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Author Archive | Stephen Trimble

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PICTURES: Northrop adapts B-2′s flying wing into airliner for NASA study

NASA two years ago challenged three aircraft makers — Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman — to design a next-generation airliner. Boeing’s and Lockheed’s designs have been revealed before. Northrop’s concept finally was unveiled last week at the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics Sciences Meeting in Nashville. It’s the first airliner optimized for radar […]

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Chief skunk on 6th-gen fighters, 2-seat F-35s & classified UAVs

NASHVILLE, Tennessee — It was a presentation this morning by Alton “Al” Romig, the new chief of the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, on unmanned air vehicle technology, so you know he had to say something about the RQ-170 Sentinel. Anticipation only grew as he began his lecture to the 50th annual Sciences Meeting of the […]

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Decision week for India’s MMRCA contract?

Photo by Katsushiko Tokunaga via Eurofighter Eleven years after it all started, India’s, er, patient acquisition process may yield a final downselect for the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) contract later this week — or maybe next month, or — since we are talking about India — next (fill in the blank). But the two […]

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PICTURE: Lockheed reveals concept aircraft for post-F-22 replacement

Lockheed Martin’s 2012 calendar — which your blogger received in the mail but casually deposited, unopened, in the trash — contained the company’s first concept design for a sixth generation fighter to succeed the F-22 after 2030. Call her “Miss February”.The US Air Force has already started the search for the F-X fighter to replace […]

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Almost hot off the presses – Latest F-35 master plan

Mark your calendars. Thanks to ELP’s blog for discovering this five-month-old presentation (see Ebersole brief), Here’s what the F-35 is supposed to do over the next five years. The clock on LRIP-4 started last year. LRIP-5 is getting sorted out now, although it technically should have been awarded before 1 October 2011. The timing for […]

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POLL: Pick airpower’s winners and losers in 2012

1. Lockheed Martin F-35 Will the F-35 … 2. Leftovers from 2011 After each missed a 2011 deadline, the event that will come first in 2012 is … 3. Themes To reflect the year’s most dominant theme, 2012 will be called … 4. Good-byes The programme least likely to survive 2012 is … 5. Winners […]

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BREAKING: USAF web site confirms Saudi Arabia sale

A US Air Force web site appears to confirm the blockbuster Boeing F-15SA sale to Saudi Arabia. [UPDATE: Within two hours of my blog post, the USAF removed the image from the web site.] The picture shown above was released to a USAF web site at 3:31pm on 28 December. That means the image appeared […]

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How an A-12 Avenger II canopy landed on eBay [UPDATE]

Seth Kettleman makes a living buying and selling surplus aircraft machinery on the web. In late November, a strange item popped up on GovDeals.com: an A-12 Avenger II fighter canopy. Kettleman had never heard of the A-12, but he was intrigued so he started Googling. He read that the highly classified A-12 had been canceled […]

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F-22 crash mystery finally explained

The US Air Force has ended the mystery of what happened to the Lockheed Martin F-22 that crashed on 16 November 2010. According to the newly-released accident investigation board report, the cause wasn’t the onboard oxygen generation system (OBOGS), although it did stop working. Instead, the pilot apparently struggled to activate the back-up oxygen system […]

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F-22 assembly line fades into history

There are now four active fighter assembly lines in the US, one less than a few hours ago.Lockheed Martin confirms that F-22 tail number 4195 rolled off the assembly line earlier this morning. The last of the 185 operational F-22s has now moved to the flight line, with final delivery to the US Air Force […]

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