Archive | June, 2008

GAO sustains Boeing tanker protest

For my commentary on today’s news, I will invoke the sage words of (soon-to-be-former) Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne. On November 1, 2003, DOD’s then-undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics wrote his aides an email. The subject of that email was never disclosed. Only a single, non-redacted line from Wynne’s email was released […]

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Twittering today

Watch the space on the right for Twitter updates today for news on the Government Accountability Office’s pending decision on Boeing’s tanker protest.Twitter is normally used by people (usually much younger and more socialable than this journo-blogger) to send mass text messages lots of friends. But, with a little bit of help from Twitter’s automated […]

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Talladega Nights and KC-X, revisited

I’m going to invoke “blogger privilege” and republish an item I first posted in August about the KC-X tanker competition. In hindsight, it looks like I goofed up the conclusion. But it’s all in good fun. Enjoy. A tale of two tankers Nothing says”class” like riding to Seattle on a Boeing Business Jet to cover […]

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Navy unveils first official glimpse of FA-XX strategy

My colleague Rob Coppinger (see Hyperbola) attended last week’s AUVSI North America show in San Diego, and kindly forwarded me these pictures. The slides show the USN’s strategy on the only recently emerging F/A-XX competition, which appears to pit the Northrop Grumman X-47 against a future aircraft vaguely resembling a blend between the Lockheed Martin […]

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iPhone + UAVs = neat!

The University of California-Berkeley obviously has both Apple and UAV geeks, which is probably a dangerous combination. But this is a really interesting idea.

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F-35 schedule: it’s complicated

Figuringout the Lockheed Martin F-35 program can sometimes be like whack-a-mole. Firstflight of the short-takeoff-vertical-landing (STOVL) BF-1 aircraft on Wednesdayoffers a good example. Did the milestone event occur on schedule, as Lockheedand program officials claimed, or did it not? Well, thatall depends. It was supposed to fly on May 23rd, so you’d think itactually occurred […]

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Independent media takes aim at wasteful defense spending

The American News Project, an independent documentary producer, takes aim at the infamous US military-industrial complex. The report doesn’t provide any new insight on the problem of wasteful spending on weapons systems. But the reporting is well-grounded in facts and offers a decent introduction to the issue. I hope the ANP’s sponsors stay dedicated to […]

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Boeing flops, then flips, on JCA

The Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) program continues to live up to its reputation as the “just confusing aircraft” program. The confusion now focuses on Boeing’s always-mercurial role in the L-3 Communications/Alenia Aeronautica partnership that’s supplying the C-27J to the US Army. Here’s what a Boeing spokesman told Roxana Tiron at The Hill newspaper last Thursday: […]

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Tacit Blue documentary now on YouTube

  Flateric, a frequent Secret Projects contributor, has posted this video, which offers a great history (sponsored by Northrop Grumman) of Tacit Blue from 1997.

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Humidity and the B-2, in hindsight

Now we know: the humidity of Guam is not merely unpleasant for transplanted, mainland Americans, but actually fatal for $1.4 billion stealth bombers (yet, thankfully, not their crews). I checked the literature, and perhaps we all should have paid more attention to this paragraph in a General Accounting Office report, dated August 1997. Testing indicated […]

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