Friday, September 30, 2011

Shelby: Airbus still eyeing Mobile

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - EADS is looking into whether it's feasible to build commercial airplanes in Mobile, Ala. That's according to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala. In an interview with the Birmingham News after a symposium address, Shelby said that while EADS didn't win the competition against Boeing to build tankers for the Air Force -- a loss that ended EADS' plans to put an assembly plant in Mobile -- the senator said EADS's Airbus may end up building commercial airplanes in Mobile. "They're looking to see if it's feasible," Shelby said. Shelby was a participant at a symposium in Tuscaloosa hosted by GE Aviation, which is building an engine coatings plant in Auburn. (Source: Birmingham News, 09/30/11) Gulf Coast note: GE Aviation also has an engine components plant in Batesville, Miss., and is building another one near Hattiesburg in South Mississippi.

Contract: L-3 Vertex, $139M

L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC of Madison, Miss. is being awarded a $138,968,513 firm fixed price contract modification to exercise FY12 options for logistics support for the T -1A aircraft at Pensacola Naval Air Station, Fla., and several Air Force bases. Services included are contractor operated maintained supply, over and above, on-equipment, maintenance, data and field services representatives. This action is to exercise option period 1, Oct. 1, 2011 through Sept. 30, 2012. OC-ALC/GKSKA, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 09/30/11)

Contract: Sikorsky, $49.6M

Sikorsky Support Services Inc., Pensacola, Fla., is being awarded a $49,578,210 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery, requirements contract to exercise an option for logistics services and materials for organizational, intermediate, and depot level maintenance to support 273 T-34, 54 T-44 and 62 T-6 aircraft based primarily at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, NAS Whiting Field, Fla. and NAS Pensacola, Fla. Work will be performed in Corpus Christi, Texas (50 percent), Whiting Field, Fla. (39 percent), Pensacola, Fla. (8 percent), and various sites within the continental United States (3 percent).Work is expected to be completed in February 2012. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 09/30/11)

Fire Scout completes flight on biofuel

U.S. Navy photo
PATUXENT RIVER, Md. - The Navy reached a milestone in its quest to gain energy independence today when an MQ-8B Fire Scout, built in part in Mississippi, successfully flew the first unmanned biofueled flight. The Fire Scout was fueled with a combination of JP-5 aviation fuel and plant-based camelina. The biofuel blend reduces carbon dioxide output by 75 percent when compared to conventional aviation fuel. The unmanned helicopter provides situational awareness, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting data to forward deployed warfighter, and can operate from all air capable ships and is currently providing ISR support in its first-land based deployment in U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Fire Scout is the seventh aircraft to demonstrate the versatility of biofuel through its use in all facets of naval aviation. (Source: NNS, 09/30/11) Gulf Coast note: Fire Scouts are built in part at the Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point, Miss.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Vitter: Michoud will build SLS components

NASA has chosen Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to build components of its new heavy-lift rocket, according to Sen. David Vitter, R-La. Vitter released a statement today saying the decision is "big big news for southeast Louisiana." Earlier this month NASA unveiled the design of the rocket. NASA plans to build several components at Michoud, including manufacturing core stage and upper stage, the instrument ring and integrating engines with core and upper stages. (Source: Sen. David Vitter, 09/29/11) Stennis Space Center, Miss., is testing the engines for the SLS.

Hawk trainer to visit AF bases

Hawk is prepared for flight to the BAE Systems 
facility in Crestview, Fla.  BAE Systems photo 
Two United Kingdom Royal Air Force Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers will demonstrate their advanced capabilities at U.S. Air Force bases nationwide, according to BAE Systems Inc. BAE is offering the Hawk AJTS as the replacement for the T-38 trainer as part of the U.S. Air Force’s T-X program. BAE announced last week that it will be the prime contractor and Northrop Grumman will serve as the manufacturing partner for the new Hawk aircraft, which will be built in the United States. (Source: BAE Systems via Business Wire, 09/29/11) Gulf Coast note: BAE and Northrop are mum about where the Hawk would be built, but Aviation Week reports that Northrop has been hoping to secure work for its Lake Charles, La., plant.

