Embraer has received Brazilian type certification for the Legacy 450 mid-light business jet, with FAA and European approvals expected shortly. The aircraft has exceeded its original range, payload and field-performance targets. Deliveries begin the fourth quarter, with production to move to U.S. in 2016.
Astronauts on the International Space Station have for the first time eaten fresh food grown in space, on Aug. 10 harvesting and nibbling on a red romaine lettuce grown in “Veggie”, the orbital outpost’s small experimental greenhouse. The microwave-oven-sized Veggie was delivered to the ISS in April 2014.
Only days after Dutch officials recovered what they believe to be parts of the missile that downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine last year, the U.S. intelligence community has confirmed its assessment that the offending system was a Russian-made SA-11, Nato codename Gadfly.
After years of delays, the U.S. Army and Navy have awarded Lockheed Martin a $66.3 million contract to develop a dual-mode millimeter-wave-radar/semi-active-laser guidance section for the Hellfire II air-to-surface missile, under the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile program.
Voronezh Aircraft Plant
Voronezh Aircraft Plant, part of Russia’s United Aircraft, says it will fly the Ilyushin Il-112V light military transport in the second half of 2017. The twin-turboprop will take over from the Antonov An-140, Russian production of which has been suspended because of Ukrainian sanctions.
Facing economic difficulties, Russia is cutting back on planned procurement of the Sukhoi T-50 stealth fighter and delaying development of the PAK-DA stealth bomber, but continuing to strengthen its military presence in the resource-rich Arctic.
The Royal Jordanian Air Force has ordered nine Pilatus PC-9M turboprop trainers, plus a flight simulator, for advanced pilot training. Deliveries will begin in January 2017.
The U.S. Navy says budget pressure could cut its purchases of Lockheed Martin F-35Cs to as few as 12 a year in the 2020s, from the 20 annually now planned. The Navy has already slowed procurement for fiscal years 2016-2020. F-35B purchases for the U.S. Marine Corps are expected to remain stable at 20 a year.
A share-price drop of almost 30% at Precision Castparts – driven by slumping demand from the oil-and-gas market – prompted investor Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway to make its $37.2 billion bid for the specialty metals and parts supplier, which makes 70% of its sales from aerospace.
Ryanair is in talks with Aer Lingus, International Airlines Group, TAP Portugal, Virgin Atlantic Airways and Norwegian Air Shuttle to provide feeder traffic for their long-haul flights. The venture could start this fall, with Ryanair providing short-haul passengers for Aer Lingus transatlantic flights.
Boeing forecasts deliveries of 1,740 airliners to India over the next 20 years but sees “no potential for A380-type aircraft.” In 2014, Airbus predicted sales of 56 A380s in India over 20 years. Boeing’s forecast is up 8.75% from last year. Single-aisles make up 84% of demand.
So far this year, U.S. pilots have reported seeing unmanned aircraft more than 650 times, says the FAA, a dramatic increase over the 238 sightings reported in all of 2014. Pilots have reported seeing UAVs at altitudes up to 10,000 ft., well above the levels normally associated with “drone” activity.
Graham leads Aviation Week's coverage of technology, focusing on engineering and technology across the aerospace industry, with a special focus on identifying technologies of strategic importance to aviation, aerospace and defense.