The Royal Canadian Air Force concluded its participation in CRUZEX 2018 in Natal, Brazil, on November 30, following almost two weeks of training alongside members of several militaries from around the Americas.
This was the RCAF’s second time participating in CRUZEX, which was last held in 2013. Operating two CC-130J Hercules cargo aircraft, the CRUZEX Air Task Force was made up of 37 members of 436 Transport Squadron and 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, and two jumpmasters from the Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Centre (CAAWC).
“During CRUZEX, we took the opportunity to fly tactical missions in combat scenarios, performing everything from airborne operations and container delivery system drops, to upgrade flights for our first officers,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Andy Bowser, Air Task Force Commander and Commanding Officer of 436 Transport Squadron. “Perhaps the most important part of the exercise for us was building relationships with our partner nations in the region.”
Second Lieutenant Mariana Dutra (left) and Lieutenant Lay-Ann Lie Vieira Quelie (centre), pilots with the Brazilian Air Force, join a warrant officer from 426 Transport Training Squadron on the ramp of an RCAF CC-130J Hercules for a training flight on CRUZEX 2018 near Natal, Brazil on November 23, 2018. Photograph by Able Seaman Paul Green
Defence diplomacy in the Americas is a key initiative of Strong, Secure, Engaged (Canada’s Defence Policy), and Brazil is one of the Government of Canada’s priorities for engagement in the Western Hemisphere. The RCAF has had a bilateral relationship with the Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira) since 2009.
During the combined training scenarios, RCAF members witnessed the operations of, and trained alongside, multiple Brazilian Air Force, Navy and Army aircraft; Chilean and United States Air Force F-16s and KC-135s; a French C-235 transport plane; Peruvian A-37s and Mirage 2000s fighters; and Uruguayan A-37s.
“Exercising in unfamiliar environments like Brazil contributes to the operational readiness of Air Mobility aircrew and technicians, as we may be called upon to fly anywhere in the world to support Canadian Armed Forces operations,” said Captain Samantha Behm, a pilot with 436 Squadron.
Members of CAAWC had the opportunity to jump from Brazilian C-130s and C-295s, and hosted Brazilian Army paratroopers on board RCAF CC-130Js for a jump. The exercise concluded with 160 Brazilian Army paratroops (“paraquedistas”) receiving their Canadian jump wings in a ceremony.
“Through participation in CRUZEX, the RCAF is strengthening international and regional security, and developing important relationships that will enable close collaboration on future humanitarian and military missions,” said Major-General Christian Drouin, Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division.
As a part of its eightieth anniversary year, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is joining forces with the D-Day Squadron to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of D-Day. The D-Day Squadron is organizing a flight of restored C-47 and DC-3 (the civilian version of the C-47) aircraft across the North Atlantic next spring in a historic tribute to the veterans that took part in the invasion of Europe. With hundreds of thousands of members spanning 75 countries, AOPA is the largest aviation community in the world, representing a strong endorsement of the mission of the D-Day Squadron.
"AOPA and the D-Day Squadron are working together to educate the public about the amazing 75th anniversary of D-Day and the reason it’s worth celebrating,” stated Tom Haines, Senior Vice President, Media, Communications and Outreach for AOPA. “AOPA was formed 80 years ago to protect against undue restrictions on private flying as the war began in Europe and to give general aviation pilots a unified voice. Five years later the D-Day invasion commenced in an effort to assure those sorts of freedom to people across Europe.”
The D-Day Squadron consists of rare civilian and military survivors, such as Tunison Foundation’s Placid Lassie, Museum of Mountain Flying’s Miss Montana and the Commemorative Air Force’s That’s All, Brother. To date, 19 restored aircraft are committed to fly along the original route across the North Atlantic to join with its European counterpart, Daks over Normandy. These groups will create an aerial fleet over Normandy on June 5th and participate in multiple events on both sides of the English Channel. Events will take place on June 2nd-5th at Duxford Airfield in the United Kingdom and from June 5th-9th at Caen-Carpiquet Airport in Normandy, France.
“We will be cooperating on events and other activities to help the D-Day Squadron raise awareness of their mission to get these aircraft into England and ultimately over Normandy to honor the sacrifices of so many 75 years ago,” Haines said.
"We are extremely pleased and grateful to work with AOPA,” declared Moreno Aguiari, Executive Director of the D-Day Squadron. “This organization does an exceptional job serving the interests of its members as aircraft owners and pilots, and to promote the economy, safety, utility and popularity of flight in general aviation aircraft. Together we will honor aviation heritage and the sacrifice made by the men and women of the Greatest Generation."