NASA tests commercial AJ26 engine

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - Engineers at NASA's Stennis Space Center conducted a test of an Aerojet AJ26 flight engine Sept. 28 that will power the first stage of Orbital Sciences Corp's Taurus II space launch vehicle. The AJ26 engine test supports Orbital's development activities to provide commercial cargo resupply flights to the International Space Station that are scheduled to begin in 2012. The company is scheduled to demonstrate its Taurus II rocket and its Cygnus cargo transportation system in a mission scheduled for later this year under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) research and development initiative. The test on the E-1 Test Stand was performed by a team of Orbital, Aerojet and Stennis engineers. Data from the test will be reviewed and verified before the engine is delivered to the Wallops Flight Facility launch site in Virginia for installation on the Taurus II rocket's first-stage core. (Source: NASA, 09/28/11)

NASA conducts J-2X test

NASA/SSC photo
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - NASA conducted a 40-second test of the J-2X rocket engine Sept. 28, the most recent in a series of tests of the next-generation engine selected as part of the Space Launch System designed to carry humans into deep space. It was a test at the 99 percent power level to gain a better understanding of start and shutdown systems as well as modifications that had been made from previous test firing results. The test came two weeks after NASA announced plans for the new SLS to be powered by core-stage RS-25 D/E and upper-stage J-2X engines. The liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen J-2X is being developed for NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. (Source: NASA, 09/28/11)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Contract: Amherst Systems, $11.4M

Amherst Systems Inc., Buffalo, N.Y., is being awarded an $11,400,000 maximum firm-fixed-price contract to provide sustaining engineering services support (SESS) on government-owned B-1, B-2, B-52, and fighter test facilities' threat simulations. SESS will consist of recurring and non-recurring engineering tasks in support of the combat electromagnetic environment simulators and the advanced multiple environment simulators threat simulators located in various test facilities. AAC/PKES, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 09/27/11)

Contract: Lockheed Martin, $187M

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded an $187,000,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to a previously awarded advance acquisition contract. This modification provides additional funding for recurring sustainment support, and system engineering sustainment activities necessary to meet the requirement and delivery schedule of this low rate initial production, lot five, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Work will be performed in Eglin, Fla. (60 percent); Fort Worth, Texas (15 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (5 percent); Warton, United Kingdom (5 percent); Orlando, Fla. (5 percent); Nashua, N.H. (5 percent); and Baltimore, Md. (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in May 2012. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 09/27/11)

Contract: Rolls-Royce Defense, $99.9M

Rolls-Royce Defense Services Inc., Indianapolis, Ind., is being awarded a $99,919,152 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price requirements contract to exercise an option for intermediate and depot-level maintenance and related support for in-service T-45 F405-RR-401 Adour engines under the power-by-the-hour arrangement. In addition, this modification provides for inventory control, sustaining engineering and configuration management, as well as integrated logistics support and required engineering elements necessary to support the F405-RR-401 engine at the organization level. Work will be performed at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville, Texas (48 percent); NAS Meridian, Miss. (47 percent); NAS Pensacola, Fla. (4 percent); and NAS Patuxent River, Md. (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2012. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 09/27/11)

Contract: Intergraph Gvt Solutions, $9.9M

Intergraph Government Solutions, Madison, Ala., is being awarded a $9,950,000 firm-fixed-price, time-and-material contract for procurement of information technology engineering systems, hardware, software, systems integration/design, and software development support services, related training, maintenance, and spare parts. Work will be performed in Philadelphia, Pa.; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Hampton Roads, Va.; Puget Sound, Wash.; and Kittery, Maine. Work is expected to be completed by September 2011. This contract was not awarded through full and open competition. Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support, Mechanicsburg, Pa., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 09/27/11)

Contracts: L-3 Vertex, $123.1M; $23.6M

L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC., Madison, Miss., is being awarded a $123,180,168 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery, requirements contract to exercise an option for logistics services and materials for organizational, intermediate, and depot-level maintenance required to support 36 T-45A, and 168 T-45C, aircraft based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian, Miss.; NAS Kingsville, Texas; NAS Pensacola, Fla., and NAS Patuxent River, Md. This requirement also includes the organizational level maintenance for the engine. Work will be performed in Kingsville, Texas (57 percent); Meridian, Miss. (36 percent); Pensacola, Fla. (6 percent); and Patuxent River (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2012. In addition, the company is being awarded a $23,539,003 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery requirements contract for contractor logistics support and Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD) support for the T-39 Undergraduate Military Flight Officer (UMFO) Training Program. This effort includes support of the UMFO government-owned T-39N and T-39G aircraft and associated equipment, including organizational and depot-level repair. In addition, this provides intermediate level maintenance and support for Chief of Naval Air Training aircraft, transient aircraft, tenant, and other services activities at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Fla., and NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, and surrounding areas through the AIMD. Work will be performed in Pensacola, Fla. (75 percent), and Corpus Christi, Texas (25 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2012. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity for both awards. (Source: DoD, 09/27/11)

