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Boeing wins $2.9B for 18 KC-46A military tanker aircraft based on 767 jet airliner

2018-09-11
Boeing in Everett, Wash., won a $2.9 billion U.S. Air Force contract to deliver 18 additional KC-46A tanker aircraft, spares, support equipment, spare engines, and wing air refueling pod kits. Boeing is now on contract for 52 KC-46 Pegasus military aerial refueling and strategic military transport aircraft, based on the company’s 767 jet airliner, with the addition of this fourth production lot.
Article

DARPA invests big in its AI portfolio

2018-09-10
DARPA will invest more than $2 billion in over 20 new and existing programs collectively called the “AI Next” campaign. Through AI Next, DARPA is exploring ways to advance the state-of-the-art in AI, pushing beyond second-wave machine learning techniques and toward “contextual reasoning and adaptation” capabilities.
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Lockheed Martin and Drone Racing League pits AI-enabled UASs against human pilots

2018-09-07
Lockheed Martin and the Drone Racing League (DRL) is challenging the engineering community with a new twist on drone enthusiast racing competition: develop artificial intelligence (AI) technology that will enable an autonomous UAS to race a pilot-operated drone and win against human first-person view (FPV) operators. The call for advanced autonomy, dubbed the AlphaPilot Innovation Challenge, came during the TechCrunch Disrupt technology startup conference in San Francisco.
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Northrop Grumman completes first live motor cast for OmegA rocket

2018-09-06
Northrop Grumman has successfully completed casting, or filling with solid propellant, the first live motor segment for its new OmegA rocket. The segment, developed as a part of the Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems’ Common Boost Segment (CBS) program, is specifically designed to support the needs of the OmegA intermediate- to heavy-lift rocket, soon to be the largest and most capable in the company’s line-up.
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GKN Aerospace to develop first additive-manufactured rocket engine turbines in Europe for Prometheus project

2018-09-05
GKN Aerospace in Trollhättan, Sweden, are developing and manufacturing the first additive-manufactured, or 3D-printed, rocket engine turbines in Europe, officials say. The tier 1 aerospace supplier is harnessing cutting-edge additive manufacturing (AM) technology to produce two full-scale turbines for the Prometheus reusable rocket engine demonstrator on liquid oxygen and methane propellants, while reducing the number of parts from more than 100 to 2 and cutting costs by 90 percent.
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Electronic Flight Bag Users Forum focuses on regulatory, AID, security, connectivity, other pressing issues

2018-09-04
More than 300 aerospace professionals are expected at SAE International’s Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) Users Forum, hosted by Inmarsat at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow Hotel in London November 13 through 15, 2018. Registration is now open for the world's largest conference dedicated to EFBs which boasts a supplier exhibition area and will focus on the latest regulatory developments, aircraft interface devices (AIDs), security and connectivity progress, advances in mobile applications, and airline operator experiences.
Article

Boeing wins MQ-25 contract

2018-08-31
According to the contract, Boeing will initially receive $79 million to begin work on four operational MQ-25 refueling “drones” with integration into the carrier air wing for initial operational capability by 2024. Boeing will receive another $9.5 billion at a later date to produce 72 more aircraft.
Article

NASA selects Frontier Aerospace to continue development of new deep space thruster

2018-08-24
NASA’s Space Technology and Mission Directorate awarded Frontier Aerospace with “Tipping Point” funding to qualify Frontier’s Deep Space Engine (DSE) for flight. The compact and lightweight design of the 100-pound force DSE thruster will enable future development of smaller and less expensive spacecraft propulsion systems due to the lower temperature freezing characteristics of its particular propellant.
Article

Demand up for composite-grade, high-performance plastics across aerospace, automotive

2018-08-23
Demand for high-performance plastics (HPPs) is up across the aerospace industry, driven by such key trends as growing performance requirements, increased use of additive manufacturing or 3D printing, supply chain globalization, and tightening environmental regulations. Growing passenger traffic coupled with the need to reduce emissions – being accomplished through lightweighting, engine downsizing, and vehicle electrification – present opportunities for HPPs, research analysts at Frost & Sullivan in San Antonio, Texas, explain.
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Hardide Coatings awarded two major UK aerospace funding grants

2018-08-23
Hardide Coatings was awarded funding from the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) aerospace initiative. Hardide Coatings – which develops, manufactures and applies its proprietary Hardide-A coating – will use the funding to further develop two projects related to coating technology for aircraft components.
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Aireon to launch free, real-time emergency aircraft location service

2018-08-22
Aireon LLC, a global aircraft tracking and surveillance company in McLean, Va., is inviting aircraft operators, regulators, search-and-rescue organizations, and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) to pre-register for Aireon Aircraft Locating and Emergency Response Tracking (ALERT). Aireon ALERT, operated by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), is being touted as the aviation industry’s first and only free, global, real-time emergency aircraft location service, which is slated to begin service in Q1 2019.
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Raytheon invests in advanced, autonomous manufacturing technologies for radar development, testing

2018-08-22
Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) in Waltham, Mass., has upped its investment in advanced manufacturing innovations, including automated and autonomous technologies, to support complex radar testing and integration. The company’s new $72 million, 30,000 square-foot facility on its Andover, Mass., campus, is now home to some of the industry's leading innovations, and a historic first, in manufacturing, officials say.
Article

Ministry of Defense of Qatar orders 28 NHIndustries NH90 multirole military helicopters

2018-08-21
Leonardo, a high-tech aerospace, defense, and security company in Rome, will deliver 28 NH90 medium, twin-engine, multirole military helicopters valued at more than €3 billion to the Ministry of Defense of Qatar, which made an advance payment for the order now booked in the manufacturer’s backlog. NHIndustries – which is owned by Leonardo, Airbus, and Fokker – in Aix-en-Provence, France, manages the program, whereas Leonardo serves as overall prime contractor.
Article

VR, COTS, NextGen and SESAR to take center stage at Flight Simulator Engineering and Maintenance Conference

2018-08-20
Hundreds of flight simulation experts from aerospace organizations worldwide – including airframe manufacturers, training device manufacturers (TDM), airlines, operators, and suppliers – will convene at RSi Visual Systems in Coppell, Texas, in September for the 2018 Flight Simulator Engineering and Maintenance Conference (FSEMC). Virtual reality (VR), motion cueing, ADS-B, pilot training for NextGen and SESAR, flight simulation training device (FSTD) technology insertion, and the pros and cons of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components top the list of discussion points for the annual conference.
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