Saturday, August 29, 2020

Air Force begins 'rapid research' to combat commercial drones used by adversaries

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Information Directorate, in Rome, N.Y., has a requirement to provide a focused yet flexible, rapid, agile contracting vehicle between the AFRL, its products centers, and the operational community to support rapid research, development, prototyping, demonstration, evaluation, and transition of Counter small Unmanned Aircraft System (C-sUAS) capabilities.

“These capabilities are to be used in combating Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) small Unmanned Aircraft Systems—and others leveraging COTS technology—presently being used by our adversaries in asymmetric warfare against U.S. military personnel and materiel,” the Air Force said in contract documents released in December. “Emphasis will be placed on: a) development of technology capability solutions that address specific user requirements; b) delivery of prototype technologies for evaluation and feedback in the context of the user’s operational environment; c) provision of a mechanism for user acquisition of limited product quantities required for operational introduction of technologies. Anticipated deliverables include software, hardware, technical documentation and technical reports.”

The government anticipates a single award Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity research and development contract with Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee Completion Task Orders, an ordering period of 72 months, and a maximum ordering amount of approximately $490 million.

“In order to meet the users’ critical schedule to combat the UAS threat, and due to the required synchronicity and top level systems engineering between both the new capabilities to be developed and changes to fielded software baseline, this IDIQ is intended to be a single award,” the Air Force said in response to questions from contractors interested in bidding on the contract. The government anticipates a contract award in September.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Otto Aviation officially introduces the Celera 500L passenger aircraft

Otto Aviation is pleased to officially introduce the Celera 500L, the most fuel-efficient commercially viable passenger aircraft in the world. The full-scale prototype has completed 31 successful test flights that validate its operating performance goals. Otto Aviation currently holds seven patents, further contributing to the credibility and potential of the aircraft.

The aircraft has a maximum cruise speed of 450 miles per hour, a range of over 4,500 miles, a large stand-up cabin and an astounding fuel economy of only 18 to 25 miles per gallon. The dramatic reduction in fuel consumption makes the Celera 500L the most environmentally friendly airplane in its class and presents a major leap forward in the effort to develop a zero-emission air transportation system.

The manufacturing detail delivers cruise efficiencies unmatched by conventional aircraft while offering a clean-sheet design that will completely alter the way people and parcels travel.

“Our goal was to create a private aircraft that would allow for direct flights between any city pair in the U.S. at speeds and cost comparable to commercial air travel,” said William Otto Sr., chairman and chief scientist of Otto Aviation.

The Celera 500L offers a spacious stand-up cabin with six first-class seats and lavatory.

Otto adds, “Since the results from our prototype test flights have been so promising, we’re ready to bring the Celera 500L to market.”

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Textron delivers King Air 350ER aircraft to Victoria Police

Textron Aviation announced Tuesday it delivered a Beechcraft King Air 350ER aircraft to Australian aviation service company Skytraders, which will operate and maintain the aircraft on behalf of Victoria Police.

The Beechcraft King Air 350ER is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc.

The King Air 350ER will primarily support Victoria Police Air Wing and its team of Tactical Flight Officers, who lead airborne law enforcement, training, search and rescue, and extended offshore marine safety missions throughout the state of Victoria, Australia.

“By integrating the King Air 350ER into their fleet, Victoria Police Air Wing greatly enhances the capabilities of the professionals who respond to more than 5,000 taskings every year,” said Bob Gibbs, vice president, Special Mission Sales for Textron Aviation.

The custom-configured mission package for Victoria Police includes advanced mission management system, ground moving target indicator object detection, Tactical Flight Officer workstations, tactical radios, satellite communications and a data downlink. The extended range King Air is also fitted with optional factory installed Pratt and Whitney PT6A-67A engines.