Archive | May, 2011

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Does India want yet another stealth fighter?

India may be working on a third stealth fighter project. We know the Ministry of Defense has already pledged to co-develop the FGFA variant of the Russian Sukhoi PAK-FA stealth fighter, and it’s Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is already working on designing the twin-engined advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA). That means the Indian […]

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FOIA exposes KC-46′s real ID, but not much else

Photo courtesy of US Air Force Boeing’s internal designation for the US Air Force (USAF) KC-46 tanker is the 767-2C, with the ‘C’ presumably meaning ‘combination’ or ‘convertible’. Along with 787-style large displays, Boeing is introducing into the 767-2C a central maintenance computer, a technology normally associated with the more advanced Boeing 777. This new […]

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Walter Boyne: Why everyone misinterpreted Stealth Black Hawk story

Uber-aviation historian Walter Boyne happened to release a book called “How the Helicopter Changed Modern Warfare” about the same time that Osama bin Laden was exposed rather harshly to the reality of the book’s title. That the US special forces involved in the 1 May raid of bin Laden’s compound left behind unimpeachable evidence of […]

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Lockheed CEO: F-35 challenges are “worth it”

During a breakfast press conference on 24 July in Arlington, Virginia, Lockheed Martin chief executive officer Bob Stevens responded to questions about affordability and development challenges, saying the F-35′s advanced capabilities are “worth it”. Lockheed officials also are emphasizing that the development programme appears to have finally stabilized, with the company adhering to the latest […]

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Random videos: J-20 makes 8th landing, F-35 hovers at Pax

Two videos on YouTube that you don’t see every day:1. Plane spotters capture the J-20 reportedly making its 8th landing today, with the Chinese stealth fighter emerging from the thick Chengdu haze directly overhead. It’s quite a picture.2. A Beechcraft B-200 pilot captures an F-35B in hover out the window, which is evidently shot at […]

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Is the ‘Super Talon’ Northrop Grumman’s next surprise?

Northrop Grumman’s advanced development team has been busy lately. The last two years has yielded the revelations of MUVR, Wild Thing, MQ-X and, most recently, Firebird. Now, another secret concept may have leaked outside Northrop’s version of Skunk Works. According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, Northrop has applied to register the rights to […]

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VIDEO & PICTURES: F-35′s 1st airshow fly-over

Photo courtesy of US Navy Lt Cdr Eric “Magic” Buus on 20 May recorded the first official F-35 airshow fly-over, banking the Patuxent River-based CF-2 test aircraft slightly toward the crowd at Andrews AFB, Maryland. It’s technically not the first time an F-35 has flown above an airshow crowd. Last year, F-35 flight test aircraft […]

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Family poster of F-35 flight test fleet

Click on image for full-size version CF-3, shown above in a radar cross section test chamber, is preparing for first flight later this month to fulfill a 4.5-year-long effort to redesign, build and fly 12 weight-optimized Lockheed Martin F-35 flight test aircraft. It has been harder, more expensive and certainly more frustrating than anyone probably […]

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VIDEO: PAK-FA needs advanced composites. Can Russia make them?

One of the key questions about Russia’s PAK-FA fighter program concerns the national industry’s capacity to produce the advanced composites required for stealth fighters. Indeed, the question, “Can Russia’s emerging composites industry keep up with production” was nearly topped the list of questions in an exhaustive PAK-FA dossier published last year by David Markov and […]

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Is Hawker Beechcraft an American company?

Loren Thompson argues in a blog last week there are two competitors for the US Air Force contract for a light attack armed reconnaissance (LAAR) aircraft: “An American plane made by Hawker Beechcraft designated the AT-6, and a Brazilian plane made by Embraer designated the EMB-314.”This is a bad thing, according to Thompson. “The fact […]

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