Sunday, August 31, 2014
Airbus awards security contract
Airbus awarded a $10 million contract to Alaska's Alutiiq Pacific to provide security services at its A320 final assembly line being built in Mobile, Ala. Alutiiq Pacific, a subsidiary of Afognak Native Corp., will begin work in September. It will provide security officers, fire and rescue services, surveillance, control center operation, entry and exit control, reception and more. Open positions will be posted at the Alutiiq jobs site. (Sources: Globe Newswire, al.com, 08/29/14) The $600 million FAL is the fourth one operated by Airbus for the A320. It will open next year and produce its first jetliner in 2016.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Titanium question halts shipments
United Technologies Corp's Pratt and Whitney briefly suspended delivery of the engine for the F-35 in May because of questions about titanium provided to a parts supplier. Pratt said on Friday it discovered conflicting documentation in late May that raised questions about the origin of the titanium, which was also used in parts for engines made by its Pratt and Whitney Canada division. Pratt determined quickly that the material did not pose a flight safety risk. The part will be replaced by attrition. A federal investigation is being conducted. Pratt and Whitney said it was no longer accepting parts made from material provided by the supplier, A&P Alloys. (Source: Reuters, 08/29/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.
Friday, August 29, 2014
Contract: Defense Sup. Svc., $14.9M
Defense Support Services LLC, Marlton, N.J., has been awarded a $14,857,926 modification (P00133) exercising option year six under the Aerial Targets contract FA4890-09-C-0004 The modification provides for Air Combat Command Acquisition Management and Integration Center contracting and program management oversight to include functional and quality assurance support for the aerial targets program which directly supports live-fire weapons system testing and enables the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group in the developmental and operational weapons testing for all air-to-air missiles, and for the F-22, F-35, F-16, and F-15 aircraft. Work will be performed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., and Holloman AFB, N.M., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2015. This action is subject to availability of fiscal 2015 operations and maintenance funding. Air Command Command/AMIC /PKCA, Langley Air Force Base, Va., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/29/14)
Contract: UTC, $9.5M
United Technologies Corp., Pratt and Whitney, Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., is being awarded a $9,468,406 modification to the previously awarded F-35 Lightening II Lot VI Low Rate Initial Production cost-plus incentive fee contract N00019-12-C-0090. This modification provides for support equipment for the F135 propulsion systems to include handling, testing, and maintenance equipment and parts required to keep systems operational such as borescope inspection kits, main engine inlet covers, lift nozzle module slings, lift gearbox adapters, and water wash cart systems. Work will be performed in East Hartford (90 percent), and Indianapolis, Ind. (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2015. Fiscal 2012 aircraft procurement (Marine Corps and Air Force) and international partner funds in the amount of $9,468,406 will be obligated at time of award, $8,139,299 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Marine Corps ($5,455,280; 58 percent); the Air Force ($2,684,019; 28 percent); and the international partners ($1,329,107; 14 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/29/14)
Contract: SAIC, $144M
Science Applications International Corp., McLean, Va., has been awarded a maximum $144,000,000 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for supply chain management of industrial hardware used in aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul. This contract was a competitive acquisition, and five offers were received. This is a three-year base contract, with two two-year options and one three-year option periods. Locations of performance are Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and California, with a Sept. 30, 2017, performance completion date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2015 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa. (SPE5EY-14-D-0562) (Source: DoD, 08/29/14)
Airbus, Boeing vie for $2B order
India's Air One Aviation Pvt. is seeking $2 billion worth of jets to take on Singapore Airline Ltd's venture in the country. Air One, among six companies that last month got initial approval to start airlines in India, is looking at Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s. Air One plans to start full-service flights in mid-2015. (Source: Bloomberg, 08/28/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala., the fourth A320 family FAL that will be operated by the planemaker.
