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Bell V-280 "Valor" Mock-up Build - Timelapse

The Future of Vertical Lift (FVL) has taken shape, as a full-scale mockup of the Bell V-280 Valor. The Bell Helicopter FVL team solicited the prototype services of Roush Enterprises to create a full-scale mockup of the medium-class helicopter. Roush used the Bell aircraft design and adopted it for the mock-up in order to meet business development requirements focused on the U.S. Army customer. 

According to Keith Flail, Bell Helicopter's FVL program director, "The mockup is more than a marketing tool. It helps developers visualize and understand the value of certain requirements, bringing the digital design to a 3D reality that allows soldiers to climb on and experience."

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Exercise Southern Katipo - New Zealand Defence Force

The biggest exercise ever held by the New Zealand Defence Force will kick off in November 2013.
This joint exercise will involve all three services of the NZDF along with over 600 invited personnel from other nations, as well as other government agencies spread out all across the South Island. 

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German Army’s Aviation School Surpasses 100,000 Hours of Simulator Training - CAE Inc./ GmbH - Canadian Aviation Electronics

CAE today announced that the German Army Aviation School recently surpassed 100,000 hours of simulator training.

Located at Buckeburg in Northern Germany, the Hans E. Drebing simulator centre of the German Army Aviation School is Europe’s largest helicopter simulation training facility. The simulator centre includes 12 CAE-built full-flight simulators – two CH-53, two UH-1D, and eight EC135 – in addition to two NH90 simulators. CAE GmbH is the contractor responsible for providing comprehensive training support services on-site at the Hans E. Drebing simulator centre.

“Surpassing 100,000 hours of simulator training over the past decade is a remarkable milestone for the German Army and the other defence and security forces who train here in Buckeburg,” said Brigadier General Alfons Mais, Commander of the German Army Aviation School. “We are proud that simulator training has proven to be safe, cost-efficient and an effective learning environment for our helicopter aircrews.”

Since 2003, the UH-1D simulators have logged more than 27,000 hours; the CH-53 simulators more than 18,000 hours; and the EC135 simulators more than 55,000 hours. The simulators are used to deliver initial and advanced pilot training, including night flying operations. In addition to the German Army, other customers who have trained at the German Army Aviation School include the Spanish Army, Swedish Air Force, Irish Army, German Federal and State Police, Hungarian Air Rescue, and others.

“The German Army Aviation School at Buckeburg is a world-class showcase for CAE’s capabilities, and we are proud to have played a role in helping the German Army reach over 100,000 hours of simulator training at the facility,” said Ian Bell, CAE’s Vice President and Regional Business Leader – Europe. “Simulation-based training is becoming increasingly important as defence and security forces address budget challenges while still maintaining readiness for the demanding and complex missions they are asked to perform.”

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Periscope of U.S. submarine emerges next to UK aircraft carrier in Middle East waters

Periscope of U.S. submarine emerges next to UK aircraft carrier in Middle East waters | D-FENS | Scoop.it
Released by the UK Ministry of Defense, this image shows the periscope of the American submarine USS Dallas cutting through the surface as UK aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious sails past.
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RAF C-130J Hercules aircraft conduct semi-prepared runway operations in Italy

RAF C-130J Hercules aircraft conduct semi-prepared runway operations in Italy | D-FENS | Scoop.it
On Oct. 1 and 2, RAF C-130J cargo planes deployed to Grazzanise airbase, in Italy, home of the 9° Stormo (Wing) to conduct SPRO (semi-prepared runway operation) training. The activity, dubbed “Enzo Spirit”, was organized and conducted within the framework of a bilateral agreement between Italy and UK, to perform joint advanced training and consolidate standard operating procedures.
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Thales TopOwl® helmet-mounted sight & display for helicopters - EC665 UH Tiger, NHI NH90, Bell AH-1Z/UH-1Y

TopOwl® is the result of over twenty years experience in the Helmet Mounted Sight Display field for rotor wing and fixed wing aircraft.

TopOwl has been designed by pilots for pilots. 

TopOwl uses state-of-the-art technology to provide the only complete, integrated helmet system solution featuring :


VISION
TopOwl provides the pilot with optimum vision of the environment featuring unique visor-projected intensified night vision which is extremely comfortable to use.


