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U.S. Army awards Airbus contract for helicopter modernization

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U.S. Army awards Airbus contract for helicopter modernization

Airbus was granted a $27.8 million contract by the United States Army to upgrade the Army National Guard Security & Support Battalion Mission Equipment Package (MEP).

The MEP upgrades increase the UH-72A Lakota’s ability to conduct day and night operations by adding an advanced moving map, improved digital interfaces, additional displays, an airborne mission management system, and other system improvements.

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The MEP-equipped UH-72As are specifically created to carry out National Guard activities across a variety of missions, including domestic operations, counter-drug, and border security. The Army contract will retrofit up to 50 Security & Support Battalion aircraft deployed throughout the United States. There are currently 107 in the fleet.

More than 480 UH-72A and UH-72B Lakota, based on the H145, have been supplied to the US Army since 2006. These aircraft will be modified at Airbus’ Columbus, Mississippi, helicopter production facility.

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Airbus U.S. Space & Defence will be in charge of overseeing the agreement. Airbus U.S. Space & Defence, Inc., which operates under a Special Security Agreement, provides cutting-edge satellite, laser communication, rotor, and fixed wing solutions to address the most demanding U.S. defence, security, space, and intelligence requirements.

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EasyJet and Rolls-Royce hydrogen research project sets new world industry

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EasyJet and Rolls-Royce hydrogen research project sets new world industry

In its hydrogen research project, Rolls-Royce today announced the achievement of yet another significant milestone, a first for the entire world of industry.

In order to power a variety of aircraft, including those in the narrow-body market sector, starting in the mid-2030s, Rolls-Royce and its partner easyJet are dedicated to being at the forefront of the development of hydrogen combustion engine technology.

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In collaboration with the German Aerospace Centre Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) and the UK’s Loughborough University, Rolls-Royce has now successfully demonstrated a crucial engine technology that represents an important step forward in the development of hydrogen as an aviation fuel.

Tests on a Pearl 700 engine running on 100% hydrogen at DLR in Cologne have demonstrated the fuel’s ability to burn at circumstances that correspond to maximum take-off thrust.

The development of effective improved fuel spray nozzles to regulate combustion has been essential to that accomplishment. Given that hydrogen burns significantly hotter and faster than kerosene, this required considerable engineering problems to be overcome. A novel method that gradually blends air with hydrogen to control the fuel’s reactivity allowed the new nozzles to regulate the flame location. The operability and emissions of the combustor met expectations, which is a positive outcome for Rolls-Royce.

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Before the final full-pressure combustor tests were conducted at DLR Cologne, the individual nozzles were initially examined at intermediate pressure at Loughborough’s freshly renovated test facilities and at DLR Cologne.

The hydrogen program’s combustion component is now well understood as a result of these recent tests, but work is still being done on the systems that will deliver the fuel to the engine and combine those systems with an engine.

As Rolls-Royce and easyJet get ready for the next phase of testing, a full gas hydrogen ground test on a Pearl engine, they will now take the lessons learned from the Boscombe Down tests and apply them to the technologies tested at Loughborough and DLR. The next step will be a comprehensive ground test of a Pearl engine using liquid hydrogen; easyJet and Rolls-Royce both want to eventually fly with the technology.

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Airbus unveils PioneerLab as its new twin-engine flying laboratory

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Airbus unveils PioneerLab as its new twin-engine flying laboratory

Airbus Helicopters introduced the PioneerLab, a new twin-engine technology demonstrator built on the H145 platform, during the German National Aviation Conference in Hamburg. It completes Airbus’ FlightLabs lineup and focuses on researching and testing innovations in the fields of reducing helicopter emissions, boosting autonomy, and incorporating bio-based materials.

The PioneerLab’s hybrid electric propulsion system and aerodynamic modifications are intended to show a fuel savings of up to 30% when compared to a standard H145. Airbus Helicopters will test structural elements made of bio-based and recycled materials in flight on the demonstrator in an effort to minimise the environmental impact of the full aircraft life cycle.

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The business plans to create the new components using procedures that increase recyclability while consuming less energy and material. The latest digital technology will be included into the flight control system and related sensors of the aircraft as part of ongoing research efforts to improve autonomy and safety during crucial flight phases like takeoff and landing.

Through its national research programme LuFo, the BMWK, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Actions in Germany, co-funds PioneerLab in part. The FlightLabs of Airbus Helicopters offers flexible and effective test platforms for speedy technology evaluation. They fit into the company’s plan to develop technologies for new platforms while also making small improvements to its visible products.

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The manufacturer’s largest German facility in Donauwörth has already started the PioneerLab flight campaign, with the first technological component tested on board the demonstration being a rotor strike alarm system. The system’s automatic take-off and landing will be tested in the following phase.

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US govt approves $5B sale of F-35 aircraft to South Korea

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US govt approves $5B sale of F-35 aircraft to South Korea

According to a statement issued on Wednesday, the US State Department approved the potential sale of F-35 fighter jets and supporting equipment to South Korea for an estimated price of $5.06 billion.

