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  • A B-1B Lancer pilot prepares to take off from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Feb. 21, 2021. The B-1 is capable of providing vast numbers of precision and non-precision bombs at any moment against any enemy, anywhere in the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Josiah Brown)

    Three B-1B Lancers assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron fly in formation over Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, in support of a Bomber Task Force deployment, Feb. 22, 2021. The B-1 is a highly-versatile, supersonic, multi-mission weapon system that carries the largest payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the United States Air Force’s inventory. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)
     2021
    A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron arrives at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, in support of a Bomber Task Force deployment, Feb. 22, 2021. The 9th EBS is the first bomber squadron to deploy to and operate out of Norway. Norway is a key U.S. ally in the Arctic and North Atlantic region, and a strong partner in fostering regional security and prosperity. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell)

    PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 28, 2021) An F-35C Lightning II from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 lands on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Carl Vinson is currently underway in the Pacific Ocean conducting routine operations in the U.S 3rd Fleet. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Aaron T. Smith)
    Class Aircraft Carrier USS Carl Vinson
    ST. LOUIS, Feb. 23, 2021 — A new era in aircraft design and build has begun as the first U.S. portion of the T-7A Red Hawk advanced trainer has officially entered the Boeing [NYSE:BA] jet’s state-of-the-art production line.

    The training jet, designated the eT-7A Red Hawk by the U.S. Air Force because of its digital heritage, was fully designed using 3D model-based definition and data management systems developed at Boeing during the last two decades. The T-7A Red Hawk employed the digital engineering and design of the Boeing T-X aircraft that went from firm concept to first flight in just 36 months.

    “The future of air dominance lies in the ability to move quickly, take smart risks and partner in new ways to get the job done,” said Shelley Lavender, Boeing senior vice president of Strike, Surveillance and Mobility. “By creating aircraft and systems along a digital thread, we can accelerate build times and increase quality and affordability for our customers in a way that has never been done before.”

    The Advanced Pilot Training System also incorporates leading-edge ground-based live and virtual simulators to give students and instructors a “real as it gets” experience.

    In September 2018, the U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing a $9.2 billion contract to supply 351 advanced trainer aircraft and 46 associated ground-based training simulators. Saab is teamed with Boeing on the trainer and provides the aft fuselage of the jet.

    “This is a historic moment for the program and industry,” said Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president of T-7 Programs. “The build process leverages full-size determinant assembly, which allows technicians to build the aircraft with minimal tooling and drilling during the assembly process. The digital process accounts for a 75% increase in first-time quality.”

    Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading provider of commercial airplanes, defense, space and security systems, and global services. As a top U.S. exporter, the company supports commercial and government customers in more than 150 countries and leverages the talents of a global supplier base. Building on a legacy of aerospace leadership, Boeing continues to lead in technology and innovation, deliver for its customers and invest in its people and future growth.
    7A Red Hawk
    São José dos Campos, Brazil, 23 February 2021 – KLM Cityhopper, the regional subsidiary of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, received their first Embraer E195-E2 in a ceremony today at Embraer’s facility in Brazil. This first E2 delivery to KLM, and lessor ICBC Aviation Leasing, brings the total number of Embraer jets in the KLM Cityhopper fleet to 50.

    The total order for 35 jets, 25 firm orders with options for 10 more, will be leased to KLM from ICBC Aviation Leasing (10) and Aircastle (15). KLM recently exercised four options increasing the firm order from 21 to 25 jets, with the further four aircraft coming from Aircastle’s existing order-book.

    KLM is a global leader in airline sustainability and taking action to make operations more sustainable. KLM’s fleet renewal is a key strategy to reduce the airline’s environmental footprint. The E195-E2, Embraer’s new generation aircraft, is specifically designed to cut emissions and noise pollution. The E2’s environmental credentials are impressive; the E195-E2 delivers a 31% reduction in carbon emissions per seat over KLM Cityhopper’s first-generation E190s.

    Noise pollution is also dramatically reduced; the noise footprint is over 60% smaller – a critical measure at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport which has strict noise abatement rules. The E2’s low external noise level is already well below planned future ICAO limits. Carbon emissions are almost 10% lower per trip and 31% lower per seat. In a typical year, each E195-E2 will emit 1,500 fewer tons of carbon pollutants.

