Charles D'Alberto is a CEO & Founder of Perla Group International.
He has vast experience in bringing startups to successful companies and pioneer in the VSAT industry having introduced many new technologies to emerging markets.
An avid helicopter pilot with a passion for the aviation industry.
Lockheed Martin is completing preliminary design of a low-boom flight demonstrator as part of NASA’s Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) project. The single-engine, Mach 1.4+ X-plane is intended to mimic the shockwave signature of a 100- to 120-seat supersonic airliner and show that a shaped sonic boom of 75 PLdB is quiet enough to permit supersonic flight over land. NASA plans to fly the competitively procured X-plane in 2019 and begin community acceptance testing in 2020.
The ability to fly supersonic over land will be the game changer for supersonic business jets, but that’s not likely to happen for another 10 to 15 years, says Gulfstream, which is actively but quietly studying the concept.
“The earliest will be 2025-2030,” says Dan Nale, SVP for programs, engineering and test. “That’s the earliest the ICAO process can change the rules to allow it.” Meanwhile Gulfstream, which has conducted more studies into supersonic flight and mitigation of the sonic boom than any other business jet manufacturer, continues to carry out original research, participate in regulatory issues and undertake paper studies.
“We’re doing a lot of the preliminary design studies,” says Nale, who believes the sonic boom and engine emissions from flying that fast at altitude will be the two major issues to overcome. Next step is for NASA to fly its proposed supersonic demonstrator, on which it is working with Lockheed Martin. “Gulfstream is involved as part of NASA’s consulting review panel,” he adds.
Gulfstream believes the aircraft must be shaped to minimize the boom, and to that end it earlier test-flew an extending nose on a NASA F-15. That Pinocchio-like proboscis is now on display in the lobby of the company’s advanced acoustics lab in Savannah.
AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy–F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 555th Fighter Squadron participated in a training flight over the Adriatic Sea on Oct. 25, 2016. Pilots from the 555th and 510th Fighter Squadrons train regularly to ensure they can deter aggression, defend U.S. and NATO interests, and develop Aviano through superior combat air power. The two squadrons fly more than 20,000 hours a year combined to ensure they can provide combat airpower to U.S. and NATO combatant commanders and the National Command Authority to meet national security objectives.
Just before 1am this morning tomorrow, a green laser beam was pointed at the police helicopter as it was conducting patrols of the Butler area.
The helicopter crew were able to pinpoint the location where the beam emanated from and officers from the Northern Regional Operations Group attended the identified residence in Butler, WA Police say.
A 28 year old man from Butler has been charged with Cause Fear with Laser or Light to People in Conveyance and Possession of a Controlled Weapon. He is due to appear before the Joondalup Magistrates Court on 21 November 2016.
A 26 year old man from Alkimos and a 23 year old man from West Perth have been summonsed to appear in court at a later date on the offence of Possession of a Controlled Weapon.
Russia’s upgraded Mi-28NM Night Hunter helicopter gunships will soon bristle with an array of longer-range guided antitank missiles.“
We are updating Ataka and Khrizantema missiles for the Mi-28NMs to increase their range of target detection, lock on and destruction. The helicopter’s onboard fire control system will likewise be adapted for the use of these new missiles,” Valery Kashin, chief designer of the Kolomna-based Mechanical Engineering Design Bureau, said.
The Night Hunters will be able to use their new weapons round the clock and in any weather. For example, the modernized Ataka guided antitank missiles will have their range increased to 8 kilometers from 6 now. Early this month Russia tested out an upgraded version of the Mi-28 attack helicopter.
Dubbed Mi-28NM (NATO reporting name “Havoc”), it features a 360-degree radar and advanced weapons guidance system that ensures faster target acquisition and its downloading to the helicopter’s fire control system.
Unlike its predecessor, the Mi-28NM can be piloted also by the gunner and is better suited for the use of high-precision ordnance. The Mi-28NM is a modernized version of the Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopter that is being upgraded to a fifth-generation aircraft, which has been in development since 2008.
Five people died this morning after the aircraft they were flying in crashed shortly after take-off in Luqa at around 7.20am (local).
UPDATE 0831 UTC The plane was on its way to Misrata, Libya.
UPDATE 0813 UTC The aircraft involved in the accident at Luqa Airport was a 1983 Fairchild SA227-AT aircraft
UPDATE 0808 UTC Runway 13/31 is currently available for departures but a zero-rate regulation is applied until 1200 UTC for arrivals (NOTAM A0971).
