Airbus and Dassault Aviation have decided to join forces for the development and production of Europe’s Future Combat Air System (FCAS), which is slated to complement and eventually replace current generation of Eurofighter and Rafale fighter aircraft between 2035 and 2040.
The partnership, sealed in Berlin by Dirk Hoke, Airbus Defence and Space Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, represents a landmark industrial agreement to secure European sovereignty and technological leadership in the military aviation sector for the coming decades.
“Never before has Europe been more determined to safeguard and foster its political and industrial autonomy and sovereignty in the defence sector. Airbus and Dassault Aviation have absolutely the right expertise to lead the FCAS project. Both companies are already cooperating successfully on Europe’s medium altitude long endurance new generation drone programme,” said Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. “FCAS takes this successful cooperation to the next level and we are absolutely committed to tackling this challenging mission together with Dassault Aviation. The schedule is tight, so we need to start working together immediately by defining a joint roadmap on how best to meet the requirements and timelines to be set by the two nations. It is therefore of key importance that France and Germany launch an initial joint study this year to address this task.”
Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, said: “We are convinced that by deploying our joint expertise, Dassault Aviation and Airbus can best meet the operational requirements of the Forces in the development of this critically important European programme. Both companies fully intend to work together in the most pragmatic and efficient manner. Our joint roadmap will include proposals to develop demonstrators for the FCAS programme as of 2025. I am convinced that European sovereignty and strategic autonomy can and will only be ensured through independent European solutions. The vision that France and Germany have set forth with FCAS is a bold one and it’s an important signal in, and for, Europe. The FCAS programme will strengthen the political and military ties between Europe’s core nations and it will reinvigorate its aerospace industry.”
Airbus Defence and Space and Dassault Aviation agree on the importance of efficient industrial governance in military programmes. This also includes the involvement of other key European defence industrial players and nations based on government funding and on the principle of best contribution.
Overall, FCAS defines a system of systems combining a wide range of elements connected and operating together, including a next generation fighter aircraft together with Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), the existing fleet of aircraft (which will still operate beyond 2040), future cruise missiles and drones flying in swarms. The overall system will be interoperable and connected in a larger perimeter with mission aircraft, satellites, NATO systems and land and naval combat systems.
The Ultra Long Range version of the A350 XWB, MSN 216, has successfully completed its first flight. The latest variant of the best-selling A350 XWB Family will be able to fly further than any other commercial airliner and will enter service with launch operator Singapore Airlines in second half 2018.
The aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines has embarked on a short flight test programme to certify the changes over the standard A350-900 that will extend its range capability to 9,700 nautical miles. These changes include a modified fuel system that increases fuel carrying capacity by 24,000 litres, without the need for additional fuel tanks. The test phase will also measure enhanced performance from aerodynamic improvements, including extended winglets.
With a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 280 tonnes, the Ultra Long Range A350 XWB is capable of flying over 20 hours non-stop, combining the highest levels of passenger and crew comfort with unbeatable economics for such distances.
Altogether, Singapore Airlines has ordered seven A350-900 Ultra Long Range aircraft, which it will use on non-stop flights between Singapore and the US, including the world’s longest commercial service between Singapore and New York.
The A350 XWB is an all new family of widebody long-haul airliners shaping the future of air travel. The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs. The A350 XWB features an Airspace by Airbus cabin offering absolute well-being on board with the quietest twin-aisle cabin and new air systems.
At the end of March 2018, Airbus has recorded a total of 854 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.
Singapore Airlines is one of the largest customers for the A350 XWB Family, having ordered a total of 67 A350-900s, including the seven Ultra Long Range models. The carrier has already taken delivery of 21 A350-900s.
The Global 7000 is now the largest and the longest range business jet ever built, and is able to fly a full 300 nautical miles farther than initial commitment. This highly anticipated aircraft is on track for its first delivery during the second half of 2018, with more than 1,800 hours of flight testing accomplished and interior completions well under way at Bombardier’s facilities in Montreal. The Global 7000 features four distinct living spaces, a complete kitchen and a full-size crew suite. Having completed multiple long-range flights around the world, the Global 7000 now boasts a tremendous range of 7,700 nautical miles, connecting more city pairs than any other business aircraft.
“We are thrilled to offer this extended range to our loyal customers, who are the driving force behind our engineering feats and who will soon own an aircraft that simply has no peer,” said David Coleal, President, Bombardier Business Aircraft. “Not only are we standing by our commitment to begin delivering Global 7000 aircraft this year, we are exceeding expectations along the way.”
The new 7,700-nautical-mile baseline range will be a feature on the Global 7000 for all existing and future customers. The flight test programme is progressing to plan, with all five test vehicles in flight. The flight test programme, which began in November 2016, has completed more than 1,800 hours of flight testing and is currently finalizing certification for the aircraft.
