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Air Force facility dedicated to AI and automation opens in Pittsburgh

2019-04-30
The new Advanced Technology and Training Center (ATTC), which opened yesterday after a ribbon-cutting ceremony, will focus on breakthroughs in condition-based maintenance and the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and automation within that domain.
Article

OneWeb ramps up satellite production with new round of funding

2019-03-21
OneWeb has secured $1.25 billion in its latest funding round. The company, which seeks to deploy a satellite communication network by 2021 that will enable global high-speed, low-latency Internet access, has now raised a total of $3.4 billion to fund its mission. Tokyo-based Softbank Group Corp., Mexico’s Grupos Salinas, San Deigo-based Qualcomm Technologies Inc., and the Government of Rwanda led the last round of funding.
Article

Maintainers design a $400 maintenance fixture to save the U.S. Air Force $500k per year

2019-04-30
A cowling, or engine cover, is a critical airframe component that reduces drag and directing airflow into the engine. For the E-8C JSTARS, an aircraft with four massive Pratt and Whitney JT3D-based TF33-102C turbofan engines, each set of engine cowling components can cost up to $80,000 per set. Even a slightly warped cowling renders the entire housing unsafe and unserviceable.
Article

Stratolaunch all-composite aircraft achieves first flight

2019-04-15
Stratolaunch Systems Corp., founded by Paul G. Allen, in Seattle, Washington, has completed the first flight of the Stratolaunch, the world’s largest all-composite aircraft, with a dual-fuselage design and wingspan greater than the length of an American football field. The Stratolaunch aircraft took flight on April 13 at 0658 PDT from the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California; achieved a maximum speed of 189 miles per hour; and flew for 2.5 hours over the Mojave Desert at altitudes up to 17,000 feet. 
Article

Firefly Aerospace is the latest addition to Florida’s “Space Coast”

2019-03-01
Cedar Park, Texas-based Firefly Aerospace, Inc. has reached an agreement with Space Florida – the state’s aerospace economic development agency – to establish a facility at Cape Canaveral Spaceport. Through the agreement, Firefly, a spacecraft and launch vehicle developer and provider of launch and in-space services, will conduct launch operations at Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 20 (SLC-20) and create manufacturing facilities at Exploration Park, Florida.
Article

AIA predicts flying air taxis, supersonic air travel, and space industry for 2050

2019-03-15
In the “What’s Next for Aerospace and Defense: A Vision for 2050” study, AIA, New York City-based McKinsey & Company, and other industry partners reveal a comprehensive 30-year, Industry 4.0 forecast of air travel and spaceflight based on improvements in automation and digitization, next-generation materials, alternative energy sources and storage, and increased data throughput.
Article

JAXA and Toyota partner, focus on future lunar mobility

2019-03-13
Officials at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corp. in Tokyo have taken a first step toward collaborating on international space exploration, having agreed to accelerate their ongoing joint study of a manned, pressurized rover powered by fuel cell technologies to enable lunar mobility.
Article

Orbex debuts innovative smallsat launch vehicle

2019-02-20
Orbex, a developer of small satellite (smallsat) launch vehicles based in Forres, Scotland, has unveiled its “Prime” launch vehicle. The rocket utilizes several novel technologies, including the world’s largest metal rocket engine produced as a single piece through additive manufacturing (AM).
Article

Airbus’ connected cabin concept is materializing with first round of partnerships

2019-04-03
Airbus SE is shifting its Connected Experience cabin concept into the first stages of reality with cooperative buy-in from gategroup Holding AG, Stelia Aerospace, and Recaro Aircraft Seating. Up until the partnership announcement, Airbus had been collecting extensive market feedback and refining its Internet of Things (IoT) approach to aircraft interiors, with real-time interconnected galleys, in-flight service carts, seats, and overhead bins.
Article

Virgin Galactic takes first passenger to space

2019-02-26
Virgin Galactic’s spaceplane, SpaceShipTwo or “VSS Unity,” made its fifth powered test flight and second space flight late last week with three individuals on board. In addition to pilots Dave Mackay and Mike Masucci, Virgin Galactic’s first non-pilot passenger and the world’s first female commercial spacefarer – Beth Moses – also qualified for commercial astronaut wings from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Article

Toyota takes up challenge of space, brings electrified, automated vehicle technologies

2019-03-13
Technology transfer and collaboration continue to grow globally among mobility engineering professionals focused on aerospace and automotive applications. Cross-industry partnerships received a boost this week, as Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corp. officials announced increased cooperation on unmanned, electrified, and automated rovers for space exploration.
Article

HTX Labs adapts its VR platform for the Air Force Pilot Training Next initiative

2019-08-02
Houston-based HTX Labs, LLC was awarded with Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II funding to continue adapting its EMPACT Virtual Reality (VR) platform for the United States Air Force’s Pilot Training Next program. The U.S. Air Force intends to use EMPACT to fast-track the creation of highly immersive VR simulations to accelerate pilot training.
Article

Boeing's latest contract secures new wings for remaining A-10 fleet

2019-08-22
After wrapping up a wing swap on 173 Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II close air support attack aircraft, the Boeing Company was awarded with another Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) sustainment contract award from the U.S. Air Force to continue re-winging the rest of the A-10 fleet.
Article

Tooling decisions play major role in cost, turnaround time

2018-07-24
“Laddering up” of the range of tooling options requires assessing at each plateau whether greater upfront investment in tooling will pay off with a relatively quick return on investment. Since tooling plays such a key role in this equation, it also means working closely with OEMs willing to evaluate the best available tooling options at any time as production requirements increase.
Article

NASA and AeroVironment are building a helicopter for Mars

2018-07-06
AeroVironment revealed its critical role in collaborating with NASA JPL to build the “Mars Helicopter” for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. Program officials plan to have the Mars Helicopter flying on Mars in less than three years.
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