxia. Haney was known as a prodigiously skilled aviator who was in line to attend the elite Air Force Weapons School.
F-22 Raptor pilots have been training in simulators since May, but they will have to be retrained in the actual jets if the grounding extends beyond 210 days, a former pilot said.
News aircraft models, airplane models, Clear Canopy Model Planes, custom models, Farmers Insurance Zeppelin NT, Farmers Zeppelin, Featured Hand-Carved Models, helicopter models, hindenburg, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, Model Ships, Other Nautical/Aviation and Decor, plane models, Propeller Airplanes, Signature Series, U.S.S. Akron, U.S.S. Macon, warplanes, wooden airplane models, zeppelin, Zeppelin NT
AirVenture — The first Zeppelin to fly in the U.S. skies since the Hindenburg crashed in flames 74 years ago is here to give joyrides.
But the two are worlds apart, in technology, time and safety.
The Hindenburg, the first regularly scheduled aerial passenger service between the U.S. and Europe, was a an 803 ft long behemoth with a gas capacity of 706 million cu ft, and sleeping berths for 72 passengers. It was operated by a crew of 40 officers and men, and up to 12 stewards and kitchen staff. It was kept aloft by hydrogen, which was ultimately its downfall.
The Farmers Insurance Zeppelin NT here this week, built by the revived ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik company in Friedrichschafen, Germany, is just over a quarter the length of the Hindenburg, at 246 ft, and carries up to 12 passengers and two crew. Most importantly, it is filled with 290,000 cu ft of non-flammable hydrogen. It is powered by three 200-hp variable pitch, vectoring Lycoming piston engines, two on the hull and the third at the rear.
Unlike the well-known Goodyear airships, which are inflated bags known as blimps, the Zeppelin NT is a semi-dirigible with a structure of graphite reinforced plastic and three longitudinal aluminum girders that carry the motors and passenger gondola.
In that respect the new Zeppelins also differ from those of the past, which had a rigid skeleton covered in fabric that enclosed the decks and lounges and accommodated the huge gasbags.
Earlier this year, Goodyear committed to replace its famous blimps with three of the new Zeppelins, which will be assembled near Akron, Ohio. Each will cost about $21 million each, with technical support, and the first is slated for delivery in 2014. Interestingly, Goodyear worked with Zeppelin 90 years ago to introduce the rigid airships U.S.S. Macon and U.S.S. Akron to the U.S. Navy.
The Farmers Zeppelin, which is usually based in San Francisco and operated by Airship Adventures of California, will be giving rides at AirVenture through July 31.
Air Force RC-135, aircraft models, airplane models, Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, Chinese J-8, Chinese Su-27, Clear Canopy Model Planes, custom models, EC-130, EP-3 Aries, f-16, Featured Hand-Carved Models, Foreign Military Aircraft Models, Grumman S-2T Tracker, helicopter models, J-8, J-8 fighters, Jet Model Planes, Military Plaques & Seals, Model Accessories, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, Navy EP-3 Aries, Other Nautical/Aviation and Decor, P-3A Orion, p-3c orion, plane models, Propeller Airplanes, RC-135, S-2T, Signature Series, su-27, Su27, U-2, U-2 spy plane, warplanes, wooden airplane models
Two Chinese Su-27 fighters penetrated Taiwan’s airspace June 29 and were turned back by Taiwan Air Force fighters. The incident is believed to be the first serious Chinese fighter incursion into Taiwan airspace since 1999.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense confirmed the incursion in a news release on Monday, but would not verify local Chinese-language media reports that the Su-27s were chasing a U.S. surveillance aircraft.
The U.S. Pacific Command did not respond to inquiries about the incident.
An MND source said it is not Taiwan’s duty to protect U.S. surveillance aircraft and the incident is not considered serious.
“There is a line between the two sides, and if any Chinese aircraft flies too close, we will respond,” he said. “If they cross the line, we treat it as a hostile act, but occasionally they fly close to the line, and to be honest, this happens all the time and is not a real problem.”
