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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On the funny side of terror

Police believed that the straps and bulky items around Sing He's waist were dynamite and detonators.

Mr He, 23, threatened to blow up a restaurant and its customers in Benxi, northern China, unless the staff handed over the contents of the till.

But a specialist bomb unit called to the scene quickly determined that the device was assembled with pork products.

"When we saw what he had round his waist we couldn't help laughing. Some of the sausages still had the wrappers on them," said one bomb squad officer. "It must have been terrifying for the customers but those things would only have gone off if you'd kept them past their sell by date."

Mr He told police he had planned the raid because he was depressed after breaking up with his girlfriend.

He said: "I needed some excitement in my life and to that extent it was a success."

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Airline Crashes in the United States and Canada

Airline                        Rate     Flights    FLE*   Events    Last

Air Canada+               0.33    4.75M     1.58         3        1983

AirTran (ValuJet)       0.94    1.06M     1.00         1       1996
Alaska Airlines         0.33      6.13M     2.02         3       2000

Aloha Airlines           0.56      1.77M    1.00         1        1989

American Airlines** 0.40        25.08M 10.08      13       2004

American Trans Air  0.00        0.69M    0.00 0     -

Continental Airlines** 0.24     10.39M   2.47       6         2009

Delta Air Lines**      0.17        2 4.8M   4.24        7         2006

Hawaiian Airlines     0.00        0.66M    0.00 0    -

JetBlue Airlines         0.00       0.35M     0.00 0    -

Midwest Express       1.92       0.52M     1.00       1         1985
Northwest Airlines** 0.21      12.51M     2.61      4         1993

Southwest Airlines     0.00      15.26M     0.00      0 -

United Airlines**        0.31      21.9M      6.69      11       2001(2)

US Airways**             0.28      17.63M     4.97       9       2003
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Engineer pursues dream of flying motorcycle

A couple years ago, we told you the story of a Los Angeles man who quit his job as an aerospace engineer at a big company to pursue a dream: to create a flying motorcycle.

Joe Caravella hopes this will be his flying motorcycle. Of course, he still needs to add wings.CAPTIONBy As dreams go, this was no small order. He's working pretty much alone in the garage of a surburban home in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley, the official home of Caravella Aerospace. But the new news is the Joe Caravella is about to unveil the second version of what he hopes will become his flying motorcycle, just in time for the big fly-in aviation show in Oshkosh, Wis., later this summer. Like the last one, this version of the CaraVellair won't fly, but he will be able to race it up and down the street to drum up interest. That's the original with Caravella aboard in the photo at top, and at right is the latest version.

Caravella is a meticulous sort, which you pretty have to be when it comes to trying to make a motorcycle fly. He quit his aeronautical engineering job in November, 2007, to pursue his dream. His vision is a three-wheel motorcycle that can driven around city streets, then taken to the airport where its towable wings are deployed. There, it would take off like an airplane. It would have a pusher-style propeller drive, designed to be perfect for the long, rural commutes.

Caravalla says the new version is beefier than the last one, but still keeps within its weight limits. Where does that added weight come from?

The wheels, for example. They are from a Smart car this time, not just taken off an electric scooter. He's using the same 1,000 cubic centimeter motorcycle engine as before.

"It's heavy but affordable," Caravella says. He pursues his dream, he says, because "I want one of these in my garage." He swears that he will have a flying prototype next year. The 1,320-pound craft will be considered an "experimental" aircraft as a prototype, but Caravella truly hopes and believes someone will built his dream one day.

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How will 787's new materials fare in a crash landing?

When a Boeing 777 lost power and crashed short of the runway at London Heathrow Airport in 2008, the landing gear collapsed and a strut pierced the passenger floor. Yet apart from one broken leg, there were no serious injuries.
When an Airbus A340 landing in bad weather skidded off a Toronto runway in 2005, it broke into pieces and caught fire. But in the minutes before flames engulfed the jet, all 309 people aboard evacuated safely.
Though such accidents don't always end so well — last month 158 people died when a Boeing 737 slid off a runway in India — today's metal airliners are designed to be survivable in a crash landing.
How will Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner, the first airliner with a body built largely from carbon fiber infused with epoxy resin, fare in such a crash?
The new material is tough. But hit hard enough, it breaks rather than bends. And in a fire, the epoxy resin burns.

One early Boeing computer simulation was disturbing.
In 2005, as design of the Dreamliner advanced, a previously undisclosed Boeing analysis showed a crash that is survivable in a largely metal 777 would be deadly in a 787: The impact would shatter the bottom of the 787 fuselage and deliver a jolt severe enough to kill all the passengers.
A Boeing engineering manager called the outcome a "potential showstopper" for the Dreamliner.
Boeing says a key design change and subsequent physical tests prove the final Dreamliner design is now as safe as a metal airplane.
And while a few critics remain concerned, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is close to certifying the jet as safe to fly passengers.
When an auto company develops a new car, it must run more than a dozen full-scale crash scenarios, witnessed by safety officials. Every test destroys a car.

But running full-scale tests of big jets crashing is considered impractical as well as too expensive. As a
plane heads toward a crash on land or water, there are too many possible impact variations to test every scenario.

