Archive | August, 2007

US Air Force UCAVs – fade to black

So now India plans to build an unmanned combat air vehicle demonstrator. I’m not holding my breath, but I am wondering why the US Air Force withdrew from the Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems programme, leaving the US Navy to carry on alone. Perhaps my collegue Steve Trimble over on The Dew Line is correct […]

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Picture of the week

“I think it’s Globemaster warming” (C-17 in Antarctica, USAF photo)

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Ahh, Hawker Beechcraft – the 125 at 45

Hawker Beechcraft, the former Raytheon Aircraft, has just flown the Hawker 750 and certificated the Hawker 900XP – the latest versions of the ever-popular Hawker 800-series mid-size business jet. Following the model successfully used by Gulfstream when it decided to keep building the GIV alongside its new GV, Hawker Beechcraft has decided to offer two […]

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GE finds a Czech mate

Acquiring companies in Eastern Europe is becoming fashionable, it seems. Now GE is buying Walter Engines, the Czech company known for its low-cost PT6 alternative, the M601 turboprop. GE follows Sikorsky, which purchased Polish aircraft manufacturer PZL-Mielec earlier this year, and Pratt & Whitney Canada, which took over Polish engine maker PZL-Rseszow in 2001. The […]

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Picture of the week

Sun setting on the F-111 (RAAF photo)

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Russia’s UCAV unveiled

MiG has unveiled a full-scale mockup of a low-observable unmanned combat air vehicle, called Skat, at the MAKS 2007 show in Moscow. I can’t show you pictures yet, but I can direct you to this Russian TV report and to here and here. Itar-Tass says the tailless flying-wing Skat, which resembles Boeing’s X-45C, is intended […]

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Sniffing glue

Confession time. A long-time friend has alerted me to this youtube clip from a BBC documentary on Airfix, a famous if fated name in model kits. Watching it I was immersed in nostalgia, as James May’s memories of building pastic kits echo mine – and probably every other once and future model maker. My particular […]

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Flying sideways

DARPA has posted a video of the planned Oblique Flying Wing X-plane demonstrator on its website. The animation shows the tailless flying wing sweeping smoothly from 0 degrees to 65 degrees as it accelerates from Mach 0.6 to Mach 1.2. It looks surprisingly real – down to the wobbly “camera” tracking – and deceptively simple. […]

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Blackbird to Blackswift – via Falcon?

DARPA’s annual tech-fest has caused a stir in the blogosphere with the first appearance of a model of the HTV-3X demonstrator being designed by Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works under the Falcon hypersonic technology programme. Bill Sweetman broke the story on AvWeek’s Ares blog, and Sharon Weinberger weighed in on Wired’s Danger Room. Hopefully Bill won’t […]

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Back on the deck

I was researching the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (it’s exciting being an aerospace journalist) when I came across this Newport News artist’s concept of the US Navy’s next aircraft carrier, the CVN-21. Newport News is owned by Northrop Grumman, and Northrop has all or part of every aircraft on the deck: the F/A-18s […]

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