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U.S. COAST GUARD MH-65 PROGRAM MOVES INTO FULL RATE PRODUCTION
Thursday, January 16, 2020
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. -- The U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 short range recovery helicopter program began full rate production of the MH-65E configuration Nov. 21, 2019, with the transfer of CGNR 6522 to the Aviation Logistics Center (ALC) in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Two additional aircraft - CGNR 6514 and CGNR 6593- were transferred to the ALC production line in December 2019 and one - CGNR 6507 - was transferred in January 2020. The program is executing concurrent Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) work and avionics upgrades for the MH-65E conversion on the entire fleet.

Full rate production means that the ALC will transition to producing MH-65Es at a rate of 22 aircraft per year.

The avionics upgrades include reliability and capability improvements for the Automatic Flight Control System; installation of a digital cockpit display system and an upgraded digital weather/surface search radar; integration of a robust command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance suite; and modernization of the digital flight deck with Common Avionics Architecture System, common with the Coast Guard H-60 medium range recovery helicopter and similar Department of Defense aircraft. Once the upgrades are complete, the helicopter is redesignated an MH-65E.

At the same time, the Coast Guard is completing SLEP activities to replace five major structure components: the nine-degree frame, canopy, center console floor assembly, floorboards and side panels. These mission-critical improvements are designed to extend the service life of the helicopter by 10,000 flight hours.

The avionics upgrades and SLEP are being completed at the same time to achieve schedule and cost efficiencies.

The Coast Guard plans to convert all 98 aircraft to the MH-65E configuration by fiscal year 2024.

Source:  U.S. Coast Guard
Associated URL: Click here to visit

 
LEIDOS TO PROVIDE U.S. ARMY COMMON DRIVER TRAINING SYSTEMS SERVICES
Friday, January 17, 2020
RESTON, Va. -- Leidos was awarded the Common Driver Trainer (CDT) Virtual Product Line (VPL) contract by the U.S. Army's Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI). Under the CDT VPL contract, Leidos will produce Technical Refresh and Concurrency hardware/software upgrade capabilities to the Army's Common Driver Trainer (CDT) systems. Leidos will also provide the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) with a full replacement of the existing Operator Driver Simulators (ODS).The single award, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract has a five-year base period of performance followed by two one-year option periods, and an approximate ceiling of $110 million. Work will be performed in Orlando, FL.

Leidos engineers will provide a technology refresh and concurrency upgrades to previously-fielded Army CDT systems, which provide training on several different vehicle types, including the US Army Tank and Tank Engineering Variant, Stryker, Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles, and Tactical Wheeled Variant (TWV) families. The CDT contract includes a complete replacement of all USMC driving simulators, in both fixed and mobile trailer-based configurations, to provide new driver training capabilities across a range of Marine Corps tactical vehicles at multiple USMC sites.

The CDT contract provides training in critical driver or crew tasks that are time consuming, resource constrained or too dangerous to conduct on actual equipment. With the use of a CDT simulator, dangerous or mission-critical training tasks are easily repeated. The new CDT systems provide cost-effective capabilities that maximize training and realism, and deliver more reliable, efficient, and extensible driver training. The modernized CDT system architecture is designed to support planned, systematic interoperability and reuse by other virtual training applications.

Source:  www.Leidos.com

 
AIRBUS DEMONSTRATES FIRST FULLY AUTOMATIC VISION-BASED TAKEOFF
Friday, January 17, 2020
TOULOUSE, France -- Airbus has successfully performed the first fully automatic vision-based take-off using an Airbus family test aircraft at Toulouse-Blagnac airport. The test flight took off initially at around 10:15 am on December 18 and conducted a total of eight vision-based take-offs over a period of four and a half hours.

"The aircraft performed as expected during these milestone tests. While completing alignment on the runway, waiting for clearance from air traffic control, we engaged the auto-pilot," said Airbus Test Pilot Captain Yann Beaufils. "We moved the throttle levers to the take-off setting and we monitored the aircraft. It started to move and accelerate automatically maintaining the runway center line, at the exact rotation speed as entered in the system. The nose of the aircraft began to lift up automatically to take the expected take-off pitch value and a few seconds later we were airborne."

Rather than relying on an Instrument Landing System (ILS), the existing ground equipment technology currently used by in-service passenger aircraft in airports around the world where the technology is present, this automatic take-off was enabled by image recognition technology installed directly on the aircraft.

Automatic take-off is an important milestone in Airbus’ Autonomous Taxi, Take-Off & Landing (ATTOL) project. Launched in June 2018, ATTOL is one of the technological flight demonstrators being tested by Airbus in order to understand the impact of autonomy on aircraft. The next steps in the project will see automatic vision-based taxi and landing sequences taking place by mid-2020.

Airbus’ mission is not to move ahead with autonomy as a target in itself, but instead to explore autonomous technologies alongside other innovations in areas such as materials, electrification and connectivity. By doing so, Airbus is able to analyze the potential of these technologies in addressing the key industrial challenges of tomorrow, including improving air traffic management, addressing pilot shortages and enhancing future operations. At the same time Airbus is leveraging these opportunities to further improve aircraft safety.

Airbus notes that autonomous technologies are paramount to supporting pilots, enabling them to focus less on aircraft operation and more on strategic decision-making and mission management.

Source:  Airbus

 

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