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Boeing A160T Proves Resupply Capability for US Marines

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Boeing [NYSE: BA] A160T Hummingbird has successfully completed a cargo delivery demonstration under a U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory contract, proving the unmanned rotorcraft's ability to resupply frontline troops in rough terrain. The Hummingbird met or exceeded all of the demonstration requirements during the tests, conducted March 9 - March 11 at the U.S. Army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.

Boeing showed that the A160T can deliver at least 2,500 pounds of cargo from one simulated forward-operating base to another 75 nautical miles away in well under the required six hours. The simulated mission carried 1,250-pound sling loads over two 150-nautical-mile round trips, with the A160T operating autonomously on a preprogrammed mission.

"The Hummingbird's performance was outstanding, as we had expected," said Vic Sweberg, director of Unmanned Aerial Systems for Boeing Military Aircraft. "The A160T's capabilities can fulfill our customer's near-term need for 24/7, reliable cargo resupply. It also provides unmatched flexibility to carry out a variety of other missions, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; target acquisition; direct action; and communication relay."

The A160T completed seven test flights during the demonstration, including a two-minute hover at 12,000 feet with the 1,250-pound sling load, and a nighttime delivery to a simulated forward operating base. The A160T's ability to execute extremely accurate autonomous deliveries also was demonstrated.

The A160T has a 2,500-pound payload capacity. It features a unique optimum-speed-rotor technology that significantly improves overall performance efficiency by adjusting the rotor's speed at different altitudes, gross weights and cruise speeds. The autonomous unmanned aircraft, measuring 35 feet long with a 36-foot rotor diameter, has hovered at 20,000 feet and cruised at more than 140 knots. The A160T established a world endurance record in its class in 2008 with an 18.7-hour unrefueled flight.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.


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Image Caption: The Boeing [NYSE: BA] A160T Hummingbird unmanned rotorcraft met or exceeded all requirements during a sling-load cargo demonstration for the U.S. Marines held March 9 - March 11 at the U.S. Army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. An A160T is shown here during a previous sling-load test flight in Victorville, Calif., in January.
Image Credit: The Boeing Company
Source: The Boeing Company
Time Stamp: 3/15/2010 at 1:41:57 PM UTC

Boeing 'Phantom Eye' Hydrogen Powered Vehicle Takes Shape

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has begun to build Phantom Eye -- its first unmanned, liquid-hydrogen powered, high altitude long endurance (HALE) demonstrator aircraft.

The essence of Phantom Eye is its propulsion system,” said Darryl Davis, Boeing Phantom Works president. “After five years of technology development, we are now deploying rapid prototyping to bring together an unmanned aerial vehicle [UAV] with a breakthrough liquid-hydrogen propulsion system that will be ready to fly early next year.”

Phantom Eye’s entire propulsion system -- including the engine, turbo chargers and engine control system -- successfully completed an 80-hour test in an altitude chamber on March 1, clearing the way for the propulsion system and UAV to be assembled.

The twin-engine Phantom Eye demonstrator will have a 150-foot wingspan and be capable of flying for more than four days at altitudes up to 65,000 feet while carrying a payload of up to 450 pounds. Phantom Eye is designed to maintain a persistent presence in the stratosphere over a specific area, while performing missions that could include intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance and communication. Boeing also is developing a larger HALE that will stay aloft for more than 10 days and carry payloads of more than 2,000 pounds, and building “Phantom Ray,” a fighter-sized UAV that will be a flying test bed for advanced technologies.

We believe Phantom Eye and Phantom Ray represent two areas where the unmanned aerial vehicle market is heading, and rapid prototyping is the key to getting us there,” said Dave Koopersmith, Advanced Boeing Military Aircraft vice president. “These innovative demonstrators reduce technology risks and set the stage for meeting both military and commercial customers’ future needs.”

Phantom Eye evolved from Boeing’s earlier success with the piston-powered Condor that set several records for altitude and endurance in the late 1980s. Boeing, as the Phantom Eye system designer, is working closely with Ball Aerospace, Aurora Flight Sciences, Ford Motor Co. and MAHLE Powertrain to develop the demonstrator.