The June 29 incident was an “unintentional” and “inadvertent” incursion by Chinese fighter aircraft, he said. “The Chinese military has no intention of antagonizing Taiwan” because relations across the Strait are “calm” and there is “no reason for trouble.”
The news comes as Taipei pushes the U.S. to release 66 F-16C/D fighters. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced last week that Washington would make a final decision on the fighters by Oct. 1.
Local media reports said the Su-27s were trying to catch a U-2 spy plane conducting a surveillance mission out of Osan Air Base, South Korea. The reports said the U-2 diverted to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, to avoid the Chinese fighters.
But surveillance aircraft specialist Chris Pocock was skeptical. There are only three U-2s based in East Asia, all at Osan, to watch North Korea, Pocock said.
“They may also fly southwards along the China coast as far as Taiwan, but not on a routine basis,” he said.
The aircraft might have been a Navy EP-3 Aries or Air Force RC-135, which operate at lower altitudes and have been harassed by Chinese fighters in the past.
In 2000, two Chinese J-8 fighters intercepted an Air Force RC-135 in international airspace above the East China Sea. A year later, a J-8 fighter collided with a Navy EP-3 Aries near Hainan Island in the South China Sea.
Despite Chinese complaints, the U.S. surveillance aircraft flies regular missions along China’s coastline. They stay in international airspace because straying into Chinese territory would make them easy targets for S-300PMU-1/2 and Hongqi-10 surface-to-air missiles.
During the Cold War, Taiwan’s Black Bat 34th Squadron flew similar missions with three P-3A Orion signals intelligence aircraft. As well, China shot down five U-2 spy planes operated by Taiwan’s Black Cat 35th Squadron over Chinese territory. Both programs were handled by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
Taiwan will soon take delivery of 12 P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft for anti-submarine patrols. The aircraft will replace aging Grumman S-2T Tracker anti-submarine aircraft. Taiwan technically has two squadrons of the S-2T, but sources say that only a handful are still operational.
Taiwan has attempted to procure signals intelligence aircraft in the past from the U.S., but procurement problems and budget delays have hampered the acquisition. Taiwan has one EC-130 for surveillance operations, but it is limited in mission scope.
Carriers, News airbus a321, Airbus A380, aircraft models, airplane models, Boeing 787, helicopter models, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, plane models, qantas, warplanes, wooden airplane models
Algae and garbage will have more influence on Qantas’s carbon emissions than the Gillard Government’s carbon pricing regime, the airline says.
Qantas chief Alan Joyce said the flag carrier was investing in biofuel research as part of its push to meet an industry target of a 1.5 per cent cut in carbon emissions by 2020.
The airline is working with US renewable energy companies Solazyme to develop a business case for the use of algal-derived sustainable fuel.
It is also working with another US group, Solena, which deals with waste-based fuel.
Qantas has a fuel bill of almost $4 billion a year.
Mr Joyce was speaking after Lufthansa launched the first daily commercial passenger flights using biofuels last week.
An Airbus A321 will use a biofuel blend on the Hamburg-Frankfurt route during a six-month trial.
Speaking at an aviation conference in Sydney this week, Mr Joyce said the Qantas group would be subject to three different sets of carbon-pricing legislation, in Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
A Qantas spokesman said algae could come from Queensland sugar cane and waste from city garbage.
The airline is assessing feasibility studies and may seek government and other corporate investment if setting up a plant is feasible, the spokesman said.
Mr Joyce said both the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 were already 20-25 per cent more fuel efficient than other aircraft. The company has $20 billion in more efficient aircraft on order.
He said the airline had “no ability to digest the carbon tax” and was passing on the $115 million cost to domestic passengers tickets at $3.50 per travel sector.
Carriers, News 737, 737-800, 737-900ER, aircraft models, airplane models, Alaska Airlines, Authentic Models, Boeing, Boeing 737, Civilian & Private Airplane Models, Clear Canopy Model Planes, custom models, helicopter models, Model Accessories, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, plane models, Popular Airlines, re-engined 737, warplanes, wooden airplane models
Alaska Airlines is interested in Boeing’s recently-announced re-engined 737 offering, though the carrier has yet to make any decisions about the type’s future in its fleet.
