All articles by James Drew

  • Analysis

    ANALYSIS: US Army seeks rotorcraft renaissance through FVL


    ​Anyone who has strolled around an army or civil helicopter show in the USA lately cannot help but have noticed some strange rotary-wing birds that promise to morph between troop-carrying assault machines and armed gunships, bristling with cannons and Hellfire missiles. Full-scale mock-ups of the Bell Helicopter V-280 Valor and ...

  • Bear intercept

    USAF warms to F-22 Raptor revival proposal


    ​At a time when budget constraints are driving the US Air Force to divest fighter and attack aircraft faster than they can be replaced with the Lockheed Martin F-35, outgoing chief of staff Gen Mark Welsh says it would not be a “wild idea” to resume production of an improved ...

  • Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Hill Air

    F-35 Block 3F test schedule slips as Lot 9-10 contracting drags on


    ​The Pentagon appears to be no closer to reaching an agreement with Lockheed Martin on contracts for the production of 151 F-35 Lightning II aircraft as part of low-rate production lots nine and 10.

  • Draken Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. Credit Chris Stellwag

    CAE proposes 16 Draken A-4 Skyhawks for RCAF fighter training


    Canadian training and simulation firm CAE has teamed with American warplane contractor Draken International to offer 16 Douglas A-4 Skyhawks as aggressors for Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 combat training.

  • G120tp 640

    CAE to accept first two Grob trainers for US C-12 schoolhouse


    ​Training service provider CAE will take delivery of two Grob Aircraft G120TP single-engine turboprops next month as it begins standing up a new fixed-wing Beechcraft C-12 pilot training school at Dothan Regional Airport in Alabama for the US Army and Air Force.

  • US Forest Service HC-130H Paint Scheme. US Forest

    USAF picks Coulson Aviation to outfit HC-130Hs for firefighting


    The US Air Force has picked the Coulson Aviation USA retardant aerial delivery systems (RADS-XXL) to outfit seven former Coast Guard Lockheed Martin HC-130H search-and-rescue turboprops into firefighting assets for the Forest Service.

  • A Global Hawk remotely piloted vehicle taxis on th

    Global Hawk testers using 3D-printed nylon for ice shape testing


    Weapon testers at Edwards AFB in California have taken a unique approach to ice shape testing of the remotely pilot Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Global Hawk by laser printing simulated ice on the leading edges of the aircraft’s wings and V-tail to characterise buildup.

  • RNAF Lockheed Martin F-35s arrive at Leeuwarden Ai

    PICTURES: Two Dutch F-35s arrive at Leeuwarden Air Base


    Two Lockheed Martin F-35s belonging to the Royal Netherlands Air Force have departed North America on the first eastbound transatlantic crossing of the fifth-generation fighter type, touching down at Leeuwarden Air Base in the Netherlands at approximately 8:45pm local time.

  • BF-04 Flt 371 piloted by Lt Col Tom Fields perform

    RAF Voyager begins F-35B refuelling certification


    The Royal Air Force’s Airbus A330 Voyager will become the fourth non-US aerial refuelling tanker to be certified to fill up the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II following recent tests with an F-35B at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.

  • Sikorsky CRH HH-60W. Sikorsky image

    Sikorsky HH-60W team moves into detailed design phase


    The latest variant of the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is moving into the detailed design phase after successfully passing an air vehicle preliminary design review (PDR) by the US government.

  • Bell Helicopter AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Yankee. US M

    ​Bell's Venom and Viper helos court foreign sales interest


    This is not your grandfather’s Huey. That is the message H-1 programme officials at US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) want potential foreign and domestic customers to know as they consider the latest UH-1Y and AH-1Z models, named Venom and Viper.

  • Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion. Sikorsky Image

    ​Sikorsky CH-53K likely to fall short of upper lifting requirement


    The US Marine Corps ideally wants its new Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion to carry 13.6t (30,000lbs) externally over 110nm (204km) unrefuelled, but early analysis indicates that it will fall approximately 907kg short of that “objective” key performance requirement.

  • LS

    ​Aurora expands LightningStrike testing, eyes FVL


    Aurora Flight Sciences sees its victory over Boeing, Sikorsky and Karem Aircraft for the US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s $89 million “VTOL X-Plane” flight test programme as a strategic win that positions it well to someday compete in the Army’s Future Vertical Lift programme.

  • AugustaWesland/Leonardo Helicopters AW169 commerci

    VIDEO: AW169 touches down at rotorcraft convention in Florida


    AgustaWestland’s US-based AW169 commercial helicopter took time out from flight envelope expansion activities this week to thrill attendees of the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International’s 72nd annual meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida, by land in a narrow loading dock behind the local convention centre.

  • Leonardo-Finmeccanica’s helicopter division has pr

    AgustaWestland pitching TH-119 as USN trainer


    AgustaWestland has proposed a version of the commercial AW119Kx to replace the US Navy’s outdated fleet of Bell 206-based TH-57 SeaRanger trainers.

  • Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant. Image via Swift Engi

    Rotorcraft industry questions lengthy FVL timeline


    The US Army is under pressure to speed up its Future Vertical Lift (FVL) acquisition as it seeks permission from the Pentagon to begin pursuing a mid-sized Capability Set 3 (CS3) aircraft to eventually succeed the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and Boeing AH-64 Apache.

  • A CH-47 Chinook helicopter lands in brownout condi

    ​US Army picks Special Forces gear as ‘interim’ DVE capability


    The US Army is in contract negotiations with Sierra Nevada Corporation as it prepares to field an interim degraded visual environment (DVE) capability based on US Special Operations Command’s DVE Pilotage System.

  • Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion. Sikorsky Image

    Germany seeks pricing for 41 CH-53K King Stallions


    The US government is preparing a response to Germany’s letter of request for pricing and availability of 41 heavy-lift Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion helicopters to begin replacing the 80 G-models the country currently operates.

  • P-8A

    ANALYSIS: Boeing calls out USAF's sole-source EC-37B Compass Call plan


    Boeing Defense has called for an open competition to replace the EC-130H Compass Call electronic attack turboprop, saying the requirement for a business jet airframe to re-host that equipment should not automatically go to Gulfstream, which will supply its G550 conformal airborne early warning type to create the EC-37B.

  • Bell UH-1N Huey ICBM security mission. US Air Forc

    USAF abandons sole-source UH-60M Black Hawk plan


    ​The US Air Force has decided against sole-sourcing a portion of its Bell UH-1N replacement requirement to Lockheed Martin-Sikorsky for the UH-60M Black Hawk, instead reverting back to an earlier plan for a “full and open competition” to replace all 62 Vietnam War-era Hueys.