UPDATE 0721 UTC The aircraft believed to be carrying EU border officials crashes at Malta airport.
UPDATE 0704 UTC Incident at Malta airport. Main runway unavailable. No arrivals until further notice.
Sources said the plane crashed near the runway soon after take-off and subsequently burst into flames. An eyewitness told Times of Malta they saw the plane take-off and rise before it suddenly tipped onto its right side “and went straight down into the ground.”
Charles D’Alberto U.S. Marines prepare to refuel a UH-1Y Venom during an aircraft delivered ground refueling training event as part of the Rim of the Pacific exercise on July 25.
A U.S. Marine helicopter struck a power line and made an emergency landing on the North Shore Tuesday night. There were no injuries to the flight crew or civilians.
The UH-1Y, belonging to the III Marine Expeditionary Force, was flying in an authorized training area when it struck the line about 7:45 p.m., according to Capt. Tim Irish, spokesman for the Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The aircraft was conducting a scheduled flight in the area.
The Honolulu Police Department said officers responded to Comsat Road, which is mauka of Sunset Beach, to assist with traffic management.
Irish said the helicopter is still on site but does not know if or when it will be moved. The cause of the incident is under investigation.
According to the Hawaiian Electric Co., there was a report of damage to a line, but there were no power outages.
Joanna Perez said she and her family heard sirens and saw at least six emergency vehicles drive up Comsat Road between 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Perez, who is staying with her son at his house on Comsat Road, said when her family left around 8:30 a.m. today, police were blocking access to Comsat Road. She said residents had to provide officers with their addresses to get in.
TAWAU • A military helicopter crashed into a school in the town of Tawau, Sabah, yesterday morning, leaving at least 17 people hurt, including several students, Malaysian media reported.
The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) helicopter was carrying 14 personnel on board when it crashed into the area between the canteen and a hall building under construction within the secondary school compound, the New Straits Times reported. Other reports, however, said there were 13 RMAF personnel on board the aircraft.
The paper said the aircraft clipped the roof of the school's main building before it lost altitude and crashed at about 9.35am.
The RMAF headquarters in Kuala Lumpur said the helicopter had been on a routine training flight.
Tawau police chief Fadil Marcus said the aircraft had taken off from Tawau airport, located about 10km from the school.
He said 14 RMAF personnel on board, including the pilots, were hurt, The Star reported.
There were conflicting reports about the number of students injured, with some saying at least four students had been hurt.
All those injured were rushed to a nearby clinic. Some of them were later transferred to the Tawau district hospital, The Star said. The school was closed temporarily after the crash.
Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has ordered the RMAF to carry out investigations, Bernama reported.
LAWTON, Okla. (AP) —A medical helicopter with four people on board has crash landed outside a hospital in Comanche County.
Lawton police say the helicopter lost power around 6 a.m. Thursday while landing at Comanche County Memorial Hospital. Hospital officials say the helicopter’s pilot managed to safely land it along a nearby roadway.
The helicopter was operated by Mesa, Arizona-based Survival Flight, which began operating at the Comanche County hospital this week. A Survival Flight spokesman, Vice President Andy Arthurs, says none of the four crew members on board the helicopter was injured.
Arthurs says officials have no indication what caused the crash landing. He says investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were at the scene Thursday afternoon.
Arthurs says officials believe the helicopter can be repaired.
Thom Richard was preparing to take off in the Gold Formula One event at the National Championship Air Race in Nevada on Sunday when his engine started sputtering.
The Swedish-born pilot immediately turned his engine off. He opened the canopy of his plane, Hot Stuff, as he signalled to ground crews that he couldn’t fly.
However, it appears this message wasn’t delivered to three planes waiting to take off behind him.
He hoped the third plane would manage to fly over him. Instead, it hit him with a violent and loud impact at almost 100 km/h.
“Three things immediately came to mind. Make yourself as small as possible to avoid further injury until things stop moving,” Richard said.
Two F-35B aircraft fly in formation over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. | Lockheed Martin photo
An F-35B just carried out a remarkable test where its sensors spotted an airborne target, sent the data to an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense site, and had the land-based outpost fire a missile to defeat the target — thereby destroying an airborne adversary without firing a single shot of its own.
This development simultaneously vindicates two of the US military’s most important developments: The F-35 and the Naval Integrated Fire Control Counterair Network (NIFC-CA).
Essentially, the NIFC-CA revolutionizes naval targeting systems by combining data from a huge variety of sensors to generate targeting data that could be used to defeat incoming threats.