Phantom Ray evolved from the X-45C program. It is scheduled to make its first flight in December.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

Image Caption: The jig load assembly, model of a liquid-hydrogen engine and fuselage skins for Boeing’s Phantom Eye demonstrator in St. Louis are part of the high altitude long endurance aircraft being assembled by teams in Boeing’s Phantom Works division. Other work on Phantom Eye is being done in Irvine and Huntington Beach, Calif., and in Seattle.
Image Credit: The Boeing Company
Source: The Boeing Company
Time Stamp: 3/9/2010 at 4:03:38 PM UTC

Boeing Successfully Completes 747-8 Freighter Engine Runs

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Boeing (NYSE: BA) successfully completed the first engine runs for the 747-8 Freighter. The milestone marks another step in the 747 program's steady progress in preparing for flight test.

"We are very pleased with the engines' performance during this test," said Mo Yahyavi, vice president and general manager of the 747 program. "The engines and all the systems performed as expected."

Engine runs began slightly before 10 a.m. (PST) Tuesday. During initial engine runs, the engines are started and operated at various power settings to ensure all systems perform as expected. The engine run test began with the auxiliary power system providing power to start the first of four General Electric GEnx-2B engines. The remaining three engines were started using the cross-bleed function.

Basic systems checks continued throughout the test. The engines were powered down and inspected and will be restarted following a technical review. The team completed a vibration check and monitored the shutdown logic to ensure it functioned as expected.

"This milestone is an exciting one for the GEnx-2B team and we anticipate the engines will continue the same high performance that we have experienced in our ground and flight tests," said Tom Brisken, general manager of the GEnx Program at GE Aviation.

The GEnx-2B engine is optimized for the 747-8. It helps provide customers with improved fuel efficiency, reductions in emissions and noise and a lower cost of ownership.

Image Caption: General Electric GEnx-2B engines.
Image Credit: The Boeing Company
Source: The Boeing Company
Time Stamp: 12/9/2009 at 5:45:12 PM UTC

Boeing Unveils New Visual Display for Simulation Applications

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] demonstrated its Constant Resolution Visual System (CRVS) for potential customers this week at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference in Orlando. CRVS, the company's newest visual display, delivers an immersive environment by providing a high-resolution "out-the-window" view for training systems and for general visualization applications.

"CRVS is unique because it offers the same high resolution throughout the entire viewing area, providing an uninterrupted field of view and unvarying target acuity," said Mark McGraw, Boeing vice president for Training Systems & Services. "It makes virtual training missions and other simulations more detailed and effective."

The CRVS design also uses significantly fewer projectors than currently fielded high-resolution displays, allowing for lower acquisition and support costs. Its High Definition (HD) projector format is compatible with a variety of commercial-off-the-shelf projectors and a wide array of image generators. CRVS is scalable, easily upgradeable and flexible. Low- to high-end projectors can be used to meet customer cost and performance needs.

"The CRVS design is based on the principles of simplicity and increased performance," added McGraw.

Boeing has been developing the CRVS as a company-funded project for several years. Its applications include fast-jet, rotorcraft and ground-based training, as well as visualizations for presentations, virtual prototyping and analysis. The first CRVS will be production-ready in early 2010.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.

Image Caption: Constant Resolution Visual System (CRVS)
Image Credit: The Boeing Company
Source: The Boeing Company
Time Stamp: 12/3/2009 at 6:10:02 PM UTC

Boeing and Terma A/S Enter Strategic Alliance

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] and Terma A/S today signed a Memorandum of Agreement that aims to provide Terma a minimum of 30 percent of the industrial-cooperation investments outlined in Boeing's Super Hornet proposal to Denmark. The Super Hornet strike fighter is one of three finalists in Denmark's New Combat Aircraft competition.