With a maximum operating range of 7,700 nautical miles, the Global 7000 can fly farther than any other business jet. The aircraft was widely publicized as being able to connect some of the world’s most expansive city pairings, including such routes as New York to Shanghai, and Singapore to Seattle. Today, Bombardier can confirm that with its extended range, the Global 7000 aircraft is the only business aircraft that can connect New York to Hong Kong, and Singapore to San Francisco.
Just five months into testing, this high-speed aircraft set a record as the largest business jet to operate so close to the sound barrier, reaching a milestone top speed of Mach 0.995.
Bye Aerospace has announced that its prototype Sun Flyer 2 completed its first flight on April 10. The prototype aircraft flight test programme, which began in late March, is being conducted at Centennial Airport (KAPA), south of Denver, Colorado.
According to George Bye, Founder and CEO of Bye Aerospace, “We are excited about the future and the potential the Sun Flyer family of aircraft has to revolutionize general aviation, providing improved affordability and accessibility. Lower operating costs are key to solving the student pilot drop-out rate, which is curtailing the successful attainment of badly needed airline pilots. The Sun Flyer 2’s $3 hourly operating costs are ten times lower than traditional piston-engine flight trainers, with no carbon emissions and significantly reduced noise.”
EP Systems provided the energy storage system for the Sun Flyer 2 prototype being flight tested, including battery modules (packs), battery management unit and power distribution unit. The battery cells are LG Chem 'MJ1' lithium-ion battery cells with a 260 Wh/kg energy density. Bye Aerospace will soon announce who its electric motor partner will be for the family of FAA-certified Sun Flyer aircraft.
The Sun Flyer family of aircraft, including the Sun Flyer 2 and the 4-seat “Sun Flyer 4,” will be the first FAA-certified, U.S.-sponsored, practical, all-electric airplanes to serve the flight training and general aviation markets.
For more information, visit www.ByeAerospace.com or www.GeorgeBye.com
The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) announced on April 4 that the Cirrus Aircraft Vision Jet has been awarded the 2017 Robert J. Collier Trophy, for developing the world’s first single engine Personal Jet and implementing the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) on the aircraft.
The Collier Trophy is selected by a committee that includes 25 industry leaders and is awarded annually to recognize “the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety in air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year.” The nine nominees this year included the Edwards Air Force Base F-35 Integrated Test Force, Boeing 737 MAX, NASA/JPL Cassini Project Team and more.
“For more than a century, the Collier Trophy has recognized the greatest achievements in aviation in America,” said Greg Principato, NAA President and Chief Executive Officer. “By revolutionizing general and personal aviation, Cirrus Aircraft, with their Vision Jet, has added to a great and historic Collier legacy. We at the National Aeronautic Association congratulate them on their achievement and look forward to the presentation of the Collier Trophy on June 14.”
As the world’s first single-engine Personal Jet, the Vision Jet created a new category in aviation and further defined its significance with the inclusion of the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). Unique to Cirrus Aircraft since the launch of the first SR Series aircraft in 1999, CAPS is the first FAA-certified whole airframe parachute system included as standard equipment on an aircraft and has continuously redefined safety in aviation. The inclusion of CAPS on the Vision Jet marks a major engineering milestone in the design and development of jet aircraft and signifies the ability to further transform aircraft safety at heights and speeds never before imagined.
“At Cirrus Aircraft we are honored and humbled to be awarded the 2017 Collier Trophy and to even be mentioned among the giants in aviation and space research that have won before us”, said Dale Klapmeier, Cirrus Aircraft Co-founder and CEO. “The arrival of the Vision Jet has forever changed general aviation and personal transportation and the 2017 Collier Trophy is dedicated to all of our employees and partners who have been a part of the development, production and now delivery of this game-changing airplane. We will celebrate this great honor by continuing to focus on our core mission of creating safer aircraft, safer pilots and safer skies.”
Throughout the history of powered flight, the NAA has been the steward for the nation’s most prestigious aviation awards. As the most notable of these awards, the Robert J. Collier Trophy was first awarded in 1911 and represents a historical timeline of the most celebrated advancements in flight and air safety around the world. Past recipients include Orville Wright, Neil Armstrong and the Apollo 11 team, Chuck Yeager and the Bell X-1, Lockheed’s Skunk Works and the F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter, Boeing 747, Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, B-2 Spirit, F-22 Raptor, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Gulfstream 650, Blue Origin and many more aviators, scientists and engineers responsible for progressing aviation for generations to come.
The Vision Jet received FAA certification in 2016 and immediately ushered in a new era in personal aviation as the world’s first single-engine Personal Jet. The turbine aircraft features a spacious, pilot and passenger-friendly cabin with panoramic windows, reclining seats and comfortable legroom to accommodate five adults and two children. The cabin is complemented by the Cirrus Perspective Touch by Garmin Flight Deck, which delivers a wide array of sophisticated and intuitive global navigation capabilities and safety features at the touch of a finger.