So today's metal airplanes have been certified largely using computer simulations. Manufacturers validate their virtual results with smaller-scale physical tests — flexing the wings, stressing fuselage panels to breaking point.
The FAA and Boeing agreed in advance exactly what testing was needed to prove the 787's safety.
The 2005 Boeing document that laid out the deadly Dreamliner crash scenario was an early mathematical analysis, prepared for the 787 program by structural-dynamics experts in the company's Phantom Works research unit.
A computer-generated drawing from the internal report shows that in a simulated crash, the 777's metal lower fuselage crumples, as one would expect. But the rest of the airframe, including the floor of the passenger cabin, is intact.
Lower fuselage shatters
In the composite-plastic 787, by contrast, the lower fuselage is shattered, with multiple holes. And the passenger floor has broken away from the fuselage and collapsed, leaving passengers with little chance of reaching an exit.
Worse, the Boeing study projected that the impact on passengers would be much more severe in a 787.
The highest survivable impact in a crash landing is considered to be about 20 g, meaning a nearly instantaneous deceleration equal to 20 times the acceleration caused by gravity.
The study projected that at a vertical descent rate of 22 feet per second (about 15 miles per hour), the average peak impact on a passenger's spine would be 15g in the 777.
In the 787, though, that impact would be a deadly 25g, the study concluded.
In March 2005, Phantom Works project manager Vince Weldon sent an e-mail to Boeing's chief technology officer, Jim Jamieson, flagging the simulation as "very dire."
An aeronautical engineer, Weldon worked 46 years in aerospace, half of those at Boeing. At Phantom Works, he assessed the use of advanced composites for future airplanes, though he had no direct role on the 787 program.
Weldon's concerns were examined by a panel of Boeing technical experts chosen from outside the 787 program. Its review endorsed the jet's composite-material design.
"He raised questions. They were investigated," said Boeing spokeswoman Lori Gunter. "We did not proceed with the design until we were sure it was safe."
In 2006, Weldon was fired by Boeing after an allegation that he used a racist remark about a superior in the course of pushing his concerns internally. Weldon, 72, denies that and says the accusation was a way to discredit and get rid of him.
Structural changes
Boeing made structural changes after the 2005 analysis that dramatically improved the jet's crash safety, said Mark Jenks, a vice president on the 787 program.
It redesigned rows of short wedge-shaped support posts beneath the cargo floor so they progressively collapse on impact, absorbing energy and reducing the impact felt in the passenger cabin.
Paolo Feraboli, an assistant professor at the University of Washington and director of its Lamborghini Lab for studying advanced composite structures, who worked for Boeing on the 787 program, said the support posts "fail in a very progressive, very stable, very energy-absorbing fashion."
With this change, Boeing's computer model now projected a much better impact result.
But unlike homogeneous metals, multilayered composites are very difficult to simulate accurately on a computer, said Feraboli.
"We don't currently have the knowledge and the computational power to do a prediction based on purely mathematical models," he said.
So to convince the FAA that its computer model matches real-world results, Boeing did some physical tests not required on previous metal planes.
In 2007, Boeing performed a key "vertical drop test" of a partial fuselage at its Apache helicopter-manufacturing facility in Mesa, Ariz.
An 8-foot-long section of the fuselage's bottom half, with full luggage containers beneath the passenger floor, was dropped from 15 feet onto a thick steel plate. It hit at an impact speed of 30 feet per second, around 20 miles per hour.
That's about 10 times the typical vertical descent rate when a big jet lands, and three times the rate its landing gear is required to withstand.
Videos of the drop test show the fuselage section slamming into the ground and completely flattening along the bottom — evidently fractured and broken, since the plastic doesn't bend. Beneath the passenger floor, small bits of the fuselage support structure fly off.
Floor stays solid
But in contrast to the 2005 computer model, everything above the cargo floor appears solid. The crucial passenger cabin floor and its supports remain intact.
And Boeing said sensors at the passenger seat showed the impact forces were survivable.
"The integrity of the floor area and overall extent of the damage were all within the bounds we expected and required," said Jenks.
He wouldn't disclose the impact forces recorded at the passenger seats. But he said the results validate the 787 design.
"This structure is as good as the 777," said Jenks. "That's what the model is showing when we finalized the design and then ran this test."
On the sidelines of an industry conference in Seattle last
month, a leading outside expert with decades of experience in aerospace composites said Boeing is aware its software models for simulating the behavior of composites aren't as good as those for metal.
To compensate, he said, Boeing's engineers built the most conservative assumptions into their design.
The outcome is a structure that is over-engineered and heavier than Boeing would like, the outside expert said. But he believes it should be safe.
However, one Boeing engineer who worked on the 787 design said he's still uneasy.
He said the energy-absorbing stanchions installed beneath the cargo floor will protect the 787 passenger cabin only from the vertical impact of a crash landing. But how will the composite structure perform if the plane hits an obstacle as it skids along the ground?
"There are other crash scenarios in which the stanchions can't help," the engineer said.
Fire, smoke, toxicity
The drop-test outcome raises one more issue: performance in a post-crash fire.
While the aluminum of a metal plane crumples on impact, composites tend to fracture or shatter. In a crash like that of the A340 in Toronto, would the 787 fuselage keep fire, smoke and toxic fumes from penetrating to the interior and overcoming passengers?
The good news is fire tests conducted by the FAA in November 2007 show that plastic composites like those used in the 787 stand up to fire much better than metal.
But one critique suggests that may be irrelevant if fire and fumes can enter through holes in a shattered hull.
A fuel-fed fire can melt through an aluminum panel in about a minute. With an added layer of thermal insulation inside the fuselage wall, the fire barrier holds up a further 4 minutes. That required 5-minute total provides passengers time to get out.
But the type of composite plastic on the Dreamliner will resist burn-through — and provide protection from the fire — for much longer than 5 minutes, even without insulation.
While the epoxy resin in the composite material ignites and burns, the mat of carbon-fiber layers chars like wood to create a protective barrier that holds back the fire.
Ali Bahrami, head of the FAA's Seattle office dealing with commercial-airplane certification, said the agency's tests showed the carbon-fiber composite not only resisted burn-through impressively but also prevented toxic gases from penetrating inside.
Better performance
"Composite structure is performing better than metal and insulation together," said Bahrami. "... With composites you provide (travelers) a longer time to get out."
Boeing ran a series of its own lab tests, applying an external fire to a panel of the 787's composite material, with similar results.
"Because there are things that are new about this, we've gone way, way beyond what might have been basic requirements," said Jenks. "I'm personally extremely confident and comfortable."
Composite-materials expert Derek Yates is not convinced.
In an unpublished paper, Yates dismissed the FAA fire tests because they were done on an intact fuselage, which is not typical in a real crash.
Yates, 74 and retired, worked for Lockheed on the Trident missile, which had the first primary aerospace structure made from composite plastic. From 1997 to 2000, he consulted for Boeing.
Yates' strong views on the composites fire threat stem from work he did in the 1970s with NASA that resulted in FAA rules effectively banning the use of epoxy-based composites from aircraft interiors because of the fire hazard.
All airliners entering service since 1990 comply with that ban.
Yates is concerned that a 787 fuselage's underside will shatter in a crash — just as depicted in the 2005 crash simulation.
One worry is that as the plastic fuselage slides over the ground after the initial impact, the broken underside of the hull could rip open, creating holes through which toxic fumes and smoke from burning composite material might pour in.
Yates asked the FAA during the public-comment phase of the 787 certification process to require a fire test with a full-scale ruptured fuselage rather than an intact panel. His idea is to test if toxic fumes from burning composites will be substantial and penetrate any rupture.
FAA spurns request
The FAA rejected the request, Bahrami said, because in a post-crash conflagration, "the fuel fire is by far the biggest problem" — not the burning of the composites in the fuselage skin.
Boeing executive Jenks said that after the drop test, the bottom of the composite plastic fuselage was "crumpled, creased, cracked and fractured," but with only "small holes" in the skin.
"There weren't big gaping holes," Jenks said. "I don't think there's any reason to believe there'll be more holes per se in a composite fuselage."
Dan Mooney, Boeing vice president of development for the 787-8, said the composite fuselage doesn't break like glass.
"It doesn't shatter and disperse in lots of pieces," Mooney said. "It tends to hang together by the fibers."
Mooney said Boeing's tests show the burning of the plastic resin won't add significant risk.
In February, Boeing issued official guidelines telling airport firefighters they can use standard techniques to put out a 787 fire, adding that "from a toxicity perspective, the composite structure ... poses no greater hazard than an aluminum fuselage."
Boeing has completed all its 787 fire testing and submitted the results to the FAA for certification.
"We believe we're done," said Mooney.
FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said the agency's review of Boeing's data on a 787 crash impact and fire is almost complete. Certification is expected this fall.
"We don't anticipate any problems or unique difficulties with the remaining work," Kenitzer said.