F-35 inches closer to training role

Four F-35s at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., could be flying next month, according to Aviation Week. F-35 program officials are awaiting a clearance from the procurement community to begin flight operations at Eglin, a step closer to pilot training. The Air Force’s Aeronautical Systems Center in Ohio, which oversees procurement of service aircraft, are reviewing data collected during a period of "maturity flights" using two conventional-takeoff-and-landing F-35As at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Tom Burbage, executive vice president of F-35 integration at Lockheed Martin, says he hopes to have the first F-35 flying at Eglin by Oct. 31. The four F-35As at Eglin right now are supporting maintenance training. (Source: Aviation Week, 09/27/11)

Eglin chosen for installation award

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - For the second year in a row, Air Force Materiel Command selected Eglin Air Force Base for the Commander-in-Chief's 2012 Annual Award for Installation Excellence. "This is a tremendous honor," said Col. Sal Nodjomian, the 96th Air Base Wing commander. "Our Team Eglin warriors produce award-worthy work each and every day ... whether it's bedding down our new mission partners, providing world-class medical support, training tomorrow's warriors, or turning jets on the flightline." Eglin will compete against other command winners for the Air Force level award. Each finalist base will be visited by an inspection team next year. The winner is traditionally announced in April. (Source: Team Eglin Public Affairs, 09/27/11)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Contract: L-3 Vertex, $11.3M

L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace, Madison, Miss., is being awarded an $11,345,639 firm-fixed-price contract modification for trainer maintenance at Sheppard Air Force-Base, Texas, and satellite site at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. This action is to exercise option period one, Oct. 1, 2011 through Sept. 30, 2012. 82nd Contracting Squadron/LGCA, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 09/26/11)

NASA restructuring contracting program

NASA is restructuring its contracting program as the agency's missions change. Contractors are anticipating a new initiative worth millions over nearly 10 years. The initiative, known as the Test and Operations Support Contract, covers ground systems work now being done by Boeing and the United Space Alliance. The new program would provide NASA with services related to managing the ground systems used for flight launches, such as maintaining equipment, overseeing landings and performing simulations and experiments. (Source: Washington Post, 09/25/11) Gulf Coast note: In this region NASA has Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans.

GE Aviation encouraged about future

Ohio-based GE Aviation is marking 40 years in the commercial aviation business and feeling good about the future. The company landed orders for more than $27 billion in engines and services at the Paris Air Show in June, and GE Aviation is ramping up production. It added 1,000 jobs across its U.S. manufacturing operations over the past three years and plans to add another 1,000 over the next three years. That includes 200 jobs in Dayton, Ohio, 400 new jobs at two component plants in Mississippi and 400 more across its 20 U.S. operating plants. (Source: Cincinnati Enquirer, 09/25/11) Gulf Coast note: One of the Mississippi plants is in Ellisville, near Hattiesburg.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Aero medical lab moves to Ohio

PENSACOLA, Fla. - A long-time member of Naval Air Station Pensacola closed its doors earlier this month for points north. The Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory closed Sept. 2 and moved to new facilities at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. The move of the lab, which employed 65, was dictated by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 2005. Wright-Patterson is headquarters of the Air Force Research Laboratory. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 09/25/11)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Contract: Jacobs Technology, $42.4M

Jacobs Technology Inc., Fort Walton Beach, Fla., is being awarded $42,442,430 under a previously awarded contract. This effort is for the continuity of services contract to continue information technology services until the transition to the next generation Enterprise Network is accomplished. Work will be performed in Quantico, Va., and is expected to be completed in June 2014. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals with two offers received. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 09/23/11)

Contracts: Northrop Grumman, $17M

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $17,098,027 contract for the Rapid Deployment Capability Weaponization Program in support of the MQ-8B Fire Scout System. This contract includes the installation, engineering, manufacturing, and data development of the weapons systems. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and Grand Rapids, Mich., and is expected to be completed in March 2013. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 09/22/11) Gulf Coast note: Fire Scouts are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

RS-68A completes test series

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne successfully completed a series of hot-fire tests on the certified RS-68A engine, the world’s most powerful hydrogen-fueled engine, at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, Miss. The tests demonstrated the capability of the engine to operate for 4,800 seconds of cumulative run time, four times the design life of the engine and more than 10 times what's needed to boost a United Launch Alliance heavy-lift rocket into space. The RS-68A, which evolved from the RS-68, is a liquid-hydrogen/liquid-oxygen booster engine designed for the Delta IV family of launch vehicles. In addition, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and NASA have begun testing on the upper-stage J-2X engine. To date, five hot-fire tests have been conducted on the J-2X, which could be used to boost humans beyond low-Earth orbit. (Source: Pratt & Whitney via PRNewswire, 09/22/11)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

