Friday, October 23, 2020

Ethiopian Airlines takes delivery of 30th Dash 8-400 aircraft

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited delivered another two Dash 8-400 aircraft to Ethiopian Airlines. The 30th aircraft – MSN 4617 – is preparing to depart for Ethiopian's hub in Addis Ababa, along with aircraft MSN 4615. Ethiopian first welcomed the Dash 8-400 aircraft into its fleet in March 2010.

"Ethiopian has taken tremendous positive steps to strengthen their capabilities with the acquisition of the first Dash 8-400 simulator for Africa and by recently adding a second simulator; achieving recognition as an Authorized Service Facility; and proving the value of a business class configuration on regional aircraft in Africa,” said Sameer Adam, Regional Vice President, Sales – Europe and Russia, Middle East, Africa, and South America/Caribbean. “We certainly look forward to more examples of Ethiopian's continuing leadership and the success of their ongoing strategic partnerships with ASKY Airlines, Malawi Airlines, Ethiopian Moçambique Airlines and Tchadia Airlines in the operation of Dash 8-400 aircraft across Africa.”

The fleet of over 155 Dash 8 Series aircraft in Africa includes more than 90 Dash 8-400 aircraft. Worldwide, more than 155 airlines, leasing companies and other organizations have ordered almost 1,300 Dash 8 aircraft.

Video: Unmanned Loyal Wingman aircraft performs first taxi test

The Boeing Loyal Wingman aircraft being developed with the Royal Australian Air Force recently moved under its own power for the first time, a key milestone for the aircraft that’s expected to make its first flight this year.

“This latest test marks the first full unmanned movement of the Loyal Wingman with our Australian partners and takes us a step closer to first flight,” said Shane Arnott, program director, Boeing Airpower Teaming System.

Reaching a maximum speed of 14 knots (approximately 16 miles per hour, or 26 kilometers per hour), on the ground, the aircraft demonstrated several activities while maneuvering and stopping on command.

“The low-speed taxi enabled us to verify the function and integration of the aircraft systems, including steering, braking and engine controls, with the aircraft in motion,” said Paul Ryder, Boeing Australia Flight Test manager.

Three Loyal Wingman prototypes will be the foundation for the Airpower Teaming System that Boeing will offer customers worldwide.

The aircraft will fly alongside other platforms, using artificial intelligence for such teaming missions. It has advanced design and flight characteristics, including a modular nose section that’s customizable for specific needs and a conventional takeoff and landing approach suitable for many missions and runway types.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Navy will use World War II B-25 to train test pilots

The Naval Air Warfare Center- Aircraft Division and U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) in Patuxent River, Md., announced Thursday its intention to solicit and negotiate a firm fixed-price purchase order on a sole source basis with Rag Wings and Radials Aircraft Leasing, LLC for flight hours aboard the company's B-25 Mitchell aircraft.

The anticipated period of performance under the contract is Nov. 1 to Sept. 30, 2022.

“The aircraft to be provided for this exercise, the B-25 Mitchell, is a unique configuration not readily available for hire commercially,” Navy officials said in contract documents. “Extensive research of all known contractors possessing this model aircraft has been completed. This is the only known contractor possessing a suitable aircraft, with acceptable safety posture and desired configuration, pre-qualified by USNTPS staff personnel, and is available for hire at the specified time and having a proven instructional training program compatible with USNTPS standards, that can provide the training and demonstration flights. Also, with the current COVID situation, TPS is not willing to expose its personnel to additional risk incurred by vetting a new vendor at this time. Due to an extremely tight schedule, the contract start date is mandatory to meet USNTPS syllabus requirements.”

The contractor shall provide up to 18 demonstration flight hours per period in a B-25 aircraft to USNTPS student and instructor personnel to support the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School Qualitative Evaluation Program. The typical flight duration will depend on the number of students/staff on board, but will be planned as one hour flight time per student/staff member. Flight demonstrations shall take place at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

In 2015, the Air Force Test Center Contracting Directorate at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., used a B-25 bomber to provide test pilot training for up to 50 U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School (TPS) students and staff members.

NASA COVID-19 Testing Request for Information / Sources Sought Notice

NASA is looking at strategies for testing employees in the course of executing essential and / or mission critical agency activities, to include:

Travel Related Testing- Many countries, and even some states and private companies, are requiring a test 72 hours prior to travel. Several countries are requiring this test to be a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, due to the higher sensitivity.

Mission Related Testing- In the course of keeping critical personnel safe and preventing a mission impact, it is becoming increasingly necessary to test personnel who have access to the astronauts (trainers, rescue personnel, etc). It is also becoming necessary to maintain the vigilance and safety of NASA critical operations.

Employees Identified in a Case Tracing at Work- If the employee was exposed in the course of doing work, they may require testing both to ensure the safety of their family, in accordance with public health strategies for quarantine, and to identify those critical workers that may need to return to work if un-infected.

Employees Returning from Foreign Travel- Prolonged exposures in a commercial aircraft, multiple social contacts in the course of doing business abroad, reliance of outside vendors for food and transport, all may put employees at increased risk for infection especially if they were in areas where the viral cases are endemic or increasing.

The Agency Office of the Chief Medical Officer has determined that the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test has the broadest application for those undertaking travel, those working critical operations, those identified in a workplace case tracing, and those returning from overseas travel. NASA is seeking a provider that is able to provide nationwide service in which PCR is the method of testing.