MISSION
To accomplish the mission, TopOwl can display before the pilot's eyes images from any sensor located on the aircraft such as an FLIR HD. The high accuracy head tracking system is able to slave any weapon.


COMFORT
TopOwl provides the pilot with the best comfort, reducing pilot fatigue and improving performance over long and iterative missions.

TopOwl® has been chosen by 16 countries for their army, navy and/or air force attack and transport helicopters.
In full-rate production, TopOwl is operational on 5 major helicopter programmes: Tiger, NH90, Cobra AH-1Z, Huey UH-1Y and Rooivalk; T129 is in progress.

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Combat rescue vehicle for medical evacuations unveiled - Guardian Angel Air-Deployable Rescue Vehicle

Combat rescue vehicle for medical evacuations unveiled - Guardian Angel Air-Deployable Rescue Vehicle | D-FENS | Scoop.it

The Air Force is testing an all-terrain vehicle intended to get rescue teams across rugged terrain or into the midst of combat to rescue or recover U.S. and coalition forces.

The Guardian Angel Air-deployable Rescue Vehicle, which looks like the offspring of a Humvee and a dune buggy, was formally unveiled on Aug. 28 in Geneva, Ohio, where lead contractor HDT Global has a manufacturing facility.

Named for the pararescuemen and combat rescue officers known as the “Guardian Angel Weapon System,” the vehicle’s “main purpose is to get in fast and get out fast,” said Capt. Jeremy Baker, project manager for the vehicle.

The first two production vehicles have started safety certification testing and will undergo operational testing in February at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Baker said. Air Combat Command is expected to decide in July whether to send the vehicles downrange.

Right now, Guardian Angels can reach casualties by parachute or helicopter, but the vehicle, which has a range of up to 350 miles, would allow them to be dropped off well outside the range of the enemy’s anti-aircraft weapons, Baker said.

“It gives them the capability to then drive in and recover the person or persons,” Baker said. “Instead of having to carry all the gear they have to take with them, it allows them to put it on the vehicle.”

The vehicle can carry up to six crew members or four crew members and four patients, Baker said.

The vehicle is supposed to be able to fit on C-17s and C-130 transport aircraft as well as CH-53 helicopters, he said. It is also required to be transportable by CH-47 helicopters, but it is not yet known whether that is possible. But such a combat rescue vehicle comes with risks, said a Guardian Angel who was not authorized to speak on the record. For example, driving into a hot spot would expose the rescue team to enemy fire longer than being dropped off by a helicopter.

“It would also make us susceptible to a different style of, as we used to call them, SAR [search and rescue] traps, where they would try to purposely draw in rescue personnel, and if they know we have vehicles, they may set up a different kind of trap with IEDs [improvised explosive devices] or vehicle-borne IEDs or things like that,” the Guardian Angel said. Still, being able to drive to a rescue scene and then be picked up by a helicopter could expand the Guardian Angels’ capabilities, he said.

“The more avenues we have to get to a victim and get out, the better,” he said. “It only makes sense that we have a vehicle that is more geared toward actual rescue work; however, I don’t see it doing much in the way of replacing a helicopter.”

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After Airbus A400M, Europe faces dearth of big defense projects

After Airbus A400M, Europe faces dearth of big defense projects | D-FENS | Scoop.it

(Reuters) - European politicians will toast the long-awaited Airbus A400M military transport plane at a ceremony in Spain on Monday, but face warnings that Europe's largest-ever collaborative defense project may be its last for years to come.

After a tortuous 30 years in development, the first of 170 troop and cargo planes ordered by seven nations grants Europe a step towards independence in military transport, a key plank of foreign intervention capability.

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AgustaWestland forms partnership with Kongsberg ahead of NAWSARH bid decision - AW101 Merlin

AgustaWestland forms partnership with Kongsberg ahead of NAWSARH bid decision - AW101 Merlin | D-FENS | Scoop.it
AgustaWestland has announced that it has formed a partnership with Kongsberg Defence Systems relating to the Italian helicopter group's bid to meet the Norwegian All-Weather Search and Rescue Helicopter (NAWSARH) requirement. The announcement of the partnership with Norwegian defence group Kongsberg comes after AgustaWestland (which is fielding the AW101 Merlin) was down-selected along with Eurocopter (which is offering the EC725 Caracal) in July. The other bidders were NHIndustries (with the NH90) and Sikorsky (S-92). The programme is valued at USD2.73 billion. AgustaWestland said on 26 September that the agreement will - should the AW101 be selected - see Kongsberg provide services including maintenance and testing of rotorheads and gearboxes.
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MiG-29K Carrier Trials Complete