Someday, a 787 will suffer a heavy crash landing. Only then will all of Boeing's analysis and the FAA scrutiny be put to a real-world test.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

The diesel-electric helicopter

EADS Innovation Works presents model of a concept helicopter with a diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system as part of the Group’s research to make helicopters more environmentally friendly.

The diesel-electric hybrid concept is one of the projects that are grouped under the name of eCO2avia by EADS Innovation Works. Highly efficient electrical motors driving the rotors, combined with OPOC (Opposed Piston, Opposed Cylinder) diesel engines, reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 50%. Take-offs and landings are possible on electrical power alone, resulting in lower noise levels and improved flight safety.
The main components of this hybrid system are multiple diesel-electric motor-generator units, a pair of high-performance batteries and a power electronics unit controlling the energy flows for best efficiency. The OPOC diesel engines, designed and built by EcoMotors International in the US, offer a fuel economy improvement of up to 30% compared to today’s helicopter turbine engines.
The OPOC engine’s power output shafts are fitted with advanced, weight-optimised generators delivering electrical current to a power electronics unit, which manages the distribution of the electricity to the electrical motors driving the main rotor and the tail rotor as well as the other user systems on the helicopter. High-performance batteries can store sufficient energy to enable the helicopter to take off and climb or approach and land on electrical power alone.
Several different kinds of combustion engines could be integrated into such a hybrid system, which is one of many examples of the research efforts undertaken by the
EADS Group towards achieving the aviation industry’s climate protection goals.

