On May 22, 2016, Chris Ziegler posted an article on The Verge that talks about how Airbus’s subsidiary APWorks has created the world’s first 3D printed motorcycle. APWorks suggest that this motorcycle might be the lightest in the world. The motorcycle weighs approximately 75 pounds or 35 kilograms. The motorcycle is considered to be all electric which is comprised of aluminum. The terminology APworks uses to describe this material is “Scalmalloy” which is comprised of a custom aluminum alloy powder that may or may not have the same amount of strength at as titanium. In order to create the Scalmalloy, APWorks has to compress much of this material together to create the desired custom aluminum.
APWorks calls this the Light Rider. The Light Rider as the capability to go up to 50 miles per hour or 80 kilometers per hour. The Light Rider can go from 0-45km/h in an incredible timeframe of 3 seconds. This is according to Ziegler in the realm of superbikes. The Light Rider also has a battery that can be swapped out. The battery has 35 miles or 60 kilometers on charge, ready to go.
So far, at this time, APWork has manufactured 50 of these Light Riders. These are roughly $55,000 per unit. Although a bit pricey for the average individual, the Light Rider as least gets market exposure which can work in APWork’s favor.
APWorks is a subsidiary of Airbus Group. Airbus Group was founded in 2000 with headquarters in Leiden, Netherlands. There is also a main office located in Blagnac, France.
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Chad Trautvetter wrote an article on May 5th 2016 on AIN Online talking about NASA and how it is working on its ATC Aircraft Ground Datalink. Engineers from the NASA Glenn Research Center in Ohio NASA are working on an FAA Bombardier Global 5000 plane. NASA was working on a wireless communication system for the aircraft while it was on the ground. This project was coined the Aeronautical Mobile Airport Communications Systems (or AeroMacs for short). This demonstration took place at the NASA Glenn communication, navigation, and surveillance test facility.
Here is what Paul Nelson, the Glenn’s project manager for Cyber Security and Secure CNS, has to say about this project.
“This was the first time we provided this type of information to an airplane over a ground wireless network.”
The demonstration yielded results that showed that the aircraft could be able to transmit aviation information while the plane was taxing at a speed of 70 mph on the runway located at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. In order to transmit this data, there was FAA technology that was complete.
Here is what NASA has to say about the project.
“Together, AAtS and AeroMacs will improve situational awareness and reduce the potential for human error by giving pilots access to the information they need to make decisions. The trials consisted of three test cases designed to evaluate performance of both the AAtS and AeroMacs technologies. We demonstrated that AeroMacs can simultaneously transport multiple services seamlessly.”
NASA, also known as National Aeronautics and Space Administration, was formed on July in 1958. Now it currently has over 17,000 employees.
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and NASA are in the process of developing and refining a Dragon spacecraft intended to launch to Mars by 2018.
A manned mission to Mars has been a long-term goal for SpaceX, and with that possibility in sight, their goal is to reach even further. Elon Musk, the SpaceX founder recently announced on Twitter that the new Dragon will be designed to land anywhere in space. Mars will be its first destination.
The current Dragon model carries a significant amount of cargo to Earth, but this new project aims to have humans transported as well. The Dragon has an internal capability the size of a sports utility vehicle, which will provide an environment that is not only comfortable, but also safe for those on board.
Currently, versions of the Dragon’s cargo capsule are flown to and from the International Space Station under SpaceX’s contract with NASA valued at just under $2 billion. Meanwhile, under another contract valued at $2.6 billion, SpaceX is working on making the Dragon capsule available for astronauts to be transported as well.
NASA has made a statement informing that it will not take part in SpaceX’s Mars mission financially. Instead, NASA has announced that they will be providing technical support in exchange for data from SpaceX. Information on entry, descent, and landing, that could be essential for the firm’s own mission to Mars planned for some time in the 2030s.