    “The new E2 is really going to make a difference,” said Warner Rootliep, Managing Director of KLM Cityhopper. “The addition of the E195-E2 to our fleet is a vital part of our plan to reduce our carbon footprint at least 50% per pax/km by 2030. The 195-E2 is not only an economically attractive aircraft, it also fits perfectly within our sustainability initiative – ‘Fly Responsibly’. We are now more than ever committed to reducing the impact of our environmental and ecological footprint. Fleet renewal is currently the largest contributor to CO2 reduction.”

    “This amazing aircraft dressed in the famous blue of KLM, delivers a new level of sustainability because of its low emissions and noise levels.” said Arjan Meijer, President and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation. “It’s the cleanest and quietest single aisle aircraft on the market today. KLM leads the airline industry in bold climate initiatives. KLM’s decision to choose the Embraer E2 is a powerful endorsement of the E2’s role in achieving those environmental goals.”

    The E195-E2 is the 50th E-Jet to join the KLM Cityhopper fleet of 17 first-generation E175s and 32 E190s. The new E195-E2 is configured with 132 seats - 20 in Business Class, eight in Economy Comfort, and 104 in Economy Class.
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    23 February 2021
    This month, Bell delivered three Bell UH-1H-IIs to the Lebanese Air Force (LAF). These aircraft will augment their existing fleet and be utilized for search and rescue, troop transport, firefighting and utility missions.

    “We are privileged to support the LAF with additional Huey II aircraft, which will enhance its operational capability,” said Tim Evans, regional sales manager, Africa and the Middle East. “This proven platform equips their squadron with the most capable utility helicopter available.”

    The LAF has been flying the UH-1 series helicopters since the early 1990s in multiple roles. Most recently, its Huey IIs extinguished the fires caused by the port explosion in Beirut.

    “The LAF is honored to add three more Huey IIs to our fleet,” said Commander BG Heykal, LAF. “We value this aircraft for its multi-mission capabilities, reliability and durability and appreciate the Bell team for their quality customer support and longtime partnership.”

    The Bell UH-1H-II is a versatile, single engine helicopter with high operational readiness and low operating costs. It has the best payload in its class and excels in multiple mission configurations.
    Huey II LAF
    SAN DIEGO/COWES – 23 February 2021 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) and GKN Aerospace have signed a contract for GKN Aerospace to manufacture the advanced composite V-tails for GA-ASI’s new MQ-9B SkyGuardian® Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) from their Cowes facility in the United Kingdom. SkyGuardian is the baseline system of the UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Protector RG Mk1 and has also been selected by Belgian Defence and the Australian Defence Force. This represents another important milestone in the 10-year strategic relationship between GA-ASI and GKN Aerospace, and adds to the strong investment GA-ASI is making in world-leading UK industries.

    “We value our long relationship with GKN Aerospace as a strategic supplier of critical aerospace subsystems to support our global supply chain,” said Tommy Dunehew, vice president of International Strategic Development for GA-ASI. “We are pleased to expand this relationship with composite structures manufactured in the UK. This will mean that not only the RAF’s Protector will have UK-manufactured tails, but the global MQ-9B fleet will also benefit from tails manufactured in the UK.”

    GA-ASI and GKN Aerospace had previously entered into a pre-production contract, under which GA-ASI provided the required engineering technical data and tooling, and GKN Aerospace developed their manufacturing processes and produced demonstrator parts. Under this latest agreement, GKN Aerospace will begin full rate production of the V-tails from the Cowes facility to support MQ-9B aircraft production.

    GKN Aerospace has been a global supplier to GA-ASI’s MQ-9 program for a decade, with the strategic partnership on GA-ASI’s world-leading RPAS starting in 2010. Activities began with the design and build of the “fit and forget” fuel bladder system in Portsmouth, UK, followed by the production of fuel bladders in the USA. Today, GKN Aerospace manufactures a range of products including the state-of-the-art lightweight landing gear system, which it produces in the Netherlands.

    Krisstie Kondrotis, President of GKN Aerospace’s Defence business, said: “We are extremely proud to be a key supplier for GA-ASI on the MQ-9B programme and this agreement helps to strengthen that partnership. We have ambitious plans to grow our Defense business and this is an important milestone for GKN Aerospace, and especially the Cowes facility, paving the way for continued growth in the UK for advanced aerostructures manufacturing. GA-ASI is the market leader in RPAS, while GKN Aerospace is a market and technology leader in advanced aerostructures, special products and lightweight technologies. Our long-term collaboration continues to demonstrate the strong commitment the two companies share.”