The Collier Trophy will be formally presented at the Annual Robert J. Collier Trophy Dinner on June 14, 2018 at a location to be announced. It is on permanent display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. For more information, including a full list of past recipients, visit www.naa.aero.
The Canadian Space Operations Centre (CANSpOC) is the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Director General Space’s operational unit; it provides space domain awareness and surveillance to the Canadian Armed Forces as well as other governmental and commercial entities. The data it collects and analyzes is used to support domestic, deployed military and civil operations on a global scale.
The CANSpOC recently tracked the Chinese space station called Tiangong-1 (which translates as “Heavenly Palace”). The station, launched in 2011, was China’s first space station. It was home to Chinese astronauts on two occasions but had been unmanned since the summer of 2013. China lost control of the station in 2016 and its orbit began to slowly decay. It burned up on re-entry and broke apart on Sunday, April 1, 2018, over the southern Pacific Ocean.
Tiangong-1 orbited between 42.75°N and 42.75°S, meaning that it was certain the station would only re-enter between these latitudes. This constitutes about two-thirds of the Earth’s entire surface, half of which is covered by water. Canada covers an area from 41.65°S to 83.10°N latitudes. Consequently, the only region within Canada that could have been potentially at risk of falling space debris was the very southern tip of Ontario.
The station’s shape, size and material determined whether it would have completely burned up in the atmosphere or broken up into smaller pieces that could have survived re-entry. Tiangong-1’s considerable mass of approximatively 8,500 kilograms created concerns that pieces of debris might survive re-entry.
The CANSpOC collaborated with military counterparts from Australia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States to perform a series of predictions of Tiangong-1’s final re-entry point. Predicting the location where a space object will re-enter is a complex task due to the fluctuation of many variables such as the orientation of the object and atmospheric density. As the re-entry date approached, the uncertainty shrank and the predictions became more accurate. The CANSpOC provided warnings and updates to the appropriate entities in Government of Canada such as Public Safety until the space station broke up while entering earth’s atmosphere.
Text Captain Jennifer Howell, courtesy of the RCAF. Photograph by Corporal Justin Roy.
The freshly-painted 2018 CF-18 Demonstration Team jet was towed into a 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta, hangar on a sunny April 3 afternoon in front of an eager crowd.
“Wow… oh wow,” said Captain Stefan Porteous. This was the first time he’d seen the finished CF-18 Hornet that he’ll spend the summer flying for air show audiences across North America and the United Kingdom.
“I’d only seen the teaser photos we posted about a month ago,” he said, smiling, with the bright blue, white, red and grey jet behind him. During his address to the crowd, Captain Porteous introduced his maintenance and safety pilot team and thanked the army of people it took to get ready for the 2018 season.
“I realize that a staggering amount of work has gone into completing the paint job and preparing the aircraft for the show season,” he said. “I think that everyone here today, as well as those following this unveil live online, would agree with me when I say that you have done an outstanding job!”
Brigadier-General Sean Boyle, the deputy commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, also attended the much-anticipated unveiling of the “NORAD 60” paint scheme, which honours this year’s 60th anniversary of the NORAD agreement.
“NORAD is a unique example of the depth and breadth of the Canadian and U.S. partnership in the common defense of our continent,” he said. “It is a relationship built on trust, mutual benefit, and a mutual respect for sovereignty. Our collaborative relationship is one of the closest and most extensive in history.”
Brigadier-General Boyle went on to thank the team at 1 Air Maintenance Squadron who, under the direction of designers Captain Jeff Chester and Mr. Jim Beliveau, brought the design to life.
The CF-18 Demo Team now moves to 19 Wing Comox, British Columbia, to fine tune the routine before the first airshow on May 4, 2018.
4/5/2018 0 Comments
London-based innovation company Exclin Ltd. has announced the Vertex Recreational Vehicle, a next-generation, fuel-efficient vehicle concept that will offer pilots an exhilarating, low-altitude flight over sea. Based on patented, award-winning Vertex Lift System technology, the vehicle will also allow vertical take-off and the ability to explore far-flung island locations beyond the range of a speedboat. Because it flies close to the water using “wing in ground-effect” (WIG) technology, the Vertex Recreational Vehicle will be more efficient than a plane and faster than most boats. And thanks to the Vertex Lift System, it will offer a level of stability and controllability that conventional WIG vehicles cannot – meaning it could start a sea change in fuel-efficient maritime transport.