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The State Department informed Congress that it had approved the sale of 25 Lockheed Martin aircraft, along with their engines and supporting machinery. The sale “will enhance the Republic of Korea’s capacity to meet present and emerging threats by supplying credible defense capability to prevent regional aggression and ensure interoperability with US forces,” according to a statement by the State Department.

The South Korean government has stated its intention to buy up to 26 Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines and a maximum of 25 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter conventional take off and landing (CTOL) aircraft.

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It stated that the “basic military balance in the region will not be altered by the proposed sale of this equipment and support.”

Since 2018, South Korea has utilised F-35s. Only the closest allies of the United States are permitted to purchase the aircraft, and Turkey was expelled from the F-35 programme as a result of a significant missile defence system purchase from Russia.

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Etihad Airways Takes Off With Bollywood Icon Katrina Kaif Onboard As New Brand Ambassador

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Etihad Airways Takes Off With Bollywood Icon Katrina Kaif Onboard As New Brand Ambassador

Abu Dhabi, UAE – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced its partnership with Bollywood superstar Katrina Kaif as the new brand ambassador. This collaboration marks an important milestone as Etihad strengthens its presence in the Indian market and reunites with one of India’s most celebrated Bollywood stars.

Katrina Kaif, renowned for her global appeal and elegance, embodies the shared commitment to excellence as she reunites with Etihad. Her association with the airline will be unveiled through a captivating series of videos to be showcased across Etihad and Katrina’s social channels.

Katrina Kaif shares her excitement about the association: “I am thrilled to be back with Etihad Airways, a brand synonymous with world-class travel experiences. The airline’s commitment to excellence and its dedication to bringing people together resonate with my own values. I am excited to be part of a team that aims to create thoughtful connections and memorable experiences. I look forward to representing Etihad and being a part of their journey.”

Amina Taher, Vice President of Brand, Marketing and Sponsorship at Etihad Airways, explains the significance of this collaboration: “We are thrilled to welcome Katrina Kaif to the Etihad Airways family as our brand ambassador. Our partnership with Katrina is far from ordinary, it embodies the spirit of innovation and sophistication our airline represents, while celebrating our commitment to uniting cultures and communities. With her remarkable journey and global recognition, we’re not only showcasing Etihad’s offerings, but also fostering authentic connections that genuinely resonate with Indian travellers and celebrating our commitment to India.”

The new partnership builds on Katrina’s collaboration with Etihad in 2010 when she was featured as a discerning traveler showcasing Etihad’s travel experience. Her prior partnership showcased her appreciation for the airline’s commitment to comfort and top-notch service. Returning to partner again, Katrina and Etihad are showcasing Etihad’s strengthening relationship with Indian communities both domestically and in significant global markets such as the UAE, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

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Boeing’s Mission to Defend the Skies: Advancing Hypersonic Interceptor Technology for National Security

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Boeing's Mission to Defend the Skies: Advancing Hypersonic Interceptor Technology for National Security

In a four-year effort, Boeing will develop and test technology for a hypersonic interceptor prototype for DARPA’s Glide Breaker programme. During flight tests, Boeing will do computational fluid dynamics analysis, wind tunnel testing, and study of aerodynamic jet interaction effects.

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According to Gil Gryphon, executive director of Boeing Phantom Works Advanced Weapons, “Hypersonic vehicles are among the most dangerous and rapidly evolving threats facing national security.” “We’re concentrating on the technological understanding required to further advance our country’s counter-hypersonic capabilities and defend against upcoming threats.”

A threat traveling at least five times the speed of sound in the upper atmosphere during what is known as the “glide phase” of flight may be destroyed with the help of a hypersonic interceptor, which is what Glide Breaker is designed to do. Future operational glide-phase interceptors equipped to defend against these complex and developing hypersonic threats will be built on the development and testing conducted by Boeing.

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According to Gryphon, “this stage of the Glide Breaker programme will evaluate how system performance at extreme speed and altitude in a representative digital environment is affected by factors like hypersonic airflow and firing jet thrusters to guide the vehicle.” We’re using cutting-edge technology to intercept an exceedingly fast object in a highly dynamic environment.

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Why is Russia covering combat jets with car tyres?

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Why is Russia covering combat jets with car tyres?

Russia has adopted an unconventional approach to safeguard its combat aircraft, with car tyres. In an effort to prevent potential drone attacks from Ukraine on its military installations. Maxar satellite images show two Tu-95 long-range bombers covered in car tyres at Engels Airbase, around 500 kilometers from Ukraine.

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Theoretical explanations for this apparent defensive tactic abound, particularly as the Russian Air Force appears to be deploying it on more planes. The strategy was used after drone attacks on Russian air facilities caused the loss of both bombers and airlifters for the nation.

The primary objective of this tire armor could be to offer cost-effective protection against potential drone attacks. Additionally, the tires might serve as a rudimentary form of camouflage, especially during nighttime operations. It’s also possible that this tactic aims to confuse missile targeting systems, safeguarding valuable aircraft from missile attacks.