    About GA-ASI

    General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator® RPA series and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. With more than six million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight that enables situational awareness and rapid strike. The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas. For more information, visit www.ga-asi.com.

    SkyGuardian, Predator and Lynx are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

    About GKN Aerospace

    GKN Aerospace is the world’s leading multi-technology tier 1 aerospace supplier. As a global company serving the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, GKN Aerospace develops, builds and supplies an extensive range of advanced aerospace systems, components and technologies for use in aircraft ranging from helicopters and business jets to the most used single-aisle aircraft and the largest passenger planes in the world. Lightweight composites, additive manufacturing, innovative engine systems and smart transparencies help to reduce emissions and weight on the aircraft and enhance passenger comfort. GKN Aerospace is market leading in aerostructures, engine systems, transparencies and wiring systems and operates in 14 countries at 48 manufacturing locations employing approximately 16,000 people.
    Skyguardian
     

  • F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft connect with an HC-130J Combat King II for nighttime high-speed air-to-air refuel Feb. 22, 2021. The completion of this milestone supports joint-service interoperability and enhances the success of military operations worldwide. This HC-130J capability increases available assets to conduct operations jointly where other aircraft may not be available, allowing the mission to continue unhindered. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kelly Goonan)

    The sun begins to set as a 39th Rescue Squadron HC-130J Combat King II flies above the clouds Feb. 22, 2021. The HC-130J is a modified KC-130J aircraft designed to conduct personnel recovery missions, provide a command and control platform, in-flight-refuel helicopters and carry supplemental fuel for extending range or air refueling. The aircraft is a result of the HC/MC-130 recapitalization program and replaced the HC-130P/N fleet as the dedicated fixed-wing personnel recovery platform in the Air Force inventory. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kelly Goonan)
     2021
    A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer aircraft assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, prepares to receive fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Wing, Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, during a Bomber Task Force Europe mission, Feb. 22, 2021. Strategic bomber missions familiarize aircrew with air bases and operations in different geographic combatant commands’ areas of operation. (Courtesy photos by Staff Sgt. Blake Soule)
     Royal Air Force Mildenhall
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    Melbourne, USA, February 24, 2021 – For the ninth consecutive year, Embraer’s Phenom 300 series has become the world’s best-selling light jet according to numbers released today by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Embraer delivered 50 Phenom 300 series light jets in 2020, making it the most delivered light jet of the year. This is the ninth consecutive year that the Phenom 300 series has achieved this milestone, having accrued more than 590 deliveries since entering the market in December 2009. In 2020, the Phenom 300 series was also the most delivered jet model out of all twinjets in the market.

    “The continued success of the Phenom 300 series, as the best-selling light jet in the world, is a reflection of our dedicated commitment to deliver the ultimate customer experience in business aviation,” says Michael Amalfitano, President & CEO of Embraer Executive Jets. “At Embraer, we are always improving our market leading products. We are continuously looking for advancements in performance, comfort, and technology. The Phenom 300E not only boasts advanced capabilities, but also delivers the most sophisticated combination of performance, technology and ergonomics of any light business jet in the industry.”
    Flight
    Originally launched in 2005, the Phenom 300 series is in operation in more than 30 countries and has accumulated more than one million flight hours. Embraer is continuously investing in the competitiveness of the Phenom 300E with enhancements to its comfort, technology, performance, and operational efficiency resulting in the highest residual value in the market.

    In January of 2020, Embraer announced the new and enhanced Phenom 300E, followed by its ANAC, EASA and FAA approval in March, achieving triple-certification. The first delivery of the new and enhanced Phenom 300E occurred in June of 2020.

    With its unparalleled technology, exceptional comfort, and stunning performance, the Phenom 300E sets the highest standard of excellence in the light jet category. In terms of performance, the new, enhanced Phenom 300E is even faster, capable of reaching Mach 0.80, becoming the fastest single-pilot jet in production, and able to deliver high-speed cruise of 464 knots, and a five-occupant range of 2,010 nautical miles (3,724 km) with NBAA IFR reserves.