So now with this development, an F-35 can pass targeting data to the world’s most advanced missile defense system, an Aegis site, that would fire its own missile, likely a SM-6, to take out threats in the air, on land, or at sea.
This means that an F-35 can stealthily enter heavily contested enemy air space, detect threats, and have them destroyed by a missile fired from a remote site, like an Aegis land site or destroyer, without firing a shot and risking giving up its position.
The SM-6, the munition of choicefor Aegis destroyers, is a 22-foot long supersonic missile that can seek out, maneuver, and destroy airborne targets like enemy jets or incoming cruise or ballistic missiles.
The SM-6’s massive size prohibits it from being equipped to fighter jets, but now, thanks to the integration of the F-35 with the NIFC-CA, it doesn’t have to.
The SM-6, as effective and versatile as it is, can shoot further than the Aegis sites can see. The F-35, as an ultra connective and stealthy jet, acts as an elevated, highly mobile sensor that extends the effective range of the missile.
This joint capability helps assuage fears over the F-35’s limited capacity to carry ordnance. The jet’s stealth design means that all weapons have to be stored internally, and this strongly limits the plane’s overall ordnance capacity.
This limiting factor has drawn criticism from pundits more fond of traditional jet fighting approaches. However, it seems the F-35’s connectivity has rendered this point a non-issue.
Demonstration shows capability to extend the battlefront using Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA). | Lockheed Martin photo
Overall, the F-35 and NIFC-CA integration changes the game when it comes to the supposed anti-access/area denial bubbles created by Russia and China’s advanced air defenses and missiles.
“One of the key defining attributes of a 5th Generation fighter is the force multiplier effect it brings to joint operations through its foremost sensor fusion and external communications capabilities,” said Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, said in a statement.
“NIFC-CA is a game changer for the US Navy that extends the engagement range we can detect, analyze and intercept targets,” said Dale Bennett, another Lockheed Martin vice president in the statement.
“The F-35 and Aegis Weapon System demonstration brings us another step closer to realizing the true potential and power of the worldwide network of these complex systems to protect and support warfighters, the home front and US allies.”
Trigana Air Service plane lies on the tarmac after skidding for just under a mile.
It was a bit of a rough landing.
An Indonesian cargo plane slammed into the runway and skidded for just under a mile (1 kilometer,) tearing off its landing gear, while attempting to land on Tuesday morning.
The Trigana Air Service plane was touching down at Wamena airport in West Papua, Indonesia, at about 7.30am when things started to go wrong.
Plane lands at 0:20 seconds
Pilot Matt Dearden, who has been flying in Indonesia for seven years, told CNN that the plane was in low cloud when he attempted to land early on Tuesday.
“They touched down very hard in a nose high attitude which instantly collapsed both main gear. The left gear was ripped from the airframe as it skidded along the runway,” he said.
“It came to a rest a long way from the impact point and skidded just off the right side of the runway, scattering debris as it went.”
The torn off landing gear from Trigana PK-YSY.
No lives were lost in the crash, marketing director for Pertamina Ahmad Bambang told online news portal detik.com. The pilot, co-pilot and technician were able to escape.
On his Twitter account, Bambang said the state-owned energy company had hired the plane to deliver fuel supplies to Jayapura and Wamena — two small towns in Papua.
“We are sorry for fuel supply disruptions,” he said, adding they were looking for more ways to deliver the goods.
Fire crews attend to a Trigana Air Services flight which violently skidded off the runway.
Dearden said there had been no injuries but it would take a while to remove the plane’s wreck from the runway.
“Sadly this happens far too often out here,” he said. “There was an almost identical crash here in Wamena almost exactly a year ago.”
Wamena airport is surrounded by high mountains and often has cloud at unusually low levels, Dearden added. “There is no instrument landing equipment here either so all landings are hand flown visually,” he said.
Trigana Air Service didn’t immediately respond for a request for comment.
BERLIN – Energy drinks brand Red Bull says Austrian stunt pilot Hannes Arch, a member of the company’s extreme sports team, has died in a helicopter crash in the Alps.
The 48-year-old was flying back from a mountain hut in the Grossglockner area of Carinthia, in eastern Austria, when his helicopter struck a cliff late Thursday. A passenger was seriously injured.
Red Bull said Arch had been a member of its extreme sports team for over 25 years.
In a statement Friday, the company said that in his younger days Arch “was ranked as one of the world’s leading mountaineers and climbers, and was one of the first aerobatic paragliders.”