MiG-29K Carrier Trials Complete | D-FENS | Scoop.it
Flight trials of the MiG-29K on the INS Vikramaditya (formerly Admiral Gorshkov) in the Barents Sea have been completed. RAC MiG director general Sergei Korotkov commented, “The completion of the flight trials from the carrier’s deck marks a milestone in the life-cycle of the ship Project 11430 as well as the MiG-29K/29KUB program.” RAC MiG’s next step will be to train Indian navy pilots in the techniques of ship-borne operations. The MiG-29K/KUB are attributed to the “4++” generation of Russian combat aircraft. They are intended for air defense of a carrier task group: establishing air superiority over the theater of sea-land operations, destroying land and seagoing targets with precision-guidance munitions in all weathers, day and night. The customized Indian navy MiG-29KUB first flew in January 2007, followed in March 2008 by the first flight of a deliverable aircraft.
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Sukhoi Su-27 and F-16 fighter jets intercept renegade plane during NATO – Russia counterterrorism drills

Sukhoi Su-27 and F-16 fighter jets intercept renegade plane during NATO – Russia counterterrorism drills | D-FENS | Scoop.it
The Polish and Russian airspace along with the Southern Baltic area have been the scenario in which Vigilant Skies 2013 exercise took place. The primary objective of the training was to check whether the Cooperative Aerospace Initiative (CAI) works.
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Sikorsky starts S-97 Raider final assembly

Sikorsky starts S-97 Raider final assembly | D-FENS | Scoop.it
Sikorsky is starting final assembly of its S-97 Raider prototype helicopter, clearing the way for the company's plans to conduct the first flight in 2014.
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The German Air Force Flight Training Center at Holloman AFB has a new commander

The German Air Force Flight Training Center at Holloman AFB has a new commander | D-FENS | Scoop.it
The German Air Force Flight Training Center at Holloman AFB has a new commander.
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Bell-Boeing V-22 Aerial Refueling Proof of Concept Demonstration Flight

On August 29, a successful initial aerial demonstration of a MV-22, equipped with a roll-on, roll-off prototype refueling system, occurred with a F/A-18C/D Hornet in the skies above north Texas. 

According to Chad Sparks, manager of V-22 Advanced Derivatives for Bell Helicopter, "The Hornet flew within 30 feet of the MV-22's drogue chute in a lateral offset position during the flight trial, with no significant wake turbulence reported."

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Rolls-Royce boosts V-22's engine power - RR T-406/ AE 1107C-Liberty Block III turboshaft engine

Rolls-Royce boosts V-22's engine power - RR T-406/ AE 1107C-Liberty Block III turboshaft engine | D-FENS | Scoop.it

Rolls-Royce has achieved a 17% power increase for the AE1107C turboshaft engines that it provides for the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, according to company officials.

"The extra power will improve [the aircraft's] performance at higher altitudes," company spokesman George McLaren told IHS Jane's on 17 September during the Air Force Association's annual conference at National Harbor, Maryland.

The engine improvement is the result of three changes, according to McLaren. First, Rolls-Royce added a new Block 3 turbine that it has been installing into all new V-22s and replacing the turbines on older aircraft during regular maintenance, beginning in mid-2012.

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Boeing's QF-16 makes its first unmanned flight

As a pilotless F-16 roared into the sky last week at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., members of Boeing's QF-16 team and the U.S. Air Force celebrated this achievement.

 

The particular aircraft used in this case has been out of service for 15 years and was stored at the Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) on Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona - also known as the "Boneyard"

Christian Albrecht's insight:

Looks like all the QF-4's are gone!

