On Monday at 12:18 pm PDT off the coast of San Diego, California, the F-35C
Lightning II made its first arrested landing on an aircraft carrier. Taking place on the first day of a two-week sea trial, the landing of the F-35C test aircraft CF-03 on the flight deck of the nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) with test pilot commander Tony Wilson at the controls marked a major step towards the carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter entering operational service.
NASA and Lockheed Martin announced on Thursday that they have completed final assembly and testing of the Orion
spacecraft, which is designed to carry NASA astronauts on deep space missions. This clears the way for the first test flight in December as NASA prepares to re-enter the manned spaceflight business.
Fusion reactors are a bit like buses; you wait forever for one, then two come along at once. No sooner does the University of Washington
announce that it’s working on a breakthrough compact fusion reactor (CFR) than Lockheed Martin says that its Revolutionary Technology Programs unit, AKA the Skunk Works, in Palmdale, California has one that could be ready for market within ten years.
High energy laser (HEL) systems have been the subject of military research for decades, but it is only in recent years that the technology has advanced to the point where it is feasible for such systems to be mounted on military ground vehicles
and sea vessels
. Initial flight tests have now been conducted on a new aircraft laser turret that will help pave the way for HEL systems to be integrated into military aircraft.
Move over, Tony Stark; the US Navy is going Iron Man
. The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) has ordered a pair of Fortis exoskeletons from Lockheed Martin for testing and evaluation. The unpowered exoskeletons won’t give sailors superhuman strength, but they will allow them to handle heavy equipment for longer periods with less fatigue.
While aircraft such as the X-47B
are paving the way for unmanned aircraft filling combat roles, autonomous aircraft are also being developed to tackle more mundane – but still dangerous – military operations. To this end, the first fully autonomous resupply, reconnaissance, surveillance and target-acquisition demonstration using the Squad Mission Support System
(SMSS) unmanned ground vehicle, K-MAX unmanned helicopter
and Gyrocam optical sensor was recently conducted at Fort Benning, Georgia.
In preparation for the maiden test flight of NASA's Orion spacecraft
, specialists from NASA, Lockheed Martin and the US Navy this week completed testing of various recovery methods for retrieving the crew module. The testing enabled the team to assess data and prepare for different scenarios that may come into play when the craft splashes into the Pacific Ocean this December.
There are going to be some disappointed aeronautical fans this weekend at the Royal International Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire, UK. The F-35B Lightning II
fighter will not be making its scheduled international public début due to the grounding of the entire F-35 fleet after a runway incident in Florida.
On October, 24 2003, the last Concorde jet went out of service. What began as a promise of supersonic travel for all, ended as a museum exhibit of a false dawn. However, that may be changing with companies such as Aerion
and Spike Aerospace
looking to take business jets supersonic. At Aviation 2014, an annual event of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, NASA presented examples of the space agency’s work on new technologies that could lead to a revival of civilian supersonic travel within the next 15 years.