United Technologies to buy Goodrich

United Technologies Corp. will buy Goodrich Corp. for $18.4 billion, including $1.9 billion in net debt assumed. Closing on the deal is subject to customary approvals. Once completed, United Technologies, of Hartford, Conn., is expected to have worldwide sales of $66 billion based on projected 2011 results, as well as a stronger position in the aerospace and defense industry. Goodrich, based in Charlotte, N.C., supplies landing gear, aircraft wheels and brakes to the aerospace and defense industry. United Technology builds engines, helicopters and other aviation-related products. (Source: PRNewswire, 09/21/11) Gulf Coast note: Goodrich has its Alabama Service Center in Foley, Ala. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a United Technologies company, assembles and tests rockets at Stennis Space Center, Miss.

New STEM curriculum released

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – The Stennis Education Office has released its new "Food for Thought" teaching curriculum and interactive website. It uses the idea of food in space to teach students such topics as caloric content and nutritional value of food, while challenging them to build space robots, design a better microgravity coffee cup and create a space cookie recipe. The curriculum is the third produced by the Stennis education team, all within the last 15 months. It's part of NASA's Teaching from Space initiative, designed to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning by students. (Source: NASA, 09/09/11)

Contract: Del-Jen, $24.6M

Del-Jen Inc., Clarksville, Tenn., is being awarded a $24,640,037 modification under a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to exercise option four, for base operations support services at Naval Air Station Pensacola and surrounding areas (Saufley Field, Corry Station, and Bronson Field). The work to be performed provides for public works administration including labor, management, supervision, materials, supplies and more. The total contract amount after exercise of this option will be $118,523,007. Work will be performed in Pensacola, Fla., and is expected to be completed by September 2012. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 09/21/11)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Florida joining Aerospace Alliance

SANDESTIN, Fla. – The inaugural Aerospace Alliance Summit drew about 140 participants to Sandestin Beach Resort over two days to discuss ways expand the industry in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. Florida officials said the entire state will be joining the Alliance formed more than two-years ago. Up to now, Florida was represented by Florida's Great Northwest, an economic development group. "Florida is proud to be a partner, a full partner," said Florida lieutenant governor Jennifer Carroll. The summit was attended by a variety of aerospace companies, economic development officials and business leaders from the four states. Organizers say plans are to hold another summit next year in one of the four states that are part of the group. (Source: MobilePress-Register, Northwest Florida Daily News, 09/16/11)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Contract: Rehabilitation Svcs, $8.1M

Rehabilitation Services Mississippi, Madison, Miss., is being awarded an $8,113,168 firm-fixed-price contract modification to provide full food services at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The 81st Contracting Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 09/15/11)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

NASA unveils SLS

NASA unveiled plans for the Space Launch System rocket, designed to take astronauts into deep space. Administrator Charles Bolden said at a Wednesday news conference that the heavy-lift SLS, more powerful than the Saturn V, will fly in 2017. It will allow astronauts to reach asteroids and Mars. SLS will be designed to carry the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, as well as cargo, equipment and science experiments, and will be a backup for transportation services to the International Space Station. It will use technologies from the Space Shuttle and Constellation programs to leverage proven hardware and tooling and manufacturing technology. It will use a liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propulsion system, which will include the RS-25D/E from the Space Shuttle for the core stage and the J-2X engine for the upper stage. (Sources: Multiple, including Huntsville Times, Space Travel, Los Angeles Times, 09/14/11) Gulf Coast note: Stennis Space Center, Miss., does rocket engine testing and assembly of the J-2X. It also tested all the Space Shuttle Main Engines. Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans has been working on Orion.(Story) It's likely to play a role in development of SLS as well.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Flight worthy Orion build begins

NASA photo
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Construction began last week on the first new NASA spacecraft built to take humans to orbit since space shuttle Endeavour left the factory in 1991. Engineers at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans started welding together the first space-bound Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. The first welds were completed Friday using an innovative new friction stir welding process, developed especially for Orion construction. The process creates a seamless, leak-proof bond that has proven stronger and higher in quality than can be achieved with conventional welding. After welding is completed at Michoud, the Orion spacecraft orbital test article will be shipped to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where the heat shield will be installed. At Kennedy, it will undergo final assembly and checkout operations for flight. The first “flight worthy” Orion is set to launch in the summer of 2013. (Source: NASA, 09/09/11)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Navy to buy larger Fire Scouts