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EADS flies world's 1st plane powered with biofuel based on algae

Use of biofuel from algae leads to reduced fuel consumption

--Emission of nitrogen and sulfur oxides reduced drastically
-- Opens up opportunities to achieve carbon neutral flights
-- No competition with food supply

(Berlin, June 8, 2010) -- At the ILA 2010 in Berlin, EADS is showcasing the world's first flights of an aircraft powered by pure biofuel made from algae. A Diamond Aircraft DA42 New Generation powered by two Austro Engine AE300 engines takes part in the daily flight demonstrations
Due to the higher energy content of the algae biofuel, the fuel conumption of the Diamond DA42 New Generation is 1.5 litres per hour lower when compared to conventional JET-A1 fuel - while maintaining equal performance. Tests also proved that only relatively minor modifications and adjustments had to be made to the aircraft's engines to qualify the biofuel from algae for the demonstration flights.
Algae are considered to be promising potential feedstock for biofuels, as certain species of algae contain high amounts of oil. This oil can be extracted, processed and refined for various uses. Grown for many years on a commercial basis for the development of products such as food supplements and cosmetics, microalgae have now emerged as one of the leading sources for alternative fuels. Microalgae reproduce rapidly and create at least 30 times more organic substance (biomass) per cultivation area than, for example, rapeseed. Their cultivation does not compete with food production. Algae can be grown on poor quality land using non potable or saltwater.
"Our pure bio fuel flight from algae is a world first and an exciting milestone in our research at EADS." says Dr. Jean Botti, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of EADS. "This opens up the feasibility of carbon-neutral flights and we will continue to focus our research in this exciting area. Third generation biofuels are more than just a replacement for fossil petroleum - they push the possibilities of future propulsion."
The exhaust gas quality measurements indicate that biofuel from algae contains eight times less hydrocarbons than kerosene derived from crude oil. In addition, nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide emissions will also be reduced (up to 40 percent less nitrogen oxides and ca. 10 ppm sulfur oxides vs. 600 ppm of conventional Jet-A1-fuel) due to the very low nitrogen and sulfur content of the biofuel compared to fossil fuel.
Algae can be produced in sufficiently large quantities without competing with food production for fertile land or potable water. EADS research shows that all necessary technologies to develop the production of biofuel from algae are known, but industrial size and economy require further development. EADS is working with partners towards a pilot project to develop the necessary industrial infrastructure. The project is led by EADS Innovation Works, the corporate research and technology network of EADS and supported by the Bavarian Ministry of Economics, Transportation and Technology through the Government of Upper Bavaria with funding from the Bavarian aerospace research and technology programme (Project Bay68 "Biofuel from Algae"). The project is carried out in partnership with IGV GmbH of Potsdam, Diamond Aircraft and Austro Engines of Austria. The algae oil for flight testing and demonstration flights was delivered by Biocombustibles del Chubut S.A. in Argentina and refined into biofuel by VTS Verfahrenstechnik Schwedt, Germany.
Currently it is significantly more expensive to produce oil from algae in comparison to sourcing crude oil. If algae-based fuel is to be able to compete with kerosene, research and development work must aim to establish a cost effective mass production of algae biofuels using industrial quantities of carbon dioxide.
"As a systems architect of aircraft and helicopters, we consider that it is our responsibility to foster research on biofuels, even if we are not directly involved in the energy business", states EADS CTO Jean Botti. "Therefore, EADS pursues research for suitable alternatives to fossil fuels and works together with leading research institutes as well as state governments and stakeholder companies from around the world towards achieving the climate protection goals of the aviation industry." The goals for the year 2020 set by the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) include a carbon dioxide reduction by 50% and a nitrogen oxides reduction by 80%.
Source : European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company EADS N.V. (Paris: EAD.PA) - click here for more information

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Emirates, which had already ordered 58 of the world's largest passenger plane, wants Berlin to grant it greater access to the huge German aviation market. Lufthansa argues that its home market of 80 million people shouldn't be thrown open to a carrier from one of the United Arab Emirates. Dubai has a population of roughly 3.5 million people. Carriers from the UAE may now serve at most four German cities.

Lufthansa has effectively lobbied Berlin not to raise the limit, so Emirates is playing a new card: jobs. Emirates is one of Airbus's biggest customers. Its new total of 90 A380s on order accounts for almost 40% of the 234 orders Airbus has signed for its two-deck plane.

The fight between Emirates and Lufthansa pits service jobs against manufacturing employment and shows how hard it can be to define markets in a global economy.

Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., says that the A380 program in Germany supports more than 30 suppliers and creates 40,000 jobs directly and indirectly. Each Emirates A380 generates €20 million ($24 million) in work for German suppliers, an Airbus spokesman said. He declined to comment on the spat between its customers.

Lufthansa says it supports far more German employment than Emirates does.

"It's up to the government to decide whether they want to create jobs here or export them," said Lufthansa Chief Executive Wolfgang Mayrhuber.

Andrew Parker, Emirates senior vice president for international affairs, said the airline chose to announce its order at the Berlin Air Show "to illustrate pretty powerfully that we're a big part of Airbus's future."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday visited the air show, where A380s of both Emirates and Lufthansa were on display. Ms. Merkel posed holding a Lufthansa A380 model with Mr. Mayrhuber and later attended the Emirates' contract-signing ceremony. She didn't comment on the carriers' dispute.

A spokesman for Germany's federal transport ministry said the government has no plans to allow Emirates to fly to more than four cities.

Emirates' rivals say it unfairly benefits from government support that has allowed it to grow far larger than its home market would allow by poaching foreign traffic. Officials at the fast-growing airline deny the charge.

