Posts Tagged ‘Airplanes’

JSF STOVL Lift Fan Tests Begin in April 2009

December 18, 2008

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The Joint Strike Fighter program will wait until April to start transitioning the short-take-off, vertical-landing (STOVL) variant of the aircraft in vertical lift mode during tests, when the aircraft will have a fully qualified motor, the program’s deputy executive officer told Inside Defense.

Read the full report at www.insidedefense.com (paid subscription required)

Heinz: Joint Strike Fighter Program ‘Aggressive,’ but Balanced

December 14, 2008

Find this and other exciting images as posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

OR

Find this and other exciting images on tee-shirts, caps, and other casual clothing, as well as on beer steins, mousepads, clocks, and dozens of other office and gift items. Visit The Military Chest today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

Despite a recent report that warns of burgeoning costs in the Joint Strike Fighter program over the next six years, the program’s deputy executive officer argues that the aircraft’s development is supposed to be more aggressive than legacy aircraft and called it a “fundamental fallacy” to rigidly compare the JSF to F/A-18 and F/A-22 aircraft, reports Inside Defense.

Read the full report at www.insidedefense.com (paid subscription required)

When Will Obama Reveal National Security Strategy?

December 12, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

Our military Aviation Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US and allied military aircraft in action. Buy the Aviation Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

Pentagon observers disagree on how soon President-elect Barack Obama’s team will develop its new national security strategy and whether his administration will have time to conduct a new, sweeping national security review before completing the Pentagon’s 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, reports Inside Defense.

By law, Obama is required to submit a comprehensive national security strategy report within 150 days of taking office. A Defense Department briefing slide reviewed by Inside the Pentagon suggests the new team might develop high-level planning guidance next spring, followed by a new national security strategy next summer. In early 2010, the Obama team’s first QDR report would be issued, along with a National Defense Strategy and National Military Strategy, according to the slide.

Full report at Inside Defense (paid subscription required)

Officials See Room for Sensor Growth in RC-12 Intelligence Aircraft

November 9, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

Our military Aviation Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US and allied military aircraft in action. Buy the Aviation Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

The Air Force is outfitting its rush-to-war RC-12 intelligence planes with hardware systems that will allow for plug-and-play sensor expansion, according to Air Combat Command officials.

Read the full report at Inside Defense

Retirement of 300 Fighter Jets Would Leave USAF with Only 129 F-15CS

October 21, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

Our military Aviation Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US and allied military aircraft in action. Buy the Aviation Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

Newly revealed plans to retire more than 300 F-15 and F-16 jets in fiscal year 2010 would leave the Air Force with signficantly fewer of its No. 2 combat air fighter, nearly 60 less than the service intended to fly until the mid-2020s, reports Inside the Air Force.

The scrapping of 137 F-15s would leave the Air Force with only 129 F-15C fighter jets, according to an internal service document obtained by InsideDefense.com. Officials have long said the Air Force would augment its fifth-generation F-22A fleet with 187 F-15Cs, dubbed “Golden Eagles.”

Earlier this week, InsideDefense.com reported that the Air Force is planning a dramatic 18-percent cut to its F-15 and F-16 fighter jet fleet in fiscal year 2010 in an attempt to find $3.4 billion to bolster other combat aircraft programs, munitions inventories, ISR and manpower efforts.

Read more at Inside the Air Force (Subscription Required)

USAF Needs 200 New Aircraft Yearly, Says CoS

October 9, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

Our military Aviation Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US and allied military aircraft in action. Buy the Aviation Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

The US Air Force’s aircraft have been flying, on average, for 24 years, representing the oldest fleet in the service’s 61-year history. This leads to degraded performance, increased accident risk, and huge increases in maintenance costs — money which would be better spent on new equipment and ordnance.

USAF needs to procure 200 new aircraft every year in order to rejuvenate its fleet, says General Norton Schwartz, the new Air Force Chief of Staff. This is almost twice as many planes as USAF currently buys.

Read the entire Air Force Magazine article

Air Force Will Need 50 Years to Replace its Aircraft, Says AFA President

October 9, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

Our military Aviation Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US and allied military aircraft in action. Buy the Aviation Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

Air Force Association President Michael Dunn has presented some frightening statistics. According to his calculations:

First, the AF is procuring 750 aircraft over the six year period of the FYDP. That equates to 125 aircraft per year. At that rate it will take about 46 years to replace every aircraft in the inventory. This means that – unless something changes – the average age of our aircraft will rise to 46 years.

