Thursday, February 2, 2023

Army sets up sale of the King Air 360 aircraft to Peru

The U.S. Army Contracting Command-Redstone in Huntsville, Ala., intends to award a sole source five-year contract to Textron Aviation, Inc. in Wichita, Kan., for the initial purchase of two King Air aircraft for the country of Peru.

The Army announced the contract in a Combined Synopsis/Solicitation document on Thursday.

Textron is the original equipment manufacturer of the King Air B200 series, King Air B300 series, Cessna C-208B, and Cessna C-408 aircraft.

The contract will include one 12-month base period and four 12-month ordering periods for the procurement of King Air Series B200 and B300 and Cessna C208B and C408 to support upcoming Foreign Military Sales cases.

“The government’s minimum quantity to be awarded simultaneously with the award of the basic contract is two King Air 360 (B300 series) aircraft to the country of Peru,” the Army said in contract documents.

Textron Aviation introduced the KingAir 360 in August 2020. A key feature of the King Air 360 cockpit is the addition of the Innovative Solutions & Support ThrustSense Autothrottle. The autothrottle supports pilots in their critical mission of delivering people or cargo safely by automatically managing engine power from the takeoff roll through the climb, cruise, descent, go-around, and landing phases of flight. This enhancement reduces pilot workload and supports them in their continuous vigilance to prevent over-speed or under-speed, over-temp, and over-torque conditions.

The first Beechcraft King Air 360 was delivered to the launch customer – Stamoules Produce Company, Inc., in November 2020.

The anticipated award date for the Army contract is no later than July. The contract will have a set maximum ceiling of $99,788,000.00.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

DCNewsroom most popular posts January 2023

1.) NTSB report shows pilot and passenger were in plane “not to be flown” - A preliminary report released in January by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) shows a pilot and passenger were riding in a plane that was “not to be flown.” [Full story]

2.) Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70 first flight at Greenville facility - Lockheed Martin's F-16 Block 70 performed its first flight in January at its Greenville, S.C., facility. [Full story]

3.) Delta Air Lines orders a dozen more A220 aircraft - Delta Air Lines firmed up an order for a dozen more A220-300 aircraft, bringing the airline’s total firm order for A220s to 119 aircraft. [Full story]

4.) Air Force orders 15 more KC-46A Pegasus tankers under $2.3 billion contract - The U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing a $2.3 billion contract for the ninth production lot of 15 KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft, expanding its fleet of multi-mission aerial refuelers. [Full story]

5.) FBP outlines air charter service contract for prison inmate in New York - The Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBP): Metropolitan Detention Center, located in Brooklyn, N.Y., put out a request last month for air charter services to transport a prison inmate to the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners. [Full story]

Monday, January 30, 2023

Air Force orders 15 more KC-46A Pegasus tankers under $2.3 billion contract

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing a $2.3 billion contract for the ninth production lot of 15 KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft, expanding its fleet of multi-mission aerial refuelers. To date, 128 KC-46A Pegasus tankers are on contract with the U.S. Air Force, with 68 delivered and operationally deployed worldwide.

The KC-46A Pegasus delivers fuel to airborne aircraft and can transport cargo, personnel, and aeromedical missions. Last year, the U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command approved the KC-46A for global operations including combat deployment.

The Pegasus continues to demonstrate its agile combat employment capabilities, recently completing a 42-hour endurance flight supporting a U.S. Air Force Bomber Task Force mission in the Indo-Pacific region.

During 2022, KC-46A aircraft operated in a series of U.S. Air Force global employment exercises in the European theater, Indo-Pacific region, and the Middle East.

Boeing builds KC-46A aircraft on the 767 production line in Everett, Wash., supported by a supplier network of about 37,000 workers employed by more than 650 businesses throughout more than 40 U.S. states.

Boeing is on contract for 138 KC-46A Pegasus tankers globally. Boeing has delivered two of six KC-46A tankers to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and is on contract for four KC-46A tankers for the Israel Air Force. The expanding global fleet creates commonality and interoperability efficiencies and mission-readiness advantages for the U.S. Air Force and its allies.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Pending confirmation, two G700 production test aircraft break speed records during world tour

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. announced Thursday that their all-new Gulfstream G700 achieved 25-speed records on its recently completed world tour. The company flew two fully outfitted G700 production test aircraft to more than 20 countries across six continents to demonstrate the aircraft’s performance capabilities and the flexibility and comfort of the most spacious cabin in the industry.

