Airbus Military & Space expects its Zephyr high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) remotely piloted airplane to break the world record the type set four years ago. The Zephyr flew for 336 hours, 22 min. – over two weeks – at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona in July 2010.
Forty years since it first flew, the F-16 fighter is poised to enjoy a new lease on life. Upgrades to the aircraft’s avionics, coupled with structural work to extend flying hours, are set to enter service as customers refresh their jets ahead of the arrival of the F-35.
There is a raft of companies in the unmanned vehicles sector, but one in particular is becoming a major player almost by stealth: Internet services giant Google.
Google’s programs in unmanned systems go far beyond its high-profile work to develop a self-driving car. That initiative passed a milestone last month with the unveiling of a prototype, a 25-mph vehicle with only two interfaces, “start” and “stop.”
Fallout from the 2008-09 financial crisis continues to affect political decisions worldwide, leaving militaries to assess how best to plan and prioritize in an era of austerity.
The British military, for one, has two goals as it restructures: to move from a decade of combat operations to a period of contingency; and to redesign a shrinking fighting force around a dramatically increased reliance on reservists. All three services are feeling the pinch of austerity pressures, but they are likely to impact the army acutely.
An analysis of Airbus' and Boeing's delivery data from Aviation Week Intelligence Network's Fleet database reveals that both Airbus and Boeing tend to deliver a majority of their aircraft during the second half of each month....More