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Eurocopter and CAE team-up on EC225 training centre in Norway

Eurocopter and CAE team-up on EC225 training centre in Norway | D-FENS | Scoop.it

Eurocopter and CAE signed an agreement to establish a EC225 helicopter training facility in Norway at the 2013 Helitech International event in London. The new facility will include a CAE 3000 Level D flight simulator and will begin in 2015. “CAE is very excited and proud to be named an approved simulation centre for Norway. This marks the first time CAE and Eurocopter have announced a collaboration of this type, and it is a positive step for two industry leaders to cooperate to further enhance aviation safety in the helicopter industry,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE Group president, Civil Simulation Products, Training and Services. “We look forward to providing the highest quality flight and mission training in Norway, which is uniquely positioned to serve the oil and gas markets.” Additionally, Eurocopter and its local representative, ØSTNES, intend to extend the new Norway centre capabilities by installing an AS350 helicopter full-flight simulator at the facility. “Through our agreement with CAE, we will expand our world-class service and support network,” said Matthieu Louvot, Eurocopter senior vice president Support & Services. “We will provide Norway-based customers with pilot training that leverages the safest and most innovative technologies, and is closer to their bases of operation.” - See more at: http://www.corporatejetinvestor.com/articles/eurocopter-and-cae-team-up-in-norway-249/#sthash.z8n2MOQM.dpuf

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UK Merlins' Afghanistan mission over - AW101

UK Merlins' Afghanistan mission over - AW101 | D-FENS | Scoop.it

The UK's Merlin helicopter fleet has concluded operations in Afghanistan after providing nearly 4 years of continuous front line support.


The Merlins have flown more than 18,000 hours in the dust and heat of Helmand – moving more than 7,900 tonnes of kit and stores and transporting over 130,000 personnel during that time.

In theatre, the Merlin has primarily been used as a troop transporter, sharing that role with the workhorse Chinook helicopters since 2009.

 

As the UK military hands over security responsibility to Afghan forces, the number of UK bases in Helmand province has fallen – from 137 in 2010 to 11 this year, meaning fewer helicopters are needed to support them.

The requirement for helicopters in theatre has fallen by around 40% in the past 3 years. In 2010, helicopter support hours totalled around 2,300 a month – a figure that has now fallen to approximately 1,350 hours a month. As a result, the Merlin fleet and its crews can now be returned to the UK to prepare for potential future roles.

The conclusion of Merlin operations in Afghanistan is the latest manifestation of the changing role of British and other international forces as the process of transition to an Afghan security lead continues apace. As Prime Minister David Cameron has already announced, the number of British troops in Afghanistan will fall to around 5,200 by the end of this year from a peak of 9,500 in 2012.

 

Engineers in Camp Bastion are now hard at work preparing the Merlin helicopters for their journey back to the UK. Each helicopter will have its rotor blades and tail removed and will undergo a full ‘bio-wash’ to remove dust and insects before being loaded onto a wheeled transport unit that will be driven on board a huge RAF C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft for the trip home.


After their return to RAF Benson the Merlins will join the rest of the Merlin Force in the ongoing transition of the aircraft to Joint Helicopter Command’s Royal Navy Commando Helicopter Force.

The maritime force is trained and equipped for expeditionary joint operations and the Merlins will be prepared for their new role in supporting amphibious operations. RAF personnel are currently training the Royal Navy aircrew and engineers on the operation and maintenance of the technologically advanced helicopter, which is due to move to a maritime role by 2015.



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A400M Loading EC725 Caracal Helicopter

In this video, a time lapse shows the loading of the EC725 Caracal helicopter. 

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Electronic Flight Bag (iPad) - U.S. Air Force -

Little Rock Air Force Base is shaping the future of Air Mobility Command and the Air Force by testing a new electronic flight bag.

 

The U.S. Air Force has announced plans to buy up to 18,000 Apple iPads after a six-month trial at Little Rock Air Force Base. The air force will spend $9.36 million to give pilots electronic flight bags.

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Soviet, giant Antonov 124 cargo plane production line to be resumed

Soviet, giant Antonov 124 cargo plane production line to be resumed | D-FENS | Scoop.it

Even if the news has been around for several years (and always denied), according to Defence24.pl, vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, Yuri Boyko has recently announced that the An-124 production will be resumed in cooperation with Russia.

According to Mr. Boyko, the Antonov 124 is a perfect solution for both the countries, due to its unique features. Firstly it allows for transporting over 100 tons of load, secondly it can operate from short runways.

 

The project is to be financed by creating an Ukrainian-Russian joint venture, where Ukrainian Antonov bureau provides the technology and design, whilst the Russians provide financial assets and market to sell the airplane. The copyrights of An-124 belong to Ukrainians, and the Ukrainian party demands for the things to remain this way.