PW close to F135 engine fix
Pratt and Whitney is close to performing tests on a potential design change for its F135 engine following a June fire aboard an F-35 fighter as it was getting ready to take off at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The June 23 fire was caused by "excessive" rubbing of a fan blade inside the engine of an F-35A model, the Air Force variant. Inspectors are still investigating the root cause to determine if it was a manufacturing or design flaw, but in the meantime the company has begun design on a solution. Speaking to Defense News on Aug. 25, Gen. Mark Welsh, the Air Force chief of staff, expressed confidence that the issue was close to being resolved. The fire forced the grounding of the F-35, which was not able to make two shows in the UK. It has been flying with limitations since then. (Source: Navy Times, 08/28/14)
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Contract: Multiple, $537.8M
AMG S&P JV San Antonio, Texas (W9126G-14-D-0045); AWA Wilson JV, Cincinnati, Ohio (W9126G-14-D-0046); Whitesell-Green Inc., Pensacola, Fla. (W9126G-14-D-0047); JSR ECC LLC, Schertz, Texas (W9126G-14-D-0048); SGS LLC, Oklahoma City, Okla. (W9126G-14-D-0049); and Solis Constructors Inc., Austin, Texas (W9126G-14-D-0050), were awarded a $537,840,000 firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for construction services for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Southwestern Division and other Southwestern Fort Worth and Southwestern Division on a limited nationwide basis. Work and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 27, 2019. Bids were solicited via the Internet with 60 received. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth, Texas is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/28/14)
Contract: Bell-Boeing, $21.4M
Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office, Amarillo, Texas, is being awarded $21,395,545 for cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order 0096 against a previously issued Basic Ordering Agreement (N00019-12-G-0006) for non-recurring engineering in support of the MV-22 Integrated Aircraft Survivability Equipment Universal Urgent Needs Statement Effort. This order provides for the replacement of the warning system and radar warning receiver system and upgrades the capabilities of the programmer and associated software. Work will be performed in Ridley Park, Pa. (86 percent); Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (4 percent); Hurst, Texas (2 percent); and Salisbury, Md. (2 percent); and various locations throughout the United States (6 percent), and is expected to be completed in April 2016. Fiscal 2014 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $21,395,545 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, 08/28/14)
Contract: Arete, $10.3M
Areté Associates, Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $10,316,696 modification to previously awarded contract (N61331-11-C-0007) for engineering services in support of AN/DVS-1 Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) Block 1 program. The primary mission of AN/DVS-1 COBRA is to conduct unmanned aerial tactical reconnaissance in littoral battle space for detection and localization of mine fields and obstacles in the surf zone and beach zone prior to amphibious assault. Work will be performed in Tucson and is expected to be completed by March 2017. Fiscal 2014 research, development, test and evaluation contract funds in the amount of $3,446,156 will be obligated at the time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division, Panama City, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/28/14)
QF-16 nears LRIP
The Air Force next week will finalize the conversion of a fleet of F-16s into unmanned target drone aircraft by shooting one with an air-to-air missile fired from an F-15. The missile will not be armed with a warhead. It will mark the final test of the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the QF-16 target program. Boeing in March 2010 was awarded the contract to convert retired F-16 A and C models into QF-16 drones to replace QF-4s that use Vietnam-era F-4 Phantoms. The test will clear the way for low-rate initial production, the first batch of which will begin conversions in September in Jacksonville, Fla. LRIP 1 calls for 13 aircraft. The Air Force has identified a need for 210 QF-16s over the life of the program. In addition, Boeing is studying the suitability of using the F-16 as an operational unmanned air vehicle like the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper. (Source: Flightglobal, 08/27/14) Gulf Coast note: Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., has a growing fleet of QF-16s. Background: New drones a quantum leap, September 2013 newsletter
Helicopter plant ground broken
LAFAYETTE, La. -- Bell Helicopter broke ground Wednesday on an 82,300-square-foot helicopter assembly plant in Lafayette that will assemble the company's Short Light Single helicopters. The Texas-based company also confirmed receipt to date of more than 200 purchase agreements for the Bell 505, the five-seat, single-engine, turbine helicopter. The $26.3 million Lafayette Aircraft Assembly Center, funded by the state of Louisiana, will be owned by Lafayette Regional Airport and leased by Bell Helicopter. The company will make an additional capital investment of $11.4 million in equipment and tooling at the 14.5-acre airport site, adjacent to U.S. 90. The new site will create 115 direct jobs. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the aerospace project will result in another 136 new permanent indirect jobs, for a total of more than 250 new jobs in the Acadiana Region and surrounding areas. Bell Helicopter will retain more than 60 jobs in the Lafayette area at two existing facilities that perform rotor blade and composite repair and overhaul. Lafayette is about 135 miles west of New Orleans and 60 miles from Baton Rouge. (Source: Times-Picayune, 08/27/14) Previous
Qantas changes jetliner orders
