The all-British Taranis UCAV demonstrator has flown in fully stealth mode during a second phase of flight testing, BAE Systems revealed at the Farnborough Airshow this week. The flights took place last winter from Woomera, South Australia, at a location that the company is still not allowed to acknowledge by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). “The overall achievements and objectives of the Taranis program remain highly classified,” Chris Garside, engineering director BAE Systems told a media briefing.
The 2014 edition of the Farnborough International Airshow has beaten its own record for aircraft and engine orders, with organizers announcing a $130 billion running tally after the first three of the five trade days. Factoring in all provisional orders, AIN’s own analysis puts the estimate at just above $155 billion.
Qatar Airways dominated commercial proceedings at the Farnborough International Airshow yesterday, signing contracts with Boeing for its 777Xs that could be worth up to $37.7 billion, plus another $2.4 billion deal for four 777 freighters.
Canada’s Field Aviation has amassed considerable expertise in the special-mission aircraft design and modification sector. Two examples of its work are on display here at Farnborough (Hall 4 Stand C17-C19), in the form of the Boeing MSA (maritime surveillance aircraft) and a modified nose section for the Viking Twin Otter MRSA.
When Boeing launched the MSA, which is based on the Bombardier Challenger 604 airframe, as a lower-cost alternative to the Boeing P-8 Poseidon, Field Aviation was contracted to undertake the modification.
Apple’s product strategy serves to describe the similarities between the high-end P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft the U.S. Navy uses and the new, smaller maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) being developed for international customers, according to Boeing Defense. Both aircraft are on display here at the Farnborough International Airshow this week.
Thales Optronique (Hall 4 Innovation Zone A1) unveiled its successor to the Damoclès targeting pod on the eve of the Farnborough show. The new sensor system, called “Talios,” should be ready in time for deployment on a major new operational standard of the Dassault Rafale multi-role fighter that is due to enter service in 2018. A new-generation targeting pod, known as PDL-NG, has been one of the key elements associated with the Rafale’s F3R upgrade standard. Development of PDL-NG started in 2009, with approval to proceed affirmed in January 2013.
This year, L-3 Aviation (Chalet A10-15) should generate more than $500 million in sales, according to Ralph DeMarco, v-p of marketing and sales. The five divisions include Aviation Communication and Surveillance Systems (ACSS) in Phoenix, Arizona, which is an L-3 and Thales joint venture; L-3 Aviation Recorders in Sarasota, Florida; L-3 Avionics Systems in Grand Rapids, Michigan; L-3 Display Systems in Alpharetta, Georgia; and L-3 Electronics Systems Services in Canada.
The U.S. Air Force announced that it released a request for proposals (RFP) to industry on July 9 for its new Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) program to develop the next generation heavy bomber. The service said it expects to make a contract award next spring.
Detailed requirements for the bomber are classified and in a press release the Air Force described the platform in generalities. It nevertheless designated the LRS-B as a top priority, along with the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter and KC-46A tanker.
AgustaWestland’s AW149 multi-role military helicopter received military certification on July 15 from the Italian Directorate of Air Armaments (Arma Aereo), following completion of trials with the country’s Reparto Sperimentale di Volo (RSV) test center at Pratica di Mare air base. According to AgustaWestland, operational tests are to begin shortly.
Ameco Beijing is installing another tail dock at its four-bay hangar to handle growing overhaul workload. The design of the new dock, the fourth to be installed in this hangar, takes into account the needs of new aircraft types such as the Boeing 787 and 747-8. The hangar can be used at capacity with four docks, speeding turn-around time. The $1 million project is slated to be finished by the end of September.
Cirrus Aircraft launched a parts and aftermarket service program, called Cirrus Direct, that replaces API’s Cirrus Parts program. The company believes the new service will enhance the ownership and operating experience for its customers.