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Gripen E performs first flight in Sweden

The Gripen E’s first flight is captured in this video which shows preparation, take-off and landing of the fighter.

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21 June, 2017

First qualification test carried out for Orbital ATK launch abort motor

Orbital ATK, along with NASA and Lockheed Martin, successfully completed the first qualification test for the Orion spacecraft's launch abort motor on June 15. The motor is critical to crew safety, with the ability to pull the crew module away from the launch vehicle in the event of an emergency on the launch pad or during ascent.

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21 June, 2017

VSS Unity completes first ‘feather’ re-entry system flight test

On May 1, 2017, VSS Unity’s ‘feather’ re-entry system was activated in flight for the first time.

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4 May, 2017

 

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News

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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