Archive | March, 2009

Helo exec promises tattoo for ARH contract

This could be a first for a defense industry executive. In this video, Lynn Tilton, CEO of MD Helicopters, publicly promises to tattoo the company logo on her body — if the company wins the US Army’s pending armed reconnaissance helicopter contract. The video was taped at a press conference in February at the HAI Heli-Expo […]

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Finally, the Indian view on Rafael’s Dinga-Dinga ad

It’s been three weeks since I posted Rafael’s eye-poppingly awful Dinga-Dinga ad. Finally, I’ve found a response in the Indian press. (By contrast, the US Air Force officer’s critical remarks about the Indian Air Force in the Red Flag video hit the Indian press like a hammer within a few days of my posting it […]

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Hotelicopter hoax makes you want to believe

The Hotelicopter – The World’s First Flying Hotel! from Alvin Farley on Vimeo. I have found it. THE BEST AVIATION HOAX EVER. My buddy Geoff Fein sent me the link this morning. Gizmodo, one of the world’s most popular blogs, posted the link to the Hotelicopter.  It was brilliantly unbelievable: a DOUBLE-DECKER Mil V-12 Homer, […]

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My visit inside Skunk Works

Photo by Stephen Trimble PALMDALE, Calif. — I suppose getting invited to enter Skunk Works shouldn’t make much sense. The secret-squirrel types like it that way. You can ask the public relations office repeatedly for several years, as I did, for a site visit, and get nowhere. Then one day you ask for a phone […]

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Breaking: Fifth V-22 with loose bolts points to design problem

Photo: US Air Force The good news is that shoddy maintenance is most likely not the cause of the “loose bolts” problem that prompted a precautionary grounding of the BellBoeing V-22 fleet earlier this week.The bad news: it’s starting to look more like a safety-critical design flaw, although the investigation is continuing. Click here to […]

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X-51A: Jury-rigged for hypersonic success

PALMDALE, Calif — As the first Mach 6.0+, air-breathing, fuel-cooled, hypersonic test vehicle, the Boeing/Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne X-51A Waverider is the aerospace community’s best hope for pushing forward the boundaries of hypersonic science.  [Read related news story.] So why, on close inspection, does it seem so very … jury-rigged? For example, the X-51A’s booster […]

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Engineering-speak meets reporter’s brain on V-22 grounding story

NAVAIR helpfully provided journalists an engineering summary to describe the role played by the loose bolts that grounded the BellBoeing V-22 fleet earlier this week. It was my job this morning to summarize their summary for my news story. Here’s what NAVAIR game me: The swashplates transmit flight control inputs to each proprotor hub and […]

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The Battle of Fort Worth continues: Lockheed strikes back

For calling out Lockheed Martin’s production workers in Fort Worth as rampant “slackers”, Fort Worth Star-Telegram community columnist E.R. Bills could surely expect a strong response. But Lockheed’s follow-up letter to the editor in the Star-Telegram today instead seems a model of restraint. The company, of course, defends its workforce as “highly skilled, innovative and productive”, […]

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Local writer calls out Lockheed’s Fort Worth “gravy train”

E.R. Bills calls himself a “blue-collar guy”, a part-timefreelance writer and a full-time construction labourer, with past experienceworking at the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth.   Thanks to an incendiary opinion column yesterday in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram,calling out slack working habits at the Lockheed factory, Bills may also addwhistleblower and community lightning rod […]

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Twitter Log: C-17 non-crash report saga

What a bizarre and unnecessary adventure all that was. It all started with an inaccurate CNN report and a flurry of Twittering. The good news is that there wasn’t a crash. The bad news is how fast wrong information can spread in the age of social media. # Air Force Times adds that USAF confirms […]

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