"With Boeing's wide scope of business in the defense industry and as a leading producer of civilian and military aircraft, Boeing is an extremely attractive partner for Terma," said Terma CEO Jens Maaløe. "We are cooperating with Boeing on a number of projects, and are looking forward to developing our business further to the benefit of both companies."

As the first in a series of projects under this broad cooperation agreement, Boeing has selected Terma's Electronic Warfare Management System (EWMS) suite as a preferred advanced electronic warfare solution for a number of CH-47F Chinook helicopter offerings to international customers whose requirements extend beyond Boeing's baseline CH-47F offering.

Terma is also set to benefit in a number of other areas with Boeing, including aerostructures and composites. Additionally, Boeing will conduct a feasibility study for the integration of Terma's 3-D audio and Active Noise Reduction technology on the Super Hornet.

Tom Bell, vice president of Business Development for Boeing Military Aircraft, described the agreement as the next step in a broadening relationship between the two companies as Boeing seeks to expand its industrial cooperation with Danish industry.

"Terma is a respected advanced technology leader throughout the international defense and aerospace industries, and has been an important partner in delivering advanced capabilities to Boeing and its subcontractors on a number of Boeing programs, including electronic components and harnesses for the NATO AWACS [Airborne Warning and Control System] and EWMS for the P-8A, the U.S. Navy's newest maritime patrol aircraft," Bell said. "We look forward to additional opportunities to work with Terma, and to continue our strong history of investing for the long term in the regions where we do business."

Boeing's industrial cooperation proposal outlines other areas of industrial benefit to Denmark that leverage products and technologies from across the company and from key Boeing suppliers. Boeing has successfully implemented industrial cooperation programs totaling more than US$29 billion in more than 35 countries over the past 30 years. In Denmark, Boeing has previously executed industrial cooperation programs in support of Harpoon and Joint Direct Attack Munition weapons systems and NATO AWACS sales totaling nearly $34 million.

Hans Skov Christensen, director general and CEO of the Confederation of Danish Industry, commented on the agreement: "Denmark is facing an important decision regarding new fighter aircraft. It is a program with great opportunities for Danish defense industry. Therefore it is important that Boeing, since their DI-hosted conference last year, has been in dialog with many Danish companies and today is signing a major cooperation agreement with Terma."

Source: The Boeing Company
Time Stamp: 3/18/2009 at 4:11:06 PM UTC

Boeing Laser Avenger Shoots Down Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in Tests

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has successfully demonstrated that a laser system mounted on an Avenger combat vehicle can shoot down a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) like those that increasingly threaten U.S. troops deployed in war zones.

During tests last month at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., Laser Avenger achieved its principal test objectives by using its advanced targeting system to acquire and track three small UAVs flying against a complex background of mountains and desert. The laser system also shot down one of the UAVs from an operationally relevant range. These tests mark the first time a combat vehicle has used a laser to shoot down a UAV.

Representatives of the U.S. Army's Cruise Missile Defense Systems project office observed the tests.

"Small UAVs armed with explosives or equipped with surveillance sensors are a growing threat on the battlefield," said Gary Fitzmire, vice president and program director of Boeing Directed Energy Systems. "Laser Avenger, unlike a conventional weapon, can fire its laser beam without creating missile exhaust or gun flashes that would reveal its position. As a result, Laser Avenger can neutralize these UAV threats while keeping our troops safe."

The tests follow a 2007 demonstration in which an earlier version of Laser Avenger neutralized improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and unexploded ordnance (UXO) on the ground.

"We doubled the laser power; added sophisticated acquisition, tracking and pointing capability; and simplified and ruggedized the design," said Lee Gutheinz, Boeing program director for High-Energy Laser/Electro-Optical Systems. "Boeing developed and integrated these upgrades in less than a year, underscoring our ability to rapidly respond to warfighters' needs."

Laser Avenger integrates a directed energy weapon together with the kinetic weapons on the proven Avenger air defense system developed by Boeing Combat Systems in Huntsville, Ala. It is a Boeing-funded initiative to demonstrate that directed energy weapons are maturing and are relevant to today's battlefield.

