According to a Bloomberg report, the next generation of Airbus planes will be a more digitally aware domain. "The program is Airbus's bid to raise the Internet of Things - that buzz-phrase for connected household gadgets - to cruising altitude," according to the article.
It's called the Airbus Connected Experience, and its goal is to give flight attendants a more detailed survey of the cabin, with sensors for such critical data as when bathroom soap is running low and how much toilet paper remains in each bathroom.
At your seat, the belt will signal red for unbuckled and green when fastened, with the idea of avoiding the walk-throughs flight attendants must perform. That will make for faster boarding and departure.
The crew will also have access to information on what's onboard and where, like which galley carts contain specific meals. Ingo Wuggetzer, the Airbus vice president of cabin marketing, said Tuesday at an aviation trade show in Los Angeles that it's not a dream, but a reality.
Airbus has begun flight testing the connected cabin on its A350 test aircraft and plans to introduce it on the A321 family in 2021, followed by the two-aisle A350 series two years later.
You can find the Bloomberg article with an internet search, but I found it in Time and the Los Angeles Times.
In another item of interest to this region, Defense News reported that the Air Force has barred the Boeing KC-46 aerial tanker from carrying cargo and passengers.
The decision was made after an incident occurred where the cargo locks on the bottom of the floor of the aircraft became unlocked during a flight, creating concerns that airmen could be hurt or killed by heavy equipment that suddenly bursts free during a flight.
The Air Force submitted a Category 1 deficiency report and is working with Boeing to identify a solution, according to Air Force Mobility Command spokesman Col. Damien Pickart.
The service uses the term Category 1 to describe serious technical issues that could endanger the aircrew and aircraft or have other major effects.
According to Defense News, the problem was found during an overseas operational test and evaluation flight, when KC-46 aircrew noticed that numerous cargo restraint devices had come unlocked over the course of the multiple legs of the trip.
This all could have a major impact on the already delayed tanker program. The company is locked into a fixed-price contract where it is responsible for paying for any expenses beyond the initial $4.9 billion award for development of the aircraft. So far, the company has paid in excess of $3.5 billion of its own money to fund corrections to ongoing technical issues.
Nobody from this region likes to see Boeing have problems with the tanker – after all, the life of our service men and women take priority. But folks from these parts also recall that Airbus and Boeing competed for the contract to build the tankers. Airbus won the contest, but Boeing protested and won the next contest.
We can only hope a solution is found and that our military gets this very important aircraft.
You can take a look at the full story by Defense News.
Now for your week – actually, two weeks – in review:
Tyndall Air Force Base is undertaking most of its missions again and is planning repairs - designing and demolition work - 11 months after Category 5 Hurricane Michael.
During the third Industry Day event at Florida State University-Panama City, Tyndall officials provided updates on the base’s recovery. Col. Brian Laidlow, commander of the 325th Fighter Wing, said airmen have implemented temporary fixes to bring missions back online.
"Today at Tyndall we're doing nearly all of our pre-storm missions. We're doing it with about 80 percent of our people and we're doing it at only half of our facilities because that's all that survived," he said.
Permanent repairs, planning and pre-design, demolition and design work are underway. Permanent construction is expected to go into fiscal year 2024.
Tyndall will get up to three squadrons of F-35s starting in 2023 and remains the “preferred alternative” as the future home of 24 MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft, Laidlaw said. (Post)
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $266.2 million contract in support of F-35 aircraft for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and non-U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) participants. Work will be performed in Texas, California, Florida, New Hampshire, Arizona, Vermont, Georgia, New York, Virginia, Colorado, Massachusetts, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway, Canada, and Australia. Work is expected to be completed by July 2022. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. … Bowhead Cybersecurity Solutions & Services LLC, Alexandria, Va., was awarded a $19.7 million contract for the Air Force National Tactical Integration Program. Work will be performed at Hurlburt Field and Tyndall Air Force Base, both in Northwest Florida, as well as other bases in Texas, Maryland, Ohio, Illinois, Louisiana, Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Hawaii, Nevada, and Florida. The Acquisition Management & Integration Center-Detachment 2, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, is the contracting activity. … DynCorp International LLC, Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded an $88.7 million modification to a previously awarded contract. This modification provides organizational, intermediate, and depot-level maintenance and logistics support for 16 T-34, 54 T-44, and 287 T-6 aircraft. Work will be performed at the Naval Air Station Whiting Field (42 percent) and NAS Pensacola (9 percent), both in Northwest Florida, as well as NAS Corpus Christi, Texas (47 percent) and various locations through the continental U.S., and is expected to be completed in March 2020. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. … Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., was awarded an $8.4 million modification to a previously awarded contract for field team support services for Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) development test mission support including, test planning, test operations, test reporting and telemetry analysis. This contract modification provides for exercise of the third option for an additional 12 months of services to support ground tests, captive flight tests and live fire tests conducted for developmental purposes up to and including operational test readiness reviews. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 5, 2020. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity.