Archive | February, 2008

First flight for PDE = pretty darned extraordinary

It’s not every day a new form of propulsion makes its first flight: the turbojet in August 1939 (Heinkel He178), the ramjet in April 1949 (Leduc 010), the scramjet in July 2002 (University of Queensland HyShot). Now it’s the turn of the pulsed detonation engine (PDE) – a simple, lightweight powerplant that promises efficient operation […]

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5 minutes with the Skunk Works’ Frank Mauro

It’s conference season again, and last week it was the Air Force Association’s winter symposium in Orlando – where I grabbed 5min with Frank Mauro, vp advanced systems development at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works. Here’s some of what he said. Polecat (video) – LM has decided against building a replacement for the P-175 Polecat flying-wing […]

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What has Scaled done to Rutan’s Ares?

It was always an unusual-looking bird, but Scaled Composites’ Ares had a certain style. Not any more. Mojave-based photographer Alan Radecki has captured the long-stored Ares taxiing under its own power and boy does it look ugly now, covered in lumps and bumps of unknown purpose. Ares then… (Bernard Klein Collection photo from 1000aircraftphotos.com) …and […]

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Raptors regroup as Eagles stage a comeback

On the eve of its annual winter get-together in Orlando, the US Air Force has finally cleared all of its much-grounded, much-inspected, much-speculated-about F-15s to return to flight. All bar the nine out of some 440 A- to D-model Eagles found to have the same longeron cracks that caused an F-15 to break up in […]

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Hawker Beechcraft hires a name to conjure with

In an aviation community as cosy, and as busy, as that of Wichita, Kansas, it’s inevitable people will move from company to company, between Cessna, Learjet, Beechcraft, Boeing and Spirit. But here’s one move that’s worth noting: Hawker Beechcraft has just hired Russ Meyer III as its director of new product development. He is the […]

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Whatever happened to…NASA’s X-34?

It ended up in a hangar covered in bird crap, that’s what. A remnant of an unhappy time in NASA’s recent history, the Orbital Sciences-built X-34 was photographed by Ashley Wallace in storage at Edwards AFB in California. The X-34 was built as a flying testbed to demonstrate technology for future low-cost reusable launch vehicles. […]

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Gloves come off in Pentagon battle over F-22 and F-35

It’s been a contentious week in the US fifth-generation fighter business, with the Department of Defense and US Air Force taking diametrically opposed positions on whether more F-22s are needed. The DoD has made clear it thinks 183 F-22s are enough (plus another 4 in the FY09 war supplemental). The USAF is adamant it needs […]

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Picture of the week

“Final Countdown anyone?” Another example of “visual aerodynamics“, although usually the condensation cloud caused by the low pressure behind shockwaves is photographed from the side…

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GAMA: business aviation just keeps on going

I’ve been waiting for the axe to fall. Every analyst call, every press briefing, I’ve been braced to hear the boom is over, and the bust has begun. I’m talking about business aviation. Today (12 February) it was the General Aviation Manufacturers Associations’ opportunity to burst the bubble at its annual industry review in Washington, […]

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Frank Piasecki remembered

Helicopter pioneer Frank Piasecki is remembered by his family in the attached obituary. The family requests any contributions be made to the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center’s “Frank Piasecki Memorial Fund”, 1220 American Boulevard ,West Chester, PA 19380; or the “Piasecki Fund for Math and Science Education”, St. Malachy School, 1419 N. 11th Street, […]

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