New FAA overflights guidelines for UAS & UAV in the works

President Obama sent a Valentine’s Day present to the aviation community, including the unmanned systems industry, signing the long-overdue Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) bill into law on 14 Feb., which includes important provisions on the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the national airspace system.

Full story @ AUVSI Site

USAF Says Adios to MQ-X & Adjust Predator Orders

US Air force has announced that it has cancelled the efforts to develop the next generation of battlefield drones.

With the continued success of the Predator, RQ-170 and the other UAV and drone systems, the air force has cancelled the MQ-X drone efforts. Many believed the Predator C was the expected winning contender for of this effort.

Another noted issue was that the air force could not keep up the tempo of training enough operators to fly the 48 Reapers delivered each year so it has lower the number of Reapers delivered to 28 per year.

read more at DODBuzz

US Air Force goes COTS on planned LRS-B

The air force has quietly announced that it is has began work on a new strategic bomber to replace the ageing B-52 and assist the 21 plane B-2 force on the future battle space. The air force has promised that the new Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) will try to control its budget by using tried and fielded systems and not over use of new technologies in the systems.

DODbuzz Link for More:

A Video On How Military Drones Are Changing War

Gizmodo has posted a great video from Al Jazeera about Americas combat robotic programs and direction of these programs,

See the video:

Navy’s New Minehunter has issues Seeing or Stopping Mines

Continued issues and testing results about the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)

link: Navy’s New Minehunter Can’t See or Stop Mines

Joint Strike Fighter Testing Program Update

Aviation Week’s Bill Sweetman had posted a blog on the current status, hurtles, and key major issues in the testing phase for the Joint Strike fighter and its goal to enter initial operational testing in 2015. He has read and reviewed the Pentagon Quick Look Review and give his thoughts on some of the key issues. Some of the finding s were:

-After several sorties above Mach 1.6 there was “peeling and bubbling” of coatings on the horizontal tails and damage to engine thermal panels, the entire test force was subsequently limited to Mach 1.0.

-High level of airframe fatigue issues has been found on the testing aircraft.

-Pilots helmet-mounted display issues is in latency: the image in the helmet lags 130 milliseconds behind sightline movement where the spec is under 40 ms. (So the video is where the pilot’s head was pointed an eighth of a second ago.) That can’t be fixed without changing the JSF’s integrated core processor – the jet’s central brain – and the EO-DAS sensors. Even the backup helmet faces buffet and latency issues, simply for symbology.

-The underwing fuel dump system on the JSF doesn’t get fuel clear of the aircraft surfaces, so that fuel accumulates in the flaperon and may get into the integrated power package (IPP) exhaust. That creates a fire hazard, particularly on a ship deck after landing. Fuel dumping has been banned except in an emergency. Two unsuccessful modifications have been tried on the F-35B.

-failure” caused IPP parts to puncture a fuel tank – is turning out to be unreliable. It’s supposed to last 2,200 hours, but so far in the flight test program, 16 IPPs have been removed and replaced – a process that takes two days of 24-hour work.

-The arrester hook issue has been reported. In the first round of tests, the hook failed to catch the wire once. The QLR notes that tests of a minimal modification – a reprofiled hook with different damper settings. Studies are already underway of changing the hook’s location – the basic problem is that the designers put the hook closer behind the main landing gear than that of any current or recent Navy aircraft so hard for pilots to get use to the new landing envelope.

-flight tests have not gone beyond 20 degrees angle of attack, and higher-than-predicted buffet loads have been experienced when the JSF is in a high AOA

-Some negative Stealth and Thermal issues has arisen and also need to be addressed.

Read more at:

Bill Sweetman original Blog: Ares A Defense Technology Blog

Pogo Link to the Original copy of the Quick look report:

US Army troop build down plan for 2013 and beyond has a posted a potential plan that the US Army is mulling in the next few years to live under the coming budget limits. One of the proposed plans considered is eliminating 10 brigade combat teams from the 45 BCT’s in the Army’s active ground force.

Currently, the Army’s active ground force is made up of 22 infantry BCTs, 15 heavy BCTs, seven Stryker BCTs and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, which has been designated to transform into another Stryker BCT. For now, the Army plans to retain all of its Stryker BCTs. Stryker units are the largest in the BCT structure, with three maneuver battalions.

It’s still unclear which of the five heavy and five infantry BCTs the Army would be the first cut from the active force. read more at


SNA: The Navy’s next LCS dilemma

Great article on the top naval brass vision of a new brown water navy with the LCS class of ships and how the resistance by blue water Aegis Mafioso admirals who are working to sink it.

Story Link:

U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border and Regulatory Cooperation Council Initiatives

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced two initiatives to ensure that the vital economic partnership that joins our two countries continues to be the cornerstone of our economic competitiveness and security as we together face the challenges of the 21st century.

Since the Leaders’ announcement, representatives from across the United States Government have worked with their Canadian counterparts to formulate the Beyond the Border (BTB) Action Plan and the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Action Plan

to learn more about this plan, follow the weblink below

Weblink: White

United States and Canada intend to eliminate unnecessary burdens on cross-border trade, reduce costs, foster cross-border investment, and promote certainty for the general public and businesses, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises operating near the border, by coordinating, simplifying, and ensuring where possible the compatibility of regulations with the RCC.

Pacific Power’s new iPhone power calculator app

Our friends at Pacific Power have come up with a handy app for your IPhone that will help determine the right size power source for testing.

this app is free to all at their website site:

NOTE: require iTunes account to load from store.