“We are very much in favour of lower fuel burn, and if Boeing can do this sooner rather than later, that’s a good a thing”, said Bill Ayer, CEO of Alaska parent Alaska Air Group during the company’s second quarter earnings call.
“We just learned about this, really, yesterday, like everybody else,” said Brandon Pederson, company CFO.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh said 20 July that he planned to recommend re-engining the 737 to the Boeing board of directors in August, with a formal authority to offer expected in the fourth quarter.
“We’re all in favour of saving money on our fuel bill, but in terms of how that affects our orderbook, our fleet, our capex, it’s just too early to tell,” Pederson added.
Initial estimates of the fuel burn improvement have spanned from 10-12% and as high as 15% depending on the final configuration that is selected.
Ayer also said “we will be very interested to learn more about this airplane and we look forward to taking delivery of some, if everything looks right in terms of the cost and the fuel burn and so forth”.
Boeing expects to firm the configuration of the new variant within three to four weeks as it concludes deliberations about the fan size of the CFM International Leap-X engine that will exclusively power the new aircraft, which is slated for an entry into service sometime mid-decade.
“We have a fleet plan and an orderbook with Boeing right now that we’re happy with in terms of numbers of airplanes and timing of airplanes, and I think the idea would be that this new airplane would just slot into that whenever it’s available”, he continued.
According to a filing with US regulators, Alaska said it is scheduled to take delivery of six 737-800s in 2012, three in 2013, one in 2014, and two in 2015.
It will also take delivery of six and seven 737-900ERs in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Alaska added the 737-900ER to its orderbook this past January.
The company also said in the filing that it has options for 42 more 737s.
Alaska exclusively operates the Boeing 737 in its fleet, operating the -400, -700, -800, and -900 variants.
News 737, 737 jetliner, 737 Next Generation aircraft, A320, A320neo, Airbus, Airbus A320, aircraft models, airplane models, American Airlines, Authentic Models, Boeing, Boeing 737, Civilian & Private Airplane Models, Clear Canopy Model Planes, custom models, Featured Hand-Carved Models, helicopter models, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, plane models, Popular Airlines, Propeller Airplanes, Signature Series, Spirit, warplanes, wooden airplane models
Boeing’s decision to replace the engines of its popular 737 jetliner rather than replace it with an all-new airplane is a “dream scenario” for Spirit AeroSystems, a Spirit analyst said.
Spirit also will benefit from American Airlines’ record-setting order announced Wednesday for 450 narrowbody aircraft placed with Boeing and Airbus.
Spirit builds the 737 fuselage in Wichita.
It also builds parts of all Airbus aircraft at its plants in the United Kingdom.
“The American order is good news for us all the way around,” said Spirit spokeswoman Debbie Gann said.
Shares of Spirit jumped 7.3 percent Wednesday, gaining $1.50 to close at $22.07. Shares have traded between $17.93 and $26.49 in the past year.
The plan to replace the engines on the 737 with more fuel-efficient engines called the Leap X is subject to approval from Boeing’s board of directors. A Boeing official said Wednesday that the program is expected to be launched sometime this fall.
American’s order to Boeing includes 100 737 Next Generation aircraft with options for 40 more. It also committed to buy 100 of the planes with the new engines with an option for 60 more.
American’s order to Airbus is for 260 single-aisle aircraft, including 130 of A320 family of aircraft with new engines, called the A320neo, for new engine option.
Boeing’s decision to go with 737 engine replacement rather than replacing the 737 with an all-new design is good for Spirit, said Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia.
A new airplane would present a major risk, he said.
Boeing would put work on the new plane out for bid, he said. And there are no guarantees whether or how much work Spirit would win.
The 737 program accounts for half of Spirit’s revenue and keeps thousands of its 10,400 Wichita employees busy.