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Effectively immediately, an angle-of-attack (AoA) indicator is now a standard feature across the board for the Cessna 172 cockpit. This standard offers general aviation pilots a most critical tool in preventing loss of control accidents. Cessna, who is a subsidiary of Textron Aviation, launched the Cessna 172 Skyhawk equipped with the Safe Flight SCc AoA system on April 5th at the Sun-n-Fun fly-in in Florida. The exact same technology can now also be found as a priced option for the 206 Turbo Stationair and the Cessna 182 Skylane.
Scott May, Textron vice-president of Piston Aircrafts has expressed his excitement with the changes citing,
“We are thrilled to work with Safe Flight to bring this latest enhancement to the cockpit, providing an improved flying experience for our customers.”As many within the aviation field can attest, loss of control is the leading cause of general aviation injuries and fatalities. It often occurs shortly after the aircraft takes off or right before it lands as the pilot is often making low-speed turns in the pattern. With the Safe Flight SCc system, the integration of a lift transducer in the leading edge of the wing allows the system to feeding AoA data to a dashboard-mounted display in the cockpit that will alert a pilot through a series of lights when he/she is approaching stall conditions. Stalling conditions almost always invariably leads to an unrecoverable loss of control at low altitudes.
With AoA systems now becoming more popular after a new standard for low-cost systems was developed in 2014 by an industry group. They were able to reduce the price of the technology from more than $10, 000 per unit to now as low as $2,000. It’s only a matter of time before this becomes an industry standard across all manufacturers.
AoA indicators might seem like the way of the future but pilots with even basic knowledge of aviation history can verify that this has been a topic that has emerged and resurfaced countless times over the past years. Experienced pilots will also tell you that airspeed is a great proxy for AoA and while AoA is a great tool in addition to your standard equipment, it’s not much more informative than the airspeed indicator. Most pilots that have been in the industry for an extended amount of time will preach that the most important thing is to teach pilots how to maintain proper airspeed and practice their stick an rudder skills in addition to all the new technology offered.
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The US Navy just increased its fire power with the brand new Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM). Developed by world renowned defense contractor Lockheed Martin, the LRASM is specifically engineered to locate and engage long range enemy targets. Tipping the scales at 2,500 pounds measuring 168 inches long, the LRASM will utilize next generation tracking software to seek out and eliminate a wide variety of enemy vehicles including drones, submarines, aircraft and land targets.
The LRASM is currently progressing through development testing, and the US Navy hopes that it will be fully operational by 2019. Once the LRASM program is complete, the NAVY intends to use them as a first response to important enemy targets.Navy officials expanded upon this idea stating
"The objective is to give Sailors the ability to strike high-value targets from longer ranges while avoiding counter fire. The program will use autonomous guidance to find targets, reducing reliance on networking, GPS and other assets that could be compromised by enemy electronic weapons.”
Although the NAVY will primarily launch LRASM from F-18s and B-1B bombers, they will also conduct test launches from ships using the Vertical Launch System. The NAVY has yet to officially decide which missile to support for their ship to ship application, but if the LRASM can successfully complete its tests then it certainly has a strong case to be selected.
In its current form, LRASM utilizes a digital global positioning system as well as a multimode sensor to seek and destroy individual targets even within a group of other ships. The LRASM program goes hand-in-hand with the NAVY’s current goal of arming the entire fleet with precision longer-range capabilities. Look for Lockheed to collaborate with the NAVY on even more exciting defense projects in the years to come.
Airbus, the French manufacturer of civil aircrafts, has recently announced that the company has been taking into consideration the redesign of their A380 wide body, double deck aircraft. In its current state, the A380 aircraft is the largest passenger airplane in the world, as it is capable of carrying up to 544 passengers in a four-class configuration. In the single class configuration, the A380 aircraft is capable of carrying up to 853 passengers. In order to accommodate the world’s largest passenger airliner, the airports at which this superjumbo aircraft operates have been upgraded with facilities to better serve this large aircraft.