Qantas Airways said today that it has converted orders for 21 Airbus A320 aircraft into the re-engined A320neo variant and deferred the delivery by four years. This means Australia's flag carrier now has orders for 99 Airbus A320neos, and the airline said the move is part of the latest restructuring of its order book. The decision will help cut capital expenditure at Qantas. The airline also said it has delayed the first of its options and purchase rights for 50 Boeing 787 planes by a year to 2017. (Source: Reuters, 08/28/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.; Boeing has non-commercial airline operations in New Orleans and Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
GE designs lighter engine blades
General Electric has redesigned the engines that will power the Boeing 777X to have thinner and stronger blades than any GE engine in service. GE has designed advanced carbon-fibre composite fan blades for its GE9x engine, and the 777X will have two of them. The engine component redesign comprises carbon fiber and improved epoxy resin fan blades. The blades' leading-edge material also will be made from a steel alloy rather than titanium to increase strength. It has been a decade since GE designed a new composite fan blade for the GEnx engine. IHI Corp., Snecma and Techspace Aero and MTU Aero Engines have also joined the effort to develop the GE9X. (Source: Flightglobal, 08/26/14) Gulf Coast note: GE Aviation has engine parts plants in Ellisville and Batesville, Miss., and Auburn, Ala.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Tyndall's T-38s bring back Beagles
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The American Beagle Squadron returned to Tyndall after being deactivated for four years. The 325th Operations Group Adversary Air program became the 2nd Fighter Training Squadron during a reactivation ceremony Aug. 22, marking the return of the famed World War II American Beagle Squadron. The Beagles originally joined Team Tyndall in 1974. The new 2nd FTS' mission is to provide adversary threat replication enabling Team Tyndall to train and project unrivaled combat power. The Beagles fly T-38 Talons as adversaries against Tyndall's F-22 Raptors during training. The T-38 costs around six to seven times less than the F-22, and cost far less to fly. The 2nd FTS has 18 T-38s. (Source: 325th Fighter Wing, 08/26/14)
Contract: M1 Support, $17.7M
M1 Support Services, Denton, Texas, has been awarded a $17,723,476 modification (P00075), exercising option year three to the fixed-price-plus-award-fee contract FA4890-11-C-0005 to continue T-38 program management, organizational and intermediate maintenance services support for Air Combat Command's T-38 Companion Trainer program. Work will be performed at Beale Air Force Base, Calif.; Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.; Langley Air Force Base, Va.; Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.; and Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., and will be completed Sept. 30, 2015. Fiscal 2015 operations and maintenance funds will be awarded subject to availability of funds. Air Combat Command/Acquisition Management and Integration Center, Newport News, Va., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/27/14)
Contract: Lockheed, $122.2M
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $122,217,252 modification to a previously awarded F-35 Lightning II Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot VI cost-plus incentive fee contract (N00019-11-C-0083) for the procurement of support equipment for the F-35 aircraft such as sensor covers, tool sets, vacuum clamp sets, and heat gun assemblies. Work will be performed in Orlando, Fla. (73 percent); Redondo Beach, Calif. (25 percent); and Fort Worth, Texas (2 percent), and is expected to be completed in November 2016. Fiscal 2012 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $122,217,252 will be obligated at time of award, all 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, 08/27/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.
Quality inspectors sought
MOBILE, Ala. -- Airbus Americas is hiring quality inspectors for its $600 million A320 final assembly line being built at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley. The company, which will eventually build 40 to 50 A320s a year in Mobile, is seeking both final assembly line and flight line quality inspectors. Hourly pay for the positions is between $20 to $23.50 based on skills, education and experience. (Source: al.com, 08/27/14)
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Defense contractors slim down
Major defense contractors are getting smaller, according to an analysis by Politico. The number of employees at the five largest U.S. defense firms dropped 14 percent from a peak in 2008, and 10 percent over the past decade, according to an analysis of employment figures filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The analysis included Lockheed Martin, Boeing's defense unit, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman. The five have in total eliminated 70,000 jobs since 2008, largely through layoffs, buyouts, attrition or, in the case of Boeing, moving employees to the commercial side of the business. Some companies have also made significant divestitures. The most prominent was Northrop's spinoff of shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls. (Source: Politico, 08/25/14) Gulf Coast connection: All the defense contractors have operations in the Gulf Coast I-10 aerospace region.
Contract: Lockheed, $20M
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $19,994,879 modification to the previously awarded F-35 Lightning II Low Rate Initial Production Lot VI contract (N00019-11-C-0083). This modification provides site activation efforts required for the stand-up of the United Kingdom Joint Strike Fighter Academic Training Center at Royal Air Force Marham, United Kingdom. Work will be performed in Marham (55 percent); Fort Worth (35 percent); and Orlando, Fla. (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2015. International partner funds in the amount of $19,994,879 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, 08/26/14) Gulf Coast connection: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 Integrated Training Center, where pilots and maintainers from all branches and all allied nations are trained.
BOC places big Boeing order
Bank of China's aircraft leasing subsidiary, Singapore-based BOC Aviation, announced an order for 82 Boeing planes with a listed value of $8.8 billion. It includes 50 737 MAX 8s, 30 737-800s and two 777-300ERs. The announcement came less than six weeks after the company ordered 43 A320s from Airbus at the Farnborough International Airshow. BOC Aviation, the world's fourth largest by fleet value, currently has 251 planes, mostly B737 and A320 family aircraft with an average age of less than four years. (Source: South China Morning Post, 08/26/14) Meanwhile, French aerospace group Safran said BOC Aviation placed an engine order worth an estimated $2 billion with CFM International, a joint venture between Safran and General Electric. The order is for 100 LEAP-1B engines to power 50 new 737 Max 8 aircraft and 60 CFM56-7BE engines to power 30 next generation 737s. (Source: Reuters, 08/25/14) Gulf Coast connections: Boeing has operations in New Orleans and Fort Walton Beach, Fla.; Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala., where Safran has an engineering center; GE Aviation has engine parts plants near Hattiesburg, Miss., and Auburn, Ala.
Agreement reached for A320s
China Aircraft Leasing reached an agreement with Airbus to buy four A320 jetliners for an aggregate basic price of about $375.6 million, it said on Tuesday. The company also said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange that it had signed agreements to lease two Airbus A320 aircraft to Sichuan Airlines and another four to Chengdu Airlines. (Source: South China Morning Post, 08/26/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Contract: Lockheed, $8.2M
Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded an $8,167,322 modification to the previously awarded F-35 Lightning II Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot VI contract (N00019-11-C-0083). This modification provides for the maintenance and support for the F-16 chase aircraft supporting the F-35. Work will be performed in Fort Worth and is expected to be completed in June 2015. Fiscal 2012 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $8,167,322 will be obligated at time of award, all 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, 08/25/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of an F-35 pilot and maintainer training center.
UTC aero shipments up
Rising demand for new airplanes from airlines around the world has increased shipments of engines and airplane parts from United Technologies' aerospace division, consisting of Pratt and Whitney and UTC Aerospace System segments. P&W, which makes airplane engines, and UTAS, which is a leading global supplier of airplane components such as landing brakes and nacelles, will likely constitute around 45 percent of United Technologies' top line in the current year. (Source: Forbes, 08/22/14) Gulf Coast note: UTC Aerospace Systems in Foley, Ala., is Baldwin County's largest manufacturing employer. It does both original equipment work and maintenance, repair and overhaul work on nacelle components.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Contract: OroconCarothers, $28.4M
OroconCarothers, JV1, Oxford, Miss., is being awarded $28,370,000 for firm-fixed-price task order 0002 under a multiple award construction contract (N69450-14-D-0755) for renovation and repairs of Building 603, Saufley Field, at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. The work to be performed provides for renovation of administrative space and compliance with current life safety and fire codes, which includes, but is not limited to, reconfigure non-load bearing interior walls, replace suspended ceilings and floor coverings, renovate fire suppression system, paint walls, replace windows with new windows, hurricane and energy reduction standards, resurface existing parking, replace energy inefficient direct expansion and chilled water air conditioning systems with central chilled water system, remove and dispose of abandoned furniture, fixtures and equipment, and replace east and west side elevators within existing shafts. Work will be performed in Pensacola and is expected to be completed by August 2016. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/22/14)
Lakotas bound for Fort Rucker
Lawmakers have approved the Army's request to reprogram $111 million to pay for 21 more UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopters for training at Fort Rucker, Ala., according to multiple sources. (Source: InsideDefense, 08/22/14). The helicopters are made by Airbus Helicopters in Columbus, Miss., which earlier this month signed an contract to lease office space in the former main location at the Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union in Daleville, Ala., not far from Fort Rucker. The space will be occupied Sept. 1. (Source: WTVY-TV, 08/22/14) The Lakotas will replace the Bell TH-67 as the Army’s primary training helicopter at Fort Rucker. The plan is part of a broader plan to streamline the Army’s helicopter force from seven helicopter types to four. (Source: Dothan Eagle, 08/13/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 jetliner final assembly line in Mobile, Ala., where it also has an engineering center; Airbus Group owns Vector Aerospace, which has an operation in Andalusia, Ala.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Three countries eye Global Hawk
Northrop Grumman is in talks about selling its high-altitude surveillance drones in Europe, with Britain, Germany and Norway seen as the likeliest customers, a top executive said Wednesday. A $1.7 billion contract the company signed with NATO for a five-drone surveillance and intelligence system in 2012 will help boost European sales, according to Andrew Tyler, Northrop's UK and European chief. It will let Europe get familiar with the UAV's capabilities, said Tyler. Germany is already familiar with it. Northrop remains in long-running talks with the country about a stalled $1.6 billion purchase of four Euro Hawks, which Northrop developed with Europe's Airbus based on the Global Hawk design. (Source: Reuters, 08/20/14) Gulf Coast note: Global Hawks are built in part in Moss Point, Miss. Previous: NATO Global Hawk fuselage done; Germany axes Global Hawk; Euro Hawk sets record
