Archive for April 17, 2012

Navy Hedges bet by looking for a New Son of the Super Hornet

to hedge its bet on the cost strapped JSF, the Navy has quietly released a “market survey” asking the big defense contractors for their “candidate[s]” for “strike fighter aircraft” in the decades to come.

The stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is supposed to one day make up 90 percent or more of America’s combat aviation power. But the program has been hit with all kinds of expensive technical glitches and delays. So the Navy has long hedged against the giant JSF bet by buying more of its beloved F/A-18 Super Hornet; that way, the Navy can keep flying modern fighters, even if the JSFs slip. With this “market survey,” the Navy appears to be making a second hedge: a Son of the Super Hornet – one that would come online after the F/A-18s are retired in the 2030s – just in case the JSF flames out entirely.

the new plane will share deck space and fly in a carrier air wing alongside the JSF and the Navy’s future carrier-based drone, currently known as the X-47B.

More from Gizmodo Story: http://gizmodo.com/5902595/navy-looks-for-new-jet-on-top-of-its-trillion+dollar-model

FAA clarifies guidance on installation of inflight wireless networks for commuter airplanes

With the growth of in-flight Wifi on aircraft, the FAA has a posted a new draft policy statement that gives further guidance and acceptable practices on how to meet compliance with a specific federal regulations. the new policy comes at a time when even light commuter and utility aircraft are being equipped with inflight connectivity.

The FAA notes that safety issues related to the installation and use of the wireless RF system within the airplane include: potential interference with avionics systems; operation of personal electronic devices and a wireless RF system which is not fully built to airborne equipment standards; and vulnerability of airplane systems to intentional or spurious emission of RF energy.

Guidance released in 2010 by the FAA described an acceptable means for designing and demonstrating aircraft tolerance to potential electro magnetic interference from personal electronic devices. FAA advisory circular AC-20-164 identified RTCA document DO-307, which was borne out of a federal advisory committee.

The FAA’s new policy paper discusses compliance methods that should be applied to type certificate, amended type certificate, supplemental type certificate, and amended supplemental type certification programmes for Part 23 aircraft.

Link to original apex.aero blog posting:
http://blog.apex.aero/ife/faa-clarifies-guidance-installation-inflight-wireless-networks-demand-soars/

Link to FAA policy statement:Installation of Wireless Local Area Network using IEEE 802.11 Protocols
http://www.faa.gov/aircraft/draft_docs/policy/

Air Force’s newest B-52 turns 50

Air force announced that its youngest B-52 strategic bomber is not sitting in some museum but still flying as the most active bomber mission aircraft on the Minot AFB. rolled off the assembly line in October of 1962, tail number 1040 is the youngster of a aging bombing fleet that expect to continue in service till 2040.

Few naval ships and other aircraft have such a long service in the us military. some examples are:
The US Navy has the soon to be decommissioned USS Enterprise (CVN-65) with fifty one years.
The Bell OH-58 Kiowa has been in service us Army service since 1969.
the US Marines have the CH-46E Sea Knight is the oldest with an average age of 42 years, but is closely followed by the CH-53D Sea Stallion (40 years) and UH-1N Huey (36 years)

DoDNews link: http://www.dodbuzz.com/2012/04/04/the-air-forces-newest-b-52-turns-50/