The D-Day Squadron is the part of the Tunison Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. In June 2019, the D-Day Squadron will lead an American fleet of historic, restored C-47 World War II military aircraft in Daks Over Normandy, a flyover of more than 30 international aircraft to drop 250 paratroopers over the original 1944 drop zones in Normandy commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The event will honor the citizen soldiers of the War, whose bravery led the Allies to the liberation of France, and then to an end of the devastating War in Europe. The Squadron’s education program takes the compelling story of the citizen soldier to audiences at airshows and events off the flight line to honor these brave Americans and ensure their memory and significance is appreciated for generations to come. The group’s efforts are funded through the generous tax-deductible contribution of their supporters. Learn more at DDaySquadron.org.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association advocates on behalf of members, educating pilots, non-pilots, and policy makers alike. It supports activities that ensure the long-term health of General Aviation, fighting to keep General Aviation accessible to all. The AOPA team operates out of offices in Frederick, Maryland, Washington, DC, and seven regional offices. Learn more at www.aopa.org.
On November 8, Bombardier released its third quarter 2018 results, which included several announcements. One of the more notable announcements, is the plan to cut 5,000 jobs over the next twelve to eighteen months. According to the company's press release, "Bombardier also launched a new enterprise-wide productivity program to further streamline, lean out and simplify the Company. The initiative includes two actions. First, with the heavy aerospace investment phase successfully completed, Bombardier will right-size and redeploy its central aerospace engineering team. Key engineering team members will be redeployed to the business segments, with the largest group moving to Business Aircraft, to ensure they have all the necessary capabilities for future business jet development programs.
"Bombardier will also establish a new Advanced Technologies Office (ATO), which will be led by François Caza, who has been appointed Bombardier’s Chief Technology Officer. The ATO will focus on systems design and engineering, including applying experience from Bombardier’s aerospace programs to its rail transportation business.
"In addition to right-sizing and redeploying central engineering, Bombardier has launched a company-wide restructuring initiative focused on optimizing production and management processes, flattening management structures and further reducing indirect costs.
"Collectively, these actions will result in a reduction of approximately 5,000 positions across the organization over the next 12 to 18 months, leading to annualized savings of approximately $250 million at full run rate, which we expect by 2021. Bombardier anticipates recording a restructuring charge in 2019 of approximately the same amount as special items."
Also in the press release, "On November 7, 2018, the Corporation entered into a definitive agreement to sell its activities consisting of flight and technical training for Bombardier Business Aircraft carried out principally in training centers located in Montréal, Québec, and Dallas, Texas to CAE, a long-time Bombardier training partner. This transaction provides Bombardier’s Business Aircraft customers the benefit of CAE’s training expertise, while Bombardier focuses on aircraft development and services. Concurrently with the sale, Bombardier and CAE have entered into an agreement to extend their Authorized Training Provider (ATP) relationship whereby CAE will prepay all royalties under the agreement. Combined, the total value of both transactions is $800 million, including $645 million for the sale of the training activities. Net of fees, liabilities and normal closing adjustments, we expect net proceeds of approximately $650 million. Closing of the sale transaction is expected by the second half of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals."
The release also addressed the sale of the Q400 programme to Longview Aviation Capital Corp., "On November 7, 2018, the Corporation entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of the Q Series aircraft program assets, including aftermarket operations, to a wholly owned subsidiary of Longview Aviation Capital Corp., for gross proceeds of approximately $300 million. The agreement covers all assets and intellectual property and Type Certificates associated with the Dash 8 Series 100, 200 and 300 as well as the Q400 program operations at the Downsview manufacturing facility in Ontario, Canada. The transaction is expected to close by the second half of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Net proceeds for this transaction are expected at approximately $250 million net of fees, liabilities and normal closing adjustments."
On November 8, Longview Aviation Capital Corp., parent company to Viking Air Limited, agreed to acquire, through an affiliate, the entire Dash 8 programme, including the 100, 200 and 300 series and the in-production Q400 programme from Bombardier Inc. Also included as part of the transaction are rights to the de Havilland name and trademark in an all-Canadian transactions. Once completed, Longview will become North America’s largest commercial turbo-prop aircraft manufacturer.
“The Dash 8 turbo-prop is the perfect complement to our existing portfolio of specialized aircraft including the Twin Otter and the Canadair CL 215 and 415 series of water bombers,” said David Curtis, CEO of Longview Aviation Capital Corp. “We see enormous value in the de Havilland Dash 8 programme, with these aircraft in demand and in use all around the world.”
