A Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighter was outperformed in the type’s first basic fighter maneuvering exercise by a 20-plus-year-old F-16 fighter, according to a leaked Lockheed Martin report prepared by the pilot who flew the mission. Lockheed Martin and the JSF Program Office confirm that the document is genuine but says “the interpretation of the scenario results could be misleading.”
South Korea is to buy four Airbus A330 MRTT aerial refueling tankers, selecting the type over the Boeing KC-46 and Israel Industries’ tanker conversion of the Boeing 767 airliner. All four aircraft are to be delivered by 2019.
At least 130 people were killed, including all 122 in the aircraft, when an Indonesian air force Lockheed Martin C-130B crashed in Medan, Sumatra, shortly after takeoff on June 30. The aircraft, built in 1964, was on a flight from Jakarta that stopped in Pekanbaru and Dumai before reaching Medan.
Bell has performed the long-awaited and much-delayed first flight of its Model 525 Relentless super medium twin-engined helicopter. The aircraft took to the air at the company’s Amarillo, Texas, facility on July 1. The aircraft had been due to fly at the end of 2014, but supply-chain issues held up assembly.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Boeing is to collaborate with Embraer to fly a testbed for environmental technologies in Brazil in 2016. The unspecified Embraer aircraft will be flown as part of Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program, which has so far involved flight tests of more than 60 technologies on a Boeing 737-800, 787-8 and 757.
Pictured: Frederico Curado, president & CEO of Embraer and Marc Allen, president of Boeing International, at the Brazil-U.S. Business Summit in Washington, D.C.
Heathrow Holdings Ltd
An independent commission set up to advise the U.K. government on airport capacity has decided London’s Heathrow Airport should build a third runway. Of three options shortlisted, the northwest runway for Heathrow provided more economic and strategic benefits, the final report says.
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating possible antitrust violations by U.S. carriers, and several major carriers acknowledged receiving letters from the department asking them about communications with one another, shareholders and financial analysts regarding capacity planning.
United Airlines has invested $30 million for a stake in renewable fuels producer Fulcrum BioEnergy in a deal that could see the carrier buy 90 million gallons a year of jet fuel made from municipal waste, at biorefineries close to five of its U.S. hubs, beginning in 2018.
Emirates Airline is not subsidized, it says in its response to U.S. allegations of government support for Gulf carriers. The airline says it has received $218 million in investment from the United Arab Emirates government but returned $3.3 billion in shareholder dividends and $1 billion in profit sharing.
An apparent overpressurization in the second-stage liquid oxygen tank shortly before first stage separation is being investigated after the June 28 failure of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle on its seventh NASA cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. Finding and fixing the cause could take months, says SpaceX.
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will make its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, after a journey of more than nine years and 3 billion miles. The $700 million mission’s seven instruments will have only a one shot to gather data as the probe hurtles past Pluto.
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.