Thursday, February 22, 2018

RS-25 throttles up

RS-25 test Feb. 21 at SSC. NASA/SSC photo
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – Aerojet Rocketdyne and NASA on Feb. 21 powered up the RS-25 main engine for the agency's Space Launch System (SLS) to its highest thrust levels yet. During the 260-second test, the RS-25 engine throttled up to 113 percent of its original design thrust level. This was the third full-duration test on the A-1 stand this year. NASA has been using the A-1 stand to test the RS-25 since January 2015. The first four flights of SLS will use engines that max out at 109 percent of rated thrust (these same engines operated at 104.5 percent rated thrust when flown on the Space Shuttle). New RS-25 engines will baseline their thrust at 111 percent. The RS-25 is an updated version of the Space Shuttle Main Engine that helped power the Space Shuttle into space. The latest RS-25 hot fire test also was the fourth involving an additively manufactured Pogo Accumulator Assembly, the largest 3-D printed RS-25 component tested to date. Newly manufactured RS-25 engines, to be used starting with the fifth SLS mission, will incorporate the additively manufactured Pogo Accumulator Assembly and other 3-D printed parts currently in development. There are 16 flight engines that will power the first four SLS flights in inventory at Aerojet Rocketdyne's Stennis facility. (Source: SpaceDaily, NASA/SSC, 02/22/18)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

CSeries introduced to Mobile

Bombardier CSeries jetliner in Mobile.
GCAC photo
MOBILE, Ala. – Airbus and Bombardier today invited the local media to take a look at a CSeries jetliner like the ones expected to be built in Mobile under an agreement announced in October 2017 between the two plane makers. The transaction is not yet finalized, but is expected by the second half of this year. The Bombardier investment will be close to $300 million. The CSeries, a model of which arrived at the Mobile Aeroplex Monday, would be built in a separate hangar to the north and parallel to the hangar where Airbus is building four A320 series jetliners per month. The plans is to eventually build four CSeries jetliners per month as well. Like the Airbus operation, major sections will be shipped to Mobile from other locations. The engines are built by Pratt & Whitney, and the podding work is likely to be done at the UTC facility across the bay in Foley, where all the A320 podding work is done. While a lot of details are still being worked out, Bombardier will use the Airbus delivery center, which will be expanded to accommodate the additional deliveries. The project, along with an expected increase in the number of A320s being produced in Mobile - from four to six per month - will mean an additional 400 to 600 jobs in Mobile, officials said. Bombardier had said in November that it expected the plant would create 400 to 500 direct jobs, and cited the investment figure of $300 million at the same time. The twin-engine, single-aisle CSeries passenger jet, designed for 100 to 150 passengers, is smaller than the A320. It has three seats on one side of the aisle and two on the other. (Source: GCAC, 02/20/18) Previous: Delta getting Canada, US jetsITC sides with Bombardier

Friday, February 16, 2018

Contract: Micro Systems, $81M

Micro Systems Inc., Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was awarded an $81,077,002 firm-fixed-price contract to acquire and/or repair essential part-numbered components to support the operation and maintenance of all versions of the Army Ground Aerial Target Control System, target interface control units, and associated ancillary equipment. Bids were solicited via the Internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 15, 2023. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-18-D-0021). (Source: DoD, 02/15/18)

Contract: Lockheed, $14M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded $13,993,000 for not-to-exceed modification P00006 to previously issued delivery order 0132 placed against basic ordering agreement N00019-14-G-0020. This modification provides for the procurement of initial air vehicle spares to include endurance spares packages to coincide with F-35 air vehicle deliveries in support of the government of Israel. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (24.4 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (9.1 percent); Owego, N.Y. (8.6 percent); Samlesbury, United Kingdom (7.2 percent); Cheltenham, United Kingdom (6.2 percent); Nashua, N.H. (5.8 percent); Torrance, Calif. (5.5 percent); Orlando, Fla. (4.9 percent); Cedar Rapids, Iowa (3.7 percent); San Diego, Calif. (3.6 percent); Phoenix, Ariz. (3.1 percent); Melbourne, Fla. (3.1 percent); Irvine, Calif. (2.5 percent); N. Amityville, N.Y. (2.4 percent); Windsor Locks, Conn. (2.2 percent); Baltimore, Md. (2.2 percent); Papendrect, Netherlands (1.9 percent); Rolling Meadows, Ill. (1.8 percent); and Alpharetta, Ga. (1.8 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2021. Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $13,993,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 02/15/18) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Delta getting Canada, US jets

