Sikorsky is now part of Lockheed Martin

Sikorsky is now part of Lockheed Martin, having been sold by United Technologies.

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First flight of CH-53K King Stallion

Sikorsky has conducted the first flight of the CH-53K King Stallion, the next heavy lift helicopter for the US Marine Corps.

Image credit: Sikorsky

Image credit: Sikorsky

US Air Force awards LRS-B contract to Northrop Grumman

The US Air Force announced today the contract award of Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) and early production for the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) to Northrop Grumman Corporation. The losing competitor was a team of Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

F-35 identification

How good are you at distinguishing the F-35A, B and C models? Read this article and then take the two quizzes.

US Navy retires its last T-2C Buckeye

The US Navy has retired it’s last North American T-2C Buckeye on September 25, 2015. The T-2 introduced generations of student naval aviators to jet flight. It was replaced by the T-45 Goshawk. The last T-2 Buckeyes in service were used as chase planes by VX-20 at NAS Patuxent River.

Image credit: Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain/US Navy

Image credit: Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain/US Navy

MUOS-4 launch

The US Navy/Lockheed Martin MUOS-4 communications satellite flew into orbit on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on September 2, 2015 from Cape Canaveral.

The U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system designed using a combination of orbiting satellites and relay ground stations to significantly improve communications for U.S. forces on the move. MUOS will provide new beyond-line-of-sight communications capabilities, with smartphone-like simultaneous voice, video and data – to connect military users almost anywhere around the globe.

This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V 551 configuration vehicle, which includes a 5-meter diameter payload fairing along with five Aerojet Rocketdyne solid rocket motors attached to the Atlas booster. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine and the Centaur upper stage was powered by the Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C-1 engine.

CH-46 Sea Knight retires from US Marine Corps service

After 50 years of service, the US Marine Corps has retired the CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter. The CH-46 was replaced by the MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor.

Pratt & Whitney TF33 celebrates its 55th year

The now-antique TF33 turbofan engine just keeps going.

The TF33 and its commercial variant, the JT3D, celebrated its 55th anniversary in June 2015. The JT3D was the first turbofan engine designed and produced by Pratt & Whitney. When it was introduced, the engine had approximately 50 percent more take-off thrust, 25 percent more climbing power and 20 percent greater power at maximum cruise than previous engines.

First introduced on the B-52H Stratofortress, the TF33 continues to serve that fleet today and is also on E-3 Sentry AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System), the E-8 Joint Stars and some special mission aircraft. In addition to the Air Force fleet, the TF33 powers NATO AWACs and KC-135s for Chile. Over the past six decades, it also has powered the C-135, C-141, EC-135, RB-57, E3A, C-135, KC-135, VC-137 and EC-18 ARIA.

DARPA XS-1 spaceplane concept

DARPA is progressing on their XS-1 reusable spaceplane concept.

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 wrap-up

This year’s AirVenture was outstanding, and the perfect weather didn’t hurt.

  • Attendance: Approximately 550,000, with a total attendance increase of approximately 2 percent
  • Total aircraft: More than 10,000 aircraft arriving at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin.
  • Total showplanes: 2,668 (up 1 percent over 2014) – including 1,031 homebuilt aircraft, 976 vintage airplanes, 350 warbirds, 130 ultralights and light-sport aircraft, 101 seaplanes, 30 rotorcraft, and 50 aerobatic aircraft.
  • Forums and Workshops: A total of 1,048 sessions attended by more than 75,000 people.
  • Guests registered at International Visitors Tent: 2,299 visitors registered from a record 80 nations.

Highlights

  • F-22
  • F-35
  • B-52
  • F-100 Super Sabre
  • Mosquito
  • Lancaster
  • Goodyear’s Wingfoot One
  • Airbus A350
  • Junkers F13 replica
  • Apollo 13 reunion
  • Burt Rutan

Last year, Lane Wallace had some thoughtful commentary about Oshkosh.