Delivery of a new SIGINT aircraft for the Royal Air Force has been postponed. The UK’s Military Airworthiness Authority (MAA) has not yet reviewed the safety case. The Airseeker (the RAF’s name for the U.S. Air Force RC-135 Rivet Joint system) is the latest airframe that could be delayed by the MAA’s detailed scrutiny, which British contractors have privately called overzealous.
United States Air Force
FlightSafety Services Corporation (Booth No. N1921) has promoted Gen. Ron Ladnier (USAF, retired.) to vice president, replacing Mike Sangster, who retires from the position at the end of 2013.
In his new position Ladnier will oversee company finances, contracts, human resources and operations. He has been with FlightSafety since 2011 as director, Military Business Development, where he identified and provided training solutions.
Ladnier came to FlightSafety from the U.S. Air Force, where he reached the rank of Major General, and had extensive interagency experience.
Electrical accessory and instrument MRO provider Freedom Aero Service (Booth No. C11949) has relocated into a unique, historical building in the McClellan Business Park, formerly part of McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento, Calif. “The building we are in was built in 1898,” said Scott Durham, president of the company. “It’s historically protected on the outside, but it is 23,900 square feet of totally rebuilt and modernized facility for repairing and overhauling electronic accessories and instruments on the inside.”
Boeing and the U.S. Air Force completed the first flight of an unmanned QF-16 aerial target from Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., on September 19. Flown by two Air Force test pilots in a ground station, the modified Lockheed Martin F-16 reached an altitude of 40,000 feet and a speed of Mach 1.47.
The U.S. Air Force reinstated flight training at combat squadrons that saw their operations curtailed in April by “sequestration” budget cuts. The service announced the resumption of flight training on July 15; it stays in effect until the new fiscal year begins on October 1.
A commercial pilot for Orlando-based Flight Express, a subsidiary of Columbus, Ohio’s AirNet Cargo, is facing a maximum of 15 years in a federal prison after pleading guilty last month to operating an aircraft while under the influence on December 8 last year. Authorities said the pilot was flying with a blood-alcohol level six times over the legal limit for aviators on a trip between North Carolina and Tampa Fla., at the time of the incident.
The PPG Industries Foundation has donated $15,000 to the Air Force Museum Foundation for construction of a fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. The grant was made on behalf of PPG Industries’ aerospace business. The new building, scheduled to open in 2015, will feature four galleries illustrating the U.S. Air Force’s contribution to the space program; its role in transporting the president and other leaders; its contribution to global airlift missions; and research and development aircraft.
Russian aviation will make a splash at this year’s Paris Air Show with the fourth-generation-plus Su-35 multirole fighter flying unrivaled by anything comparable from the U.S. military. In fact, there will be no U.S. government-owned military airplanes either flying or on static display because of the automatic “sequestration” budget cuts roiling the Pentagon. This is the first time since 2001 that a Russian fighter will take part in the Paris flying display and the first time that a U.S. fighter is absent from the event since 1991.
L-3’s acquisition last year of UK-based Thales Training & Simulation has broadened its Link subsidiary’s capabilities and truly put it back in the civil aircraft training business. Since the announcement last year, L-3 Link Simulation & Training, an 85-year-old flight training specialist, has won significant new airliner training system business in key new markets.
Boeing will seek two separate certifications from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its new KC-46A tanker, the commercial 767 derivative it is developing for the U.S. Air Force (USAF). The manufacturer will first apply for an amended type certificate from the FAA for a 767-2C “provisioned freighter” without the aerial refueling components and military avionics planned for the tanker. It will then seek a supplemental type certificate (STC) for a fully equipped KC-46A.
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