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines said on Thursday it will go ahead with plans to buy some Canadian-made CSeries jets from Bombardier this year after a U.S. trade ruling stopped the United States from imposing steep duties on the aircraft. It will start taking deliveries this year of the 75 CSeries jets from a plant in Quebec. Production is set to begin for U.S. customers at an Airbus plant in Mobile, Ala., after Airbus closes a deal this year to acquire a majority stake in the CSeries program. "Delta still intends to take as many deliveries as possible from the new Airbus/Bombardier facility in Mobile, Ala., as soon as that facility is up and running," the carrier said. On Wednesday, the International Trade Commission said it rejected duties on the CSeries in part because Boeing lost no revenue during the Delta deal. (Source: Reuters, 02/15/18)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

February newsletter available

The February issue of the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor Newsletter is now available. The four-page cover story is about Alabama's considerable aerospace footprint, from Huntsville to Mobile and places in between. Inside there's a story about a lecture in Pensacola, Fla., that focused on concerns that intelligent systems may one day be a threat to humanity. There's also an article about an historic test stand at Stennis Space Center, Miss., that next year will test the core stage of NASA's Space Launch System, which will eventually return astronauts to deep space. (Source: GCAC Newsletter, 02/14/18)

Contract: ASES, $18.5M

ASES LLC, doing business as Field Aerospace, Oklahoma City, Okla., has been awarded an $18,500,038 firm-fixed-price contract for the T-1A Avionics Modification program. This contract provides for the replacement of the avionics suite in the T-1A fleet of 178 aircraft, 16 operational flight trainers, and 14 part task trainers. Work will be performed in Oklahoma City; Randolph Air Force Base, Texas; Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.; Vance Air Force Base, Okla.; Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas; and Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.. Work is expected to be complete by Aug. 14, 2025. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and eight offers were received. Fiscal 2017 2018 procurement funds in the amount of $18,500,038 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., is the contracting activity (FA8106-18-C-0002). (Source: DoD, 02/14/18)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Interest in SSC park high

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – There's been a "good bit of interest" in an effort to create a research and industrial park bordering Stennis Space Center (SSC), with at least 16 entities and 58 individuals expressing interest. That's according to Randy Galloway, deputy director of the NASA rocket engine test facility, who talked about the proposed Enterprise Park during a question-and-answer session with traditional and social media Monday. Galloway said the park was discussed with interested parties during a Feb. 7 Industry Day event. In December NASA opened a search for a non-federal partner to lead in development of a 1,100-acre technology corridor in the first phase of a multi-phase project. Enterprise Park would be for companies that want to work with NASA or other SSC tenants but don't want to be six or seven miles away or don't want to go through the security measures required at SSC. The 1,100 acres, identified as the most development-ready, is on the northern edge of the 13,800-acre secured area and would include property both inside and outside the security perimeter. "I believe we can have something that's dynamic and appealing and a good source of long-term jobs for this community," Galloway said about the proposed park. (Source: GCAC, 02/12/18) Previous

Friday, February 9, 2018

Officer going to Pentagon

Col. Michael E. Martin of the 24th Special Operations Wing, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla., who was selected earlier this week for the grade of brigadier general, is being assigned as director, Integrated Resilience Office, Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. The announcement was made by the office of the Air Force chief of staff. (Source: DoD, 02/09/18)

AF grounds NASP T-6s

PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Air Force has grounded some training flights at Naval Air Station Pensacola because of hypoxia-related issues experienced by pilots at other bases flying T-6 Texan II A aircraft. The Pensacola News Journal reports that Randy Martin, a spokesman for the San Antonio-based 12th Flying Squadron, said the Air Force has 22 of the planes at NAS Pensacola. The plens are used to train combat systems officers as part of its 479th Fighter Group at the Navy base. Earlier this month the Air Force grounded its entire fleet of T-6 Texan II A planes after pilots experienced hypoxia due to lack of oxygen in flight. Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Fla., flies a different version of the T-6 Texan II. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 02/08/18)

Consul visits Mobile's MAAS

MOBILE, Ala. – Officials from Dublin-based MAAS Aviation and the Atlanta-based consul general of Ireland were in Mobile Thursday. The consul, Shane Stephens, was with a delegation of European representatives to visit the Gulf Coast to celebrate European investments in this part of the world. MAAS set up shop at the Mobile Aeroplex to paint planes for the Airbus assembly line. Later it built another paint facility for after-market customers. Just a year after breaking ground, it’s repainted some 40 planes. MAAS officials said they are excited about the growth potential of the Mobile area. (Sources: al.com, WALA-TV, WKRG-TV, 02/08/18)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Whiting wins award

Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Fla., was the winner in the medium-sized shore command category of the 2017 Navy Community Service Environmental Stewardship Flagship awards. The awards program highlights commands and ships that exhibit strong commitment to environmental stewardship via volunteer service projects. Naval Air Technical Training Center Pensacola, Fla., was an honorable mention in the large shore command category. The Environmental Stewardship Flagship is one of five flagships that comprise the Navy Community Service program. The four remaining flagships include Personal Excellence Partnership, Project Good Neighbor, Campaign Drug Free and Health, Safety and Fitness. The deputy chief of naval operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics announced the winners. (Source: Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environment Readiness Division, 02/08/18)

Contract: Boeing, $21M

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., has been awarded a $20,970,424 contract for the procurement of GBU-57 massive ordnance penetrators. Work will be performed in St. Louis and is expected to be complete by July 31, 2020. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2016 production funds in the amount of $20,970,424 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8681-18-C-0038). (Source: DoD, 02/08/18)

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Appointment announced

Air Force Brig. Gen. Vincent K. Becklund has been nominated for appointment to the rank of major general. Becklund is currently serving as the special assistant to the commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla. (Source: DoD, 02/07/18)

Eglin duo earn awards

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. – The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center announced its annual award winners Jan. 25. Winners will compete at the next level for Air Force Materiel Command’s annual awards. AFNWC 2017 annual award winners included Field Grade Officer of the Year, Maj. Kenton Feldman and Category IV Civilian of the Year, Wesley Treadway, both of the Air Delivered Capabilities Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The center is responsible for synchronizing all aspects of nuclear materiel management on behalf of the AF’s materiel command in direct support of the AF Global Strike Command. Headquartered at Kirtland, the center has some 1,100 personnel assigned to 17 locations worldwide, including Eglin. (Source: Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, 02/06/18)

Falcon Heavy nails it

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The SpaceX Falcon Heavy, the most powerful commercial rocket in the world, roared skyward Tuesday afternoon atop a pillar of smoke in a visually spectacular launch. But that was just the beginning. Two of the three boosters made vertical landings back at Kennedy Space Center, while the third booster scheduled to land on a drone ship hit the ocean about 100 yards from the ship. It was the most ambitious project so far for California-based SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk. The 23-story rocket was built with three of the company's proven Falcon 9 rockets, providing a total of 27 Merlin engines that generated a combined 5 million pounds of thrust. It lifted an unusual cargo into orbit. It was Musk’s Tesla Roadster with a dummy in the driver’s seat. The end goal is that the car would drift in space in an orbit around the sun. Falcon Heavy is more powerful and can lift more weight than the biggest rockets offered by either United Launch Alliance or Arianespace. It was a crucial win for commercial space exploration. A recent report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch forecast the size of the space industry octupling over the next three decades to at least $2.7 trillion. (Sources: including CNBC, BBC, Business Insider, 02/06/18) Gulf Coast note: SpaceX is using Stennis Space Center, Miss., to develop its next generation Raptor engines.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

