The August edition of the Gulf Coast Reporters' League aerospace newsletter will be published Tuesday. You can get the 8-page PDF at Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor.com. Individual stories also will be posted on the daily aerospace news feed during the week. Prefer to get the newsletter delivered to you? Just ask and we’ll include you on our list.
In the latest issue, Lisa Monti will tell you about a couple of proposals that NASA is looking at to develop some 300 acres around the 43-acre Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Then Kaija Wilkinson writes about Star Aviation of Mobile. Some of the things you take for granted while flying can be traced to the work of this company.
William Rabb will fill you in on what the nation’s No. 1 defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, does at its Fort Walton Beach, Fla., operation. Think F-35, think weapons. And then Duwayne Escobedo will tell you all about TPR Systems, a newcomer to an industrial park in Milton, Fla. It’s already thinking expansion.
Now for the week in review:
Airbus, which is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala., overtook Boeing in unadjusted aircraft orders for 2014 after last month's Farnborough Airshow, but continued to lag when cancellations are included. Airbus won 980 aircraft orders between January and July, and said it had 705 net orders. Airbus has said its haul of orders at Farnborough marked its best ever performance at the UK's biennial aerospace event. Boeing reported 837 gross orders and 783 net sales after cancellations between Jan. 1 and July 29. (Post)
-- With the Gulf Coast region hoping to attract Airbus suppliers, an item out of China shows another possibility. China's Xian Aircraft Industry is now sole supplier of wings to the Airbus A320 final assembly line in Tianjin.
After starting with system installation on Broughton, UK-made wings in 2009, Xian Aircraft started producing wing structures, then entire wing boxes. Since this summer, all wings for the Tianjin FAL are supplied by XAIC. (Post)
-- Dave Trent, site director for Airbus Americas, was among the greeters Thursday morning as B.C. Rain High School students returned to campus for the first day of school. Airbus is the school’s “Signature Business Partner” for its Aviation and Aerospace Academy. (Post)
The Mississippi-built fuselage of the first Global Hawk Block 40 unmanned aerial vehicle for NATO has been completed. It was built at Northrop Grumman’s Moss Point plant. It will go to California where the aircraft will be completed. The aircraft is one of five for NATO's Alliance Ground Surveillance project. The Global Hawks will be located at the AGS main operating base at Sigonella Air Base, Italy. (Post)
A fuel-resistant asphalt mix that’s already being used at several airports has now been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. Called P-601 Fuel Resistant Hot Mix Asphalt Pavement, it was developed by Niceville, Fla.-based engineering firm AVCON and retired engineer Bob Boyer. The mixture uses smaller pieces of rock than traditional asphalt, and plastic is added to make it more rigid. (Post)
L-3 Communications Corp., SFS, Madison, Miss., was awarded a $15.8 million modification to a contract to add eight C-12s to the life cycle contractor support maintenance contract for the Army's fleet of C-12/RC-12/UC-35 aircraft. Work will be performed in Madison. … Veteran Corps of America, O'Fallon, Ill., was awarded a $10 million contract for TruDefender FTX Handheld Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) for chemical identification. Work will be performed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., and is expected to be completed by Jan. 28, 2015. 772 Enterprise Sourcing Squadron/PKD, Tyndall Air Force Base is the contracting activity.
LCS: Both variants of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships, including the type made in Mobile, Ala., are being cranked out in an anticipated 2015 banner-year fashion. (Post)
DDG: Ingalls Shipbuilding has delivered the composite deckhouse for the destroyer Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) to the U.S. Navy. (Post)
JHSV4: The Austal USA-built Joint High-Speed Vessel Fall River (JHSV 4) has completed its last significant milestone, before delivery to the Navy, concluding acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico at the end of July. (Post)
Barges: More ships are in the works to be built in Escatawpa, Miss., by VT Halter Marine. (Post)