The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's HTV-4 Transfer Vehicle was successfully launched from the Tanegashima Space Center on Saturday for a rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS).
Once there, the HTV-4 will deliver 3.6 tons of dry cargo, water, experiments and spare parts to the ISS. Unlike a Russian Progress vehicle which docks automatically, the HTV-4 will be captured by the Canadarm2 and berthed to the ISS. The cargo ship is scheduled to reach the space station on Friday.
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Saturday, August 3, 2013
Friday, August 2, 2013
On July 22, a single engine Cessna 172M (tail number N61954), was destroyed when it collided with terrain while maneuvering near Shannon Airport in Fredericksburg, Va. The private pilot was fatally injured.
The accident airplane was operated by a flight school located at Shannon Airport. A flight instructor who worked for the flight school stated that he had met the accident pilot about three months before the accident, and had performed a checkout flight with the pilot so that he could rent the flight school’s airplanes. The pilot had subsequently flown the school’s airplanes several times between the date of the checkout and the accident flight.
On the day of the accident, the pilot utilized the flight school’s internet-based computerized scheduling system to reserve a flight in N61954. He arrived at the airport shortly thereafter. The flight instructor who had previously flown with the accident pilot was at the flight school at the time, preparing for an upcoming flight with another student.
“According to the flight instructor, he and the pilot had a brief conversation about work, their recent flying activities, and the current weather conditions,” the National Transportation Safety Board said in their preliminary report. “The flight instructor reported that the pilot seemed to be in good spirits and was not otherwise behaving abnormally. After retrieving the paperwork required to dispatch the airplane, along with the keys from where they were normally secured, the pilot said goodbye to the instructor and proceeded to the airplane.
“The flight instructor next saw the accident airplane as it performed a low pass down the runway and then began maneuvering erratically in the vicinity of the airport. The airplane then climbed to an estimated altitude of 3,000 feet before it pitched down and descended in a near-vertical attitude. During the descent, the engine sounded as if it were producing 'full' power, and the airplane subsequently impacted the ground about 200 feet northwest of the runway.”
The aircraft is registered to Cross Flot Aviation, Inc., Fairfax, Va., according to Federal Aviation Administration records.
The crash is still under investigation.
NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) is putting together a plan to remove the engines from the two retired Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), according to contract documents posted Friday on the Federal Business Opportunities website.
“NASA/DFRC has a requirement for engines removal, assessment for airworthiness and packing for shipment of Pratt and Whitney turbofan engines JT9D-7J,” the space agency said in contract documents. “The engines are currently installed on two retired Boeing 747SCA. These 747SCA are located in two different locations: one aircraft is located at the Dryden Aircraft Operation Facility in Palmdale, Calif., and the other aircraft is located at the Johnson Space Center, Ellington Field, Houston, Texas.” All assessments must be conducted at these locations, NASA said.
“The government's delivery schedule for the engines is very critical,” NASA said in contract documents. “For the aircraft located at Ellington Field, engine assessment and removal required to be completed by Aug. 31. For the aircraft located at Palmdale, and all other tasks expected to be completed by Oct. 1.”
NASA provided no clear reason for the removal of the engines in contract documents.
In June, DFRC issued a request on the FBO website to acquire four Pratt and Whitney JT9D-7J engines specifically configured for a Boeing 747SP legacy aircraft.
The four jet engines are needed for NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) program to sustain the projected 20 year flight envelope of the science platform. The highly modified Boeing 747SP SOFIA jet carries a German-built telescope used for infrared astronomy research.
The U.S. Coast Guard rescued an Air National Guard pilot Friday after his plane went down approximately 35 miles southeast of Chincoteague, Va.
The Coast Guard 5th District Command Center received notification via an automated Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking distress signal from an ejection seat registered to an Air National Guard plane at approximately 10:28 p.m. EDT Thursday.
The Navy's Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach contacted Coast Guard officials and confirmed two 113th Wing D.C. Air National Guard F-16C Falcon jets were involved in a mid-air collision. One pilot ejected while the second Falcon flew back to Joint Base Andrews, Md.
An aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City was dispatched to the scene to assist in the rescue. At approximately 12:30 a.m., Friday, the Jayhawk crew hoisted the pilot and transferred him to Joint Base Andrews.
The pilots were on a routine training mission, military officials said in a press statement. Both pilots were transported to a medical facility at Joint Base Andrews. One pilot was released and the other was transferred to an offsite medical facility for minor injuries.
The rescued Falcon pilot was in good condition, and the cause of the mishap is under investigation.
1.) First production units of Cessna TTx aircraft delivered – The Cessna Aircraft Company announced the delivery of the first production units of the Cessna TTx to customers following a ceremony at the company's facility in Independence, Kan. The TTx holds the distinction of being the world’s fastest commercially produced and certified fixed-gear single engine aircraft. [Full story]
2.) Video: X-47B makes history, lands on deck of aircraft carrier - Northrop Grumman Corp. and the U.S. Navy completed the first arrested landing of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System carrier demonstration aircraft on the deck of the USS George H.W. Bush. [Full story]
3.) Video: Flying a brand new F/A-18 Super Hornet - Go behind the scenes with Boeing test pilot, Steve "Bull" Schmidt, as he takes a new F/A-18 Super Hornet up for the plane's first flight. [Full story]
4.) NTSB releases preliminary report on fatal Dayton Air Show crash - On June 22, a Boeing-Stearman airplane (tail number N450JW) impacted the ground at Dayton International Airport in Dayton, Ohio, while Jane Wicker performed a wing walking act. The pilot,Charlie Schwenker, and Wicker were both fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. [Full story]
5.) Hainan Airlines receives first 787 Dreamliner - The Boeing Company and Hainan Airlines celebrated the delivery of the airline's first 787 Dreamliner in July. The delivery is the first of 10 787s for Hainan Airlines. [Full story]
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Monday, July 29, 2013
Sunday, July 28, 2013
The Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) intends to issue a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) for air cargo services in Alaska to assist flood victims in rebuilding efforts, according to contract documents released Friday on the Federal Business Opportunities website.
“Services will include loading and unloading. Cargo may consist of building materials and supplies to include: concrete floors, garage floors, floor systems, exterior wall, interior partitions, truss packages, roof systems, paint, and donated items,” FEMA said in contract documents. Under the contract, aircraft will provide air cargo services for Fairbanks, Alaska to flood affected areas such as Galena, Fort Yukon, Hughes, Eagle, Circle, Emmonak, Alakanuk and possibly other areas of Alaska.
The BPA contract minimum is $3,000, with a ceiling of $500,000. The contract will run for one year from the date of award with a six month option.
FEMA invites companies interested in providing the services to submit a price quote by Friday.