The Airbus A380 aircraft features a stunning stairway which has been designed to resemble the staircases found in an ocean cruise ship. The two levels of this double decker aircraft are connected by a grand stairway in order to make the airplane more attractive to its customers and operators as well as to increase the passenger capacity.
“However, the plane manufacturer noticed, that passengers do not feel the need to walk between the main deck and the upper level during the journeys and the stairway could be redesigned to accommodate as many as 60 passengers without the reduction of the width of seats or the aisle,” suggested Aero Time.
“The passengers would be seated in a 3-5-3 setting, instead of the current 3-4-3 setting. In addition, the crew rest area could be redesigned to create more room.”
At its current rate, the profit margin of the Airbus A380 aircraft remains very low. The aircraft manufacturer has barely broken even with this aircraft, prompting the company to search for new options in order to make the aircraft more attractive to potential carriers. Last year in 2016, the aircraft manufacturer delivered 27 A380 aircrafts as the company was assembling slightly more than 2 aircrafts per month. As of April of 2016, Airbus had received a total of 319 orders for their A380 aircraft. Starting in 2017, Airbus expects the assembly rate to decrease to 1.7 aircrafts per month.
At the ILA Berlin Air Show next week, Airbus Helicopters plan to reveal its initial concept for a 220kt (410km/h)-cruise helicopter developed under the EU-backed Clean Sky 2 effort. The preliminary design review was intended for program schedule in late 2015 according to research documents leaked to the general public. Originally revealed at the 2014 Farnborough air show under the LifeRCraft (low-impact, fast and efficient rotorcraft) banner, Airbus Helicopter announced its involvement in the high-speed rotorcraft project and envisioned it as the successor to the record breaking X3 high-speed demonstrator.
The X3 was last flown in 2013 after having achieved speeds of 255kt in level flight. If we are to take the details of a stakeholder presentation in March at face value, the overall responsibility for the development of the aircraft will be split between a multitudes of Airbus Helicopters operations.
Germany will be in charge of the main fuselage and wings, while the rotors - main and lateral - will be handled in the Le Bourget, France blade facility and finally the tail boom and control surfaces will be prepared by Airbus’ factory in Albacete, Spain. The document went on further to state that the project management, integration and ground-and flight-test activities will be overseen at the company’s headquarters in Marignane, France.
There are three sub-projects that have been allocated approximately 4 million dollars under the most recent rounds of EC proposals which include two work packages developing canopy structure and engine compartments for the demonstrator aircraft. Avio Aero which is owned by GE Aviation will attempt to “define an advanced health monitoring system” for the lateral gearboxes and main gearbox reduction stages.
Airbus Helicopters Deutschland has always been quietly working on designs for future compound rotorcraft along with possible alternatives which include main engines and addition of nose-mounted canards to increase lift and enabling the main wing and propellors to be moved to the rear. Patent documents filed in July 2013 covers a number of configurations, all of which feature a joined or box-wing design on the side of the aircraft and pusher propellers with driveshafts from the main engine being contained in the upper wing.
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The United States military will be bringing 6-8 F-15C fighter jets to Finland for education and training with Finland’s Karelian Air Command. This will be the first time any US military aircraft will be a part of any joint exercises in Finland.
The Oregon Air National Guard will be providing the F-15C fighter jets for these overseas exercises. They have previously been called to duty during the Iraq and Afghanistan initiatives. OR ANG is a state militia that is not in the United States Air Force chain of command. They are under the jurisdiction of the Governor of Oregon stemming from its establishment in the 1940’s.
The involvement with the United States is receiving many mixed reactions. Finland has normally stood by their non-alignment policy throughout their inception in the European Union in 1995. The non-aligned policy states that Finland shall remain neutral in regards to European’s Union’s foreign, security and defense polices.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Timo Soini ensures that Finland has not initiated any of these joint exercises that the United States has been at the helm of these exercises. Mika Varvikko, another representative of Finland’s Ministry of Defense stated
“plans are still underway and may potentially include the participation of Sweden and Norway”.