Northrop Grumman photo
The Navy is to award Northrop Grumman a contract to supply 28 MQ-8C Fire Scout "rapid deployment capability" unmanned helicopters using the larger Bell 407 helicopter airframe to increase endurance and payload. The notice of intent says the aircraft are to be fielded by the first quarter of 2014. The Navy also evaluated the Boeing Hummingbird and Lockheed Martin/Kaman K-Max, but opted for the 407 airframe jointly developed by Northrop Grumman and Bell as the Fire-X and first flown in December. The MQ-8C will use the same systems as the MQ-8B, which is on the smaller Schweizer 333 helicopter airframe. (Source: Aviation Week, 09/09/11) Gulf Coast note: The MQ-8B is built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Development gets mine defense business

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - The St. Joe Co. on Thursday officially welcomed ITT Corp.'s mine defense business to the VentureCrossings Enterprise Centre at West Bay, the development's first corporate tenant. ITT will be moving into a 105,000-square-foot facility. VentureCrossings is St. Joe's initial project in the West Bay Sector Plan, a 75,000-acre development that will include office, industrial, manufacturing, hotel, retail and residential uses. Sites offer direct ramp access and access to the 10,000-foot runway at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. (Source: Panama City News Herald, 09/08/11)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Contract: CYE, $25M

CYE Enterprises Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., is being awarded a $25,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract to furnish all plants, materials, labor, equipment, and all operations in connection with repairing and replacing roofs, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., per the statement of work and roofing specifications. AAC/PKOA, Eglin Air Force Base, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 09/08/11)

Contract: Jacobs, $20.2M

Jacobs Technology Inc., Tullahoma, Tenn., is being awarded a $20,255,460 indefinite-delivery, quantity cost-plus-award-fee, and cost-reimbursement contract modification to provide technical, engineering, and acquisition support at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. AAC/PKES, Eglin Air Force Base is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 09/08/11)

NG sees global sales opportunities

Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush said his company, which builds the Global Hawk surveillance plane, can bolster its international sales of unmanned systems. He also said at the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit that he felt the U.S. government was taking steps to try to loosen export curbs on some arms. The Obama administration has been consulting Congress on plans to sell unmanned Global Hawks to South Korea. International sales currently are less than 10 percent of Northrop Grumman’s overall sales. (Source: Reuters, 09/07/11) Gulf Coast note: Global Hawks are made in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Contract: MacAulay-Brown, $26M

MacAulay-Brown, Inc., Dayton, Ohio, is being awarded a $25,969,228 firm-fixed-price delivery order with estimated cost line items under General Services Administration multiple-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity alliant government-wide acquisition contract for information technology and intelligence services. Specialized Contracting, HQ AFSOC/A7KQ, Hurlburt Field, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 09/02/11)

Two more F-35s arrive

Lockheed Martin photo
Two Lockheed Martin F-35As arrived at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., this week, joining two earlier arrivals that will be used for training pilots and maintainers at the new F-35 Integrated Training Center. The jets left Wednesday from Fort Worth, Texas, along with two F-16 escorts for the 90-minute flight. The two F-35s are AF-10 and AF-11 from the second lot of low-rate production aircraft. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 08/31/11)

Recycler plans Pensacola operation

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Pennsylvania-based stainless steel scrap recycler Cronimet Corp. plans to locate a manufacturing facility in Pensacola in early November, creating 15 manufacturing and administrative jobs. Cronimet recovers and reprocesses stainless steel and high-grade alloys for manufacturers, including the aerospace industry. The announcement was made by Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Jim Hizer and chamber Chairman Collier Merrill. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 09/01/11)

Accurate hurricane forecasting at risk?

There are concerns that budget cuts could jeopardize future accurate hurricane forecasting. Proposed cuts in the budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and in funding for new satellites could undermine the National Hurricane Center's forecasting ability. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson told reporters in a visit to NHC headquarters in Miami that defunding NOAA programs was "like cutting off your nose to spite your face." Nelson said there was also talk about possible Defense Department cuts to funding for the 10 C-130 Super Hercules "hurricane hunter" planes based in Biloxi, Miss. He vowed that the proposed cuts would be halted in the Senate, saying the "hurricane hunter" program was about "saving lives and trying to lessen property damage." (Source: Reuters, 09/01/11)