As part of the agreement, Longview will receive all assets and intellectual property and Type Certificates associated with the Dash 8 programme. Upon the closing of the transaction, Longview will also assume responsibility for the worldwide product support business – covering more than 1,000 aircraft either currently in service or slated for production.
Longview will continue to independently operate the programme at the original de Havilland manufacturing site located at Downsview, Ontario upon closing of the transaction. The Downsview site was sold by Bombardier earlier this year but, under the terms of a lease with the new owners and a license from Bombardier, production will remain on-site until at least 2021. As part of the transaction Longview also looks forward to welcoming Bombardier employees currently associated with the production, support and sales of the Dash 8 programme.
“We are committed to a business-as-usual approach that will see no interruption to the production, delivery and support of these outstanding aircraft,” added Curtis. “With the entire de Havilland product line reunited under the same banner for the first time in decades, we look forward to working with customers, suppliers and employees upon close of the transaction to determine what opportunities lie ahead.”
Longview and Bombardier will work closely in the period until the closing of the transaction to ensure a seamless transition for employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders with no interruption in production, delivery and support of the aircraft.
This transaction builds on Longview’s established track record of acquiring and successfully operating significant aircraft manufacturing, parts and serving programmes including the Twin Otter programme and the Canadair CL 215 and 415 waterbomber series.
The transaction is subject to typical closing conditions and the receipt of regulatory approvals. The sale and transaction are expected to close by the second half of 2019.
On 26 October, Delta Air Lines became the first U.S. carrier to take delivery of the Airbus A220 aircraft. On hand for the delivery ceremony at the aircraft’s assembly line in Mirabel were members of the A220 team as well as government officials and executives from Delta, Airbus, Bombardier and Investissement Quebec.
Delta’s A220 will enter service in early 2019, making Delta the fourth global airline to operate the aircraft previously known as the Bombardier C Series. The C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP) welcomed Airbus as lead partner earlier this year, prompting the change of name to the Airbus A220. Delta is the largest A220-100 customer, with a firm order for 75 aircraft.
Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus’ commercial aircraft business, said, “We at Airbus are dedicated to providing our customers the right products for a marketplace that needs modern, efficient and passenger-friendly aircraft – and the remarkable A220 certainly delivers. When a great airline like Delta puts a new aircraft into service as a platform for their outstanding passenger service, the entire industry takes note. The A220 team is gratified by the confidence that the Delta family has placed in this excellent, Canadian-born aircraft.”
The A220-100 delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency. It brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft.
With an order book of over 400 aircraft to date, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market, estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.
As of the end of September, Delta was operating a fleet of 235 Airbus aircraft, including 182 A320 Family members, as well as 42 A330s and 11 A350 XWB, or eXtra Wide Body aircraft. The airline has more than 275 additional Airbus aircraft on order. Next year, Delta will become the first U.S. airline to operate the new Airbus A330neo.
U.S. Army pilots exercised supervised autonomy to direct an optionally-piloted helicopter (OPV) through a series of missions, to demonstrate technology developed by Sikorsky and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The series of flights marked the first time that non-Sikorsky pilots operated the Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA), a modified S-76B commercial helicopter, as an OPV aircraft.
"Future vertical lift aircraft will require robust autonomous and optimally-piloted systems to complete missions and improve safety," said Chris Van Buiten, vice president, Sikorsky Innovations. "We could not be more thrilled to welcome Army aviators to the cockpit to experience first-hand the reliability of optimally-piloted technology developed by the innovative engineers at Sikorsky and DARPA. These aviators experienced the same technology that we are installing and testing on a Black Hawk that will take its first flight over the next several months."
SARA, which has more than 300 hours of autonomous flight, successfully demonstrated the advanced capabilities developed as part of the third phase of DARPA's Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) programme. The aircraft was operated at different times by pilots on board and pilots on the ground. Sikorsky's MATRIX Technology autonomous software and hardware, which is installed on SARA, executed various scenarios including:
Automated Take Off and Landing: The helicopter autonomously executed take-off, traveled to its destination, and autonomously landed
Obstacle Avoidance: The helicopter's LIDAR and cameras enabled it to detect and avoid unknown objects such as wires, towers and moving vehicles
Automatic Landing Zone Selection: The helicopter's LIDAR sensors determined a safe landing zone
Contour Flight: The helicopter flew low to the ground and behind trees
The recent Mission Software Flight Demonstration was a collaboration with the U.S. Army's Aviation Development Directorate, Sikorsky and DARPA. The Army and DARPA are working with Sikorsky to improve and expand ALIAS capabilities developed as a tailorable autonomy kit for installation in both fixed wing airplanes and helicopters.
