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Richard Branson, a Bristish tycoon and founder Virgin Galactic space programme stole the spotlight at the airshow last July 11, 2012, Wednesday announcing that he and his family would be on Virgin Galactic’s first trip into space as Airbus and Boeing lengthen out more plane orders.
A full size mock-up of Branson’s SpaceShip Two (SS2) aircraft was being showcased at the biennial Farnborough airshow near London which in the event focuses on the aviation sector calendar that typically showcases planemakers Airbus and Boeing battle for orders.
“Obviously this is the most exciting adventure I have ever undertaken,” Branson told AFP. “It’s both an entrepreneurial and personal adventure in being able to build a spaceship and ask my (two adult) children to come along.”
Actor Ashton Kutcher and scientist Stephen Hawking are among the aspiring astronauts who have signed up to the programme that gets under way in late 2013 to early 2014, according to the Virgin empire head. Irish businessman and author Bill Cullen, 70, was the first to sign up for a trip, in 2004. “I wanted to be the first Irishman in space and I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “I’ve been interested in space ever since I followed comic hero Dan Dare when I was a kid.”
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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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Britain's Prime Minister David Cameran stands near the Garuda Indonesia A330 Airbus at Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia.
For a boost of trade and investment, Indonesia’s Garuda Airlines purchased 11 A330 Airbus Jetstar airplanes worth $2.5 billion during British Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit in Jakarta Indonesia. The new Airbus jets will increase by two-thirds the number of long-hauled A330s ready to be delivered to Garuda.
“The deal between Airbus and Garuda Indonesia Airlines is a great news for the United Kingdom aerospace industry,” Prime Minister Cameran said from his arrival at Halim Perdana Kusuma airport in Indonesia for his 24-hour visit. Cameron also said that he wanted to promote arms deals to mark a departure from British policy. Cameron’s coalition government is trying to boost British economy to reduce reliance on financial services and to limit exposure to their crisis-hit economy by doing more business with growing markets.
Today, Indonesia is seen to have a rapid expansion on the aviation sector opt to travel by air across the archipelago of 17,000 islands. Many islands lack good roads or railways while shipping connections are slow and deadly transport accidents are common.
Garuda’s CEO Emirsyah Satar said he planned to use the new Airbus A330 planes to expand in Asia-Pacific, including China, South Korea and Australia.
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Eight people died together with Jimmy Leeward, 74, pilot of the vintage P-51 Mustang warplane during the horrible crash at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada air show last September 2011. A total of 54 people were reported injured says Reno Air Races President and CEO, Mike Houghton.
The WWII-era P-51 Mustang crashed into the VIP box-seat of the grandstand where two more spectators also died during the incident. The model jet airplane was already on its third lap during the gold heat race when it lost control.
People ducked and panicked as pieces of debris from the plane crash started flying everywhere
Houghton says “He (Leeward) was only 74. Uh, all of his medical records and everything were up to date, spot-on, uh, and Jimmy was a very experienced and, uh, talented, qualified pilot”. But what caused the wreck appeared that there was a “problem with the aircraft that caused it to go out of control.” Houghton added.
Kim Fonda recalls the plane crash as she was seated at the grandstand seeing the plane hustling towards their direction, saying “I am going to die now” As she closed her eyes and literally was preparing to die and that was when the pilot jerked the plane away from the grandstand and crashed like 25 feet away from them. Fonda wanted to let Leeward’s family know that he was a hero.
Mr. Leeward was hailed as a hero after steering the doomed aircraft away from the grandstand and at the same time, saving the lives of hundred. It is a thought he suffered a mechanical failure in the air.
Jimmy Leeward, the pilot of the WWII-era P-51 Mustang warplane
“I think that pilot in the last seconds pulled up because he saw the bleachers and saved about 200 or 300 others,” Ben Cissell one of the witnesses during the crash told CNN.