Boeing leads the way in developing laser systems for a variety of U.S. Air Force and Army warfighter applications. These systems include the Airborne Laser, the Advanced Tactical Laser, the High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator and the Tactical Relay Mirror System.

Image Caption: Laser Avenger, developed by Boeing Directed Energy Systems in Albuquerque, N.M., and Boeing Combat Systems in Huntsville, Ala., integrates a directed energy weapon together with the kinetic weapons on the proven Avenger air defense system. It is a Boeing-funded initiative to demonstrate that directed energy weapons are maturing and are relevant to today's battlefield.
Image Credit: The Boeing Company
Source: The Boeing Company
Time Stamp: 1/26/2009 at 4:41:33 PM UTC

Boeing Adjusts 747-8 Program Production and Delivery Schedule

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced yesterday an adjusted schedule for production and delivery of the 747-8 Freighter and Intercontinental airplanes.

The revised schedule is based on a production and flight-test plan developed in conjunction with the company's suppliers that provides additional time for addressing issues that have slowed the program's progress. Those issues include supply chain delays driven by design changes to the airplane, limited availability of engineering resources inside Boeing, and the recent Machinists' strike that halted production in the company's factories.

Delivery of the first 747-8 Freighter will move from late 2009 to the third quarter of 2010. The first 747-8 Intercontinental passenger jet delivery moves from late 2010 to the second quarter of 2011.

"Our entire team has worked hard to mitigate growing schedule risk on this program but have been unable to overcome the collective impact of work statement increases to the original design, a tight supply of engineering resources, and the recent Machinists' strike," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Scott Carson. "We are clearly disappointed in what this schedule change means for our customers, employees, suppliers and other stakeholders. However, it is the appropriate and prudent decision to ensure a successful program, and we are committed to working with our customers to mitigate any disruption it causes them."

The revised schedule is the result of a comprehensive assessment of the production system and flight-test plan that began in late August and concluded with the incorporation of the impact of the recent strike.

"The remaining work on the 747-8 program is well defined," said Ross R. Bogue, vice president and general manager -- 747 Program and Everett site. "This schedule adjustment provides the time we need to finish that work and bring both airplanes to market successfully for our customers."

The risk of a schedule adjustment on the program was previously identified and was provisioned for in Boeing's third quarter financial results. The company will provide updated financial guidance and a post-strike assessment of the schedule for all its commercial airplane programs at a later date.

Source: The Boeing Company
Time Stamp: 11/15/2008 at 1:41:04 PM UTC

Boeing, Airborne Laser Team Begin Firing High-Energy Laser on ABL Aircraft

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA], industry teammates and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency on Sept. 7 achieved a major milestone in the development of the Airborne Laser (ABL) missile defense program by firing a high-energy chemical laser onboard the ABL aircraft for the first time during ground testing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

"The achievement of 'first light' onboard the Airborne Laser aircraft is a key milestone for the ABL team," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems. "The team did an extraordinary job preparing ABL for this important test. The program remains on track to reach the missile shoot-down demonstration planned for 2009."

"The start of laser firings marks the completion of a 10-month effort to install and integrate the high-energy laser and prepare it for testing," said Mike Rinn, vice president and program director of ABL. "Using Lean process improvements, a joint contractor team reduced laser installation time on the aircraft to about a third of the time required when the laser was installed in the system integration laboratory at Edwards."

ABL's high-energy laser will undergo a series of additional ground tests, building toward lethal levels of duration and power. The laser first will be fired into an onboard calorimeter, which captures the beam and measures its power. The laser beam then will be sent through the beam control/fire control system, exiting the aircraft through the nose-mounted turret. To prepare for the tests, modifications to the ABL hangar at Edwards were completed, and additional integration testing of the beam control/fire control system was completed.

Ground firings of the laser will be followed by flight tests of the entire ABL weapon system, culminating in an airborne intercept test against a ballistic missile in 2009.

