Archive for August, 2009

Lockheed Martin Begins C-5 RERP Production

Lockheed Martin announced that the first C-5 Galaxy was inducted into the Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP) production line. The RERP modifications consist of more than 70 improvements and upgrades to the C-5 airframe and aircraft systems, and include the installation of new higher-thrust, more reliable turbofan engines.

The C-5M is the product of a two-phase modernization effort. The first, the ongoing Avionics Modernization Program (AMP), provides the aircraft a state-of-the-art glass cockpit with modern avionics and flight instruments. Nearly half of the C-5 fleet has already undergone the AMP modifications. RERP is the second phase of the C-5 modernization effort.

USAF C-5 Galaxy Serial Number 83-1285

The first aircraft to enter the RERP production line is a C-5B based at Dover AFB, Del. This aircraft, Air Force serial number 83-1285, was the first C-5B to come off the production line in 1985. Modernization of this first aircraft is expected to take 13 months. At rate production, the conversion time on future C-5s is expected to be reduced to eight months.

The Super Galaxy climbs higher and faster than legacy C-5s while carrying more cargo over longer distances. It also requires less tanker support. The C-5M is projected to have a much higher mission availability rate due to increased reliability.

An Air Force aircrew based at Dover AFB, Del., recently demonstrated this improved capability by flying non-stop and unrefueled from Dover to Incirlik, Turkey, while carrying 90,000 pounds of cargo on 36 standard military cargo pallets. The crew was able to complete the round trip in two days versus the normal three, and they saved 30,000 pounds of fuel by eliminating an en-route stop.

Current Air Force plans call for Lockheed Martin to deliver 52 C-5Ms (modification of 49 C-5Bs, two C-5Cs, and one C-5A) by 2016. Three C-5Ms, the former Super Galaxy test fleet, have been redelivered to the Air Force. Two aircraft are currently based at Dover. The third C-5M is scheduled to come out of programmed depot maintenance in early September and will then be ferried to Dover where it will enter operation.

RERP Production Process Background

After the C-5 aircraft is inducted into the RERP assembly line and the fuel tanks are drained, removal of major systems and equipment, including the current GE TF39 turbofan engines will begin.

Work will then begin on the wing and empennage, wing slats, wing trailing edges, the fuel system, and installing the engine pylon attach fittings and the pylons themselves. This work will be followed by modifications to the cargo compartment, the flight station and landing gear. Also, aircraft systems, such as environmental control, will be reworked, while others, such as the auxiliary power units, will be replaced. The last stage of modifications includes removing wiring for the old systems and installing new wiring.

Finally, the GE F138-GE-100 turbofan engines will be installed. These engines, rated at 50,000 pounds of thrust, are the military version of the CF6-80C2 engine that has recorded millions of flight hours in commercial service. This is the same engine as on Air Force One. It is expected that the F138 engines will have a 20-year on-wing service life before overhaul on the C-5M.

The first production C-5M is scheduled for redelivery to Dover AFB in September 2010.

Photo: Lockheed Martin
Source: Lockheed Martin

Video - Items Lost On Planes

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcdfw.com/video.

In this video NBC gives a little insight into what items are lost by passengers on Southwest Airlines flights - over a hundred thousand items a year. The airline collects all stuff in a Dallas warehouse. After a few months unclaimed property is given to the salvation army.

F-35B Completes First Aerial Refueling

A STOVL (short takeoff/vertical landing) variant of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter has become the first F-35 to complete an aerial refueling test using the Navy- and Marine Corps-style probe-and-drogue refueling system. This mission is the first in a short series of tests that will clear the STOVL F-35B variant for extended-range flights, particularly to its primary test site at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

Lockheed Martin F-35B STOVL aerial refueling using KC-130J Tanker

During Thursday’s flight, the F-35B designated BF-2 (the second STOVL flight test aircraft), began a series of tests in which fuel is uploaded into the aircraft at 10,000, 15,000 and 20,000 feet, at speeds ranging from 200 to 250 knots. The pilot on the initial F-35B aerial refueling flight was U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Joseph T. “O.D.” Bachmann.

The refueling mission also marked the first time a Lockheed Martin KC-130J tanker has been used to refuel an F-35. Since deployment to Iraq in 2005 the KC-130J has offloaded more than 186 million pounds of fuel during combat operations. Previous refueling missions with the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant were accomplished with a KC-135 tanker. To date, the first F-35A has received approximately 110,000 pounds of fuel during aerial refuelings.

