The new Lockheed Martin HC-130J personnel recovery aircraft took off for the first time on July 29. Due for delivery to the U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command in September 2010, the HC-130J is scheduled to reach initial operational capability in 2012. An Air Force Special Operations Command MC-130J variant of this aircraft will fly in early 2011.
Compared to a classic C-130 a new propulsion system, featuring four powerful Allison AE2100D3 engines, generates more thrust while increasing fuel efficiency. An all-composite six-blade Dowty Aerospace R391 propeller system is lighter in weight and has fewer moving parts. Advanced avionics includes LCD instrument readouts for aircraft flight control, operating systems, and navigation. Besides two head-up displays, it has four multi-functional head-down LCD displays which are night vision goggles compatible. Two mission computers and two backup bus interface units provide dual redundancy. In the baseline (airlifter) version the avionics upgrades result in reduction of crew to 2 pilots and 1 loadmaster – no flight engineer, navigator or radio operator is needed in the cockpit anymore.
The extensive modifications also feature a belly-mounted 360-degree surface search radar, Direction Finder system, nose-mounted electro-optical/infrared radar, FLIR, an airborne Automatic Identification System and new communication systems.
The HC-130J furthermore offers external fuel tanks, flare/smoke float launch tubes and the USAF-standard liquid oxygen system has been converted to gaseous O2.
Today a USAF McDonnell Douglas C-17A Globemaster III, assigned to the 3rd Wing at Anchorage-Elmendorf Air Force Base crashed near the AFB. At the time of the accident, the C-17 was on a training mission for the upcoming Arctic Thunder air show.
All four crew members have been killed. Three of the crew were members of the Alaska Air National Guard and the other was active-duty Air Force from Elmendorf.
Today an Airblue Airbus A321-231 (AP-BJB) crashed into a mountains near Islamabad-Benazir Bhutto International Airport (ISB), Pakistan. Flight ED202 was bound from Karachi to Islamabad.
All 6 crew members and 146 passengers on board were killed.
The plane AP-BJB, MSN (Manufacturer Serial Number) 1218, was initially delivered from the production line in 2000. The aircraft was formerly operated by Aero Lloyd (D-ALAN) and Aero Flight (D-ARFA) and was leased to airblue in January 2006. The aircraft had accumulated approximately 34,000 flight hours in some 13,500 flights. It was powered by IAE V2533 engines.
Today a Lufthansa Cargo McDonnell Douglas MD-11F (D-ALCQ) crashed during landing at Riyadh-King Khaled International Airport (RUH), Saudi Arabia. Flight LH8460 was bound from Frankfurt to Hong Kong with stopovers in Riyadh and Sharjah.
Both crew members were able to leave the aircraft down the emergency slide and have been treated in hospital.
The aircraft was delivered in 1993 and taken over by Lufthansa Cargo in 2004. The freighter completed its last comprehensive maintenance check (C-Check) on 22 June 2009, an A-Check was carried out prior to the flight to Riyadh.
How does Airbus see the future of aviation? Last week at Farnborough Airshow Airbus came up with a new futuristic concept plane.
Airbus experts in materials, aerodynamics, cabins and engines put heads together and designed this “engineer’s dream”, illustrating what air transport could look like in 2050.
“Here we are stretching our imagination and thinking beyond our usual boundaries. We want to stimulate young people from all over the world to engage with us so that we can continue to share the benefits of air transport while also looking after the environment.” said Charles Champion, EVP Engineering.
Boeing announced that the 787 Dreamliner will make its international debut this month at the Farnborough International Airshow outside London.
“We’ve chosen Farnborough as a venue for spotlighting the breakthrough capabilities and innovations of both our commercial airplanes and our defense, space and security businesses,” said Tom Downey, senior vice president, Boeing Communications. “We look forward to an optimistic mood this year as industry leaders meet amid signs of economic recovery.”
The 787 flight-test airplane, ZA003, will touch down at Farnborough Sunday, July 18, approximately 9am and will remain on static display through mid-day July 20. The airplane will be open for tours on a scheduled basis July 19 and 20. Boeing is using ZA003 to test and certify seats, galleys and associated cabin safety and comfort systems, among other test points.