Boeing Completes Painting of First Peace Eagle Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft

Turkish Air Force Peace Eagle Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft

A newly painted Peace Eagle Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft is shown in Turkish Air Force colors outside a Boeing hangar in Seattle, Wash.
The aircraft will make its first international flight this month when it travels to the Dubai Air Show in the United Arab Emirates, where it will be on static display Nov. 11-15.
Boeing is building the first of four AEW&C aircraft for Turkey’s Peace Eagle program in Seattle while Turkish Aerospace Industries in Ankara, Turkey, is building the remaining three aircraft with significant participation from various Turkish industry suppliers. Functional checkout of the mission systems is under way with development flight testing beginning next year.

The 737 AEW&C, selected by the Turkish Air Force under Project Peace Eagle, is based on the 737-700. The official name of the 737 AEW&C is: 737-700 Airborne Early Warning & Control, Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array RADAR Antenna (737-700 AEW&C MESA RADAR Antenna). The aircraft uses the Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) radar. The radar is located on a dorsal fin on top of the fuselage, dubbed the “top hat”, and is designed for minimal aerodynamic effect. The radar is capable of simultaneous air and sea search, fighter control and area search. Other modifications include ventral fins to counterbalance the radar and countermeasures mounted on the nose, wingtips and tail. The cabin features eight operator consoles with sufficient space for four more; the Australian fleet will operate ten consoles with space for two more.
Currently the 737 AEW&C is operated by Australia, Turkey and South Korea. Potential customers are Italy and the United Arab Emirates.

Video – Sikorsky Piasecki X-49A Speedhawk Test Flight

This Sikorsky Piasecki X-49A “Speedhawk” flight test video has emerged on YouTube. Piasecki Aircraft is near the end of its initial test run of the X-49A vectored thrust-ducted propeller (VDTP) compound helicopter, a modified Sikorsky H-60. By late October the Sikorsky Piasecki X-49A “Speedhawk” did 24 test flights with a total of 19 hours flight time. [Source]

Link: More information about the Sikorsky Piasecki X-49A Speedhawk

It will be interesting to see if and how the US Army will use this strange ugly bird. Maybe it will be used for some MEDEVAC missions. It will be difficult to fly for sure, with this heavy propeller engine mounted on its tail.

Video – Japanese F-2 Crash during Takeoff

This Japanese F-2 fighter jet burst into flames just after takeoff in Nagoya, central Japan, on 31 October, but its two pilots managed to escape with minor injuries.
The plane was about to start its first test flight since it was docked for regular check-ups at the domestic airport of Nagoya.
It nosedived immediately after takeoff at the airport and glided on its tail over the runway before swerving off into the grass.

“We failed on takeoff and the fuselage plunged almost vertically from a height of 50 meters,” one of the pilots said.
The cause of the accident is not known yet.

Final assembly of first A400M begins

Closely following the assembly in July of the complete static test airframe in the static test facility in Getafe, near Madrid, assembly of the first Airbus Military A400M tactical transport production aircraft, MSN 001, has now begun in Seville.
With the main fuselage barrel and the nose fuselage section already in the jig at the final assembly line (FAL) site at San Pablo, Seville, and the wings and tail surfaces in situ, series production of the new airlifter can now be considered as having formally begun.

The first five aircraft to leave the FAL will be destined for the flight test programme and production at San Pablo will gradually increase to around thirty aircraft per year.

Military A400M tactical transport final assembly
Military A400M tactical transport final assembly

© Airbus Military

Boeing Starts Flight Tests for Canada’s First C-17

The first of 4 Boeing C-17 Globemaster IIIs for the Canadian Defense Forces took flight for the first time Monday, a major milestone leading to the aircraft’s delivery on Aug. 8. With a takeoff weight of 460,000 pounds, (208,650 kg), the advanced airlifter lifted off from Long Beach, Calif., at 3:36 p.m. Pacific time, and flew for three hours and 45 minutes.
Led by Boeing production pilot Joel Brown, the seven-person crew put the C-17 through a series of functional checks, flying west over the Pacific Ocean, before returning to the facility where Boeing assembles and tests C-17s prior to delivery.
“For a first flight, we thought it performed exceptionally well,” said Brown. “But our expectations are always high that the C-17 will perform well.”
“We’re looking forward to providing this world-class capability to our new customer, on time and on budget,” said Dave Bowman, vice president and C-17 program manager. “The C-17 program continues to deliver on its commitment to execute flawlessly and deliver C-17s on time with the quality and reliability that has made the C-17 the best airlifter the world has ever seen.”