Secondly, about 270 of the aircraft are UAVs … and arguably are not replacing other aircraft in the inventory. That leaves about 80 aircraft per year – which equates to a replacement rate of 72 years.

Thirdly, you say not all aircraft need to be replaced. OK – let’s assume the Air Force is only going to replace about two-thirds of its aircraft. That means it will take 50 years to replace them all.

Finally, the reason the number is so high for 2008 is the war time supplemental bill. DOD has indicated that it no longer wants to submit a supplemental funding bill … which would, if put in place this year, have resulted in only 93 aircraft being procured – 52 of which were UAVs. This results in a replacement rate of 141 years.

Read the facts and figures on USAF aircraft procurement plans in a PDF file by clicking here: http://www.afa.org/EdOp/Aircraft_Procurement.pdf .

Red Sky at Night, Pilot’s Delight

August 30, 2008
Red Sky

Red Sky

A US Air Force F-22 Raptor jet fighter and an A-10 Thunderbolt II fly through a fantasy sky in this artist-enhanced image. Find the poster or art print exclusively at The PatriArt Gallery.

“Red Sky in the Morning, Sailor Take Warning,
 Red Sky at Night, Sailor’s Delight”

This old saying actually has a scientific explanation. It relates to moving high and low surface-pressure weather systems, and the way that the colors in sunlight are scattered differently by dirty and clean atmospheres. This is the explanation of how these phenomena combine to color our sunrises and sunsets.

If you look at a global map of surface pressure, you will see a string of alternating high-pressure and low-pressure areas.  That is because pressure patterns are relative; i.e., if a region of lower pressure exists, it must have higher pressure on either side.

Low pressure is associated with bad weather (sailor take warning), and high pressure with good weather (sailor’s delight). Low pressure causes air to converge (to try to “fill” the low), and converging air causes upward motion, which in turn produces clouds and precipitation.

In contrast, air diverges from the center of a high-pressure area. This causes downward motion, which suppresses cloud formation.

A temperature inversion (temperature increasing with height) forms at the level of the troposphere where this downward motion is strongest. This happens because downward-moving air experiences higher pressure as it descends and thus is compressed. According to the laws of physics, air heats when it is compressed. Vertical motion is inhibited at the level of the inversion; thus dirty air containing suspensions of soot, dust, and other particles (known as aerosols) is trapped near the surface.

So, atmospheric conditions in a high-pressure area are typically cloud free and dirty, and those in a low-pressure area are cloudy and relatively clean (fewer aerosols).

Light from the sun is made up of the colors in the rainbow, which correspond to different wavelengths of radiation.  The blues are made up of short wavelengths and the reds of longer wavelengths. The radiative properties of a dirty atmosphere differ from those of a clean atmosphere. That is because light from the sun is scattered differently by air molecules than by aerosols (which are relatively larger). Air molecules scatter the shorter wavelengths more efficiently, and that is why the sky is blue!

Dust or aerosols scatter the longer wavelengths (red light) more efficiently, and most of that light is scattered in the forward direction (the direction in which the light is moving). Also, at sunrise and sunset the sun’s rays travel through a long path of atmosphere, so these scattering processes are very efficient at those times. Therefore, sunlight traveling through a long path of dirty atmosphere at sunrise or sunset is made up of primarily the reddish wavelengths when it reaches the observer (e.g., look at the color of smog in Los Angeles or Denver). A cleaner atmosphere at sunrise or sunset is colored by a mixture of all but the blue colors, giving it a yellowish appearance.

Now you have the science behind the adage. Picture yourself on a ship in the middle of a mid-latitude ocean. There the wind (and thus storm paths) is from west to east. It is morning and you are watching the sunrise. It is red. Since it is morning you are looking east, and the red sky indicates that there is high pressure there. Because you are in the mid-latitudes, the high is moving eastward–away from you. That could only mean that a low, and very likely an associated storm, is moving toward you from the west.  Sailor take warning! Now picture yourself watching the sunset from the ship, and the western sky is red.  That means that an area of high pressure is to your west, the westerlies are moving it toward you, and good weather is on the way–sailor’s delight!

Note that this only works in the belt of westerlies, from about 30 degrees to 60 degrees latitude in both the northern and southern hemispheres. The region 30 degrees on either side of the equator is characterized by easterlies (the trade winds). This adage would be opposite in that region.
John Augustine and Lisa Smith (NOAA)