Notable record runs achieved by the G700 include:

• Savannah to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 12 hours, and 36 minutes at an average speed of Mach 0.90 to begin the international portion of the tour.

• Istanbul, Turkey, to Van Don International Airport in Vietnam, in 9 hours, and 2 minutes at an average speed of Mach 0.90.

• Riyadh to Melbourne, Australia, in 13 hours, 39 minutes at an average speed of Mach 0.87.

• Christchurch, New Zealand, to Los Angeles in 12 hours, and 13 minutes at an average speed of Mach 0.87.

In total, the two G700 outfitted aircraft traveled 53,882 nautical miles over more than 180 hours of flying. The world tour speed records are pending approval by the U.S. National Aeronautic Association and Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in Switzerland for recognition as world records.

The two G700 production test aircraft interiors showcase the industry’s only ultra galley, with more than 10 feet of counter space; a grand suite with a fixed bed, and a bright spacious lavatory with full vanity and shower.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70 first flight at Greenville facility

Lockheed Martin's F-16 Block 70 performed its first flight on Tuesday at its Greenville, S.C., facility.

The flight occurred at 9:17 a.m. EST, with Lockheed Martin test pilots Dwayne "Pro" Opella and Monessa "Siren" Balzhiser at the helm. Total flight time was approximately 50 minutes and included airworthiness checks, such as engine, flight control, and fuel system checks, as well as basic aircraft handling.

This F-16 Block 70 jet is the first of 16 jets to be delivered to Bahrain. Six countries have selected Block 70/72 aircraft. In addition to the current official backlog of 128 jets to-date to be built in Greenville.

Jordan last year signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) for eight jets and last week signed an additional LOA for four more jets. Lockheed Martin has received a contract to begin Jordan's long-lead activities.

Bulgaria has also signed an LOA for an additional eight jets for its fleet. Once these are finalized, the backlog will increase to 148.

The F-16 is a strategic and valuable choice for many customers around the world seeking advanced, 4th generation fighter aircraft capabilities, regional and worldwide partnerships, and affordable lifecycle costs.

More than 3,000 F-16s are operating today in 25 countries. The F-16 has flown an estimated 19.5 million flight hours and at least 13 million sorties.

The Block 70/72 features advanced avionics, a proven Active Electronically Scanned Array radar, a modernized cockpit with new safety features, advanced weapons, conformal fuel tanks, an improved performance engine, and an industry-leading extended structural service life of 12,000 hours.

Operational capabilities are enhanced through an advanced datalink, targeting pod and weapons, Infrared Search and Track system; precision GPS navigation, and the proven life-saving Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System. Additionally, the new Block 70/72 Modular Mission Computer combines state-of-the-art computing capabilities for weapons and avionics in a single system, which results in more capability for the pilot and jet, with less costly software upgrades over time.

F-16 BLOCK 70/72

  • Length: 49.3 ft
  • Height: 16.7 ft
  • Speed: 1,500 mph (Mach 2+)
  • Wingspan: 31.0 ft
  • Empty Weight: 20,300 lb
  • Engine Thrust Class: 29,000 lb
  • Maximum TOGW: 48,000 lb
  • Design Load Factor: 9 g
  • Service Life: 12,000 hr

Friday, January 20, 2023

NTSB report shows pilot and passenger were in plane “not to be flown”

A preliminary report released this week by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) shows a pilot and passenger were riding in a plane that was “not to be flown.” Both were killed when the plane experienced trouble and crashed in Suffolk, Va.

On Jan. 7, a single-engine Piper PA-28-140 (registration N592FL), was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Suffolk, Va. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured.

The NTSB report states the pilot had just received his private pilot certificate on Nov. 29. He owned the airplane and based it at Northeast Regional Airport in Edenton, N.C.