Emirates is owned by the government of Dubai, which also owns the emirate's airports. The ruling family has developed its aviation policies to promote Dubai as a global hub connecting far-flung markets. It allows almost any airline to land at its airport, which charges low fees. Dubai has no income tax or corporate tax. The low costs help Emirates against rivals in higher-cost markets.

Emirates, established in 1985, has expanded quickly over the past decade with giant orders from Airbus and U.S. rival Boeing Co. In addition to the A380 orders placed Tuesday, Emirates has 143 aircraft on order, with a catalog value of $48 billion, although large customers such as Emirates generally receive large discounts.
Emirates officials say they haven't faced trouble funding their operations amid Dubai's recent financial woes. The largest carrier in the Middle East, Emirates last month posted a fivefold rise in full-year net profit to 3.5 billion United Arab Emirates dirhams ($953 million) and said it expects double-digit growth to continue this year.

A large part of Emirates' growth has come as global aviation liberalized in recent years. Germany and the European Union have deregulated air travel with many foreign markets, but have kept some longstanding restrictions in place.

"We are more liberal than many European countries," Mr. Mayrhuber said. Lufthansa officials say restrictions on flights from the UAE should remain because the markets are so different in size.

Mr. Parker at Emirates said a more valid comparison is the rivals' regional markets. "Lufthansa is a European carrier, and there are 400 million people in Europe," he said. "We're a Middle Eastern carrier, and there are 200 million people in the Middle East."

The fight in Germany is mirrored in Canada. That country has moved to deregulate aviation with many big markets, including the U.S. and Japan. It last year signed an aviation treaty with the EU that is one of the world's most liberal. But Air Canada has lobbied to keep limits on Emirates.

"The current rights more than satisfy demand for point-to-point traffic between Canada and Dubai, and that is the test," said Air Canada Chief Executive Calin Rovinescu.

"The fact that they've purchased all these A380s and have all this capacity means they're basically manufacturing seats in massive quantities," Mr. Rovinescu said. "In any other industry, this would be considered dumping."

Aviation isn't covered by World Trade Organization rules, so ordinary dumping criteria don't apply.

Mr. Parker at Emirates said the opposition from Air Canada and Lufthansa is a result of outdated thinking about airline markets. "It's predictable that the same-old, same-old is bandied about by legacy carriers. We just get on with it," he said.

Separately, Airbus said Brazilian carrier TAM S/A had ordered 20 A320 model planes and five A350s, with a catalog value of $2.9 billion.

—Patrick McGroarty, Kirsten Bienk and Stefania Bianchi contributed to this article.

Boeing participates in Russian venture

WASHINGTON, June 25 (UPI) -- Boeing has agreed to set up a division of its Moscow Design Center in Skolkovo to work with Russian partners in support of its commercial aircraft programs.

The company said the agreement with Progresstech, an engineering services concern, and information technology company Luxoft, was signed in Washington this week during the visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

"As a long-term partner with the Russian aerospace industry, we are always looking at opportunities to expand our collaboration in the area of innovation and advanced technology," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Our collaboration in the Skolkovo Innovation Center project is another important step forward in our mutually beneficial partnership."

The Skolkovo project brings together nearly 300 Russian IT specialists, engineers and researchers in aerospace and other high-technology sectors.
Boeing said that as part of the agreement it will work with Skolkovo Technology University to share company training programs on design and project management methods, implementation of advance quality control techniques and approaches to enterprise modernization.

It said possible research partners for its projects at Skolkovo could include Moscow State University and the Moscow Aviation Technology Institute.

Skolkovo is located in the Moscow region.

Friday, June 25, 2010

EADS Unveils Militarized EC645 Helicopter

PARIS — EADS has formally unveiled the EC645 helicopter, the military derivative of the EC145 it will market globally and in parallel with the AAS-72X the company plans to bid for the U.S. Army Armed Aerial Scout program.
The EC645 is aimed at sales to non-U.S. customers. To that end, it will have a non-U.S. weapons suite, unlike the AAS-72X, company officials say. The EC645 was unveiled on June 14 at the Eurosatory exhibition in Paris.
The EC645 is powered by two 738-shp. Turbomeca Arriel 1E2 engines — the same turboshaft used on the UH-72A Light Utility Helicopter — and will have the capability to carry laser-guided missiles, 12- or 7-tube rocket launchers, or 20mm or 12.7mm gun pods. The helo would also feature a forward-looking infrared sensor, ballistic protection, missile warning equipment and chaff/flare countermeasures dispensers.

For the Armed Aerial Scout (AAS) program in the U.S., the AAS-72X would likely require a more powerful engine. Eurocopter officials have indicated they have a solution to bridge the perceived thrust gap, but have been quiet about what changes will be made. Meanwhile, the company is moving forward with plans to build three technical demonstrators, the first of which will fly later this year, to prove to the U.S. customer that it can meet the AAS requirements.
Credit: Eurocopter

Boeing spent $4.1M lobbying government in 1Q

Airplane maker and defense contractor Boeing Co. spent more than $4.1 million in the first quarter to lobby the federal government on aerospace and defense issues, according to a recent disclosure report.
 The lobbying tab was 69 percent higher than the $2.4 million Boeing spent on lobbying during the first quarter of 2009.
Chicago-based Boeing lobbied Congress on an upcoming Pentagon decision about a new aerial tanker for the Air Force. The Pentagon is expected to get bids by July 9 from Boeing and European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, parent of Airbus. Different members of Congress have supported the two companies, with work on the winning tanker set to be spread among several Congressional districts.
Boeing gets about half its revenue from defense work.
The company also lobbied on funding for the Federal Aviation Administration and NASA, and homeland security, according to the report filed April 20 with the House clerk's office.
Boeing also is a major exporter, and it lobbied on foreign relations with countries including Pakistan and Turkey, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and India. It also lobbied on sanctions against Iran, which restrict exports including aircraft and spare parts.
Boeing also lobbied on the health care overhaul, which included the end of a deduction for some prescription drug expenses for retirees beginning in 2013. Boeing took a $150 million charge after the change became law.

