The U.S. Navy says that the unmanned carrier-launched airborne surveillance and strike system (UClass) could be operational as early as Fiscal Year 2018. On August 14, the Department of Defense announced the award of $15 million contracts to Boeing, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman for preliminary design reviews (PDR) of the UClass air vehicle.
Concorde continues to expand its STC coverage, with several new international validations for popular battery STCs. The company’s batteries recently received EASA STC approval for the AgustaWestland AW109 and AW139; Dornier Do-328-100; multiple King Air models; and the MD Helicopters MD900. Transport Canada recently approved Concorde batteries for the Challenger 600-2B16, 2B19, 2C10 and 2D24; and Brazil’s ANAC OK’d them for the Sikorsky S-76A, B and C.
The Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air system (UCAS) demonstrator completed its first arrested landing on board an aircraft carrier Wednesday when it touched down on the USS George H.W. Bush off the coast of Virginia.
The U.S. Navy will likely issue a request for proposals (RFP) in the coming weeks for a 10-month preliminary design phase of the unmanned carrier-launched airborne surveillance and strike system (UCLASS) program, according to Lockheed Martin, one of the interested contractors.
The U.S. Navy recorded another first on May 14 when it conducted the first catapult launch of the Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air system demonstrator (UCAS-D) from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush under way off the coast of Virginia.
China’s first jet-powered stealth unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), the Lijian or “Sharp Sword,” was recently spotted undergoing taxiing tests in that country. Analysts interpreted the sighting as indicating that the Lijian’s maiden flight is imminent.
Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy conducted the first shore-based arrested landing of the X-47B unmanned combat air system (UCAS) demonstrator on May 4 in advance of sea-based trials planned this month.
Israel’s Xsight has developed its new FODetect system to help airport managers keep runways clear during rainstorms or even in the middle of the night. Using a small swiveling radar transmitter and sensor unit installed near the runway’s edge, the FODetect beams sweeps the runway as often as every 30 seconds and, like traditional radar, highlights–both visually and aurally–objects as tiny as a rivet that may have fallen unnoticed from vehicles. The operator watching the FODetect screen will also see a high-resolution image of the object that caused the alarm.
The U.S. Navy and prime contractor Northrop Grumman completed the first at-sea deck handling tests of the X-47B unmanned combat air system (UCAS) demonstrator last month. The demonstrator aircraft, one of two built for the program, performed numerous activities aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman both in port at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., and during the 15-day test phase at sea.
A French appeals court has overturned the manslaughter verdict against Continental Airlines resulting from the July 2000 crash of an Air France Concorde soon after takeoff from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). The initial ruling held Continental liable for the accident on the grounds that maintenance errors caused a 16-inch piece of titanium to fall from one of the U.S. airline’s DC10s during its takeoff roll just moments before the Concorde.
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