Friday, June 20, 2014

Video: Spain's ultra-high resolution spy satellite fully operational

Spain's first ultra-high resolution satellite, Deimos-2, was successfully launched into Earth orbit Thursday from the Yasny launch base in Russia.

"The satellite will improve our knowledge of natural phenomena, both manmade and natural, that take place on Earth and helps prevent and manage natural catastrophes," Elecnor Deimos said in a company press release. Elecnor Deimos built Deimos-2 in partnership with Satrec Initiative of South Korea.

"This panchromatic and multispectral satellite, which weighs 300 kilograms and measures 1.5 x 2 meters, incorporates a camera that achieves high precision and detailed images of Earth, with a resolution of 75 centimeters," Elecnor Deimos said.

The satellite is expected to have an operational lifetime of seven years, participating in projects in the following fields: agriculture, environment, climate change, crisis control and civil protection (fires and floods), as well as defense, intelligence and border control.

With regard to the integration and control of the mission, Elecnor Deimos has developed the Puertollano Satellite Integration and Operations Centre (Ciudad Real), a complex for integrating and managing its own and third-party satellites. The company has the capability to manage entire space programs: design, integrate, validate, launch and operate Earth observation satellites; use them for commercial purposes and develop them for third parties.

Receive DCNewsroom email alerts, subscribe here.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Video: Boeing 787-9 crosswind flight test

The Boeing 787-9 test team conducts crosswind testing. See how these engineers and pilots prepare and conduct this important flight test.

Receive DCNewsroom email alerts, subscribe here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dynamic Airways launches new service to Guyana

Dynamic Airways has announced the start of its non-stop service between New York's John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) and Georgetown, Guyana's Cheddi Jagan International Airport beginning June 26.

Dynamic Airways' Boeing 767 will depart JFK every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Special introductory airfares for New York to Georgetown service will start at $499 roundtrip. With the new service comes a new company website,

Dynamic Airways' new service to Georgetown will make air travel to and from Guyana more convenient and affordable for residents of this Caribbean country, the company said in a press release.

"We have been approached by the Guyanese Government to establish year around service between New York Guyana and we've graciously accepted their invitation to support their economic growth," said Tom Johnson of Dynamic Airways. "We are in process of hiring 50 flight attendants based in Georgetown. Plans to operate Toronto to Canada service are well underway."

Dynamic Airways is a U.S. carrier that changed ownership/management in 2013 with a goal of providing high quality, low-cost medium and long haul air service. The company is headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., and now offers service between New York and Guyana, Hong Kong and Saipan as well as service between Beijing and Guam.

Receive DCNewsroom email alerts, subscribe here.

Astronauts Leestma and Thomas retire

NASA has bid farewell to two veteran astronauts who have retired after a combined 66 years of federal service.

David Leestma

David Leestma has retired after more than 44 years of government service. A veteran of three spaceflights, Leestma served as a space shuttle mission specialist on STS-41G in 1984, STS-28 in 1989 and STS-45 in 1992.

Before joining NASA, Leestma served in the U.S. Navy as a pilot and flew missions in the Mediterranean/North Atlantic areas while assigned to the USS John F. Kennedy. He was selected to join the astronaut corps in 1980. After flying in space, Leestma held multiple technical and leadership assignments, including director of Flight Crew Operations. In his last role, Leestma led the Technical Transfer and Commercialization Efforts office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The current NASA Administrator Charles Bolden flew with Leestma on shuttle Atlantis' STS-45 mission.

Leestma holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., and a Master of Science degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

A retired Navy captain, Leestma has logged more than 3,500 flight hours. He ends his NASA career having logged more than 23 days in space on three shuttle missions.

Andrew Thomas

Andrew Thomas also has retired from NASA after more than 22 years of service to the agency.

Thomas, who holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering, was selected to join NASA's astronaut corps in 1992. Before joining NASA, Thomas worked in private industry as a research scientist responsible for designing vehicle aerodynamics, flight controls and propulsion systems.

"In his 177 days in space over four missions, Andy served as the payload commander for a dedicated research mission, lived aboard the Russian Mir space station, conducted a spacewalk during an International Space Station assembly mission and served a vital role as a crew member on our crucial Return to Flight mission, STS-114, following the tragic Columbia accident," said Janet Kavandi, director of Flight Crew Operations at Johnson.

Thomas traveled to Mir in 1998 to assist in the transition to International Space Station operations. He was the last American to live on Mir.

Receive DCNewsroom email alerts, subscribe here.

Rood named VP for domestic business development at Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin appointed John Rood vice president for Domestic Business Development and Operations, succeeding John Ward, who announced plans to retire effective Aug. 1. Rood's appointment is effective June 23.

Most recently Rood was the vice president for U.S. business development at Raytheon Company responsible for identifying business opportunities, leading and assisting efforts to capture new business, and resolution of issues associated with the implementation of programs for its domestic civil and military customers. Previously, Rood served for 20 years in U.S. government positions at the State Department, Department of Defense, National Security Council, Central Intelligence Agency and as a U.S. Senate staffer. He also served as Acting Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. Rood holds a Bachelor's degree in economics from Arizona State University.

