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Boeing Unveils New Unmanned Cargo Air Vehicle Prototype

The electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing multi-copter UAV is designed to carry up to 500 pounds
The prototype aims to further develop and mature the building blocks of autonomy and electric propulsion

CHICAGOJan. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Boeing [NYSE: BA] today unveiled a new unmanned electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) cargo air vehicle (CAV) prototype that will be used to test and evolve Boeing’s autonomy technology for future aerospace vehicles. It is designed to transport a payload up to 500 pounds for possible future cargo and logistics applications.

“This flying cargo air vehicle represents another major step in our Boeing eVTOL strategy,” said Boeing Chief Technology Officer Greg Hyslop. “We have an opportunity to really change air travel and transport, and we’ll look back on this day as a major step in that journey.”

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In less than three months, a team of engineers and technicians across the company designed and built the CAV prototype. It successfully completed initial flight tests at Boeing Research & Technology’s Collaborative Autonomous Systems Laboratory in Missouri.

Boeing researchers will use the prototype as a flying test bed to mature the building blocks of autonomous technology for future applications. Boeing HorizonX, with its partners in Boeing Research & Technology, led the development of the CAV prototype, which complements the eVTOL passenger air vehicle prototype aircraft in development by Aurora Flight Sciences, a company acquired by Boeing late last year.

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“Our new CAV prototype builds on Boeing’s existing unmanned systems capabilities and presents new possibilities for autonomous cargo delivery, logistics and other transportation applications,” said Steve Nordlund, Boeing HorizonX vice president. “The safe integration of unmanned aerial systems is vital to unlocking their full potential. Boeing has an unmatched track record, regulatory know-how and systematic approach to deliver solutions that will shape the future of autonomous flight.”

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Powered by an environmentally-friendly electric propulsion system, the CAV prototype is outfitted with eight counter rotating blades allowing for vertical flight. It measures 15 feet long (4.57 meters), 18 feet wide (5.49 meters) and 4 feet tall (1.22 meters), and weighs 747 pounds (339 kilograms).

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Chicago-based Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. A top U.S. exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in 150 countries.

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He is an aviation journalist and the founder of Jetline Marvel. Dawal gained a comprehensive understanding of the commercial aviation industry.  He has worked in a range of roles for more than 9 years in the aviation and aerospace industry. He has written more than 1700 articles in the aerospace industry. When he was 19 years old, he received a national award for his general innovations and holds the patent. He completed two postgraduate degrees simultaneously, one in Aerospace and the other in Management. Additionally, he authored nearly six textbooks on aviation and aerospace tailored for students in various educational institutions. jetlinem4(at)gmail.com

Aviation

South Korea Introduces Cutting-Edge MRO Center for F-35 and IAI

South Korea Introduces Cutting-Edge MRO Center for F-35 and IAI
Image:IAI

South Korea is set to make waves in the aerospace industry with the establishment of a cutting-edge Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) hub for F-35 fighter jets and IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries) aircraft.

Central to this initiative is the specialization in converting Boeing 777-ERSF, colloquially known as the “Big Twin,” from passenger to freighter configurations. Under the terms of the agreement, IAI will spearhead the conversion of six B777-300ER and B777-200LR aircraft annually, commencing in 2024. This strategic move is in response to the anticipated surge in demand for wide-body freighter aircraft capable of long-haul flights.

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Furthermore, South Korea’s forward-looking vision extends beyond aircraft conversion, with plans to establish a Lockheed Martin F-35 maintenance, repair, and overhaul depot at Cheongju Air Base by 2027. This strategic move not only enhances the operational readiness of South Korea’s air force but also positions the nation as a regional hub for F-35 maintenance expertise.

In preparation for this expansion, thirty Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) engineers and technicians are slated to undergo intensive maintenance training in the United States in 2025, a testament to South Korea’s commitment to fostering local expertise and talent.

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IAI’s visionary approach to certification and collaboration underscores the potential for transformative change. With plans for the 777-300ERSF certification process set to unfold in Israel, followed by the rigorous scrutiny of regulatory agencies such as the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the stage is set for the ‘Big Twin’ to soar to new heights of success.

In partnership with esteemed entities like STK and Incheon International Airport Corporation, this collaboration promises to unleash a wave of benefits, amplifying the resilience and competitiveness of the Korean aviation sector while catalyzing job creation and economic prosperity.

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Lockheed Martin Expresses Interest in Joining AMCA Project

Lockheed Martin Expresses Interest in Joining AMCA Project


Lockheed Martin, a leading global aerospace and defense company, is demonstrating its dedication to strengthening collaborations with India’s research, industry, and academic sectors. With its rich experience in the aerospace industry and renowned for building some of the world’s most advanced jets, Lockheed Martin is now exploring opportunities to contribute to India’s aerospace sector, potentially providing a significant boost to aerospace technology in the country.