Canada’s first Boeing C-17 Globemaster III

Boeing Approved for Full-Rate Production of CH-47F Chinook

The Boeing Company has received U.S. Army authorization for full-rate production and fielding of the new CH-47F Chinook helicopter.
The CH-47F successfully completed U.S. Army operational testing at Fort Campbell, Ky., in April, and now will move forward with First Unit Fielding in July.
“This authorization enables us to support the needs of the warfighter today and well into the future,” said Jack Dougherty, director of Boeing H-47 programs.
“The Army put the CH-47F to the test with over 60 hours of rigorous flight test in numerous simulated mission scenarios, including air assault, combat resupply and transport operations,” said Ken Eland, Boeing CH-47F program manager. “The successful test and evaluation of the aircraft is a validation of the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in the H-47 program and proves again that the Chinook is ready to meet the diverse requirements of the warfighter.”
Operational testing of the CH-47F was conducted by Bravo Company (Varsity), 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
The CH-47F helicopter features

  • A newly designed, modernized airframe, to reduce vibration effects
  • Structural enhancements in the cockpit, cabin, aft section, pylon and ramp — flexible paint system with corrosion preventive compounds
  • A Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System cockpit and a BAE Digital Advanced Flight Control System. The advanced avionics provide improved situational awareness for flight crews with an advanced digital map display and a data transfer system that allows storing of preflight and mission data.
  • Improved survivability features include Common Missile Warning and Improved Countermeasure Dispenser Systems.
  • Modularized hydraulics and triple cargo hooks
  • Composite, manual-folding, tandem-rotor blades with three blades per hub

Powered by two 4,868-horsepower Honeywell engines with digital fuel controls, the new CH-47F can reach speeds greater than 175 mph and transport payloads weighing more than 21,000 lbs. The CH-47F, with the Robertson Aviation Extended Range Fuel System, has a mission radius greater than 400 miles.

The A330-200 steps up to its new role as a flying petrol station

The latest derivative of Airbus’ popular A330 is making its world debut at the 2007 Paris Air Show, but this twin-engine widebody is not surrounded by the glamour normally associated with the rollout of a new jetliner.

Painted in the subdued grey colours of the Royal Australian Air Force, the plane marketed by Airbus as the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport or MRTT, is now the first KC-30B aerial tanker version designed for the in-flight refuelling of military aircraft.

The KC-30B is fitted with a large deployable boom installed under the tail, along with two underwing pods – all of which are capable of transferring large volumes of fuel. Such “flying petrol stations” are vital to military operations, allowing fighter jets and other aircraft to be refuelled while in the air, thereby avoiding the need to return to their base of operations for a top-off.

Australia has ordered five KC-30B militarised versions of the A330-200. In addition, three similar tanker aircraft are being acquired by the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom has designed the A330-200 for its Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft programme. The KC-30 also is being proposed to the U.S. Air Force, which plans to modernise its ageing fleet of aerial tankers.

Video – Farewell to the F-14 Tomcat

A few great videos as a farewell tribute to the F-14 Tomcat which was retired from active service in the US Navy in 2006.
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat was a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable geometry wing aircraft. The F-14 was the United States Navy’s primary maritime air superiority fighter, fleet defense interceptor and tactical reconnaissance platform from 1972 to 2006 and is now replaced by the F/A-18E/F. Most of the F-14 will be destroyed, 20 have been saved to US museums.
Some F-14 Tomcats are still in active service by Iran Air Force.