Since joining Lockheed Martin in 1997, Ward has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility across the company, including vice president of international business development at Missiles and Fire Control.

Receive DCNewsroom email alerts, subscribe here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Grand opening of new Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta

Delta Air Lines celebrated the grand opening of the new Delta Flight Museum on Tuesday, a 68,000 square-foot facility located at the airline's world headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. The museum traces Delta's history and the development of commercial aviation. The grand opening event marked Delta's 85th anniversary of passenger service, dating back to its first passenger flight from Dallas to Jackson, Miss., on June 17, 1929.

The museum is housed in the airline's two original maintenance hangars dating from the 1940s.

The museum houses a permanent collection of five historic aircraft, including a Travel Air 6B Sedan similar to the one that operated Delta's first passenger flight in 1929, and The Spirit of Delta, a Boeing 767 purchased for the company by employees in 1982. Also on display is a DC-3, Ship 41, that flew for Delta and was restored by Delta employees and volunteers.

The museum features a 117-seat theater and a 30-seat conference room located inside the fuselage of an L-1011 TriStar aircraft. Also on display is the cockpit of a Convair 880 jet. Additionally, visitors can have the ultimate aviation experience and pilot a Boeing 737-200 full-motion simulator, the only one open to the public in the U.S., formerly used to train Delta pilots.

A tour of the museum starts with Delta's beginnings as a crop-dusting operation in the rural South.

A special exhibit honors Delta's founder and first CEO, C.E. Woolman. The display includes a portrait of Woolman along with quotes and personal items.

The hangar space also serves as a unique public and private rental venue to host meetings, conferences and other events with state-of-the-art audio and video capability and full catering services that can accommodate a seated dinner for as many as 1,200.

Major sponsors of the Delta Flight Museum include the Delta Air Lines Foundation, American Express, Airbus, the New York Yankees, ST Aerospace and Aero BridgeWorks.

Receive DCNewsroom email alerts, subscribe here.

Southwest Airlines adds Airplane Health Management system to predict maintenance issues

On TuesdayBoeing announced that Southwest Airlines has selected Airplane Health Management (AHM) to enhance operational efficiency in its maintenance and engineering operations.

Southwest Airlines will use AHM to collect and evaluate airplane operations data while the airplane is in flight. This real-time data is used to signal ground operations crews of any potential maintenance issues before the airplane lands, minimizing flight schedule disruptions and maintenance-related delays.

Boeing technical teams will work with Southwest to facilitate initial deployment of the system for its Next-Generation 737s. Southwest is Boeing's 66th customer for AHM.

Southwest Airlines is an all-Boeing carrier and operates the largest 737 fleet of any airline. In 2011, the airline became the launch customer for the 737 MAX.

Receive DCNewsroom email alerts, subscribe here.

Northrop Grumman increases Fire Scout's imaging and search capabilities

Northrop Grumman Corp. and the U.S. Navy demonstrated a new multimode maritime surveillance radar on the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter that will drastically enhance long-range imaging and search capabilities for Navy commanders.

Warfighters will now have the latest in radar technology to pair with their current electro-optical infrared payload. Integrating this new radar system will provide the MQ-8B Fire Scout with essential operational capabilities in all tactical environments and will improve how it addresses threats in real-world scenarios.

"This modernized radar complements Fire Scout's other sensors and systems to provide the Navy with increased visibility far beyond the horizon," said George Vardoulakis, vice president, medium range tactical systems, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.

Northrop Grumman modified a Telephonics Corp. AN/ZPY-4 multi-mode maritime surveillance radar system used for manned aircraft, so it could be used on the unmanned MQ-8B Fire Scout.

Receive DCNewsroom email alerts, subscribe here.

Delta Air Lines launch of Seattle-Hong Kong service

Delta Air Lines launched nonstop service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Hong Kong on Monday. The new market is Delta's latest addition in the buildup of its Seattle hub and its fifth new international destination from Seattle in the last year.

With the launch of Hong Kong service, Delta customers now have nonstop access to nine long-haul international destinations from Seattle - more than all other airlines combined - including the top five destinations in Asia and three of the top four destinations in Europe. Delta is the only carrier to offer nonstop service from Seattle to Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo-Haneda.

Delta currently operates 76 peak-day departures to 25 destinations from Seattle. Delta has increased its peak-day departures by more than 30 percent since a year ago and by December will offer 95 peak-day departures to 33 destinations, making it Seattle's fastest-growing airline.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Northrop Grumman appoints new lead executive for Air Force work in Dayton

Northrop Grumman Corp. announced Monday that it has appointed Kevin Bell corporate lead executive for company business in Dayton. Bell reports to Timothy Jones, vice president, aviation and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

In his new role, Bell represents the company to customers in the Dayton region including those at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.