The Marines believe one day, a laser-armed F-35 will see the light of day. Image source: Lockheed Martin.
It’s been nearly two years since we first caught wind of a new project, sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. (DARPA), to put laser guns on warplanes. Two years since “the Pentagon’s mad scientists department” announced they had hired Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) to develop a means to “counteract the effects of turbulence caused by the protrusion of a turret from an aircraft’s fuselage,” and permit a fighter jet to fire a laser weapon with precision.
Two years later, the U.S. military has still not given up on its dream.
Last year, we updated you on the military’s decision to begin installation of laser guns on Lockheed Martin AC-130 gunships by 2020.
The theory then was that a 200 kilowatt laser canon wouldn’t take up much more room than a standard issue M102 howitzer — which the AC-130 is already equipped with. And the Allison engines on the AC-130 put out plenty of juice that could power a high-energy laser. And so, with just a little rejiggering, the Air Force thought it should be possible to switch out the howitzer, and replace it with a laser cannon.
If that works out well, then the Air Force would see about shrinking the laser down in size, and perhaps putting it aboard a smaller warplane. And now we learn that the Marine Corps is on board with this plan as well.
As website PopularMilitary.com. revealed last week, the Marine Corps has plans to install laser weapons on F-35 fighter jets — indeed, that it is “absolutely” committed to doing so.
As with the Air Force, the Marines’ initial intention is to mount laser weapons aboard large planes such as the KC-130 (an armed version of Lockheed’s C-130 Hercules, similar to the Air Force’s AC-130). But “as soon as we could miniaturize them,” says USMC Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, the Corps would plan to begin installing lasers aboard F-35s, Cobra attack helicopters, and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft as well.
The reason: Economics.
Projectile-based weapons — be they guns, missiles, or cannons — imply by necessity ordnance to fire from them. That ordnance must be transported to the battlefront (which costs money), loaded aboard a plane (which costs space), and then carried in flight (which costs fuel … which in turn costs both money and space). In contrast, a laser is powered by the airplane’s own engines, and its own fuel load. While that fuel certainly costs money, it’s so efficient at creating destructive energy that even today, laser weapons are estimated to cost only about “a dollar-a-shot. ” to operate.
And that’s a whole lot cheaper than a missile.
So first the Air Force, and now the Marines — that’s two-thirds of the operators of Lockheed’s F-35 that are now on record and on board with the idea of arming warplanes with laser guns. (And we already know that the Navy has its own fondness for lasers. ). But who will be building these weapons for the military, and which companies should you be looking to invest in to profit from the transition from projectile weapons to lasers?
Lockheed Martin is the most obvious candidate. Not only is it working on laser weapons for DARPA, it also builds the plane most people are saying will be the first platform to carry them — the world-famous C-130 Hercules — as well as the F-35 stealth fighter that the Marines hope will be the vehicle that laser guns eventually end up on.
However, you also need to keep an eye on Boeing (NYSE: BA), which ran the Pentagon’s last large-scale airborne laser project., and on Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) and Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) as well. Both Raytheon and Northrop partnered with Boeing on the Airborne Laser project before its cancellation in 2009. And then there’s Kratos Defense (NASDAQ: KTOS), a small company that’s been making a lot of news in the drone space. lately — and also coordinated the Navy’s effort to put a laser cannon on one of its warships.
Basically, it’s hard to name a company in the defense industry today that isnot actively researching laser weapons. But the place to start your research is still Lockheed Martin. With a hand in both the development of the laser gun itself, and the platform(s) it will be mounted on, Lockheed is the single company burning this candle at both ends — in a good way.
A secret billion-dollar stock opportunity The world’s biggest tech company forgot to show you something, but a few Wall Street analysts and the Fool didn’t miss a beat: There’s a small company that’s powering their brand-new gadgets and the coming revolution in technology. And we think its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors!
An updated version of China’s WZ-10 combat helicopters will soon be assigned to all ground force aviation units, according to the China Daily.
In service since 2012, the WZ-10 is designed for anti-tank warfare. It can be outfitted with cannons and machine guns, as well as guided missiles. Upgraded versions of the WZ-10, however, have also been equipped for air-to-air combat.
These state-of-the-art choppers will now be given to every aviation unit of China’s People’s Liberation Army.
“Several WZ-10s have been delivered to an aviation brigade of the PLA’s 13th Group Army under the Western Theater Command, meaning that all of the army’s aviation units now have the aircraft,” IHS Jane’s reports.