Randy Howard, Vice President of Global Pursuits at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, recently underscored their interest in exploring “advanced transfer of technology opportunities” with Indian partners, signaling a proactive approach towards fostering technological exchange and advancement in the aerospace domain.

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India has been at the forefront of fighter jet development since the 1970s, having produced its own cost-effective fighter jets and combat helicopters, while continually upgrading to maintain competitiveness on a global scale.

Lockheed Martin stands as a dominant force in the aircraft industry, renowned for developing cutting-edge planes like the F35 and F22, some of the most advanced fighter jets globally. They’ve also contributed to projects like the South Korean KF21 aircraft for defense purposes through collaborations.

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Now, Lockheed Martin has set its sights on India’s defense sector manufacturing processes, expressing interest in partnering with India on its most anticipated project, the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), likely to be a 5th generation fighter jet for the Indian military.

Their proposed collaboration could involve a spectrum of advanced technologies, including the Auto Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS), a life-saving technology that intervenes to prevent ground collisions, thus significantly enhancing flight safety for Indian pilots.

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Lockheed Martin is extending its expertise to design and develop an indigenous cockpit for the F-21 fighter jets, which India is procuring. This collaboration with Tata also includes the development of fighter jet wings. Established in 2023, this partnership adopts a “Ground Floor Design” strategy aimed at equipping India with an in-depth comprehension of 5th-generation cockpit technology and Man-Machine Interface (MMI) systems.

As India’s Fighter jet program advances with finalized aircraft frame and engine prototypes, Lockheed Martin has expressed interest in joining the project. They see a groundbreaking opportunity in cooperative 5th Generation Fighter Development, potentially expediting the AMCA program’s progress through technology and expertise sharing.

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Furthermore, Lockheed Martin is keen on collaborating on large-wing, jet-powered UAV platforms, which could enhance India’s unmanned aerial capabilities.

While discussions are ongoing, and specific collaboration details await finalization, this initiative represents a potentially transformative stride in India’s aerospace self-reliance journey and Lockheed Martin’s strategic engagement with the Indian market.

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Aviation

Can Airline Seat Cushions Be Used As Life Jackets?

Can Airline Seat Cushions Be Used As Life Jackets?

In the event of an aircraft ditching into water, there’s a common question: Can aircraft seats serve as an alternative to life jackets for flotation? The answer lies in understanding their respective functions.

While seat cushions can provide some buoyancy in water, they are not intended nor certified to function as life jackets. Their primary purpose is to offer cushioning for passengers during flight. On the other hand, life jackets are meticulously engineered to keep individuals afloat in water, equipped with buoyancy materials, secure straps, and reflective elements for visibility. They offer numerous advantages over mere cushions.

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While a seat cushion might offer temporary assistance in staying afloat, it’s not a dependable substitute for a proper life jacket during an emergency. It’s crucial to utilize approved safety equipment when near bodies of water. A life jacket, designed to keep a person buoyant for extended periods, offers the rigidity needed for prolonged flotation and allows for easy movement of the arms to navigate effectively.

What fabric is used in aircraft seats?


Seats are meticulously designed to fulfill multiple purposes, ensuring passenger comfort, safety, and protection from unforeseen circumstances like fires and accidents. A typical design incorporates an aluminum frame with blocks of polyurethane foam affixed to it. Additionally, a layer of fire-resistant fabric, such as Kevlar or Nomex, is often applied over this framework, topped with a layer of cloth or leather.

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Leather seats, while luxurious, are more expensive compared to traditional cloth seats. The majority of fabrics used in seat upholstery contain at least 90% wool fiber, with the remainder typically consisting of polyamide (nylon). Wool stands out as the primary fiber chosen for commercial airline seating fabric due to its desirable properties and suitability for such applications.

What is the lightest economy seat?

In recent times, airlines have been downsizing seat dimensions to accommodate more passengers, resulting in reduced cushion length and leg space. This contrasts with earlier times when airlines offered more generously cushioned seats and ample amenities.

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According to Recaro Seats Company, their SL3710 model represents the lightest economy class seat available, weighing in at a mere 8 kg (17.6 lb.), setting a new standard in aircraft seating.

For individuals weighing more than 350 pounds, fitting into a standard economy-class seat can be a challenge due to the narrower dimensions. Economy seats, also referred to as “coach,” “standard,” or “main cabin” seats, typically range from about 40 to 48 centimeters in width, further emphasizing the need for more accommodating seating options.

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