Operational Aircraft

F136 Makes the Cut, With Reluctance

Earlier this month I asked if we think the government should continue to fund the General Electric F136 as an alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Our response was mixed, and it appears that the same goes for the government. As reported by the The Washington Post, President Obama has officially approved a defense authorization bill that includes $560 Million in funding for the F136 program.

More T-6 News

I recently wrote about Hawker Beechcraft's success with the T-6. I figured that'd be the extent of the T-6 news for a while, but I was wrong. A recent HBC Press Release mentions that yet another customer will be taking delivery of T-6's.

F-22 Production Cut

The F-22 Rapter program was cut in the Fiscal Year 2010 budget in order to prevent spending 1.75 Billion dollars according to internet sources. The fight continues between those that want to continue producing the advanced F-22 and the those that are in favor producing the new single engine F-35 instead.

The fight isn't just about which aircraft is best suited to be the next fighter for the United States. The fight has deep political roots based on the states in which the fighters are produced.

What do our readers think is more important, military strategy or the impact on the industry from producing the aircraft?

Air Force Set To Start Airventure With A Splash

The 302nd Airlift Wing of the USAF Reserve is set to open Monday's Airventure show with quite a splash!! That's right, a live 3,000 gallon water drop right at show center. The specially equipped C-130 will remain at the show through the 29th, so make sure you stop by and say Hi to the crew.

The $21 Million King Air

A lot of people buy the Beech King Air because it's a great balance of performance, efficiency and cost. The USAF recently realized that and decided to purchase several to use for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. However, the Air Force's idea of "cheap" may not exactly be like ours. According to the USA Today, it turns out they will be paying $21 million each for most of these aircraft.

Naval Aviation Lessons Learned can be Entertainment

Recently an old military aviator sent me the link to the Navy's Safety magazine website based on the magazine called Approach. The magazine prints safety oriented articles from Naval aviators, with the usual pilot twist, entertainment.

Approach Magazine

The website has all the excess articles there was not enough room in the magazine to print. They are broken down by airframe and include current operational lessons learned. Enjoy!

First King Air 350ER Delivered to USAF

The USAF took delivery of the first of its 23 Beechcraft King Air 350ER's last Friday. Dubbed the MC-12W by the Air Force, this delivery took place less than 5 months after the project was announced. If that wasn't quick enough for you, it's also worth noting that all 23 aircraft are expected to be delivered within 3 months and the total price tag will only be $171 Million.

Is the F-22 Worth Keeping?

As reported by CNN.com, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates released a very controversial budget proposal today. It suggests several sweeping changes, but one of the most noteworthy is a call to end production of the F-22 Raptor by 2011--resulting in only 187 aircraft produced overall.

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