The Associated Press June 23, 2010, 1:57PM ET

Lockheed Martin Donates $3.5 Million Canadian Training Package to Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN, Jun 25, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Lockheed Martin announced a CA$3.5 million donation of a package of training materials to the school's Aviation Maintenance and Engineering (AME) faculty.

The announcement, which builds on its relationship with the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, was made at the school's Saskatoon campus in partnership with the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.

Lockheed Martin last month donated CA$100,000 to support the AME program and announced at that time the continued collaboration with faculty administration to develop and implement courseware and instructor's materials for training in more than three-dozen engineering disciplines including systems engineering, quality assurance, logistics and interface engineering management. The advanced modules are similar to those used internally by the corporation and are based on decades of lessons learned in aerospace and systems engineering on major, complex programs.
"We believe this program will enable post-secondary students to enhance their knowledge and skills in the advanced technology area of aircraft engineering and sustainment," said Tom Digan, president of Lockheed Martin Canada. "Leveraging lessons-learned from decades of work on complex engineering programs, the courseware will build upon the student's existing curriculum and help ensure that the Canadian aviation industry has the skill force for the future.
"We are honored to have a partnership with Lockheed Martin Canada," said Randell Morris, President and CEO of the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies. "The responsiveness on the part of this world class defence contractor to the needs of a growing institution such as SIIT is remarkable. We will implement this training package within our Aviation Learning Center, a new training facility site located at the Saskatoon Airport. The center is an expression of a successful public-private partnership with Industrial and Regional Benefits related to military defence procurement at the core. The new facility and these types of training tools provided through Lockheed Martin Canada are the conduit to working more closely with industry and our First Nation communities. I am very grateful to Lockheed Martin for this investment as it showcases how a First Nation post-secondary institution can partner with industry and work together to grow the western economy."
Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors (MS2) is donating the courseware, valued at more than CA$3.5M, as part of the company's commitment to the Canadian government to satisfy industrial and regional benefits associated with its role as prime contractor for the mid-life modernization of the combat systems on board the Navy's Halifax Class frigate. The CA$1.6 billion program was awarded in late 2008 to Lockheed Martin Canada.
In the first 12 months of the contract, Lockheed Martin has provided more than CA$200 million in economic and regional benefits though strategic industrial partnerships and investments in research and development. The government's Department of Western Economic Diversification has added its support to this initiative.
"This program will create jobs and opportunity for Aboriginal students," said the Honourable Lynne Yelich. "We are pleased to see partnerships like this that will help build a stronger, more diversified economy."
Earlier this year, the Saskatchewan government announced a CA$350,000 investment in the AME program including an operating grant and donated aircraft to enhance the post-secondary training opportunities for Saskatchewan students.
"The provincial government is pleased to be part of this exciting initiative that will help meet the strong labour market demand for aviation maintenance engineering," Advanced Education, Employment and Labour Minister Rob Norris said. "This program allows students to receive this specialized training right here in Saskatchewan and be part of our growing workforce."
Lockheed Martin Canada has about 500 employees principally located in the Ottawa head office, Montreal and Dartmouth. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 136,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion US.

Sargent Aerospace planning expansion

Sargent Aerospace &Defense, one of the Tucson area's largest aerospace-and-defense companies, has announced it will more than double the size of its facility in Marana.

The company, which makes parts for military and commercial uses, purchased 4 acres in a business park south of its headquarters. It said this week that it plans to build a 70,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the existing plant.

The new space will be used for an engineering-design lab. It is needed, the company said, to support the growth of key programs such as the Virginia-class submarine, the new Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 commercial aircraft, and Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

A Sargent spokesman said the company expects the new space to open in March, but it's still unknown how many jobs will come to the area as a result.

"Sargent anticipates the aviation sector is going to bounce back in the latter half of 2011, and they want to have that extra capacity ready," said Adam Konowe of Sullivan Higdon and Sink, a public-relations company hired by Sargent. "Obviously, there will be more people in Tucson than there were before, but they really haven't determined yet what that really is and how many of those folks will come from other places."

In a statement, Sargent said it anticipates the addition, coupled with new development activity, will add jobs in the areas of design, manufacturing, test engineering and program management. Positions could include programmers, operators and test technicians.

"They are good high-paying jobs," said Laura Shaw, spokeswoman for Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, an economic-development agency.

"They haven't finally determined the number of jobs, but we know that it will be significant based on their business-expansion plans."

Sargent started in Marana in 1990. It employs 250 people at its 60,000-square-foot factory.

The company does maintenance and overhaul work as well as design and manufacturing, Shaw said.