According to a mechanic at Northeast Regional, the pilot contacted him on New Year's Day, to inform him that the engine's rpm drop was excessive during a magneto check and that he had parked the airplane in front of the mechanic’s hangar for further evaluation. The mechanic looked at the airplane on Jan. 4. He removed the spark plugs, cleaned them, and checked for resistance. He found that two spark plugs had very high resistance and one spark plug fired a little weak. The mechanic replaced those three spark plugs and reinstalled the five other spark plugs in the engine.

The pilot arrived later that day before the mechanic had a chance to perform a ground engine run as he was busy working on another airplane. The pilot asked if he could perform a ground run of the engine and the mechanic said yes because he could listen to the engine from his hangar. As soon as the pilot ran the engine, the mechanic knew “right away” that the new spark plugs did not correct the problem as the engine was “skipping,” the NTSB report says. “The pilot shut down the engine and the mechanic informed the pilot that the airplane was not to be flown until he could investigate further, and he would most likely be able to do so on Jan. 9. At the time of the accident, the airplane had not been released from maintenance as the mechanic had not had an opportunity to further investigate the engine anomaly.”

According to family members, the accident flight was a short 40 miles cross-country flight to get lunch at a restaurant at Suffolk Executive Airport in Suffolk, Va.

According to preliminary flight track information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), shortly before the accident, the airplane approached Suffolk Executive Airport at an altitude of about 1,000 feet, and about five miles south of the airport. The airplane then descended rapidly and impacted terrain. A witness reported that she was a front-seat passenger in a car and first observed the airplane in a nosedive. At that time, there were two spiral trails of black smoke, about five to 10 ft behind the airplane; however, she did not observe any fire from the airplane.

The airplane impacted nose-down in a marshy field and no debris path was observed. The wreckage came to rest upright and was oriented south. A section of engine cowling was located about 50 ft south of the main wreckage. A postcrash fire consumed the majority of the wreckage, with the exception of the wings and engine. The engine was buried in approximately three feet of mud and further examination of the wreckage was planned following its recovery from the field.

The plane was manufactured in 1971 and registered to Grey Rose Air LLC of Edenton, NC, according to FAA records.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

US Space Force GPS III SV06 navigation satellite launched, GPS IIIF production underway

The sixth Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin, was launched Wednesday morning and is on its way to orbit approximately 12,550 miles above Earth. The system will join the U.S. Space Force's constellation of GPS satellites.

Known as GPS III Space Vehicle 06 (GPS III SV06), the satellite was launched (video) from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla., aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 7:24 a.m. EST.

About 83 minutes after liftoff, U.S. Space Force and Lockheed Martin engineers at the company's Denver Launch & Checkout Operations Center confirmed the signal acquisition of GPS III SV06 and now have the vehicle under their control.

GPS III SV06 is the 25th Military-Code satellite introduced to the constellation. The satellite will aid Space Force operators by providing positioning, navigation, and timing data to military and civil users worldwide.

"With the last GPS III satellite complete and ready to launch, production of the first GPS IIIF vehicle is underway,” said Andre Trotter, Lockheed Martin vice president for Navigation Systems.

GPS, or Global Positioning System, is a satellite-based radio navigation system that delivers standard positioning, navigation, and timing data to America's military, U.S. allies, and civil users. The satellites serve as a crucial technological foundation for internet, financial, transportation, and agricultural operations, with more than four billion users depending on the signals.

GPS III vehicles provide three times greater accuracy and eight times greater anti-jamming capability over existing satellites in the constellation.

GPS III SV06 will soon join SV01-05 in orbit. GPS III SV07-10 are completed and in storage at the company's facility waiting for the U.S. Space Force to call them up for launch.

Lockheed Martin is also designing and building the GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) for the Space Force, which will feature even more innovative capabilities than its predecessors.

GPS IIIF satellites will feature an accuracy-enhancing laser retroreflector array, a new search and rescue payload, a fully digital navigation payload, and more next-generation technology.

In November 2022, Space Systems Command announced it exercised the third production option valued at approximately $744 million for the procurement of three additional GPS IIIF satellites from Lockheed Martin, meaning the company is now contracted to build SV11-20.

Past GPS post: