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MILESTONE Paul MacCready has retired as chairman and director of unmanned and electric systems company AeroVironment, the company he founded in 1971. He is to be replaced by Tim Conver, who has been president since 1991. Last week marked the 30th anniversary of the first flight of MacCready's human-powered aircraft, Gossamer Condor, the first ever to make a sustained controlled flight powered solely by its pilot and in the process winning the Kremer Prize. He won a second Kremer prize two years later with Gossamer Alabatross's flight across the English Channel. MacCready, born in 1925, has been honoured with an Engineer of the Century award by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the NASA Public Service Grand Achievement Award, and was selected as Graduate of the Decade by the California Institute of Technology and named one of the 100 greatest minds of the 20th century by Time magazine.


ACQUISITION Lockheed Martin has bought for an undisclosed sum 3Dsolve, a privately held company that creates simulation-based learning solutions for government, military and corporate applications using interactive 3D graphics, also known as "serious games". 3Dsolve's employees and software products will remain in Cary, North Carolina and become fully integrated into Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training & Support (LM STS). LM STS president Dale Bennett says: "This transaction will enable us to strengthen our core competencies, leverage the talents of our employee base and support Lockheed Martin's long-term strategy of value expansion."


JOINT VENTURE Russian titanium producer VSMPO-Avisma and Boeing today formalised a joint venture to produce rough titanium forgings for the 787, and named a Boeing veteran to run it. The 50/50 joint venture, called Ural Boeing Manufacturing (UBM), is being created at VSMPO's premises in Verkhnaya Salda and will become operational next year. The forgings will be shipped to Boeing's facility in Portland, Oregon for final completion, according to a statement released by the two companies. Long-time Boeing executive Gary Baker has been appointed UBM's general director and general manager. He will be headquartered in Verkhnaya Salda, where UBM is building a shop and office facility.


PRIVATE EQUITY European Commission regulators have approved the planned acquisition of Dutch Fokker Services parent Stork by equity group Candover. The EC, which studied the proposed takeover under a simplified merger review procedure, says that it has "granted clearance" to the acquisition. Candover initiated the takeover of Stork - active in the aerospace services and aerostructures fields, as well as other diverse sectors - earlier this month after gaining Stork board recommendation for its proposal. Its takeover centres on an all-cash offer of €47 ($63) per share for all of Stork's capital.