The Vertex Lift System takes conventional WIG technology and adds “lift thrust”, providing control and stability independent of vehicle speed. The technology solves a key challenge faced by conventional WIG vehicles, potentially opening up a new product class. The “lift thrust” technology also means the vehicle can take off vertically from a ground surface – offering a thrill to the pilot and a spectacle to observers – while still offering the flexibility of conventional take-off and landing on ground or water. Vertex Lift System technology was a Golden Bridge Awards Gold Winner at Energy Industry Innovations in the US in 2017 – and the vehicle was shortlisted in the British Engineering Excellence Awards in the same year. Exclin has been recognised as a Top 500 deep-tech startup in the Hello Tomorrow Challenge 2017, and selected as a semi-finalist in the 2018 European Startup prize for mobility.
The Vertex vehicle will offer pilots the sheer pleasure of flying a high-speed craft within metres of the water’s surface – offering high levels of comfort relative to a speedboat. The high speed of the craft – up to 150kph – means it can reach locations further afield than most boats, such as islands and distant coves. The Vertex vehicle will be easy to fly and require limited training compared to an aircraft – giving it a low “barrier to entry” for pilots. This lower bar could also make the craft suitable for luxury seaside hotels or resort villas in regions such as the Bahamas, Fiji, Greece and the Maldives. To meet the specific needs of recreational pilots, it will be possible to separate the main wing from the body, in order to tow the Vertex Recreational Vehicle with a car. Classified as a “WIG type B” maritime vehicle, the Vertex Recreational Vehicle will be competitive to fly, operate and own.
Because of the Vertex Lift System, the Vertex Recreational Vehicle will represent a step forward for WIG vehicle safety – overcoming barriers to developing this product class. When the vehicle is in ground-effect mode – flying a few metres from the water surface – the lift system is designed to respond dynamically to changes in conditions such as gusts of wind, to give the vehicle extra stability and control. In addition, the vehicle will have the ability to operate in free flight, up to the maximum altitude of 150 metres allowed for a WIG type B vehicle. Although this will not be as fuel-efficient, it means the vehicle can be operated safely in harsh conditions, such as rough seas.
In future, Vertex Lift System technology could revolutionise freight transport in maritime locations – enabling a combination of speed and efficiency that fills a gap in the value chain. Because of their range and speed, Vertex vehicles will be well placed to take advantage of the trend toward faster, point-to-point high-speed connections as an alternative to congested, hub-specific travel routes. They could also operate in destinations that are out of reach of boats, such as beaches and hangars – and can fly over frozen waters or via Arctic routes. Compared to boats, Vertex vehicles would also be able to operate for a longer period of the year – making them more reliable for the needs of high-speed freight.
For more information about Exclin or the Vertex Recreational Vehicle, see www.exclin.com
Supersonic commercial travel is on the horizon. On April 3, NASA awarded Lockheed Martin Skunk Works a contract to design, build and flight test the Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator, an X-plane designed to make supersonic passenger air travel a reality.
"It is super exciting to be back designing and flying X-planes at this scale," said Jaiwon Shin, NASA's associate administrator for aeronautics. "Our long tradition of solving the technical barriers of supersonic flight to benefit everyone continues."
Lockheed Martin Skunk Works will build a full-scale experimental aircraft, known as an X-plane, of its preliminary design developed under NASA's Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) effort. The X-plane will help NASA establish an acceptable commercial supersonic noise standard to overturn current regulations banning commercial supersonic travel over land.
"We're honored to continue our partnership with NASA to enable a new generation of supersonic travel," said Peter Iosifidis, Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator program manager, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. "We look forward to applying the extensive work completed under QueSST to the design, build and flight test of the X-plane, providing NASA with a demonstrator to make supersonic commercial travel possible for passengers around the globe."
Lockheed Martin Skunk Works and NASA have partnered for more than a decade to enable the next generation of commercial supersonic aircraft. NASA awarded Lockheed Martin Skunk Works a contract in February 2016 for the preliminary design of the supersonic X-plane flight demonstrator.
The aircraft will be built at the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California, and will conduct its first flight in 2021.
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) AirPower History Tour will bring the sights, sounds, and stories of World War II aviation to 26 cities in North America this summer including 8 cities in Canada. It is the first time in history the B-29 Superfortress, one of only two in the world that still fly, will be available for tours and rides at Canadian stops.
The tour’s collection of World War II aircraft provides powerful history lessons to audiences across North America. Visitors to the ramp will be able to view the aircraft up close and tour the cockpit when the airplane is not flying.
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress, first flown in 1942, began active service in 1944 and is perhaps best known as the aircraft whose missions over Japan helped bring about the end of World War II. It was designed as a replacement for the older B-17s and B-24s, with longer range and greater bomb loads. The B-29 was also used in the Korean War in the early 1950s and was a staple of the U.S. Air Force until later that decade. FIFI was acquired by the CAF in the early 1970s when a group of CAF members found her at the U.S. Navy Proving Ground at China Lake, California where she was intended to be used as a missile target. The airplane was rescued and restored and has flown for over 40 years traveling coast to coast each year attracting large crowds at every tour stop.