Without the program, “the big risk is keeping people working,” he said.
In addition, Boeing officials have said that a replacement plane would likely be a composite aircraft. A composite fuselage would require fewer workers than the aluminum 737.
Aboulafia called the 737 a “relatively labor intensive fuselage” by comparison.
“Building the same tube you’ve built for decades is very different from having to collaborate the design work and new equipment needed to build something new,” Aboulafia said.
Adding new engines to the 737 is not a major change to the design.
“It’s a minor derivative,” he said.
The re-engining project will keep the 737 in production for many more years, Aboulafia said.
For its part, Spirit is digesting the news of Boeing’s decision, Gann said.
“We’ll be obviously working closely with Boeing to support the re-engine,” she said. “We’ve been talking with Boeing about all kinds of possibilities trying to stay in a position where we can support our customer whatever they decide.”
The decision came months earlier than expected.
Last month at the Paris Air Show, Boeing officials said they would not rush a decision, which would likely be made toward the end of the year.
Boeing has had separate teams studying the two options. Customers seemed to be leaning toward an all-new aircraft, officials have said.
Airbus outshined Boeing at the air show with announcements of hundreds of orders for the A320neo.
In addition, Boeing had to compete vigorously with Airbus for the American Airlines order.
In the end, the decision against launching an all-new plane came down to production worries, said Jim Albaugh, head of Boeing’s commercial aircraft division.
The challenges of producing a new composite airplane at the high production rates necessary to meet demand was a big stumbling block, he said.
“While the technology was there to do a new airplane, the production system is not understood how to build some 60 composite airplanes a month,” Albaugh said.
A new airplane would not be ready in the short time frame customers desired.
“They wanted more airplanes now,” Albaugh said.
In making the decision, Boeing was able to “stave off a disaster,” Aboulafia said.
“In 10 years, it (production) might be solvable,” he said. “I think they knew volume production of a composite tube is quite problematic given what we know about production today.”
Navy, News 737, aircraft models, airplane models, Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, Boeing, Boeing P-8, Boeing P-8A, Clear Canopy Model Planes, custom models, Featured Hand-Carved Models, helicopter models, Jet Model Planes, LRIP-1, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, Other Nautical/Aviation and Decor, P-8, P-8A, plane models, Signature Series, warplanes, wooden airplane models
Boeing announced yesterday, July 19, that the first of three production 737-derived Boeing P-8A maritime patrol aircraft that will be used in the U.S. Navy’s flight-test evaluations completed nearly 6 hr. of initial flight evaluations on July 7.
Besides putting the first production P-8A into the air, the flights also marked the first test of the CFM International CFM56-7BE engines on the P-8.
Three previous flight-test articles used standard CFM56-7Bs that do not have the lower fuel-burn improvements of the “evolved” engine series. The first 737 with these -7BE engines for a commercial customer is due for delivery shortly to China Southern Airlines. Combined with aerodynamic improvements, the engines should lower 737 fuel burn by 2%.
Called LRIP-1, the newest P-8A is the first of six low-rate initial production aircraft that Boeing is building under a $1.6 billion contract awarded in January.
Besides offering flight-test crews a chance to test the basic operating parameters of the aircraft and its engines, the second of the July 7 flights served to transfer the airplane from Boeing’s dedicated P-8 final assembly manufacturing line at its 737 factory in Renton, Washington, to the P-8 mission systems installation facility at Boeing Field in Seattle.
The LRIP contract calls for Boeing to produce three production-level aircraft for the P-8A flight-test program at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md.
The flight-test aircraft already are at work. But they do not have the full mission systems suites of production aircraft.
LRIP-1 is to reach Patuxent River next year. After a year of flight testing it is slated to join the fleet in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2013.
The first day’s flight took off at 11:03 a.m. PDT and landed at 2:21 p.m. The aircraft was brought back to Renton for evaluation before a second flight at 5:11 p.m. and touching down at Boeing Field at 7:50 p.m.