“Decision errors in aviation are typically not slips or lapses, but mistakes,” concludes the introduction to the European Helicopter Safety Implementation Team’s new guide to rotorcraft decision making. “In other words, the problem doesn’t lie with a failure to execute a correct decision, but with making a poor decision in the first instance.”
United States Air Force
While the C-17 program has long been a leader in performance-based logistics (PBL), for many defense contractors PBL still represents a “paradigm shift” that they have yet to understand, let alone implement. For the C-17, PBL dates from 1998, when the U.S. Air Force first signed up for what is now known as the Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP). All seven international customers for the C-17 have since joined the innovative scheme.
The Hawker Beechcraft T-6C here at the Farnborough International Airshow flew across the Atlantic Ocean to join the company’s static display, demonstrating the single-engine turboprop trainer’s versatility. Its appearance at the show happens against the backdrop of the still unresolved question of whether the U.S.
On May 4 Boeing flew for the first time an F-16 that the company has converted for pilotless flight under the U.S. Air Force’s Full-Scale Aerial Target (FSAT) program. The flight took place at Cecil Field, near Jacksonville, Florida. A Boeing test pilot took the aircraft up to 41,000 feet during the 66-minute sortie.
The U.S. Air Force is terminating the C-130 avionics modernization program (AMP) and culling 286 aircraft from its fleet over the next five years as it restructures to meet budget constraints. At the same time, the service plans a service-life-extension program (SLEP) for 350 F-16s to compensate for delayed deliveries of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The U.S. strategic tilt toward the Asia Pacific region plays to Raytheon Co.’s strength in active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, a key technology being used and sought by countries in the region to enhance the capabilities of their legacy fourth-generation fighters.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) previewed a Fiscal Year 2013 budget submission on January 26 that slows procurement of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, terminates the Global Hawk Block 30 and retires some C-5As and C-130s. The $613 billion DoD budget will be submitted to Congress in February with the federal budget.
The stealthy, jet-powered Predator-C UAV may be heading for Afghanistan, where it will be operated by “a classified customer,” presumably the CIA. The U.S. Air Force published a procurement notice stating its intention to award a sole-source contract to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) for a single aircraft to serve as “a test platform” in a “multi-agency role” as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The U.S. Air National Guard is conducting training flights with the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in restricted airspace around Fort Drum in western New York State, where an Air Guard wing has established the first such Reaper flight school.