Unmanned Combat Aircraft Tests Move Quickly

Spring 2012 at NAS Patuxent River, Md., and an unusual shape joins the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters flying the pattern at the U.S. Navy’s test center. The tailless flying wing is Northrop Grumman’s X-47B unmanned combat air system demonstrator (UCAS-D), being prepared for autonomous landings on an aircraft carrier in 2013.

The Navy may be late to the unmanned-aircraft game, but it is pushing the technology in terms of both capability and autonomy. In addition to UCAS-D, the service is launching the Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System (Aacus) program to prototype advanced capabilities for vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Read more of this post


Is space the future of aviation?

From the first space flight to the first moon landing, the first outer space explorers and to future explorers. Each day technology increases the distance of exploration into the unknown. Many people have imagined what space travel would be like and what is actually out there. Being able to include space travel in our everyday activities would be something out of this world.

The furthest human space flight was by Apollo 8 maneuvering around the far side of the lunar orbit. Of course this was achieved 40 odd years ago when technology was slowly beginning to evolve. Today scientists are constantly looking for innovations in space exploration. The question is, will we be able the achieve space flight like the Republic Attack Cruiser or the Star Destroyer or even Chewie’s beloved spacecraft?

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F-35B completes first sea trials on USS Wasp

The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) heads back toward homeport Oct. 21 after spending three weeks at sea hosting the initial sea trials of the F-35B Lightning II, Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

The first F-35B landed on Wasp‘s flight deck Oct. 3, beginning an 18-day test period for the aircraft. During the testing, two F-35B Marine Corps test jets (BF-2 and BF-4) accomplished vertical landings and short take-offs under various conditions.

While underway, the world’s first supersonic short take-off, vertical landing (STOVL) fighter logged more than 28 hours of flight time and completed 72 short take-offs and 72 vertical landings.

Wasp crew members worked around the clock with pilots, engineers, mechanics and a wide array of aeronautical professionals, both military and civilian, to meet the mission of the F-35B sea trials.

“Wasp Air Department personnel and the JSF team started working together from day one,” said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Curcio, Wasp’s assistant air officer and JSF program officer. “Starting initially with the leadership interacting to set the vision for the ship trials, we worked a top-down approach to gradually bring in more people from each respective team.”

“This ensured that, from planning to execution, every detail was tended to and no stone was left unturned. Ultimately, this group was well ahead of the power curve at every juncture,” he said. Read more of this post

Boeing looking for ways to recycle 787 materials

A small group of The Boeing Co engineers are working on the next pressing question for the 787 Dreamliner: How to recycle it.

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F-16 Fighting Falcon

The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a modern multi-role jet fighter aircraft designed in the United States. Designed as a lightweight fighter, it evolved into a successful multi-role aircraft. The F-16 was developed by General Dynamics. In 1993 General Dynamics sold its aircraft manufacturing business to the Lockheed Corporation, now Lockheed Martin. The Falcon’s versatility is a paramount reason it was a success on the export market, and is serving 24 countries. It is the largest and probably most significant Western fighter program, with over 4000 aircraft built.. Though no longer produced for the United States Air Force, it is still produced for export.


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