Contract: L-3, $15.5M
L-3 Communications Corp., Link Simulation and Training Division, Arlington, Texas, is being awarded $15,548,954 for cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price delivery order 0005 against a previously issued Basic Ordering Agreement (N61340-12-G-0001) for the procurement of 25 system configuration sets, Navy Aviation Simulation Master Plans, Next Generation Threat System upgrades and 25 liquid crystal display spare kits in support of the F/A-18 Tactical Operational Flight Trainer Suites. Work will be performed in Naval Air Station Oceana, Va. (25 percent); Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif. (15 percent); Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. (15 percent); Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C. (15 percent); Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan (10 percent); Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, La. (10 percent); and Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in August 2016. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/21/14)
Contract: Nova Tech, $55M
Nova Technologies, Panama City, Fla., was awarded a $55,000,000 modification (P00007) to contract W900KK-12-D-0005 for modification of the fire training system for simulated battlefield training of fire support specialists, joint fire observers and soldiers at the institutional and unit level. Funding and work location will be determined with each order. Estimated completion date is Aug. 14, 2017. Army PEO Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation, Orlando, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/21/14)
Airbus awards networking contract
MOBILE, Ala. – Information Transport Solutions Inc., of Wetumpka, Ala., was awarded the networking contract for the A320 final assembly line being built in Mobile. ITS will provide Airbus with network components for its local area network, fixed port and wireless, IP telephony and video teleconferencing. ITS will conduct the Airbus project from its Mobile offices and provide backup redundancy from the Wetumpka headquarters near Montgomery. The $600 million final assembly line will begin production in 2015 and roll out its first jetliner in 2016. It will eventually produce 40 to 50 aircraft each year and employ 1,000 workers. (Source: al.com, 08/20/14) Also, Airbus posted two more job openings, one for a site security manager and one is for a tool shop manager. (Source: al.com, 08/19/14)
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Aviation center eyes expansion
MOBILE, Ala. -- Enterprise State Community College's Alabama Aviation Center wants to expand at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley. It currently offers the state's only aviation maintenance program, provides both airframe and powerplant training as well as dual-enrollment programs in both Mobile and Baldwin counties for high school students. Kyle Cook, the center's director, said the program has outgrown its facility adjacent to the recently opened AIDT Alabama Aviation Training Center and is working with the Mobile Airport Authority to secure possible new space in the Aeroplex's warehouse district. (Source: al.com, 08/19/14)
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Eglin buys Bladerunner 35
Navatek Boat Builders, the Honolulu-based shipbuilder and designer whose parent company built the popular dinner cruise boat that bears its name, has sold and delivered its "Bladerunner 35" high-speed vessel to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., for use as a military target support boat, according to a Navatek spokesman. The 35-foot rigid-hull inflatable boat was built in 2006 by Navatek Ltd. in Honolulu, parent of Navatek Boat Builders. With a top speed of more than 50 knots, the Bladerunner 35 will be used in simulated missions and military exercises. (Source: Pacific Business News, 08/18/14)
Monday, August 18, 2014
Grant will help Milton airport
MILTON, Fla. -- Santa Rosa County got a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to resurface and expand the tarmac at Peter Prince Airport in Milton. The grant will cover 90 percent of the $400,000 cost. One business at the airport, Trident Aviation, broke ground today on a new hanger and office building. In a deal with the Navy, Trident provides aviation students with their first training in the cockpit before they start flying in military aircraft. (Source: WEAR-TV, 08/18/14)
Contract: L-3 Vertex, $13.7M
L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., is being awarded a $13,744,643 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery requirements contract (N00019-13-D-0007) to provide logistics services for aircraft availability of 96 TH-57 aircraft. Services to be provided include pre-flighting and fueling of the aircraft, as well as safe for flight release for designated missions. Work will be performed at the Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Milton, Fla., and is expected to be completed in May 2015. No funds are being obligated at time of award. Funds will be obligated against individual delivery orders as they are issued. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/18/14)
Orbital completes cargo mission
DULLES, Va. -- Orbital Sciences today announced the successful completion of its third cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station in the past 10 months, including the initial demonstration flight completed in October 2013 and the first two operational missions under the company's $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. The Cygnus spacecraft was launched July 13 atop the company's Antares rocket from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in east Virginia. (Source: Business Wire, 08/18/14) Gulf Coast note: The Antares rocket is powered by AJ-26 engines tested at Stennis Space Center, Miss.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Manned, unmanned work together
