Archive for March, 2010

Photo - 787 Wing Ultimate-Load

Boeing today released the following picture. During ultimate-load testing the wings of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner were flexed upward by approximately 25 feet (7.6 meters). The test exposed the airframe to the equivalent of 150 percent of the heaviest load it is ever expected to see while in service.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Ultimate Wing Load Test

Photo: Boeing

Red Bull Air Race Calendar 2010

The 2010 Red Bull Air Race World Championship takes off in Abu Dhabi on March 26/27 and then circles the globe with eight races on a record five continents this year with a highlight-packed calendar that includes new locations in New York City and Lisbon along with eagerly awaited returns to Rio de Janeiro and Germany.

Abu Dhabi will host the season opener of the high-speed, low-altitude championship for the sixth straight year. Bonhomme, who won the 2008 race over the turquoise waters in the United Arab Emirates’ capital, and Arch, who won there last year, are the favourites. But the other 13 teams worked hard in the off-season and will be looking to de-throne Bonhomme as well.

Video

In 2009, 3.5 million spectators attended the races and 270 million followed on television broadcasts around the globe. In the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, the world’s 15 best race pilots fly close to the ground at speeds reaching 370 km/hr (230 mph), while enduring forces of up to 12 Gs as they navigate unique and demanding race tracks made up of 20 metre high inflatable air gates.

Race Calendar 2010

Date Place
March 26/27 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
April 17/18 Perth, Australia
May 08/09 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
June 05/06 Windsor, Ontario, Canada
June 19/20 New York, USA
August 07/08 EuroSpeedway, Lausitz, Germany
August 19/20 Budapest, Hungary
September 04/05 Lisbon, Portugal

Source: Red Bull

Video - F-35B STOVL Flight

Lockheed Martin released a video of the first Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter, passing overhead at 40 knots (46 mph) prior to a slow landing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The flight was one of the last missions before the aircraft’s first vertical landing, and confirmed the jet’s power and controllability at very low speeds. The aircraft’s short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) propulsion system generates more than 41,000 pounds of vertical thrust, and enables airspeeds from zero to Mach 1.6. The F-35B will be flown by the United States Marine Corps, the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, and the Italian Air Force and Navy. It will be capable of operating from small ships and austere bases near front-line combat zones.

Video

Photo
Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II STOVL Flight

Video - 747 In-Flight Nose Gear Cam

A guy on YouTube called Balleka did a spectacular in-flight video of a Boeing 747-200F. He put a Contour HD helmet cam on the the nose gear and filmed takeoff and landing on a flight from Johannesburg (JNB) to Maputo International Airport (MPM).

You definitely have to watch this!

He also put this making of video online, in case you’re wondering how it was done.

Northrop Grumman Drops Out of Air Force Tanker Competition

Unfortunately Northrop Grumman today announced that they decided to drop out of the U.S. Air Force tanker bid because of the clearly unfair nature of the competition.

The following statement was released by Northrop Grumman Corporation:

“After a comprehensive analysis of the final RFP, Northrop Grumman has determined that it will not submit a bid to the Department of Defense for the KC-X program. We reached this conclusion based on the structure of the source selection methodology defined in the RFP, which clearly favors Boeing’s smaller refueling tanker and does not provide adequate value recognition of the added capability of a larger tanker, precluding us from any competitive opportunity.

Northrop Grumman KC-45 Tanker

“Northrop Grumman fully respects the Department’s responsibility to determine the military requirements for the new tanker. In the previous competition, Northrop Grumman was selected by the Air Force as offering the most capable tanker for the warfighter at the best value for the taxpayer. However, the Northrop Grumman and EADS team is very disappointed that the revised source selection methodology now dramatically favors Boeing’s smaller refueling tanker. We agree that the fundamental military requirements for the new tanker have not changed since the last competition, but the Department’s new evaluation methodology now clearly favors the smaller tanker.

“We continue to believe that Northrop Grumman’s tanker represents the best value for the military and taxpayer – a belief supported by the selection of the A330 tanker design over the Boeing design in the last five consecutive tanker competitions around the globe. Regrettably, this means that the U.S. Air Force will be operating a less capable tanker than many of our Allies in this vital mission area.

“Our prior selection by the Air Force, our firm belief that we provide the best value offering, and the hard work and commitment of the many individuals and communities on our team over many years made this a difficult decision for our company. But we have a fiduciary responsibility to our shareholders to prudently invest our corporate resources, as do our more than 200 tanker team suppliers across the United States. Investing further resources to submit a bid would not be acting responsibly.

“We have decided that Northrop Grumman will not protest. While we feel we have substantial grounds to support a GAO or court ruling to overturn this revised source selection process, America’s service men and women have been forced to wait too long for new tankers. We feel a deep responsibility to their safety and to their ability to fulfill the missions our nation calls upon them to perform. Taking actions that would further delay the introduction of this urgent capability would also not be acting responsibly.

“We recognize that our decision likely creates a sole-source outcome for Boeing. We call on the Department to keep in mind the economic conclusions of the prior round of bidding as it takes actions to protect the taxpayer when defining the sole-source procurement contract. In the previous round, the Air Force, through a rigorous assessment of our proposal, determined that it would pay a unit flyaway cost of approximately $184 million per tanker for the first 68 tankers, including the non-recurring development costs. With the Department’s decision to procure a much smaller, less capable design, the taxpayer should certainly expect the bill to be much less.” (…)

It’s a shame that the lobbyists once again have been able to abuse their power.

History of the Hindenburg Airship

74 years ago, on March 4, 1936 the German Hindenburg airship accomplished its first flight.
The airship flew from March 1936 until destroyed by fire 14 months later on May 6, 1937, at the end of the first North American transatlantic journey while landing at Lakehurst Naval Air Station, New Jersey.
The Hindenburg (LZ-129) and its sister ship (LZ-130) are the longest flying machines of any kind, as well as the largest airships ever built.

At http://www.airships.net/hindenburg you’ll find very interesting and the most complete historic information about this airship! This great website features many photos as well as sections of special interest to pilots such as flight procedures, flight instruments and navigation.

Airships.net History of the Hindenburg



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