Probe-and-drogue refueling employs a flexible hose that trails from the tanker aircraft. The basketlike drogue at the end of the hose connects to the receiving aircraft’s probe, which, in the case of the F-35, resides on the right side of the forward fuselage and retracts when not in use. The U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and the air forces of many other countries use the probe/drogue system, while the U.S. Air Force refuels its aircraft via a rigid flying boom that inserts into a receptacle on the receiving airplane.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 and F-22 are the world’s only 5th generation fighters, uniquely characterized by a combination of advanced stealth with supersonic speed and high agility, sensor fusion, network-enabled capabilities and advanced sustainment. The three F-35 variants are derived from a common design, are being developed together and will use the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide, bringing economies of commonality and scale.

Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.

Source: Lockheed Martin
Photo: Lockheed Martin

Video - Red Bull Air Race 2009 Mid Season Summary

The Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2009 is heading to Europe for the second half of the season in Budapest, Hungary on 19/20 August. Below you can find a video summary of the first half of the 2009 season, featuring thrilling racing scenes and useful background information.

Photos - A350 XWB Fuselage Sections

Airbus recently completed two test composite fuselage sections for the new Airbus A350 XWB jetliner at the Hamburg (Germany) facility. The 18 metre long A350 XWB demonstrator fuselage helped to validate the production process for this widebody jetliner’s composite airframe.

Photos
Airbus A350 XWB Fuselage
Airbus A350 XWB Fuselage Section

Photos: Airbus/M.Lindner

Qatar Receives First C-17 Globemaster III

Boeing today delivered Qatar’s first C-17 Globemaster III airlifter to the Qatar Emiri Air Force.

Qatar became the first Middle East nation to order the C-17 when it signed an agreement with Boeing on July 21, 2008, for the purchase of two advanced airlifters and associated equipment and services.

Qatar C-17 Globemaster III
Boeing will deliver Qatar’s second C-17 later this year. The company will provide operational support, including material management and depot maintenance support, under the C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership.

There are currently 205 C-17s in service worldwide. With today’s delivery, 16 have been placed with international customers. The U.S. Air Force, including active Guard and Reserve units, has 189. International customers include Qatar, the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Australian Air Force and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability consortium of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations. The United Arab Emirates announced on Feb. 24 that it also will acquire four C-17s.

Source: Boeing

Afriqiyah Airways Receives First Airbus A330

Afriqiyah Airways, based in Tripoli (Libya), has taken delivery of their first Airbus A330-200 aircraft, becoming a new operator of this aircraft type. The new A330 will seat 230 passengers in a two-class cabin and will serve long-haul operations on routes from Tripoli to Africa and Europe.

Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330-200

The new A330-200, the first of three ordered in 2006, will join Afriqiyah’s existing all Airbus fleet of two A319s and five A320s. This brings the unique benefits of Airbus aircraft commonality to Afriqiyah, who can use the same pool of pilots, cabin crew and maintenance engineers across its entire Airbus fleet.

The airline will take delivery of a further 10 A320 family aircraft in the coming years, and has also selected the A350 XWB, with six A350-800s ordered in 2007.

Source: Airbus
Photo: Airbus

Helicopter and Plane Collision over Hudson River

A tourist tour helicopter, a Eurocopter AS 350 BA (N401LH), operated by Liberty Helicopter Sightseeing Tours and a Piper PA-32R Lance (N71MC) today collided and crashed into the Hudson River (New York). The Piper was heading from Teterboro Airport to Ocean City, NJ, with 3 people aboard. It’s believed that the helicopter had 6 people aboard. Nobody survived.

According to CNN the plane “had a wing sheared off and began “corkscrewing” into the water. The helicopter “dropped like a rock” after the collision”.

Photo of the Helicopter

More at CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/US/08/08/hudson.helicopter.crash/index.html

Photo - An-225 Mriya with New Livery

The world’s largest cargo plane, the Antonov An-225 Mriya (UR-82060) was spotted at Kiev - Gostomel (UKKM) (Ukraine) wearing a fantastic new livery!

Photos from Airliners.net and JetPhotos.net

The new design consists of blue and yellow stripes which represents the flag of the Ukraine. An “Antonov Airlines” logo is painted on the vertical stabilizers.

NTSB Investigation Videos on YouTube

YouTube user “airboyd” recently posted some very interesting NTSB Investigation videos on YouTube.
The NTSB aviation safety videos contain animations about dangerous runway incursion and accidents during landing, like FedEx 647 that caught fire after gear collapse on December 2003 or the Colgan 3407 crash.

All of these videos are grouped into a video playlist. You may watch this in the player below. You can scroll through the playlist using the left and right arrows.