|X-47B and F/A-18 launch from CVN 71|
U.S. Navy photo
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Contract: Northrop, $240.7M
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, Calif., has been awarded a $240,653,315 primarily firm-fixed-price modification (PZ0001) for FA8620-13-C-3018 for three Block 30M RQ-4B Global Hawk air vehicles, each containing an Enhanced Integrated Sensor Suite and an Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload (ASIP), plus two additional ASIP sensors as retrofit kits. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $354,870,536. The contract modification is for the definitization of the advance purchase agreement. Work will be performed at San Diego and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2017. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/WIG (Global Hawk Program Office), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/15/14) Gulf Coast note: Global Hawk central fuselage work is done in Moss Point, Miss.
Contract: Lockheed, $232.8M
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $232,794,734 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to the previously awarded F-35 Low Rate Initial Production Lot VI contract (N00019-11-C-0083). This modification provides for non-recurring sustainment activities, to include procurement of 19 training devices and 69 items of complex support equipment. Work will be performed in Orlando, Fla. (96 percent); Owego, N.Y. (2 percent); and Fort Worth (2 percent) and is expected to be completed in June 2017. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/15/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the multi-service F-35 training center.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Airbus posts more jobs
MOBILE, Ala. -- Airbus has posted its latest round of hourly manufacturing positions for its A320 final assembly line being built at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley. The positions cover seven categories: systems installation, cabin interiors, sheet metal specialists, corrosion protectors, ground handling technicians, tool shop attendants and composite rework specialists. Successful candidates will be placed in programs of Alabama Industrial Development Training that could lead to employment. For job posting information click here. (Source: al.com, 08/14/14)
JetBlue eyeing Panhandle
PANAMA CITY, Fla. -- Officials at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) in West Bay hope a federal transportation grant will be key to landing daily air service from Bay County to New York City, and one airline is supporting the effort. ECP Director Parker McClellan said a letter of support from low-cost airline JetBlue will help the Airport Authority as it seeks funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Small Community Air Service Development Grant program. The letter says the airline is considering service to Northwest Florida from Kennedy International Airport as part of its five-year growth plan. The airport is requesting $400,000 from the U.S. DOT to supplement the $1.8 million incentive package to entice JetBlue and other airlines. (Source: Panama City News Herald, 08/13/14)
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Contracts: Multiple, $36M
HDR Engineering Inc., Pensacola, Fla. (W91278-14-D-0056); HCS Group P.C., Montgomery, Ala. (W91278-14-D-0057); Thompson Engineering Inc., Mobile, Ala. (W91278-14-D-0067); Patriot Design LLC-A Fort Hill HCS Group Joint Venture, Montgomery, Ala. (W91278-14-D-0073); and Baskerville-Donovan Inc.,* Mobile, Ala. (W91278-14-D-0075), were awarded a $36,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite- delivery contract for architect and engineering services to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers design program for the Mobile District's Central, South America, Caribbean, and South Atlantic Division. Funding and work location will be determined with each order with an estimated completion date of Aug. 12, 2018. Bids were solicited via the Internet with 14 received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/13/14)
First F-35 crew chiefs graduate
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Nine Airmen are now the first Air Force recruits to graduate initial skills technical training as F-35 crew chiefs after completing Mission-Ready Airmen training at Eglin earlier this month. The airmen went through months of training within the 82nd Training Wing that spanned two bases and three squadrons. After completing basic training, they headed to Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, for aircraft fundamentals with the 362nd Training Squadron. Then it was on to Eglin Air Force Base, first for F-35-specific training with the 359th Training Squadron followed by Mission-Ready Airmen training with Detachment 19, 372nd Training Squadron, which tested their ability to apply their training in an operational environment. (Source: 82nd Training Wing, 08/08/14)
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Tyndall graduates F-22 pilots
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 43rd Fighter Squadron graduated eight F-22 Raptor B-course students in a ceremony Aug. 9. The students completed an eight-month course of instruction, including 388 academic hours, 26 examinations, 39 sorties and 47 simulator missions. The B-course entails transition and emergency procedures, instrument tasks, as well as day and night air-to-air refueling. The students are also educated on air-to-air employment, air-to-ground employment, basic low altitude employment and night employment. At course completion, students have flown about 55 hours and are prepared to begin mission qualification training in their combat unit. Once complete with MQT these students will be fully qualified to employ the F-22 in an air dominance role. (Source: 325th Fighter Wing, 08/11/14) Tyndall is home to the largest fleet of F-22s in the world.