This should bring an ease to the people advocating against these training exercises.
The rumor that Sweden and Norway will be participating in the exercises is a ploy to put pressure on Sweden and Finland to join NATO. Finland’s Chief of Defense Jarmo Lindeberg made an announcement to the country to step up their defense efforts due to the increasing pressure of Russian threats. Lindeberg had some reserves towards NATO’s combat readiness, claiming “their decision making mechanisms is doing badly”.
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Rolls-Royce has just announced that the company has been awarded an order worth over a billion dollars for the Trent 7000 engines and Total Care service support from Garuda Indonesia. The order was signed by his Excellency Joko Wibowo, the President of Indonesia during his visit to the United Kingdom. The order was then signed in London by President and Chief Executive Officer of Garuda Indonesia, Mr. M. Arif Wibowo and the Rolls-Royce President of Civil Aerospace, Eric Schulz who were both welcomed by the UK Prime Minister David Cameron and His Excellency Joko Wibowo himself.
The Trent 7000 which is the exclusive power plant of the A33neo, also is the seventh member of the Trent family and has become the engine of choice for the wide body market over the past 20 years. Scheduled to enter service in 2017, the Trent 7000 order replaces an existing order for seven A330-300 aircrafts that are powered by the Trent 700 engines. Both Garuda and the Indonesian Civil Aviation parties recognize that there is tremendous longer term growth potential and has agreed on exploring maintenance co-operation and skills development opportunities.
Eric Schulz lauds Indonesia for having “great economic prospects” and remains resolute in Rolls-Royce’s commitment to supporting the future of air travel in Indonesia. Schulz also took a moment to marvel at the 20th anniversary of Rolls-Royce providing Trent engines to Garuda and expounded upon his pride in being able to power their fleet with this latest member of the storied Trent engine family. His Excellency Joko Wibowo believes that the contract has further strengthen and deepen the bond that Rolls-Royce shares with Garuda Indonesia. With Indonesia set to become the seventh largest economy in the world by 2030.
David Cameron wants to encourage more British businesses to tap into an incredibly fast growing economy and goes as far as to opine that they are the “fifth biggest investor in Indonesia” with potential for so much more. Currently Garuda Indonesia operates 24 Trent 700-powered A330 aircrafts with another two on order. Garuda Indonesia is the national airline of Indonesia and was named after the holy bid Garuda in reference to Hinduism which is also the national emblem of Indonesia.
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Back in October 2014, Gulfstream unveiled that they intend to produce a new business jet called the G600. Fast forward to 2016 and Gulfstream is now hard at work assembling the first G600 flight test airplane at their Savannah Georgia production facility.
The G600 is a completely new class of business jet from Gulfstream that will be among the first in company’s history to utilize fly-by-wire controls. Featuring new wings, engines, and airframe designs, the G600 takes business travel to new heights. The G600 can fly at a cruise speed of Mach 0.85 for 6,200 nautical miles or it can fly at Mach 0.90 for 4,800 nautical miles. Both estimates make the G600 faster and more fuel efficient than any other aircraft in its class. Additionally, its maximum cruise altitude is pegged at over 50,000 ft.
As for the G600 Cabin, it can be configured to accommodate up to four living spaces, and it is the only plane in its class capable of having a forward galley. Customers can also work with Gulfstream designers to fully customize each aspect of the cabin. Everything from bamboo flooring to fiber-optic lighting can be added inside the cabin.
Even the Flight Deck in the G600 features an innovative side-stick designAccording to Gulfstream.com,
“Active control sidesticks eliminate traditional pedestal-based yokes, creating more space and better comfort for pilots. Each sidestick mimics any movement the other pilot makes on his or her sidestick, providing another element of situational awareness from the visual and tactile cue of the other pilot’s actions.”
It’s older brother the G500 has already conducted over 800 hours of test flights, and once G500 development is complete, Gulfstream can begin to commit more resources towards the completion of the G600 program.