Saturday, April 23, 2016

Week in review (4/17 to 4/23)

Airbus will deliver the first Airbus jetliner made in the United States to customer JetBlue at a first-of-its-kind event in Mobile, Ala., on Monday. The twin-engine, A321 single-aisle plane took its first flight March 21 and has flown several times since then.

Earlier this week in Mobile, the European Aviation Safety Administration (EASA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Airbus completed the EASA Export Certificate of Airworthiness in the offices of the Mobile Airport Authority for the A321, according to Roger Wehner, the MAA executive director.

The Gulf Coast Reporters' League aerospace newsletter will have a special issue about the event.

Meanwhile, the first Airbus A321 aircraft built for American Airlines at the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility made its first flight April 19. The aircraft is going through a few more weeks in final production before being delivered to American Airlines. (Post)

A Navy Tomahawk missile fired from a sub off the southern tip of Florida aborted before completing its mission and crashed in Hogtown Bayou in Choctawhatchee Bay Tuesday. There were no injuries or property damage. The unarmed missile’s flight path in the routine test mission was coordinated with the Federal Aviation Agency to avoid residential and commercial areas. The Navy is investigating the cause of flight termination near Eglin. (Post)

-- Brig. Gen. Kirk W. Smith, director, plans, requirements and programs, Headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla., has been assigned to director, force management and development, Headquarters U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. (Post)

-- The Federal Aviation Administration adopted a proposed rule that removes restricted area R–4403 over Gainesville, Miss., and replaces it with an expanded area redesignated as R–4403A, B, C, E and F over NASA's Stennis Space Center, Miss. More restricted airspace is necessary to support NASA testing and Navy training requirements, including weapons firing. The restricted area expansion becomes effective on May 26, 2016. (Post)

Rockwell Collins Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was awarded an $83 million contract for Common Range Integrated Instrumentation System (CRIIS) modification, integration and support. The location of performance is Cedar Rapids. The work is expected to be completed by April 18, 2021. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Week in review (4/3 to 4/9)

The next issue of the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor bimonthly newsletter will publish Tuesday. In this issue, we’ll tell you a bit about the history of the rocket engine that was tested at Stennis Space Center last month. That engine will be used in NASA's Space Launch System, but you may be surprised to learn just how much of a veteran of space flight that engine is.

We also have a story be Cindy West about a new aviation training program at Pensacola’s George Stone Technical Center, and Duwayne Escobedo wrote about two companies, one from Fort Walton Beach, that joined together to win a big military contract.

And Martha Simmons, who covered last month’s first flight of a U.S.-built Airbus jetliner, reflects on her memory of the former Air Force base where the A320s are being built. She recalls how tough it was when her daddy and so many others lost their jobs when the base was shut down.

To sign up to receive the newsletter, drop me a line. The eight-page PDF will be sent to your email free of charge. If you prefer, you can download the newsletter yourself after Tuesday by visiting our website.

The first A321 built in the United States will be delivered to customer JetBlue during a ceremony April 25 at the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile. The highly anticipated event is not open to the public. Remarks during the event will be made by Airbus and JetBlue executives, among others. The twin-engine jetliner had its maiden flight March 21 and has flown multiple times since then. (Post)

Speaking of Airbus, the first flight of that plane was the focus of the April issue of the Gulf Coast Reporters’ League Business Quarterly. The magazine, with the cover story “Fulfilling the promise,” was published April 5 and is available at our website. (Post)

Meanwhile, the second U.S.-built A321 is now sporting the livery of American Airlines. It left the paint shop at the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley in Mobile last week. It’s the first plane built for American Airlines at the Mobile plant. There are currently eight aircraft in production for American Airlines at the facility. (Post)

Maj. Gen. William Gayler during the week took over as commanding general of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Ala. He assumed command from Maj. Gen. Michael Lundy. It's the third time for Gayler at Fort Rucker. He was previously aide-de-camp to the commanding general of the Army Aviation Center, and deputy director of the Directorate of Evaluations and Standardization. (Post)

Air Force Lt. Gen. Bradley A. Heithold has been nominated for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and for assignment as principal deputy director of cost assessment and program evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. Heithold is currently serving as commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla. (Post)

CNS Aviation LLC, Pensacola, Fla., has been awarded a $7 million contract for avionics bench test sets. The work will support Special Mission Wing counternarcotic activities in Afghanistan with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2017. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity.