Friday, November 28, 2008

Shuttle to land Sunday

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The space shuttle Endeavour crew is expected to complete its mission to the International Space Station with a landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 1:19 p.m. EST Nov. 30. This will conclude a 16-day flight, 11 of which were spent docked to the station. (Source: NASA, 11/28/08) NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi tests shuttle engines and Michoud Assembly Facility builds external tanks.

Contract: Raytheon, $13.9M

Raytheon Technical Services Co., Mass., is being awarded a $13,907,542 modification to continue transitioning the Wide-body Airborne Sensor Platform from initial operating capability to full. Work will be performed at the contractor’s facility and its subcontractor, Aeroframe Services LLC, in Lake Charles, La. The Missile Defense Agency, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/28/08)

USM may lease plane

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The University of Southern Mississippi is considering leasing a Beechcraft King Air 200 for five years from the USM Foundation for some $1.9 million. No paperwork has been signed and details are still under consideration. The University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University both have airplanes. (Source: Hattiesburg American, 11/28/08)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Second runway pondered

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - The Panama City-Bay County Airport Authority set a Dec. 19 deadline to vote on a second runway at the international airport under construction. The hope is to add a 5,000-foot crosswind runway that will handle smaller aircraft and make traffic less congested on the 10,000-foot concrete runway now being built. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 11/27/08)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pratt & Whitney buys ARDE

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne completed the acquisition of ARDE, Inc., a manufacturer of high performance spacecraft and missile propulsion components. ARDE of Carlstadt, N.J., produces pressure vessels, propellant tanks and support structures and provides integration of propulsion subassemblies. (Source: PRNewswire, 11/25/08) Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has an operation at Stennis Space Center, Miss.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Contract: Raytheon, $6M

The Air Force is modifying a firm fixed price contract with Raytheon Co., Missile Systems Tucson, Ariz. for $6 million. This contract will upgrade two guided weapons test Set to AIM-120D capability, spares, and additional GPS. 695ARSS, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/25/08)

Contract: McDonnell, $96M

The Air Force is awarding a firm fixed price, cost plus fixed fee contract to McDonnell Douglas Corp., St. Louis, Mo., for $96 million to provide Small Diameter Bomb Aircraft Weapon Systems on various aircraft. 681 ARSS/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/25/08)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Teledyne cuts workforce

MOBILE, Ala. - Teledyne Continental Motors cut 60 jobs due to the decline of the airplane engines and parts market. Twenty-five salaried employees and 35 hourly employees were laid off Thursday and Friday. The company has about 440 employees now at its Brookley Field Industrial Complex plant. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/22/08)

Friday, November 21, 2008

AF delays Eglin F-35 decision

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The Air Force postponed the record of decision for the initiation of the Joint Strike Fighter training school at Eglin Air Force Base. The delay will give the Air Force time to run tests on the new F-35 and explore alternative locations on the base for its bed down (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 11/21/08). The city of Valparaiso has been concerned over the noise of the F-35 and is suing the Air Force for additional information.

7th SFG move to Eglin begins

WASHINGTON - Air Force officials signed a record of decision that begins the process for the Army's 7th Special Forces Group to bed down at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The group will be located west of Duke Field. The cantonment area includes operations and maintenance facilities, housing, dining facilities, and munitions storage and loading facilities. Some 5.1 million square feet of buildings and hard surfaces will be built between 2009 and 2011. (Source: Air Force News Service, 11/21/08)

Young to advise new tanker approach

WASHINGTON - Pentagon acquisition chief John Young said he and Defense Secretary Robert Gates will advise the next administration to take a two-step approach to the $35 billion tanker competition between Boeing and Northrop Grumman/EADS. Reuters reports it would hinge on the best-priced offer after bidders had shown an ability to meet stripped-down set of requirements. (Source: Reuters, 11/21/08). RADS wants to assemble the planes in Mobile, Ala., and Boeing wants to do so in Washington State.

Contract: American Security, $29.7M

American Security Programs, Inc., Dulles, Va., was awarded $29.7 million to exercise an option under a previously awarded security services contract. Work includes guard and non-guard services at NSA Orlando, Fla.; CBC Gulfport, Miss.; NAS Meridian, Miss.; NWS Charleston, S.C.; NSA Athens, Ga.; NAS Atlanta, Ga.; NSA Panama City, Fla.; NAS Whiting Field, Fla.; and NAS Kingsville, Texas. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/20/08)

INFINITY science center launches

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - The INFINITY Science Center broke ground Thursday on the Interstate 10 facility that's expected to draw 400,000 people a year. The center will highlight the work being done at the neighboring NASA Stennis Space Center. It will include exhibits, interactive galleries, theaters, a gift shop and cafeteria. The board is continuing a fundraising to get the final $4 million needed for the project. Opening is expected in the fall of 2010. (Source: Sun Herald, 11/21/08)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Contract: Virtual Media, $8.3M

Virtual Media Integration, Ltd., Pensacola, Fla., is being awarded an $8.3 million contract for the procurement of 5 pre-production Computed Radiography System units and up to 100 production units. The system is a portable nondestructive testing technique used for processing radiographic film. These systems will be used to inspect for defects and perform alignment measurements. Work will be performed in Pensacola. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J. is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/20/08)

Goldman named Stennis director

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - NASA named Arthur E. (Gene) Goldman as the new director of John C. Stennis Space Center. The promotion of Mississippi native Goldman, the center's deputy director since October 2006, is effective immediately. He replaces Bob Cabana, who left in October to become the director of Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Stennis is NASA's primary testing ground for propulsion systems. (Source: NASA, 11/20/08)

Crosslink partners with USM

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The University of Southern Mississippi signed a lease with Missouri-based Crosslink to provide research space in the university's polymer science building. Crosslink has worked with Southern Miss polymer science researchers since 2004. Previous collaborations include a some with military applications. Crosslink and USM hold a joint patent for a corrosion-inhibiting polymer, and they are working on a "smart" aerospace composite that can alert crew of damage and initiate repair on its own. (Source: University of Southern Mississippi, 11/20/08)

J-2X hot-fire test set for 2010

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - The first hot-fire test of the J-2X engine that will power the Ares I is scheduled for late summer 2010 at John C. Stennis Space Center. The Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne engine recently passed a Critical Design Review in Huntsville, Ala. The CDR means the engine can proceed to full-scale fabrication and assembly in preparation for development testing. (Source: PRNewswire, 11/19/08)

EADS CASA tax breaks OKd

MOBILE, Ala. - EADS CASA North America, which plans to add 18 jobs at Mobile Regional Airport in a $6 million project, won abatements Wednesday estimated at about $390,000. The project would include a 27,000-square-foot hangar on the east side of the airport. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/20/08)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

EADS delivers sixth HC-144A

The U.S. Coast Guard has accepted the sixth HC-144A Ocean Sentry aircraft platform from EADS. It's among eight HC-144As ordered as part of the Coast Guard's Deepwater program. The Coast Guard plans to purchase up to 36. The HC-144A is based on EADS CASA's CN-235 transport, part of a family of twin-engine airlifters that includes the C-295 and C-212. U.S. customer support for these aircraft is provided at EADS North America's facility at Mobile Regional Airport in Alabama. (Source: EADS North America, 11/19/08)

EADS CASA eyes expansion

MOBILE, Ala. - EADS CASA, a Spanish subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., is eyeing its facility at the Mobile Regional Airport for a $5.6 million expansion. The company is scheduled to present its plan to the Mobile Industrial Development Board Wednesday. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/19/08)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two Stennis spinoffs highlighted

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - Two technologies developed at Stennis Space Center made the list of NASA's top 50 spinoff technologies. They appear in “Spinoff: 50 Years of NASA-derived Technologies,” designed to celebrate the impact of the space program on everyday life. One Stennis technology is software used to study flow components. NASA uses it to design spacecraft shapes, propulsion devices and more, and the commercial sector uses it for aircraft, auto and boating aerodynamics. The other technology is the Earth Resources Laboratory Applications software developed in 1978. Since then it's been used for processing satellite and airborne sensor imagery, and has been recognized by the Space Technology Hall of Fame. (Source: NASA, 11/18/08)

Board OKs $10K month consultant

MOBILE, Ala. - Mobile Airport Authority board members voted Monday to pay former executive director Bay Haas $10,000 a month as a consultant for 19 months. The board in September announced plans to retain Haas when it hired Bill Sisson as the new chief of the authority. Haas was instrumental in EADS picking Mobile for a tanker project, and the board wants to continue to tap into Haas' expertise and contacts. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/18/08)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blue Angels install new boss

PENSACOLA, Fla. - The Navy Blue Angels held a change of command ceremony Sunday. Cmdr. Greg McWherter is the new team leader, replacing Capt. Kevin Mannix, who has been commander of the flight demonstration team two years. McWherter of Atlanta was named commander in April. The Blue Angels are based at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 11/17/08)

INFINITY breaks ground Thursday

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – After years of anticipation, the INFINITY Science Center moves a step closer to reality Thursday with a ground breaking. The $38 million, 72,000 square-foot center is being built near the Mississippi Welcome Center at Interstate 10. It will have $10 million worth of interactive displays designed to spark interest in science and technology activities at nearby Stennis Space Center. It’s expected to draw 362,000 visitors a year. (Source: Tcp, 11/17/08)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Eglin tests new Warthog capability

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The A-10 Warthog successfully dropped a Laser Joint Directed Attack Munition, or LJDAM, adding another capability to the close air-support warplane. The GBU-54 test was earlier this month. The LJDAM is effective at destroying moving targets, and gives the pilot the ability to update targeting if the target moves while the weapon is in flight. The A-10C and LJDAM will now undergo operational tests. The goal is to deploy the capability by early 2009. (Source: Eglin Air Force Base, 11/14/08)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

F-35 crosses supersonic milestone

FORT WORTH, Texas - The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter flew supersonic for the first time this week, accelerating to Mach 1.05 - about 680 miles per hour. The test was done a full internal load of inert or "dummy" weapons on the one-hour flight. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 11/14/08). Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., will be the home of a Joint Strike Fighter training center.

Endeavor takes off

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Space shuttle Endeavour lifted seven astronauts Friday night for a 15-day mission to prepare the International Space Station for a six-member crew. In the payload bay was an Italian-built cargo carrier with hardware and supplies. (Source: Aviation Week, 11/15/08) The external tanks are made at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and engines tested at Mississippi’s Stennis Space Center.

Park gets restored A-6

MOBILE, Ala – A restored A-6 Intruder is the newest exhibit at Battleship Memorial Park. Acquired from the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Fla., the plane honors Mobile native Jeremiah Denton, who spent more than seven years as a POW in North Vietnam. Denton now lives in Virginia. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/15/08)

Friday, November 14, 2008

J-2X rocket passes review

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - NASA's high-performance rocket engine, the J-2X, completed a critical design review Thursday at Marshall Space Flight Center. The J-2X engine, developed by Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne, is the first element of the Constellation Program to pass this design milestone. The engine will power the upper stage of the Ares I and the Earth departure stage of the Ares V heavy cargo launch vehicle. Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and Stennis Space Center in Mississippi both are involved in the Constellation program. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has an operation at Stennis. (Source: NASA, 11/13/08)

Airport eyes new projects

GULFPORT, Miss. - On the heels of an expansion and improvement project that lasted more than five years and cost more than $50 million, officials at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport are now planning road improvements. The projects could begin within a few months of the December opening of the airport's new parking garage. (Source: The Sun Herald, 11/14/08)

Blue Angels homecoming show begins

PENSACOLA, Fla. - The Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Gates open at 8 a.m. and the Navy flight demonstration team is slated to fly at 2 p.m. The air show in Pensacola, home base for the team, is the traditional last show of the season. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 11/14/08)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Former Stennis chief leaving NASA

WASHINGTON - NASA Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Rick Gilbrech said Wednesday that he's leaving the agency for the private sector. Doug Cooke, deputy associate administrator for the directorate since its inception in January 2004, will become associate administrator effective Nov. 24. Gilbrech was director of Stennis Space Center prior to taking the associate administrator post in August 2007. (Source: NASA, 11/12/08)

Meeting set to discuss suit against AF

VALPARAISO, Fla. - City commissioners will meet with attorneys behind closed doors Friday to discuss a lawsuit against the Air Force. The executive session was scheduled after Monday's public meeting, when Commissioner Brent Smith opposed the city's strategy to obtain information about the Joint Strike Fighter mission coming to Eglin Air Force Base by 2011. City residents are concerned about the noise the F-35s will bring. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 11/12/08)

INFINITY groundbreaking set

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - A groundbreaking ceremony marking the beginning of construction of the 72,000 square-foot INFINITY Science Center is set for Nov 20. The $38 million center will be built near the Mississippi Welcome Center at Interstate 10. The center, funded by the state of Mississippi, NASA and donations, is designed to spark interest in the science activities at nearby Stennis Space Center. (Source: INFINITY Science Center, 11/12/08)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Raptor school graduates first students

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Four student pilots at Tyndall became the first graduates of the Air Force's F-22 Raptor Basic Course. These pilots are the first in the Air Force to have the F-22 as their first operational aircraft rather than transitioning to the Raptor from some other fighter. They graduated Nov. 1. (Source: Air Force News Service, 11/10/08)

Navy pilots learning to fly Global Hawks

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Pilots of the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron are teaching a class of Navy pilots the Global Hawk system. The class of three active-duty P-3 Orion pilots and one civilian contractor is a result of the secretary of defense's call to maximize the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability in support of the war on terrorism. Global Hawks are built in part in Moss Point, Miss. (Source: Air Force News Service, 11/10/08)

F-35 noise, suit discussed at meeting

VALPARAISO, Fla. - A city commission briefing on the impact of a new fighter jet at Eglin Air Force based turned into a debate over whether the city should be suing the Air Force. A colonel told the group the F-35 would be noisier, but said the Air Force is working on the issue. A commissioner brought up the suit and said he wanted it withdrawn. The mayor didn’t want to discuss it, and the city attorney advised against doing so. Valparaiso last month filed suit to get more information on the impact of the Joint Strike Fighter training center. (Source: WEAR-TV3, 11/10/08)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Airport security director named

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Larry Austin, a former Florida highway patrol commander, has been named federal security director for Louis Armstrong International Airport. He succeeds Kevin McCarthy, who was named as security director for the Memphis International Airport.
(Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 11/10/08)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Allegiant to end Gulfport service

GULFPORT, Miss. - Allegiant Air is pulling out of Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport after less than two years of direct flights from the Gulfport to Orlando, Fla. The Las Vegas-based airline will end its services in Gulfport on Jan. 6. The company president and CEO said the Allegiant was unable to make the service economically viable. (Source: Sun Herald, 11/07/08)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Two Blue Angels found guilty

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Two Blue Angels team members, one a pilot, who were removed from duty for an "inappropriate relationship" were found guilty today. The case was turned over to the Navy Personnel Command. The Navy has not identified the man and woman, but one was in the Navy, the other in the Marines. Rear Adm. Mark Guadagnini, chief of Naval air training, presided over the hearing that began Thursday. The Blue Angels flight demonstration team is based at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 11/07/08)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama to emphasize technology

President-elect Barack Obama is expected to emphasize technological investments under national security and space exploration efforts at the expense of Defense Department big-ticket acquisitions. Obama has declared his support for technological innovation across the federal government, but in particular, his campaign says he advocates unmanned aircraft, electronic warfare capabilities and cyber security. The Gulf Coast has operations involved in both space exploration and UAVs. (Source: Aviation Week, 11/05/08)

Fire Scout aboard first LCS

The Navy's first littoral combat ship, USS Freedom, will be commissioned Nov. 8 at a 10 a.m. EST ceremony at Veterans Park, Milwaukee, Wis. Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter will deliver the principal address. A Northrop Grumman Fire Scout helicopter drone is on Freedom and will remain onboard as it transits from Milwaukee to Norfolk, Va. The Fire Scout, built in part in Moss Point, Miss., will contributed to the ship's core missions of mine counter measures, antisubmarine warfare and surface warfare, as well as surveillance, targeting and communication-relay functions. (Source: Navy, Northrop Grumman, 11/05/08)

Some eye longer shuttle program

The space shuttle could continue to fly beyond its scheduled 2010 retirement date, a move that would help keep hundreds of people working at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. But the price tag of such an extension would be $2 billion per year, according to a report released this week. And it would also impact the Constellation program. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 11/05/08)

ST Engineering 3Q report

Singapore Technologies Engineering said Tuesday that third quarter profit rose 3 percent, though earnings in the key aerospace division fell. The company owns ST Mobile Aerospace Engineering, whose 1,600 employees at Mobile's Brookley Field Industrial Complex repair and modify jetliners, snf VT Halter Marine, whose 1,700 employees in Mississippi's Pascagoula, Moss Point and Escatawpa build and repair ships. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/05/08)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ares I-X flight hardware arrives

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The first major flight hardware of the Ares I-X rocket has arrived in Florida to begin preparation for the July 12, 2009, test flight of the agency's next-generation launch system. The Constellation program test flight will allow NASA to gather data during ascent of the integrated Orion crew exploration vehicle and the Ares I rocket. Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and Mississippi's Stennis Space Center both are involved in the Constellation program. (Source: NASA, 11/04/08)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Keesler to host first air show in 5 years

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. – Keesler Air Force Base will host its first air show in five years this April when it presents "Thunder on the Bay." The two-day event April 4-5, 2009, will feature aerial acrobatics and static aircraft displays, though details are still being worked out. The show got its name as a result of a base-wide vote. (Source: Keesler Air Force Base, 11/03/08)

Hurlburt maintainers get DoD award

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. - Maintainers from Hurlburt Field won the Department of Defense Phoenix Award, the highest field-level maintenance award within DoD. The 1st Special Operations Maintenance group won the honor by supporting the generation of 3,200 combat sorties that flew nearly 14,000 hours over hostile territory. (Source: Air Force News Service, 11/03/08)

Northrop gets Army UAV contract

HERNDON, Va. - The Army awarded Northrop Grumman a $97 million contract to procure, modify and deliver 12 Hunter MQ-5B unmanned aerial vehicles and supporting ground stations, data links and spare parts. Northrop’s team include Stark Aerospace, Starkville, Miss.; L-3 Communications, Salt Lake City; Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, Md..; APL GmbH, Germany; and Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.'s TAMAM Division, Israel. Work will primarily be performed at Northrop’s Unmanned Aircraft System Center of Excellence, Sierra Vista, Ariz., and facilities at Starkville. Northrop also has a UAV center in Moss Point, Miss., which has also worked on Hunter aircraft. (Source: Globe Newswire, 11/03/08)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Workers ratify Boeing contract

SEATTLE - Striking Boeing machinists in Washington, Oregon and Kansas voted to ratify a new four-year contract. About 27,000 employees represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers begin returning to work with the third shift Nov. 2. The contract calls for general wage increases of 15 percent over four years, a 16 percent pension increase and lump-sum payments of at least $8,000 over the life of the agreement. (Source: PRNewswire, 11/02/08)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

City to spend more on F-35 suit

VALPARAISO, Fla. - City commissioners voted Friday to more than quadruple their budget to cover the cost of noise experts and other legal expenses in the city's dispute with Eglin Air Force Base. Commissioners in executive session approve an additional $100,000 from the general fund. The city wants to find out more about the noise the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter training center will bring to Eglin. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/31/08)