Friday, January 19, 2018

American launching Philly service

PENSACOLA, Fla. – American Airlines will launch daily nonstop service between Pensacola International Airport (PNS) and Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) on June 7, 2018. Flights are scheduled to depart Pensacola daily at 4:09 pm CST and arrive in Philadelphia at 7:39 pm EST. Philadelphia International becomes Pensacola International Airport’s eighteenth nonstop destination. Philadelphia becomes the fifth nonstop destination served by American Airlines out of Pensacola including Charlotte, Dallas, Miami and Washington DC. (Source: City of Pensacola, 01/19/18)

Contract: L3, $9M

L3 Technologies Inc., Communications Systems-West, Salt Lake City, Utah, has been awarded a $9,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to explore technologies enabling cooperative engagement in degraded communication environments for the next generation of munitions. Work will be performed in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is expected to be complete by January 2025. This contract is the result of a competitive acquisition and two bids were received. Fiscal 2017 research and development funds in the amount of $1,680,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8651-18-D-0015). (Source: DoD, 01/19/18)

Upgraded C-130 being tested

Maintainer pulls generator cable to C-130H
Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – The Air Force’s first fully upgraded C-130H arrived here Jan. 11 to begin testing. The Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Airlift Wing-owned aircraft will be here for several months undergoing multiple test flights. The goal of these evaluations is to collect data and confirm the increased fuel efficiency, reliability and overall performance improvements gained from the new propellers and upgraded engines. The benefits of the upgrades include shorter take-off roll, improved climb, quieter operations, and lower operating and support costs, according to Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, the program office for the test. The flight testing will be conducted by 153rd AW and C-130 Combined Test Force aircrews. ANG Airmen will maintain the aircraft during its time here. The Wyoming Air National Guard was chosen to receive the C-130H because of its involvement in the initial testing with the new systems in 2008, when the Air Force explored the idea of upgrading the H-model. (Source: Eglin Air Force Base, 01/16/18)

ECP adds American flights

PANAMA CITY, Fla. – Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport in West Bay has added another major airline service to cities that are hubs for American Airlines, allowing connections to flights worldwide. Starting June 7, American Airlines' 65-seat Eagle service will be offering twice-a-day, nonstop daily service to and from Charlotte, N.C., and Dallas/Fort Worth international airports. The cities are two of American Airlines’ largest hubs, meaning people will be able to transfer onto flights in those cities that go all over the country and world, officials said in a press conference Thursday morning. (Source: News Herald, 01/18/18)

Trade staff releases report

The U.S. International Trade Commission released a report that reviews arguments on both sides of the Boeing-Bombardier trade dispute and provides a basis on which commissioners will decide if Bombardier's CSeries sale to Delta Air Lines harmed Boeing. The 118-page document written by the ITC's staff provides no recommendations, but rather compiles information the ITC gathered during its months-long trade investigation. (Source: Flightglobal, 01/17/18) Bombardier says it has made "substantial further progress" toward building a new aircraft assembly line in Mobile, Ala., according to filing with the ITC. Bombardier is locked in a trade dispute with Boeing; Airbus and Bombardier have formed a joint venture and say they want to assemble jets in Mobile; and Boeing, which has scoffed at the Airbus-Bombardier plan, has explored a relationship with Brazil's Embraer that has some similar aspects. (Source:, 01/18/18) Previous

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Contract: Bell-Boeing, $34.9M

Bell-Boeing JPO, Amarillo, Texas, is being awarded $34,911,818 for cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order N6134018F0001 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-17-G-0002) in support of the V-22. This order procures software and hardware upgrades for 28 flight training devices necessary to integrate aircraft software version B 6-01/C 4.01 into 23 Marine Corps MV-22 training devices and software version 20.4.01/10.6.01 into nine Air Force CV-22 training devices. These devices are being upgraded to ensure concurrency with Marine Corps and Air Force aircraft. Work will be performed in Chantilly, Va. (26 percent); Broken Arrow, Okla. (21 percent); Fort Worth, Texas (18 percent); Philadelphia, Pa. (8 percent); St. Louis, Mo. (8 percent); Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (4 percent); Albuquerque, N.M. (4 percent); Clovis, N.M. (4 percent); Mildenhall, United Kingdom (4 percent); Clifton, N.J. (2 percent); and Orlando, Fla. (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in April 2022. Fiscal 2017 aircraft procurement (Navy, Air Force, and U.S. Special Operations Command) funds in the amount of $34,911,818 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 01/18/18)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Contract: Lockheed, $7.5M

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded $7,476,086 for modification P00004 to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed fee contract (N00019-15-C-0105) to transition the F-35 Australia, Canada, United Kingdom Reprogramming Laboratory (ACURL) system from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Fort Worth, Texas, to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Support includes required activities including packing, shipping, installation, integration, and testing. This modification also provides for initial spares for the ACURL. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base (70 percent); and Fort Worth, Texas (30 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2019. International partner funds in the amount of $7,476,086 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 01/17/18)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