First A320neo engine delivered

UTC Aerospace Systems recently delivered the first two fully integrated propulsion systems for the Airbus 320neo to the Airbus final assembly line in Mobile, Ala. The newly expanded UTC facility in Foley, Ala., integrated the full nacelle system, designed and built by UTC Aerospace Systems, with the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM Geared Turbofan engine (GTF). In 2011, Airbus selected UTC Aerospace Systems to design, manufacture and support the full nacelle system for the A320neo GTF engines for the life of the program. In support of the Airbus A320neo program, UTC Aerospace System elected to expand the Foley campus to meet customer demand. The 80,000 square foot expansion began operations in late 2017. "This first for our Foley facility comes on the heels of similar A320neo propulsion systems deliveries from our plants in Toulouse, France; Hamburg, Germany; and, more recently, Tianjin, China," said UTC Aerospace Systems – Aerostructures President Marc Duvall. "Our team in Foley delivered these initial units on time, and look forward to doing the same as the site ramps up to deliver thousands of A320neo nacelles over the life of the program." (Sources: UTC via PRNewswire, Markets Insider, 02/05/18) The UTC plant in Foley is about an hour from the Airbus assembly line.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Contract: Lockheed, $119.7M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a not-to-exceed $119,707,000 for modification P00005 to a previously issued firm-fixed-price delivery order 0132 placed against a basic ordering agreement (N00019-15-G-0057). This modification provides for the procurement of initial air vehicle deployment spares packages in support of Air Force F-35 air vehicle delivery schedules. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (24.4 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (9.1 percent); Owego, N.Y. (8.6 percent); Samlesbury, United Kingdom (7.2 percent); Cheltenham, United Kingdom (6.2 percent); Nashua, N.H. (5.8 percent); Torrance, Calif. (5.5 percent); Orlando, Fla. (4.9 percent); Cedar Rapids, Iowa (3.7 percent); San Diego, Calif. (3.6 percent); Phoenix, Ariz. (3.1 percent); Melbourne, Fla. (3.1 percent); Irvine, Calif. (2.5 percent); N. Amityville, N.Y. (2.4 percent); Windsor Locks, Conn. (2.2 percent); Baltimore, Md. (2.2 percent); Papendrect, Netherlands (1.9 percent); Rolling Meadows, Ill. (1.8 percent); and Alpharetta, Ga. (1.8 percent), and is expected to be completed in July 2022. Fiscal 2017 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $119,707,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 02/05/18) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Jet fuel spills at Eglin

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — The Florida Department if Environmental Protection announced Friday that 2,607 gallons of Jet-A fuel spilled at Eglin Air Force Base. The spill occurred in Building 92 on Jan. 5 after a switch box froze, activating fuel pumps and overfilling an underground storage tank. Absorbents were put in place to soak up the fuel and the Emergency Response Contractor cleaned the area. Jet-A fuel costs about $5 per gallon. (Source: News Herald, 02/03/18)

Friday, February 2, 2018

Contract: Lockheed, $148M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded $147,963,919 for modification P00033 to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-12-C-0070). This modification provides for the procurement of Israel-unique weapons certification, modification kits, and electronic warfare analysis in support of the F-35 Lightning II Israel system design and development to provide 3F+ fleet capability for the government of Israel under the Foreign Military Sales program. Work will be performed in Orlando, Fla. (37.1 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (17.6 percent); Fort Worth, Texas (17.2 percent); Nashua, N.H. (10.3 percent); Samlesbury, United Kingdom (9.8 percent); South Bend, Ind. (6.7 percent); St. Louis, Mo. (1.1 percent); and Wallingford, Conn. (0.2 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2021. Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $147,963,919 will be obligated at time of award. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 02/02/18) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.