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Francisco Serra-Martins of drone maker One Way Aerospace, whose drones have been employed by the Ukrainian military, says that regardless of the situation, the technique probably has a very limited impact. The exposed strategic aviation assets located on airfield aprons may have less thermal signature due to this, but they will still be visible to infrared cameras.

If tires are placed over the aircraft, image-matching cruise missiles may be redirected and their infrared signature may be altered. When applied to cruise missiles, this technology is also referred to as ATR (Automated Target Recognition) or DSMAC (Digital Scene Matching Area Correlator).

Ukraine’s modified “Neptune” missiles may benefit from DSMAC/ATR technology for land attacks, as it makes them less susceptible to electronic warfare jamming and passive in terms of radio-frequency emissions.

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Although not all the planes were intact, other ideas have suggested shielding, which has led some to believe that there was a kind of decoy. Depending on the targeting strategy, the tires might be able to trick an approaching weapon, though it is doubtful they would act as a substantial buffer against a missile or drone strike. In that case, although it is simple and improvised, it’s possible that Russia is seeking a solution of this kind in response to recent strikes on its bases. Yet there are still a lot of unresolved issues.

Watkins, a researcher who tracks ships and aircraft for open-source research, suggest that the tires might shield the plane from flying debris in the event of an explosion above it. NATO is aware of the tire coverings, and some believe they are intended to protect against drones, but the effectiveness of this tactic remains uncertain.

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UK hydrogen alliance established to accelerate zero carbon aviation and bring an £34bn* annual benefit to the country

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UK hydrogen alliance established to accelerate zero carbon aviation and bring an £34bn* annual benefit to the country

EasyJet, Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Ørsted, GKN Aerospace, and Bristol Airport have formed the Hydrogen in Flight (HIA) alliance to speed the delivery of zero-carbon flights. The HIA will aim to ensure that the UK capitalizes on the enormous opportunity that hydrogen brings to both the aviation sector and the country as a whole.

While there are several ways to reduce carbon emissions in the aviation industry, such as using sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), synthetic fuels, or batteries, the HIA thinks that more focus should be placed on the possibilities of using hydrogen directly.

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Hydrogen is a very promising alternative-fuel option for short-haul aviation. Airbus is developing new hydrogen powered aircraft with the aim of entering commercial service from 2035 and Rolls-Royce has already proven that hydrogen could power a jet engine following successful ground tests in 2022. Furthermore, many smaller operators are making rapid progress on hydrogen-powered aircraft, notably ZeroAvia and Universal Hydrogen who have already carried out flight tests.

The group will be drawing on their considerable expertise to propose a clear and deliverable pathway to achieving hydrogen-powered aviation. HIA will work constructively with Government, local authorities, and the aviation and hydrogen sectors to enable the UK to fulfil its potential as a global leader in this critical application of hydrogen technology. This will include setting out the pathway for scaling up the infrastructure and the policy, regulatory and safety frameworks needed so that large scale commercial aviation can become a reality. 

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The alliance will outline that, in order for the UK to experience economic benefits and reach its decarbonization goals, the government must concentrate on three key areas: supporting the delivery of the infrastructure required for the country to be a global leader; ensuring that the aviation regulatory system is hydrogen ready; and turning funding for hydrogen aviation R&D support into a 10-year programme.

Investing in hydrogen will also assist in maintaining the social advantages of air travel by keeping customers connected to their jobs, loved ones, and new places. Finally, it will provide employment. In terms of hydrogen, a government survey in 2021*** found that creating a UK hydrogen economy may sustain up to 100,000 jobs nationwide and in our industrial heartlands by the year 2050.

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US Congress Greenlights India-US Fighter Engine Deal

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US Congress Greenlights India-US Fighter Engine Deal

The agreement between GE Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautics to develop F414 fighter jet engines for the Indian Air Force received approval from the US Congress, which is a significant boost to defense cooperation between India and the US.

The agreement, which was made between GE Aerospace and HAL, is extremely significant because it calls for the production of F-414 jet engines in India for the LCA Mk2 light combat aircraft, which is still in the development stage. An important change from the US’s usually protective approach to jet engine technology is the agreement’s large transfer of technology (ToT), which is estimated to be at approximately 80%.

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The agreement is important since the US considers jet engine technology to be its “crown jewel” and hasn’t shared it with even its closest friends. India, on the other hand, has lagged behind in jet engine technology, a gap that the deal can close, supporting both India’s aim to establish a domestic defense industrial base as well as its aerial strength, particularly in light of its tenuous position with China at the Line of Actual Control.

Officials from the US administration have admitted that the GE contract may serve as a template in the future since it allays India’s worries about tech transfer and co-production while also advancing US goals of closer military ecosystem and platform integration.

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The ToT will cover 11 crucial sectors, several of which were completely off-limits a decade ago when GE and India’s Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) first started discussing the possibility of producing the engines there. At the time, the US only agreed to a 58% technology transfer, which prevented India from obtaining a number of crucial engine technologies.

The resulting aircraft, designated as the LCA Mk2, incorporates a number of improvements that enhance its capabilities over its predecessors. It will be equipped with a diverse selection of weapons and boasts better speed, range, and payload capacity.

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