A320neo Leap-1As in production
Core assembly of the first pair of CFM International Leap-1A engines to power the Airbus A320neo is underway, marking the start of a production run that has amassed firm orders for more than 7,500 engines across three new-generation variants. The flight-test engines are being assembled at General Electric's production facility in Durham, N.C. The engine competes with Pratt and Whitney's PW1100G for the A320neo market. CFM International is a joint venture of GE Aviation, a division of General Electric, and Snecma, and division of France's Safran. (Source: Aviation Week and Space Technology, 08/11/14) Gulf Coast note: An A320 final assembly line is being built in Mobile, Ala.; Safran has an engineering center in Mobile; GE Aviation has an engine parts plant in Auburn, Ala., and in Mississippi's Ellisville near Hattiesburg and Batesville.
TPR settles in, mulls expansion
MILTON, Fla. -- TPR Systems Inc. is preparing for the future, a future it expects to soar with more aerospace business. That's why the company, begun in 2002 and formerly named Turbine Parts & Repair, recently relocated to the Santa Rosa County Industrial Park in Milton, where it has an extra 2.5 acres for expansion. The company specializes in machining and manufacturing, but can also do repairs and testing on existing equipment. TPR Systems Chief Operations Manager Chuck Pyritz expects the company to need the space in two years. Like many companies in the region, TPR foresees the aerospace sector growing in part because of the Airbus final assembly line being built in Mobile, Ala., just an hour to the west. (Source: GCRL Newsletter, 08/12/14)
Rising star's goal: 50% growth
MOBILE, Ala. -- The ability to text, email and surf the Web on a jet flying tens of thousands of feet above the earth is taken for granted by travelers these days. But behind the scenes there are companies working to make that happen. And one major player is Star Aviation of the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley. It's celebrating its 15th anniversary this month, and has grown from a five-man operation to a company with 115 employees and counting. Gordon Smart, executive vice president of operations, says the goal over the next five years is to grow the company by 30 to 50 percent. (Source: GCRL Newsletter, 08/12/14)
F-35 wingman: Lockheed FWB
FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. -- While much of the world is turning to unmanned aerial vehicles for weapons delivery, reconnaissance and more, Lockheed Martin in Fort Walton Beach is focused on the F-35, the military's most advanced manned fighter. Lockheed, the nation's largest defense contractor, opened its Fort Walton Beach shop less than 20 years ago and now has 1,000 workers in the area. The company provides much of the maintenance and support for the F-35 at Eglin, as well as most of the academic and simulator training. But it's also involved in Eglin's weapons programs, as well as other aircraft programs, including the F-22 at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla. (Source: GCRL Newsletter, 08/12/14)
Two Michoud proposals eyed
NEW ORLEANS -- With plans to develop about 300 underutilized acres of green space around Michoud Assembly Facility, NASA could be just 18 months away from seeing new tenants at the 43-acre manufacturing facility in east New Orleans. The space agency is looking for developments that would complement the varied work that’s under way at Michoud while helping to pay for its operations. It issued a notice in early May seeking input from parties interested in developing the green space around Michoud. It has two proposals from developers that it's studying and says it is open to accepting more. Though no details are available at this early stage, potential tenants could include the manufacturers of new types of rocket engines or space habitats. (Source: GCRL Newsletter, 08/12/14)
Friday, August 8, 2014
Airbus exec at school opening
MOBILE, Ala. -- Dave Trent, site director for Airbus Americas, was among the greeters Thursday morning as B.C. Rain High School students returned to campus for the first day of school. Airbus is the school's "Signature Business Partner" for its Aviation and Aerospace Academy, which is beginning its second year as one of the Mobile County school system's career-focused courses of study in its high schools. (Source: al.com, 08/07/14)
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Contract: L-3, $15.8M
L-3 Communications Corp., SFS, Madison, Miss., was awarded a $15,832,848 modification (P00124) to contract W58RGZ-10-C-0107 to add eight C-12s to the life cycle contractor support maintenance contract for the Army's fleet of C-12/RC-12/UC-35 aircraft. Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $15,832,848 were obligated at the time of the award. Estimated completion date is Jan. 31, 2015. Work will be performed in Madison. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/07/14)
