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Valor begins ground-constrained testing

The Bell V280 Valor prototype aircraft has successfully begun its restrained ground run test operations. The aircraft will continue ground run testing at the Bell Helicopter Amarillo Assembly Center in Texas where it will undergo a series of functional tests running all aircraft systems and flight.

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Open Rotor development progressing fast

The Open Rotor is a future-generation aircraft engine developed by Safran that leverages its revolutionary architecture to deliver ACARE1 fuel-consumption and CO₂ emission goals, and is making progress fast.

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With Airbus announcing that its CityAirbus urban air mobility demonstrator is on track for its maiden flight in 2018, and Velocopter test flying its technology in Dubai recently, how soon do you expect to see such autonomous 'flying taxis' in everyday use?

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KC-46 Pegasus undergoes testing in Benefield Anechoic Facility

A KC-46A Pegasus has entered the Benefield Anechoic Facility for the first time at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

The new aerial refueling tanker is undergoing tests to demonstrate that it meets Federal Aviation Administration certification requirements and DOD electromagnetic environmental effects requirements for systems. These tests include shielding effectiveness, emission control and high intensity radiated fields.

The tests are to confirm that the KC-46A systems do not suffer performance degradation that would prevent mission completion when subjected to the external radio frequency environment and that undesirable emissions are controlled.

The tests are being conducted in the BAF to provide an electromagnetically controlled environment suitable for critically sensitive radio frequency measurements.

The BAF, operated by the 772nd Test Squadron, is the largest anechoic chamber in the world and can fit most aircraft inside. It provides a location where electronic warfare tests can be conducted without radio frequency interference from the outside world. The chamber is filled with polyurethane and polyethylene pyramids designed to stop reflections of electromagnetic waves. The size of the pyramids, which are painted dark blue or black, varies depending on the particular frequency and test procedure being conducted. Aircraft systems can be tested and verified that they work properly prior to actual flying.

“It also provides efficient testing that requires a large amount of high power RF radiation whereas outdoors this would be very restrictive, typically limited to shorter nighttime test operations,” said Delia Reyes, 772nd TS project lead engineer.

Participants in the test include Boeing, 772nd Test Squadron, 418th Flight Test Squadron and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division.

Three specialized, high-power electromagnetic radiating trailers are being used for the tests.

The Air Force’s KC-46A tanker modernization program is among the Air Force's highest acquisition priorities, program managers say. Being able to refuel military aircraft in the air is critical to the US military's ability to effectively operate globally. The Air Force initiated the KC-46 program to replace about a third of its aging KC-135 Stratotanker fleet.

The KC-46A is designed to provide improved capability, including boom and drogue refueling on the same sortie; worldwide navigation and communication; airlift capability on the entire main deck floor; receiver air refueling; improved force protection and survivability; and multi-point air refueling capability.

June 7, 2017

Written by Michael Jones


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