The joint programme may decrease competition between the countries and boost their chances in the international market.

When the Americans developed C-5 Galaxy in 1968, the Soviets responded with An-124 in 1972, entering the mass production in 1986 and, later An-225 being constructed back in 1988, at the dusk of the Cold War. The planes got codenames  Condor and Cossack respectively.

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The weather: a greater challenge than expected for Solar Impulse

The weather: a greater challenge than expected for Solar Impulse | D-FENS | Scoop.it

The fact that a solar airplane prefers sunshine and clear skies might seem logical but not always sufficient. There are other conditions that need to be met for Solar Impulse to fly, turbulence and strong winds being the ultra-light, large wingspan aircraft’s least favorite. This means that in both takeoff and landing cities as well as at different altitudes along the way, the weather needs to be mild.  

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French Caracal squadron approaches air-to-air refueling certification - EC725

French Caracal squadron approaches air-to-air refueling certification - EC725 | D-FENS | Scoop.it

The French Air Force is set to significantly enhance its SAR and CSAR capabilities with the completion of in-flight refueling certification for its EC725 Caracals. 

Speaking to reporters at Cazaux airbase in May, director of operations Maj Guillaume Vernon confirmed the EC725 Caracal helicopter squadron EH 1/67 was aiming to achieve high altitude refueling (HR) certification for night flight by the end of 2013.

‘HR is a brand new capability we are trying to build, and as of today we are just day HR capable. Hopefully within the year we will be night HR capable. This will definitely bring us further into enemy territory,’ Vernon said.  

The Eurocopter EC725 Caracal was designed to fly 250 nautical miles, have 20 minutes of hover time, and return to base. With full HR capability the squadrons range could be doubled, or even tripled. 

‘We are just waiting on certification to fly behind a C-130 at night. A far as the mission itself, flying behind a [C-130] tanker is pretty tricky; the rotor system is just a meter behind the probe, and the tail wing of the craft is as big as the helicopter,’ Vernon continued.

Part of Cazaux air force base, helicopter squadron EH 1/67 is responsible for public SAR operations over the southwest of France, as well as being a deployable combat unit for CSAR operations.

‘The motto of our chain of command is fight and rescue, that’s what we do. We save lives on a daily basis, we rescue people. But we don’t have red crosses on the side of our helicopters, we have dual-mounted crew-served machine guns and we intend to use them if need be, so we also fight,’ Vernon emphasised.

‘We do crisis time tactical missions, and personnel recovery CSAR. The idea behind personnel recovery is to deny the ability for any bad guy to use one of our isolated personnel against our will.’

The squadron has certified 80% of its Caracal pilots for day HR, and is the only European unit capable of refueling two in-flight helicopters simultaneously.  

French forces first deployed the Caracal in a combat capacity in Afghanistan, and subsequently during NATO-led operations for the Libyan military campaign and Mali.

‘Just a few months after the helicopter was declared to be operationally available we were deployed to Lebanon. We got this bird in 2006 and by June we were deployed to Lebanon. Young pilots were deployed to Afghanistan with just 100 hours of flight because this helicopter is very easy to learn,’ Vernon added.  

While deployed in these operational theatres, the EC725 performed missions ranging from tactical transport and special operations to CSAR and maritime patrol.

‘CSAR is dedicated to the ability to go and pick up trained personnel on the ground. People who know how to talk to us, and know the procedures to be picked up. We flew 3000+ flight hours with the Caracal in Afghanistan, with over 200 casevac missions and 250 individuals brought back safely from 2006 to March 2012,’ said Vernon.  

Specifically designed to cope with adverse weather conditions, the EC725 avionics suite includes an advanced four-axis autopilot with full flight envelope protection. 

‘The system allows us to fly in really bad weather conditions, especially at night. We have a good situational awareness building system for all the crew within the helicopter, and thanks to the automatic hovering system, the threat posed by brown-outs no longer prevents the successful completion of search and rescue missions,’ he said.  

France have ordered 19 EC 725 Caracals for the French Air Force and the French Army Aviation (ALAT). Other customers include Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, bringing the total number of EC725s sold to 106 as of June 2013.

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Aerospace, Defense, Innovation,Technology, Science