Saturday, January 20, 2018

Week in review (1/14 to 1/20)

It was back in April 2015 that I first wrote an article about the F-35 reprogramming lab at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The headline said a lot: "Putting the fight in the F-35."

The two-page article was the cover story for that issue of the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor newsletter. It focused on the $300 million reprogramming lab that provides the F-35 with mission data to give it combat smarts. The story also noted that two more multimillion-dollar labs would be built at the base to customize data for F-35 partner nations. (newsletter, pp 1-2)

During the week, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. of Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded $7.5 million for modification of a previously awarded contract to transition the F-35 Australia, Canada, United Kingdom Reprogramming Laboratory (ACURL) system from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Fort Worth to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Support includes required activities including packing, shipping, installation, integration, and testing. This modification also provides for initial spares for the ACURL. Seventy percent of the work for this contract will be done at Eglin and 30 percent at Fort Worth. It’s expected to be completed in March 2019. (Post)

Late last year, we told you that the folks who operate the Eglin reprogramming lab, the 53rd Wing’s 513th Electronic Warfare Squadron, was awarded on Oct. 25 the Outstanding Scientist/Engineer Team of 2017 for their work on the F-35A Initial Operational Capability delivery at Eglin Air Force Base. The Air Force Science, Technology, Engineering and Math annual award recognizes the efforts and achievements of scientists and engineers who make significant contributions to technology and engineering. For the last seven years, 513th EWS airmen and sailors of the F-35’s U.S. Reprogramming Laboratory have been doing just that. (2017 post)

At Stennis Space Center, Miss. NASA engineers picked up this year where they left off in 2017, conducting a certification test of another RS-25 engine flight controller on the A-1 Test Stand.

The 365-second, full-duration test came a month after the space agency capped a year of RS-25 testing with a flight controller test in mid-December. A 3D printed part tested in December, a pogo accumulator assembly, was tested again. It's part of an ongoing series of tests with parts made using advanced manufacturing techniques that will make building future engines more affordable.

For this "green run" test, the flight controller was installed on RS-25 developmental engine E0528 and fired just as during an actual launch. Once certified, the flight controller will be removed and installed on a flight engine for use by NASA’s new deep-space rocket, the Space Launch System. (Post)

The Air Force's first fully upgraded C-130H arrived at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., last week to begin a full range of testing. The Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Airlift Wing-owned aircraft will be here for several months undergoing multiple test flights.

The goal of these evaluations is to collect data and confirm the increased fuel efficiency, reliability and overall performance improvements gained from the new propellers and upgraded engines.

The flight testing will be conducted by 153rd AW and C-130 Combined Test Force aircrews. ANG Airmen will maintain the aircraft during its time here. The Wyoming Air National Guard was chosen to receive the C-130H because of its involvement in the initial testing with the new systems in 2008, when the Air Force explored the idea of upgrading the H-model. (Post)

The U.S. International Trade Commission released a detailed report that reviews arguments on both sides of the Boeing-Bombardier trade dispute and provides a basis on which commissioners will decide if Bombardier's CSeries sale to Delta Air Lines harmed Boeing.

The 118-page document written by the ITC's staff provides no recommendations, but rather compiles information the ITC gathered during its months-long trade investigation.

Bombardier says it has made "substantial further progress" toward building a new aircraft assembly line in Mobile, Ala., according to filing with the ITC. Bombardier is locked in a trade dispute with Boeing; Airbus and Bombardier have formed a joint venture and say they want to assemble jets in Mobile; and Boeing, which has scoffed at the Airbus-Bombardier plan, has explored a relationship with Brazil's Embraer that has some similar aspects. (Post)

Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport in West Bay northwest of Panama City has added another major airline service to cities that are hubs for American Airlines, allowing connections to flights all over the world. Starting June 7, American Airlines’ 65-seat Eagle service will be offering twice-a-day, nonstop daily service to and from Charlotte, N.C., and Dallas/Fort Worth international airports. (Post)

Further to the west, American Airlines plans to launch daily nonstop service between Pensacola International Airport in Florida and Philadelphia International Airport, also starting June 7. Philadelphia International becomes Pensacola International Airport’s eighteenth nonstop destination. (Post)

The property appraiser’s office in Florida’s Santa Rosa County is among the first in Florida using unmanned aerial system. The office has been testing the use of drones to supplement and update property data since September 2016.

Property Appraiser Greg Brown is responsible for identifying, locating and valuing all property within the county for tax purposes. Previously, every two years Brown's office has had to pay $250,000 per flight for an aerial photography company to fly over the county's 1,100 square miles to get photos. Using the drones pushes that need back to every three or four years. (Post)

L3 Technologies Inc., Communications Systems-West, Salt Lake City, Utah, was awarded a $9 million contract to explore technologies enabling cooperative engagement in degraded communication environments for the next generation of munitions. Work will be performed in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is expected to be complete by January 2025. Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Bell-Boeing JPO, Amarillo, Texas, was awarded a $35 million delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement in support of the V-22. Four percent of the work will be done in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Other work locations are in Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Missouri, the United Kingdom, New Jersey and Orlando, Fla. and is expected to be completed in April 2022. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, is the contracting activity.

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