China now doing A320 wings
China's Xian Aircraft Industry is now sole supplier of wings to the Airbus A320 final assembly line in Tianjin. After starting with system installation on Broughton, UK-made wings in 2009, Xian Aircraft started producing wing structures that were shipped to Broughton for integration with the remaining structure and then ferried back to China for system installation and final aircraft assembly. Later, Xian Aircraft began manufacturing entire wing boxes. Since this summer, all wings for the Tianjin FAL, which began in 2008, are supplied by XAIC. (Source: Flightglobal, 08/06/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building its fourth A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala. Major components will be shipped from Europe and assembled in Mobile beginning next year.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
NATO Global Hawk fuselage done
NATO says the fuselage of its first Global Hawk Block 40 unmanned aerial vehicle has been completed. The fuselage was completed at Northrop Grumman's Moss Point, Miss., plant and is being sent to California, where work will be completed. The aircraft is one of five for NATO's Alliance Ground Surveillance project and will provide intelligence to deployed and non-deployed operational personnel. The Global Hawks and flight control stations will be located at the AGS main operating base at Sigonella Air Base, Italy. (Source: UPI, 08/05/14) Previous
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Latest in Airbus/Boeing orders
Airbus overtook Boeing in unadjusted aircraft orders for 2014 after last month's Farnborough Airshow, but continued to lag when taking into account cancellations, company data showed on Monday. Airbus won 980 aircraft orders between January and July, and said it had 705 net orders, beating its newly introduced net order target for the year. Airbus has said its haul of orders at Farnborough marked its best ever performance at the UK's biennial aerospace event. Boeing reported 837 gross orders and 783 net sales after cancellations between Jan. 1 and July 29. (Source: Reuters, 08/04/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.
Monday, August 4, 2014
Contract: Veteran Corps, $10M
Veteran Corps of America, O'Fallon, Ill., has been awarded a $10,070,960 firm-fixed-price contract for TruDefender FTX Handheld Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) for chemical identification. Contractor will provide rugged handheld FTIR chemical identification system, including one-year warranty, one-year support, on-site training (one four-hour course per instrument for up to 10 students; training must be accomplished no later than nine months after date of award). This also includes a two-year extension of warranty and support. Work will be performed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., and is expected to be completed by Jan. 28, 2015. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and offers were solicited on FedBizOps; three offers were received. Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $10,070,960 will be obligated at time of award. 772 Enterprise Sourcing Squadron/PKD, Tyndall Air Force Base is the contracting activity (FA8051-14-P-0016). (Source: DoD, 08/04/14)
Asphalt mix hits milestone
NICEVILLE, Fla. – A new, fuel-resistant asphalt mix that's already being used at several airports has now been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration as a standard. Called P-601 Fuel Resistant Hot Mix Asphalt Pavement, it was developed by Niceville-based engineering firm AVCON and retired engineer Bob Boyer. The mixture uses smaller pieces of rock than traditional asphalt, and plastic is added to make it more rigid. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 08/01/14)
Friday, August 1, 2014
Orion "thinks" it has flown
NASA's Orion spacecraft is not ready for liftoff, but the spacecraft thinks it's already flown six missions. Since Orion's crew module was stacked on top of its service module in June, the vehicle has been put through a series of tests designed to verify all the individual systems work on their own in the new configuration and that they'll work together as a functional unit during flight. And the best way to do that is to trick the vehicle into thinking that it's flying, so that it will perform exactly the same functions it will be called upon to perform in December, when Orion launches into space for the first time. (Source: Space Travel, 08/01/14) Gulf Coast note: The Orion capsule was built at Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans; Stennis Space Center, Miss., will test the RS-25 engines that will be power the first stage of the Space Launch System, which will eventually be used to launch Orion.
F-35 aces wet runway tests
|F-35B in wet runway test at Edwards AFB.|
Lockheed Martin photo
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