The program has amassed a series of accomplishments over the past several years. In 2005, the high-energy laser demonstrated lethal levels of duration and power in the system integration laboratory at Edwards. And in 2007, ABL completed numerous flight tests that demonstrated its ability to track an airborne target, measure and compensate for atmospheric conditions and deliver a surrogate high-energy laser's simulated lethal beam on the target.

Boeing is the prime contractor for ABL, which will provide speed-of-light capability to destroy all classes of ballistic missiles in their boost phase of flight.

The ABL aircraft is a modified Boeing 747-400F whose back half holds the high-energy laser, designed and built by Northrop Grumman. The front section of the aircraft contains the beam control/fire control system, developed by Lockheed Martin, and the battle management system, provided by Boeing.

Image Caption: Cutaway of the Airborne Laser 747-400 Freighter Platform
Image Credit: The Boeing Company
Source: The Boeing Company
Time Stamp: 9/9/2008 at 2:21:08 PM UTC

Boeing's 1st Wideband Global SATCOM Satellite Now Operational

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced that the U.S. Air Force has placed the first Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite into operation over the Pacific region. The Boeing-built satellite transitioned to operations on April 16, following extensive satellite and ground system tests conducted by the government with support from Boeing engineers.

"The successful launch, checkout and handover of WGS-1 went smoothly and is a testament to the great work of the combined government and contractor team," said Brig. Gen. Susan Mashiko, commander of the Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing at the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles. "The performance of this first WGS satellite is nothing short of exceptional."

WGS is the first operational SATCOM system supporting the government's transformational communications architecture. Each satellite has the capacity to transmit information at rates of more than three gigabits per second. This is more than 10 times the capacity of the government's Defense Satellite Communications System, known as DSCS. During operational testing last month, the government successfully transmitted a record-breaking 440 megabits-per-second communications test signal through the satellite. WGS-1 was launched Oct. 10, 2007, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle.

"WGS-1 is the highest capacity Department of Defense communications satellite on orbit," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager, Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "WGS-1 is now providing essential support to military operations overseas, and Boeing looks forward to launching the second and third WGS satellites in the coming months."

WGS is also the world's first satellite to incorporate multi-beam X-band communications through phased array antennas, and the first satellite capable of cross-banding signals between X-band and Ka-band.

The operational testing of WGS also demonstrated the satellite's compatibility with a variety of ground-based terminals, validating WGS planning, management and control concept of operations (CONOPS). The CONOPS validation tests were conducted with extensive human and software interactions between geographically dispersed planning, management, and control centers.

Image Caption: Wideband Global SATCOM Satellite
Image Credit: The Boeing Company
Source: The Boeing Company
Time Stamp: 5/13/2008 at 11:31:34 AM UTC

Spectrolab to Provide Renewable Energy to Australia

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced a third multimillion-dollar contract award with Solar Systems Pty. Ltd. for concentrator photovoltaic cell assemblies used to produce renewable energy. The cells will be used in the new 154-megawatt solar power station to be built in the state of Victoria, Australia, in addition to other power stations located throughout Australia and the United States. Contract details were not disclosed.

Under the terms of the new contract, Spectrolab Inc. of Sylmar, Calif., a wholly owned Boeing subsidiary, will provide solar cell assemblies capable of generating more than 350 megawatts of electricity. When combined with previous contracts awarded in April and August 2006, the Hawthorn, Victoria-based Solar Systems has ordered approximately 360 megawatts of renewable power from Spectrolab.

"Solar energy is in high demand, and our record-breaking conversion efficiency of over 40 percent is an industry best," said David Lillington, president of Spectrolab. "Our partnership with Solar Systems has resulted in the demonstration of affordable and reliable concentrating solar power systems. Renewable energy is a worldwide priority, and Spectrolab is well positioned to expand its global role in this rapidly expanding industry."

Spectrolab is one of the world's leading suppliers of photovoltaic solar cells, solar panels, searchlight and solar simulators and is currently celebrating 50 years of supplying solar array panels to the space industry.

Source: The Boeing Company
Time Stamp: 4/14/2008 at 1:15:17 PM CST

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