"They make products like hydraulic controls, specialty bearings, pneumatic-sealing devices, alignment joints, things like that," she said. "They are one of our biggest employers. Raytheon is the biggest, but we have more than 200 aerospace-and-defense companies here, and they are one of the biggest."

Scott Still, Sargent's president, said the company's decision to expand in the area was driven by a need to retain a strategic location with a culturally diverse employment base.

"Being close to California and Mexico allows us access to both key aerospace suppliers and our existing manufacturing plants via a well-established transportation network," Still said in a statement.

Sargent has a manufacturing plant in Guaymas, Mexico, and operations in Torrance, Calif.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Boeing tanker win means more immediate Kansas jobs, work for local suppliers

Wichita stands to gain jobs no matter which company is chosen to build the United States Air Force’s new refueling tanker.

But it’s clear that Wichita will gain more jobs if the bid from The Boeing Co. is selected.
Boeing, which is offering a modified version of its 767, says the contract would mean 7,500 jobs in Kansas and a $388 million annual economic impact. Boeing is building a similar version of the aircraft for the Italian Air Force and the Japanese Air Self Defence Force.

Airbus officials can’t say how many local jobs might be created or how many local suppliers it might eventually use.
Local Work
EADS, parent company of Airbus, is offering a U.S. military version of the company’s A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport, which they call the KC-45.

That airplane is already in production — 28 have been ordered by U.S. allies — and is supporting 629 jobs at Honeywell International Inc. in Olathe, Kan., says EADS North American Inc. spokesperson James Darcy.
Bill Barksdale, a spokesperson for Boeing’s tanker program, says the company hasn’t yet released a complete suppliers list but that there could eventually be “a couple of dozen” Kansas companies working on the project.
“We’re not getting into Wichita numbers specifically,” he says. “We’re not done building the proposal, but Wichita is an important part of the program.”
Boeing may not be saying exactly where the Kansas jobs would go, but it has named five Wichita companies to its tanker supply team.

Spirit AeroSystems Inc., Kaman Aerostructures, Machining Specialists Inc., McGinty Machine Co. and TECT Aerospace Inc. are all on the list.
Spirit also does work for Airbus.
“We don’t have any Wichita content on the A330. We do some wing work for the A330 in Spirit Europe, but it is minimal compared to the content we have on the 767,” says Debbie Gann, a spokesperson at Spirit. “We are a member of the Boeing tanker team and are committed to helping build the New Gen tanker for the U.S. Air Force.”
Airbus has a Wichita presence in its North American Engineering office, which is expanding and adding 80 engineers by 2012 for work unrelated to the tanker.
Bill Greer, vice president of Airbus North American Engineering, says he cannot comment on the tanker situation.
Boeing’s defense facility would likely land many of the Kansas tanker jobs, says Scott Hamilton, founder of Issaquah, Wash.-based aviation consulting firm Leeham Co. LLC.
“That’s because Boeing has a modification center there and Airbus doesn’t,” he says.
EADS says it would build its tanker at a new facility in Mobile, Ala. along with commercial freighter versions of the A330.
Darcy says the plant would churn out 40 aircraft a year.
Although he wouldn’t speculate on how Wichita companies might figure into the supply chain of the Alabama plant, he says there would likely be opportunities.
“We are still adding to our KC-45 supplier team and, of course, it may also evolve over the life of the program,” he says.
U.S. Air Force aerial refueling tanker
Contract: $35 billion to replace the Eisenhower-era KC-135.
Expected bidders: The Boeing Co. and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co.

Read more: Boeing tanker win means more immediate Kansas jobs, work for local suppliers - Wichita Business Journal

WinnCad Calender 2010

WinnCad Calendar 2010

MIT and the Skolkovo Foundation of Russia reach agreement

Opportunities for educational and research collaboration to be explored.