Combined with the Chinese military’s WZ-9 and WZ-19, the PLA Army now has a strong combat helicopter force, according to Wu Peixin, an aviation specialist in Beijing. “The Army now needs more medium-lift, multipurpose helicopters such as the US Army’s Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk,” he added. “This helicopter is capable of performing both combat operations and transport tasks.”
Current estimates suggest that the PLA Army has 1,000 helicopters in its fleet. Gao Zhuo, a military observer in Shanghai, said the government would like to see that number to increase to 3,000.
China has also been testing its J-20 stealth fighter, which will soon participate in patrols in the Pacific.
“There are a lot of specifics to operating technical equipment at high altitude,” military expert Vasiliy Kashin told Sputnik.
“A lot of systems may not work properly in conditions of thin air and low temperature. Above all, this concerns equipment used for the technical maintenance of military equipment – the military equipment itself is usually better adapted to extreme conditions.”
As part of its growing military prowess, China has already built two J-20s, with six more known to be in development. Beijing may have as many as 36 stealth fighters by early 2018.
Keeping up with WRC cars is a challenge, even for choppers
We tend to take aerial rally footage for granted, but anyone who has been to a WRC event knows the sound of rally cars flying by is often accompanied by the sound of rotor blades.
One of the best (and only) ways to film a rally is by helicopter, even though drones are now budging into this territory; thing is, drones aren’t able to keep up with rally cars for miles at a time while doing triple-digit speeds (at least not yet). Until then, rallies will rely on the insane aerial acrobatics of helicopter pilots, who often strafe the terrain just a few yards off the ground to get good coverage.
Here’s a clip of two helicopters flying at mildly obscene angles at the World Rally Championship LOTOS 71st Rally in Poland.
(What the FAA thinks of this is moot — it’s not U.S. airspace — but spectators usually have to sign a waiver. At least in the States.)
The US Air Force is expected to fly its “radiation sniffer” jet off the Korean Peninsula to take air samples to determine if a nuclear event occurred in North Korea.
The Air Force WC-135 jet, dubbed the “Constant Phoenix,” will look for distinctive elements a nuclear test of any type would emit into the air. The collected samples can be analyzed to determine exactly what occurred.
Japan’s Air Self Defense Force also said it was sending four jets to collect airborne dust for radiation samples.
The US Air Force’s four-engine Boeing jets are equipped with external devices that collect radioactive material from the atmosphere on filter paper. The planes also have “a compressor system for whole air samples collected in holding spheres,” according to an Air Force fact sheet.
The Air Force has two of the WC-135 jets that operate out of Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.
The United States also has ground stations in the area that will also be taking samples.
The Constant Phoenix program originated with Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1947. The then-Army Air Forces, which would later become the Air Force, used WB-29s, variants of the B-29 bomber model, to try to detect evidence of Soviet nuclear tests, according to the Air Force.
The WB-29s were replaced by WB-50s beginning in 1950, with the current WB-135s coming on line in 1965.
The radiation-sniffing planes have been used to monitor compliance with nuclear weapons treaties, and also monitored effects of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster in the Soviet Union, the Air Force says.
Washington A Russian fighter jet made an “unsafe close-range intercept” of a US aircraft over the Black Sea Wednesday, coming within 10 feet of the American plane.
Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said the potentially dangerous incident, involving a Russian SU-27 jet and a US Navy P-8A Poseidon plane, lasted 19 minutes.
A US official told CNN’s Barbara Starr that the Russian plane came within 10 feet of the P-8 at one point. Davis added that the US plane was conducting routine operations in international airspace at the time.
“These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions, and could result in a miscalculation or accident,” Davis said in a statement.
The US has long protested Russian intercepts of its aircraft; there have been several this year.
On two separate occasions in April, Russian SU-27 fighters performed “barrel rolls” over American KC-135 planes flying above the Baltic Sea.
Russian officials have defended the actions of their pilots in the past, but have yet to comment on the most recent incident.
Tensions have been ratcheted up in the Black Sea recently as Russia began five days of military exercises Monday involving 12,500 personnel and its Black Sea fleet based in Crimea, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 an event that has subjected Russia to international sanctions.
The Russian Defense Ministry posted a video Thursday on its Facebook page showing Russian fighter crews based in Crimea conducting an intercept drill.
The latest incident also comes as US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are due to meet Thursday to discuss the ongoing conflict in Syria.