NASA tests flight controller

First RS-25 flight controller test of 2018
NASA photo
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- NASA engineers picked up this year where they left off in 2017, conducting a certification test of another RS-25 engine flight controller Tuesday on the A-1 Test Stand. The 365-second, full-duration test came a month after the space agency capped a year of RS-25 testing with a flight controller test in mid-December. A 3D printed part tested in December, a pogo accumulator assembly, was tested again. It’s part of an ongoing series of tests with parts made using advanced manufacturing techniques that will make building future engines more affordable. For this "green run" test, the flight controller was installed on RS-25 developmental engine E0528 and fired just as during an actual launch. Once certified, the flight controller will be removed and installed on a flight engine for use by NASA's new deep-space rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS). (Source: NASA/SSC, 01/16/18) Previous

Contract: BAE Systems, $14.4M

BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Service, Rockville, Md., is being awarded $14,361,151 for modification P00039 to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee term contract (N00421-16-C-0035). This modification exercises an option for an estimated 181,876 hours of life cycle support services and incidental materials for fielded communications-electronics equipment/systems and subsystems, including maintenance, logistic, and lifecycle sustainment. These services are in support of the Naval Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s Special Communications Mission Solutions Division. Work will be performed in Chesapeake, Va. (30 percent); San Diego, Calif. (19 percent); St. Inigoes, Md. (15 percent); Panzer Kaserne, Germany (15 percent); Fayetteville, N.C. (10 percent); Afghanistan (6 percent); Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (3 percent); Fort Bliss, Texas (1 percent); and Homestead, Fla. (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2018. No funds are being obligated at time of award. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 01/16/18)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Appraiser testing aerial drones

MILTON, Fla. – The property appraiser’s office in Santa Rosa County is among the first in Florida using unmanned aerial system. The office has been testing the use of drones to supplement and update property data since September 2016. Nine FAA-licensed drone pilots operate four drones. Property Appraiser Greg Brown is responsible for identifying, locating and valuing all property within the county for tax purposes. Previously, every two years Brown's office has had to pay $250,000 per flight for an aerial photography company to fly over the county's 1,100 square miles to get photos. Using the drones pushes that need back to every three or four years. Brown anticipates that in the future they can be used for damage assessment after severe weather. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 01/15/18)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Bay EDA having busy year

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - The Bay County Economic Development Alliance is working on 25 projects for 2018. Six of those projects may be announced within the first quarter of the new year, EDA President Becca Hardin said Jan. 10 at an alliance meeting. Among the six is Project G-Force, which involves an aviation manufacturing company in the process of deciding to locate in Bay County or one other site. Hardin expects a decision by the end of January. The project would bring about 50 jobs, and represent a $20 million investment. Another, called Project SoHo, is at the irport campus and would represent a $25 million investment and an estimated 105 jobs. (Source: News Herald, 01/10/18)

Spaceport at Stennis airport eyed

KILN, Miss. -- The Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission has commissioned RS&H, Inc. to study the feasibility of obtaining a Launch Site Operator License that could open the door to commercial space flight out of Stennis International Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration has developed regulations that enable airports to host operations of reusable launch vehicles that take off and land like aircraft. Several kinds of such vehicles are currently under development. The study will examine the feasibility of hosting spaceport operations, as well as the infrastructure needs and potential economic benefits of such operations. Commission CEO Bill Cork said the commercial space industry is "poised for dynamic growth, and Hancock County is uniquely positioned to benefit from this growth." The airport is just outside NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center, the nation's largest rocket engine test facility. (Source: Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission, 01/12/18)

Thursday, January 11, 2018

NASA seeking innovators

NASA is looking to small businesses and research institutions for innovative technologies that could have significant potential for successful transition into NASA mission programs and other commercial markets. This year, through NASA’s Small Business and Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I solicitation, proposals for research, development and technology demonstrations can be submitted until March 9, 2018, 5 p.m. EST. Phase I awards are valued at about $125,000 for up to six months for SBIR and 13 months for STTR to establish the scientific, technical and commercial merit and feasibility of the proposed innovation in fulfillment of NASA needs. (Source: NASA, 01/11/18)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Zuma reported lost

A secret spacecraft launched by a SpaceX rocket on Sunday failed to enter a stable orbit and was lost. The spacecraft, called Zum, launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, apparently did not separate as it was supposed to from the upper stage of the rocket and did not reach a stable orbit. Northrop Grumman, which built the Zuma spacecraft, would only say that it's a classified program and can not comment. It was not clear if the failure was due to problems with the SpaceX rocket or with the Zuma spacecraft. SpaceX issued a statement Tuesday suggesting that its rocket performed as designed. (Sources: multiple, including CNN, Ars Technica, Wired, 01/09/18) Gulf Coast note: SpaceX is using Stennis Space Center, Miss., to develop its next-generation Raptor engine. Previous