    Additional technology enhancements include an avionics upgrade, featuring a runway overrun awareness and alerting system (ROAAS) ― the first technology of its kind to be developed and certified in business aviation ― as well as predictive windshear, Emergency Descent Mode, PERF, TOLD, and FAA Datacom, among others. The Phenom 300E also features 4G connectivity via Gogo AVANCE L5.

    The new, comfort-enhancing features on this jet include a quieter cabin, more legroom in the cockpit, and a new premium interior option — the Bossa Nova edition. Named for the Brazilian style of jazz music, and Portuguese for “new trend,” the optional Bossa Nova edition encompasses a package of Embraer’s latest interior developments, with features such as carbon fiber accents and Embraer’s exclusive Ipanema sew style. It is also the first of the Phenom 300 series to feature piano black surfaces.
    Airstair
    WICHITA, Kan. (Feb. 24, 2021) – Textron Aviation delivered nearly 560 aircraft to customers worldwide in 2020, leading the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) annual shipments and billings report published this week. In total, Textron Aviation delivered more than a quarter of all general aviation aircraft last year. The report also reveals Textron Aviation as the world’s third largest jet manufacturer after Boeing and Airbus, while surpassing Boeing’s turbine fixed-wing deliveries 251 to 210.
    Textron Aviation
    According to the GAMA report, Textron Aviation was the leading business jet manufacturer, in terms of deliveries in 2020, with the Cessna Citation Latitude remaining the most-delivered midsize jet for the fifth consecutive year. The company was also the leading non-agricultural turboprop producer, with its Cessna Caravan and Beechcraft King Air turboprops leading the way.

    “Leading general aviation aircraft deliveries in our industry is an honor and a testament to the trust of our customers flying Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft in nearly every part of the world,” said Ron Draper, president and CEO. “The opportunity to build aircraft for their missions, particularly during the challenges of the past year, also shows the hard work and determination of our employees, all of whom play an impactful role in the manufacturing, delivery and customer support journey.”
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    In 2020, Textron Aviation delivered 132 Cessna Citation business jets, with the midsize Citation Latitude topping the company’s jet deliveries for the year. The company delivered 113 Cessna and Beechcraft turboprops, led by its Caravan and King Air series aircraft. Deliveries of piston aircraft totaled 314, with the Cessna Skyhawk continuing its reign as the world’s best-selling single-engine piston.

    Last year the company also achieved significant program milestones, with the first flight of the Cessna SkyCourier utility turboprop in May, and the unveilings of the Beechcraft King Air 360 and the Beechcraft King Air 260 twin-engine turboprops later in the year.
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    SAN DIEGO – 24 February 2021 – For the first time on Feb. 3, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) flew a company-owned MQ-9A Block 5 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) equipped with a newly developed Centerline Avionics Bay (CAB). The CAB provides space to incorporate critical new capabilities for GA-ASI customers.

    Integration of the CAB began as GA-ASI needed space for new avionics on the MQ-9A, such as company-developed Detect and Avoid (DAA) system. In addition to the DAA system, GA-ASI will use the new avionics bay to pioneer Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) applications and establish an Ethernet network with the outer wing stations to enable government Open Mission Systems (OMS) protocols for rapid, flexible, and affordable integration of new mission capabilities. These upgrades will further expand an already broad menu of roles for the MQ-9A.

    “The Centerline Avionics Bay was purpose-built to provide additional volume, platform infrastructure, and cooling provisions for integrating High Performance Computing (HPC) systems on MQ-9 Block 1 and Block 5 RPA,” said GA-ASI Vice President of Strategic Development J.R. Reid. “The CAB will enable the MQ-9 to host Government OMS-compliant Autonomy, Machine Learning and eventually, Artificial Intelligence algorithms and applications. In addition to the HPC, we can work with customers on a broad range of capabilities with the additional space we get with the CAB.”

    One example of a customer application for the CAB is the Air National Guard’s Ghost Reaper concept, which establishes MQ-9A as a critical, multi-source correlation engine in a contested fight. The capabilities being developed and integrated onto MQ-9A will also become the catalyst for the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) construct.

    About GA-ASI

    GA-ASI, an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable, Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator® RPA series and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. With more than six million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight that enables situational awareness and rapid strike. The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas. For more information, visit www.ga-asi.com.

    SkyGuardian, SeaGuardian, Predator and Lynx are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
    9A Block 5
     

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