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Airborne Flying Lab Creates 

Boeing has completed 70 missions and more than 150 hr. of flight testing on the avionics suite for its Joint Strike Fighter candidate using a 737 transport modified as a flying lab.

The effort is part of a coordinated Boeing approach to reduce risk in the JSF program as it heads toward down-select and the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) stage in mid-2001, according to Rod Leitch, AFL systems manager for software and sensors. JSF has a 5,000-aircraft, $300-billion potential, including 2,000 aircraft for non-U.S. operators.

Fire-Fighting Fleet Stretched 

In the worst fire season since 1994, with no letup in sight, more than 230 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft are assisting firefighters battling hundreds of U.S. wildfires.

New Head-Up Tool Aims 

Upgrades to Flight Dynamics' Head-up Guidance System (HGS) could boost pilot situational awareness during taxi or high-speed exit operations, increasing safety and capacity at busy airports, especially during night and limited visibility conditions.

Boeing Pushes Planned 747X 

Under growing pressure to protect its top-line product from Airbus' planned 555-seat A3XX, Boeing last month began briefing world airlines on three potential 747-400 derivatives that will offer increased performance and lower acquisition and operating costs.

Boeing: 747XS Freighter Will Be 

Boeing believes the freighter version of its proposed 747X Stretch has strong advantages over a planned Airbus A3XXF that will make it tough for Airbus to make inroads in the air cargo business.

Boeing Earnings Up, 

Boeing posted a second consecutive quarter of strong financial results last week, with net earnings of $620 million on revenues of $14.8 billion.

ASI Hot-Fires 

Adroit Systems Inc. is beginning its third year of testing a simple and economical pulse detonation rocket engine technology that has a wide range of potential applications which include providing thrust for boost, orbital transfer and upper stages, powering returnable launch vehicles and acting as satellite microthrusters.

Tests Planned for Airport 

The FAA this summer plans a second set of tests of a ground-based acoustic wake vortex detection and warning sensor that could help improve safety and increase capacity during bad weather operations at airports with closely spaced parallel runways.

Boeing Thrives 

A financially resurgent, more aggressive Boeing is regaining market share and picking up key sales with less expensive derivative transports, while Airbus is preoccupied with launching the 550-seat A3XX.

Cargo Outsourcing 

Atlas Air says it can comfortably add an additional 5-7 large freighters a year to its fleet in each of the next several years as world cargo markets experience strong growth fueled by the spread of e-commerce internationally, lower product life cycles and the increase of just-in-time manufacturing from global supplier networks.

No-Frills LAPA 

Low-fare carrier LAPA is shaking up Argentina's domestic market, building to a fleet of 21 jets and winning more than a 35% market share against state-controlled Aerolineas Argentinas in the first quarter of this year.

Boeing's Upgrades 

Boeing is focusing on minor upgrades to its transport aircraft and attacking niche markets as ongoing 737, 747, 757 and 767 derivative programs progress toward first-flight status.

In addition to a fourth addition to its next-generation 737 family, the -900, and a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) version, the company has committed to producing the 737-700QC ``quick change'' transport, according to Joseph W. Ozimek. He's director of product marketing for the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group.

Accident Analysis Renews Focus 

Industry-wide studies aimed at achieving a 50% worldwide reduction in jet transport accident rates within the next decade are generating new insight into the importance of local aviation infrastructure and the need for strong airline safety cultures. Despite planned improvements, however, there currently are no programs or corrective actions planned to address many critical issues.

Spring Storms Test 

The FAA's new ``Spring 2000'' air traffic control efficiency initiatives are in-place and received a pre-season tryout last month as lines of thunderstorms swept across the eastern U.S., delaying hundreds of flights.

The joint FAA-industry effort to increase ATC system efficiency was precipitated by record ATC delays during last year's busy summer season, with July delays up 76% from July 1998, and 36% from the previous summer overall. The delays, which averaged over 1,200 a day, received national media attention.

Alaska Air Scrambles To Avert 

Top Alaska Airlines officials are confident the airline can make the changes and upgrades necessary to avoid a threatened FAA suspension of its heavy maintenance authority next month in the aftermath of the fatal crash of Flight 261.

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