Today, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Skolkovo Foundation, on behalf of the Russian Federation, announce an agreement to evaluate options for collaboration in education and research in Russia. MIT and the Skolkovo Foundation are signing a framework agreement for this purpose in Washington, D.C. during a visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to the United States.
As envisioned by the agreement, MIT and the Skolkovo Foundation will work together to assess opportunities for MIT to conduct educational and research activities in Russia in collaboration with its leading universities and research institutes, which will be selected during the assessment process. Such activities might include the establishment of a network of joint research laboratories bringing together researchers from MIT and Russia, and/or the creation of a new, separate academic institution in the Moscow suburb of Skolkovo. MIT will also evaluate a participation in the creation of an innovation city at Skolkovo as one of the project’s partners. Current founding partners include the Russian Academy of Sciences, Rusnano Corporation, Russian Venture Company, Bauman Technical University, and others.
An important result expected from the collaboration of MIT and Skolkovo Foundation is to promote MIT’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among Russian scientists and students. The Skolkovo project will create paths to bring technologies to industry, launch high-tech start-ups, and facilitate the growth of the regional innovation ecosystems. MIT will also evaluate ways for including researchers and students from collaborating Russian institutions in MIT’s innovation competitions and events.
MIT and the Skolkovo Foundation expect to conclude their evaluation by the end of 2010. If they make a final decision to proceed with one or more of these concepts or others, they expect to negotiate and sign a definitive agreement during the first quarter of 2011.
Today's agreement is a result of an historic effort by the President of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, to modernize the national economy and promote technological innovation. Discussions started in January 2010 during a two-day visit to MIT by senior Russian government officials, led by First Vice Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Deputy Chief of Presidential Staff Vladislav Surkov, and others. Mr. Surkov now chairs a task force established by President Medvedev to create a nationwide umbrella for technology development, commercialization and education in Russia within the Skolkovo project.
Victor Vekselberg, co-chairman of Skolkovo Foundation, said, “Never before has Russia been so open to international advice and cooperation. We are tired of the brain drain that our country has suffered in recent years, and we want to reverse this process at once. We are committed to engaging the best individual and institutional partners in each area of Skolkovo project. Our team has already been joined by the famous Craig Barrett, and also by Nobel Prize laureates Zhores Alferov and Roger Kornberg. Now we are starting to engage with MIT, a world leader in research and education, as well as in technology commercialization.”
Rafael Reif, MIT’s Provost, commented, “MIT’s mission is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology and other areas of scholarship and includes a commitment to work with others to bring new knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges. We are interested in exploring whether opportunities exist for MIT, in collaboration with scientists and engineers in Russia, to conduct educational and research activities that are consistent with MIT’s mission and may contribute meaningfully to the Russian government’s strategic initiative and the Skolkovo Project.”
The Skolkovo Foundation is a nonprofit organization in Russia charged by the Russian President with creating a new science and technology city in the Moscow suburb of Skolkovo. This city comprises a university, research institutions, centers of collective usage, business incubator, technology transfer and commercialization office, corporate offices and R&D centers, as well as residential space and social infrastructure. Skolkovo city is governed by a special law, which gives its residents special economic conditions for running their businesses.
Founded in 1861, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a co-educational privately endowed research university, is dedicated to advancing knowledge and educating students in science, technology and other areas of scholarship to serve the nation and world. The Institute has more than 1,000 faculty and 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

MIT Motion sensing

EADS Defense & Security aims strong footing in defence, security

Stefan Zoller, chief executive officer, EADS-DS, said at the ILA Berlin Air Show last week that the firm would like to replicate its European business model, for manufacturing fighter jets and weapon systems, in other parts of world, including India.

The consortium of Alenia Aeronautica, BAE Systems, EADS CASA and EADS German came together to produce the Eurofighter for German, France, Spain and UK markets and also cater to the demand outside their countries ten years ago.

Zoller said EADS is now contemplating putting a similar model in place in India, where it would develop the centre of competence to source supplies to meet not only Indian demand, but also global.
“Now that we have managed to integrate (EADS) business with several nations in Europe profitably, we feel we can also look beyond European boundaries,” he said. “Our intention is now to become a very strong Indian defence and security company.”

He said this strategic decision of the EADS was independent of the Eurofighter campaign, where it is trying to convince the Indian government to procure its war plane.

Zoller urged the government to raise the current FDI ceiling to at least 50%. “We have always been asking for 50% participation to make business sense. We are not asking for 100%. We are asking for 50%, as that way we get an access to huge markets that will compensate for the loss of 50% on the other side. This would make it worthwhile to establish facility (in India)” said the EADS chief.

Lockheed Martin signs $18.8 million contract with Dutch Space and NLR for F-35's embedded training system

Today Lockheed Martin signed a 18.8 million US$ contract with Dutch Space and NLR for the development of a multi-ship, embedded training system for the F-35 Lightning II, known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

Dutch Space and NLR, the National Aerospace Laboratory in the Netherlands, will execute the contract in an Integrated Project Team (IPT) which will lead to the initial implementation of embedded training in Block 3 aircraft in 2011. The embedded training system - providing multi-ship interaction, local and distributed weapons simulation, data link, data collection and off-board debriefing – is expected to become a standard feature in the F-35.

Tom Burbage, Executive Vice President of Lockheed Martin and General Manager of the F-35 Program: “Today I am here to celebrate the 90th anniversary of this great aerospace research institute, the NLR. It gives me great pleasure to also witness the signing of the contract for the embedded training system, adding a unique feature to the F-35 Weapon System. A system that proves how jointly NLR and Dutch Space have been successful in bringing their innovative ideas into advanced training reality. I have personally flown the Dutch F-16 Development aircraft, and I look forward to the day that this capability is installed in the F-35”.

The contract for the Dutch team is part of the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the international JSF-program. Bart Reijnen, CEO of Dutch Space: “The embedded training contract is an important milestone for all involved and in line with the national government’s objective to involve Dutch innovation and industry in the development of the F-35 Lightning II. This is the starting point of a long term cooperation with Lockheed Martin which enables us to further build on the expertise in top notch training technology in the Netherlands for many years”.

Fred Abbink, CEO of NLR: “This success follows a decade of joint concept development, implementation and single-ship and multi-ship demonstrations. Now we look forward to continuing our work together with Dutch Space to design, implement, integrate and validate this highly innovative capability for the JSF”.

Near-real in-fight practice for real-time preparation.

Embedded training allows pilots to engage in simulated combat scenarios while flying actual aircraft. It enables realistic and effective in-flight training at a lower cost and reduced environmental impact. More complicated scenarios can now be performed anytime, anywhere, since there will be limited need for adversary aircraft and other training assets. The aircraft are connected via data link in order to synchronize the synthetic environment for all participating aircraft. Martin signs $18.8 million contract with Dutch Space and NLR for F-35's embedded training system&id=3715