South Mississippi hosts joint training

CH-47 being loaded in C-5M Super Galaxy.
Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Ryan Labadens
KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. – Personnel from the 41st Aerial Port Squadron of Savannah, Ga., and other units from the Air Force, Army and Navy teamed up for a joint training exercise last week at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi and the Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC) in Gulfport. The primary goal of GRIP III Breaking Barriers was to give reservists and military members an opportunity to train with aircraft, personnel, and equipment that they don’t regularly encounter in everyday training. The 1108th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group at the CRTC provided UH-60 helicopters to ferry personnel between Keesler and the CRTC, simulating transportation between forward operating bases. The Navy Special Boat Team 22 from Stennis Space Center, Miss., provided a riverine command boat, rigid inflatable boats and trailers to allow personnel to practice loading and off-loading. Personnel during the exercise performed joint inspections of several vehicles, including a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, light mobile tactical vehicles, Humvees, and mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles. (Source: 403rd Wing, 01/09/18)

Monday, January 8, 2018

SpaceX launches Zuma

SpaceX lifted the secret Zuma spacecraft for the government Sunday night in a mission that also featured another landing by the first stage of the company's Falcon 9 rocket. The launch was from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Florida's east coast. The booster's two stages separated 2 minutes and 19 seconds into flight. The second stage continued carrying Zuma to its destination in low-Earth orbit, and the first stage made a vertical touchdown at Landing Zone 1, a SpaceX facility at Cape Canaveral. The first stage landed a little less than 8 minutes after taking off. SpaceX now has 21 successful first stage returns, part of its plan to develop reusable rockets. The launch followed more than a month of delays. (Sources:, CNN, 01/08/18) Gulf Coast note: SpaceX is using Stennis Space Center, Miss., to develop its next-generation Raptor engine.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Blue Angels begin winter training

The Navy Blue Angels left their home base at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., Wednesday and arrived at Naval Air Station El Centro in Southern California to begin winter training for the 2018 show season. The maintenance and support team left first Wednesday morning, then the six jets that make up the flight demonstration team left a couple of hours later. The team will perform in El Centrol March 10, then return to Pensacola after that to begin the regular show season. (Sources: Pensacola News Journal, 10NewsKGTV, 01/03/18) Naval Air Station El Centro is between San Diego and Yuma, Ariz.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Contract: Boeing, $193.6M

The Boeing Co. Defense, Space and Security, St. Louis, Mo., has been awarded a $193,638,503, contract modification (P00001) to a previously awarded contract (FA8672-16-D-0010) for Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) Increment 1 Lots 12-14 production. This modification provides for the purchase of an additional quantity of 6,000 SDB 1 all-up-rounds being produced under the basic contract. The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity ceiling is increasing from $700,000,000 to $893,638,503. Work will be performed in St. Louis and is expected to be completed by Dec. 30, 2020. This contract involves foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands, South Korea, and Singapore. This modification is a result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2015 and 2016 missile procurement; and foreign military sales funds in the amount of $99,715,078 is being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8672-16-D-0010). (Source: DoD, 01/02/18)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Contract: Northrop, $255.3M

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded $255,309,325 for fixed-price-incentive modification P00003 to a previously awarded advanced acquisition contract (N00019-17-C-0018) for the Lot 3 low-rate initial production of three MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft, trade studies and tooling in support of the Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office. Moss Point, Miss., will do 4.2 percent of the work. Other work will be performed in San Diego, Calif. (30.4 percent); Baltimore, Md. (13.5 percent); Red Oak, Texas (13.4 percent); Palmdale, Calif. (10.5 percent); Salt Lake City, Utah (6.1 percent); Bridgeport, W.V. (5.3 percent); Indianapolis, Ind. (3.9 percent); Newton, N.D. (1percent); Quebec, Canada (.9 percent); and various locations within the continental U.S. (10.8 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2021. Fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $255,309,325 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/28/17)

Contract: Raytheon, $25.8M

Raytheon Missile Co., Tucson, Ariz., has been awarded a $25,766,768 firm-fixed-price modification to a previously awarded contract (FA8675-15-C-0022) for special tooling and test equipment, for the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile Lots 28-30 production. Work will be performed in Tucson with an expected completion date of Dec. 31, 2020. This contract involves foreign military sales to Norway, Japan, Korea, Morocco, Australia, the United Kingdom, Poland, Indonesia, Romania, Spain, Turkey and Qatar. Fiscal 2017 production funds in the amount of $16,691,712 are being obligated at the time of award, and the remaining $9,075,056 is from foreign military sales sources. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/28/17)