Bell has supported Northrop Grumman customers in Dayton as a business development representative and a sector lead executive. Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, he served more than 26 years in the Air Force, retiring as assistant to the commander, Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright Patterson Air Force Base. His extensive and successful Air Force acquisition experience includes assignments as the senior acquisition adviser to the Office of Military Cooperation-Afghanistan, system program director for the KC-767 Aerial Refueling Tanker Lease Program and director of the F/A-22 Fighter Aircraft Engine Program.

Bell earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Valdosta State College, Valdosta, Ga., and a master's degree in management from Troy State University, Troy, Ala. He also attended the Air War College, and Air Command and Staff College.

Students and educators visit Virginia's Eastern Shore to launch rocket

Students and educators from across the United States will become "rocket scientists" during a workshop at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia this month.

The seventh annual RockOn! workshop, conducted in partnership with the Colorado and Virginia Space Grant Consortia, will provide 61 community college and university students and instructors the opportunity to learn how to build a scientific payload for a suborbital rocket flight.

During RockOn!, participants will learn the basics of experiment design including programming and electronics. The students will construct experiments to measure acceleration, spin rate, radiation, humidity, pressure and temperature during a rocket flight.

Their experiments, built in only three days, will then be incorporated into a rocket payload for launch on a Terrier-Improved Orion suborbital sounding rocket at 5:30 a.m. EDT June 26. After flying to nearly 70 miles in altitude, the payload carrying the experiments will land in the Atlantic Ocean where it will be recovered. The participants are expected to have their experiments in hand later in the day to begin data analysis.

In addition to the RockOn! experiments, a group of more complex experiments from the RockSat-C program also will be flying on the sounding rocket. These experiments are developed by students, many of whom have participated in a previous RockOn! workshop, from Mitchell Community College, Statesville, North Carolina; West Virginia University, Morgantown; Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin; Temple University, Philadelphia; and Howard University in Washington.

About 50 students and instructors participating in RockSat-C will come to Wallops on Friday to begin their final experiment integration and to witness the launch.

In addition, more than 100 small cubes carrying experiments developed by pre-college students will launch with RockSat-C as part of the Cubes in Space program. Experiments vary from measuring changes in the electromagnetic field as the experiment moves through the ionosphere to determine whether the nano-computers would survive spaceflight, to observing the changes to the properties of a marshmallow as a result of the intense g-force of the launch. Cubes in Space is a partnership between Rubik Learning Initiative, idoodlesoftware inc. and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium.

Carbon dioxide monitoring satellite ready for launch

The launch of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission (OCO-2) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California is scheduled for July 1. Liftoff from Space Launch Complex 2 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket is targeted for 5:56 a.m. EDT.

OCO-2 is NASA's first mission dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide, the leading human-produced greenhouse gas driving changes in Earth's climate. OCO-2 will provide a new tool for understanding the human and natural sources of carbon dioxide emissions and the natural "sinks" that absorb carbon dioxide and help control its buildup.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., is responsible for project management of OCO-2. Orbital Sciences Corp. built the OCO-2 spacecraft. NASA's Launch Services Program at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida provides launch management. United Launch Alliance of Centennial, Colorado, is NASA's launch service provider for the Delta II rocket.

Turkish Airlines orders 15 additional 737 planes

Boeing and Turkish Airlines on Monday finalized an order for 15 additional 737 MAX 8s, valued at $1.6 billion. The order follows the announcement in May 2013 when the Turkish carrier placed the largest Boeing order in the airline's history for 50 737 MAXs and 20 Next-Generation 737s.

With Monday's announcement, Turkish Airlines has more than 100 unfilled orders for Boeing airplanes; 65 737 MAXs, more than 25 Next-Generation 737s and 20 777-300ER (Extended Range) airplanes. The Istanbul-based carrier currently operates a fleet of more than 100 Next-Generation 737s and 15 777-300ERs.

The 737 MAX has surpassed 2,000 orders from 41 customers. The plane incorporates the latest-technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines. Airlines operating the 737 MAX will see an eight percent operating cost per seat advantage over tomorrow's competition.

Turkish Airlines currently serves 254 cities in 106 countries around the world from its base at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

First scheduled transatlantic flight for WestJet

WestJet marks a key milestone in its 18-year history Sunday night with the launch of its first scheduled transatlantic service between Toronto and Dublin, Ireland, with a brief stop in St. John's, Newfoundland. The flight arrives in Dublin tomorrow at 7 a.m. local time.

Announced in November 2013, WestJet offered introductory fares between Toronto and Dublin starting from $199 on all flights in both directions from June 15 to Oct. 5 - fares which sold out within the first 24 hours. Today, the service is heavily booked and well ahead of projections, recently prompting a three-week extension to Oct. 25.

WestJet offer scheduled service to more than 85 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. Through their regional airline, WestJet Encore, the airline offers more than 120 destinations in more than 20 countries.