Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Marines

The F-35B making its first vertical takeoff

Lockheed Martin has revealed that an F-35B fighter jet made its first vertical takeoff on May 10 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. This follows on the heels of its first vertical night landing on April 2 at the same location. The vertical takeoff capability is designed for moving the strike fighter over short distances in an emergency when a runway isn't available, but it is not seen as a combat feature due to its heavy use of fuel.  Read More

The F-35B comes in for its first night time vertical landing

After making its first successful vertical landing in 2010 and the first at sea in 2011 – both in the clear light of day – an F-35B Lightning II last week completed the first short takeoff and vertical landing under cover of darkness.  Read More

V-22 Osprey (Photo: Boeing)

The tilt-rotor Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey program received a boost last week when the U.S. Marine Corps took delivery of the latest variant. The Osprey, which began development some 30 years ago, combines the helicopter's ability to take off and land vertically, with the speed of a regular aircraft. The recently delivered Block C variant includes an improved weather radar system, an upgraded crew and passenger aircon system, improvements to the cockpit Electronic Flight Instrument displays and upgrades to the Electronic Warfare Systems.  Read More

With the announcement of the AACUS program, we may be closer to the day when United States...

We may be closer to the day when United States Marines will, within a matter of minutes, use a handheld app to summon robotic helicopters to deliver battlefield supplies. On Tuesday, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced its five-year, US$98 million Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System (AACUS) program, with the specific aim of developing "sensors and control technologies for robotic vertical take-off and landing aircraft."  Read More

The unmanned K-MAX undergoing testing earlier this year (Image: Lockheed Martin)

The unmanned Kaman K-MAX helicopter has made its first combat resupply mission in Afghanistan. Designed to reduce the reliance on truck convoys that are often targeted by IED (improvised explosive device) strikes when resupplying front-line troops in remote areas and manned aircraft that place their crews in danger, the unmanned aircraft is a modified K-MAX intermeshing rotor helicopter with the ability to lift a payload of over 6,000 pounds (2,721 kg).  Read More

The GREENS solar panels can be rapidly deployed in the field to provide front line forces ...

In response to a Marine Corps requirement from Iraq for an expeditionary renewable power system, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Advanced Power Generation Future Naval Capabilities program has introduced technology designed to harness some of the sunlight that beats down upon U.S. Marines operating in the Arabian Desert. Fueled by the sun, the Ground Renewable Expeditionary ENergy System (GREENS) is a portable, 300W, photovoltaic/battery system that provides continuous power to marines in the field.  Read More

The first Lockheed Martin F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing stealth fighter takes off (...

The first aircraft in history to combine stealth with short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) capability and supersonic speed has been delivered to the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., where it will conduct its first hovers and vertical landings. The Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II STOVL stealth fighter will replace U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B STOVL fighters, F/A-18 strike fighters and EA-6B electronic attack aircraft, and will also be used by the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force and Royal Navy and the Italian Air Force and Navy.  Read More

The A160T is already used in several ways by the military to take advantage of its ability...

The most successful military commanders in history have been master logisticians in addition to master tacticians – you can’t fight effectively if you don’t have all that you need. These days computers aid logistics immensely, but they’re just about to add a whole new dimension by flying the cargo aircraft too. Boeing is the first to submit a platform for the U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory's Immediate Cargo Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Demonstration Program: the A160T Hummingbird autonomous unmanned helicopter with a healthy 2,500-pound payload.  Read More

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