Maureen Higgins of Alabama who has been coming to the show for 16 years said she was just sitting about 30 yards away from the crash stood in horror as the man in front of her started bleeding after pieces of debris from the aircraft hit him in the head.
A total of 27 people were admitted to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno. While 25 patients were sent to Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center and 8 other patients were reportedly brought to the Northern Nevada Medical Center.
Today, Reno Air Races still uses warplanes aircrafts for their air shows. For more information about Aviation planes, please visit www.warplanes.com.
Story and photos from www.dailymail.co.uk and www.ktvn.com
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The Boeing 747-8 Freighter landed at exactly 5:35 p.m. at the Paris Le Bourget Airport in Le Bourget, France after the first transatlantic flight of a large commercial airplane powered on all engines by a sustainable aviation jet fuel.
Boeing pilots Captain Keith Otsuka, Captain Rick Braun and Cargolux Captain Sten Rossby piloted the 747 Frieghter from Washington Everett to Le Bourget equipped with four of its General Electric GEnx-2B engines powered by a blend of 15 percent camelina-based biofuel mixed with 85 percent traditional kerosene Jet A fuel. However, there are no changes were made to the airplane, its engines or operating procedures prior to departure. Normal flight parameters were followed and approved in advance by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
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Recently, Air France-KLM has announced its intention for signing up to 60 A350 XWD aircraft, which 25 A350-900 will be firmed up shortly. The said aircraft will become an essential pillar in the group’s long-haul fleet modernization strategy.
“We are honoured that our all new, extra efficient A350 XWB will contribute to Air France-KLM’s long-term success”, said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer – Customers. “The A350 XWB’s unbeatable economics and environmental credentials will establish the aircraft as the future backbone of the airline’s long-haul fleet. We take this decision as a testimony of confidence in our brand and products”.
The A350 XWD or what they call Xtra Wide-Body is a family of all-new long range product line comprising of three models capable of flying between 270 and 350 passengers in a typical three-class layouts on flights of up to 8,500 nautical miles.
As of today, the Air France-KLM Group currently operates a fleet of 191 Airbus aircraft, comprising of six A380s, 26 A330s, 15 A340s, 24 A321s, 58 A320s, 44 A319s and 18 A318s. With this new updates, Air France-KLM joins the expanding group of airlines to have a member if each Airbus family in their fleet.
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The Boeing Company celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first flight that was done by the C-17 airlifter in Long Beach, California. Test aircraft T-1 took off from the Boeing Long Beach site on a two hour flight that proved the engineering and design concepts of the aircraft and marked the beginning of the program on September 15, 1991.
T-1 once again flew this September 15, 2011 in a re-creation of its milestone flight, “The first flight of T-1 ushered in a new era in military and humanitarian airlift,” said Bob Ceisla, C-17 program manager for Boeing. “Twenty years ago, when I was working in flight test for this new airlift program, I could not anticipate just how critical the C-17 would become for the U.S. Air Force and its allies. The success of the C-17 Globemaster III program extends beyond Boeing’s employees and supplier partners, who have proudly engineered and built the world’s greatest airlifter for two decades, to exceed the expectations of customers around the globe who fly the jet every day.”
For more than 2 million hours in its 20-year history the C-17 has flown, it was already supporting worldwide airlift missions that transport troops and supplies to global hot zones and bring aid to those in need during humanitarian crises.
“There is no question that the C-17 has set the bar high,” said Ciesla. “The program has performed on cost and on schedule for more than a decade. Now we are entering a new stage with a production-rate reduction from 15 to 10 aircraft per year, extending the life of the C-17 line to 2014 and beyond.”
Setting its history in aviation, the C-17 has achieved a number of record-breaking milestones to more than any other airlifter and set 33 world records during initial flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base, California. The C-17′s records include payload to altitude and time-to-climb, as well as a record for short-takeoff-and-landing in which the C-17 took off in less than 1,400 feet, carried a payload of 44,000 pounds to altitude, and landed in less than 1,400 feet.
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