Over the next few months, Sikorsky will for the first time fly a Black Hawk equipped with ALIAS. The company is working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration to certify ALIAS/MATRIX technology so that it will be available on current and future commercial and military aircraft.
"We're demonstrating a certifiable autonomy solution that is going to drastically change the way pilots fly," said Mark Ward, Sikorsky Chief Pilot, Stratford, Conn. Flight Test Center. "We're confident that MATRIX Technology will allow pilots to focus on their missions. This technology will ultimately decrease instances of the number one cause of helicopter crashes: Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT)."
Through the DARPA ALIAS program, Sikorsky is developing an OPV approach it describes as pilot directed autonomy that will give operators the confidence to fly aircraft safely, reliably and affordably in optimally piloted modes enabling flight with two, one or zero crew. The program will improve operator decision aiding for manned operations while also enabling both unmanned and reduced crew operations.
Via PR Newswire / Lockheed Martin
Boeing will build the U.S. Navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft, the MQ-25 aerial refueller, through an $805 million contract awarded on August 30.
Boeing was awarded the engineering and manufacturing development contract to provide four aircraft. The company plans to perform the MQ-25 work in St. Louis.
“As a company, we have made an investment in both our team and in an unmanned aircraft system that meets the U.S. Navy’s refueling requirements,” said Leanne Caret, president and CEO, Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “The fact that we’re already preparing for first flight is thanks to an outstanding team who understands the Navy and their need to have this important asset on carrier decks around the world.”
MQ-25 is designed to provide the U.S. Navy with a much-needed refueling capability. According to the U.S. Navy, the MQ-25 Stingray will allow for better use of combat strike fighters by extending the range of deployed Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler, and Lockheed Martin F-35C aircraft. MQ-25 will also seamlessly integrate with a carrier’s catapult and launch and recovery systems.
Boeing has been providing carrier aircraft to the U.S. Navy for more than 90 years.
Technicians have completed construction on the spacecraft capsule structure that will return astronauts to the Moon, and have successfully shipped the capsule to Florida for final assembly into a full spacecraft. The capsule structure, or pressure vessel, for NASA's Orion Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2) spacecraft was welded together over the last seven months by Lockheed Martin technicians and engineers at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans.
Orion is the world's only exploration-class spaceship, and the EM-2 mission will be its first flight with astronauts on board, taking them farther into the solar system than ever before.
"It's great to see the EM-2 capsule arrive just as we are completing the final assembly of the EM-1 crew module," said Mike Hawes, Lockheed Martin vice president and program manager for Orion. "We've learned a lot building the previous pressure vessels and spacecraft and the EM-2 spacecraft will be the most capable, cost-effective and efficient one we've built."
Orion's pressure vessel is made from seven large, machined aluminum alloy pieces that are welded together to produce a strong, light-weight, air-tight capsule. It was designed specifically to withstand the harsh and demanding environment of deep space travel while keeping the crew safe and productive.
"We're all taking extra care with this build and assembly, knowing that this spaceship is going to take astronauts back to the Moon for the first time in four decades," said Matt Wallo, senior manager of Lockheed Martin Orion Production at Michoud. "It's amazing to think that, one day soon, the crew will watch the sun rise over the lunar horizon through the windows of this pressure vessel. We're all humbled and proud to be doing our part for the future of exploration."
The capsule was shipped over the road from New Orleans to the Kennedy Space Center, arriving on Friday, Aug. 24. Now in the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building, Lockheed Martin technicians will immediately start assembly and integration on the EM-2 crew module.
Airbus has revealed the A220 at a ceremony held at its Henri-Ziegler Delivery Centre, near Toulouse. Witnessed by Airbus employees and members of the global news media, the A220-300 landed directly from painting, wearing its new Airbus name and colours.
The A220 family comprises two models, the A220-100 and A220-300, formerly Bombardier Inc.’s C Series (CS100 and CS300). The aircraft are fully optimized for the 100 to 150 seat market and complement Airbus’ existing best-selling A320neo family.
“Everyone at Airbus has been looking forward to this historic moment. Today, we are thrilled to welcome the A220 to the Airbus family and are honoured to see it wearing its new Airbus colours for the first time,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus President Commercial Aircraft. “I pay tribute to all the women and men at Bombardier and the supply chain who have strived over the past years to bring this fantastic aircraft to the world. The A220 now enters a new phase in its career with all Airbus’ ressources behind it to further its commercial success worldwide."
Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, added: “We are enthusiastic about incorporating the A220 in the Airbus Family. I have received positive feedback from customers, and this contributes to my optimism that within the Airbus network, we will make the A220 a great commercial success."