US Navy Welcomes 14th P-8A Poseidon Aircraft

P-8A-Arrival-to-Pax21WARBIRD RADIO – The U.S. Navy’s expands it’s maritime patrol capabilities with delivery of the 14th P-8A Poseidon aircraft.  According to a recent news release, the P-8A, delivered on schedule, is now with its squadron at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. Boeing will deliver seven more of the maritime patrol aircraft this year.

“We’re putting P-8A aircraft through their paces out in the field and appreciate all the reliability, capabilities and improvements the Poseidon brings to the table,” said U.S. Navy Commander Tony Rossi, P-8A deputy program manager. “The next squadron is trained, ready to go and will begin conducting missions in the near future.”

The first P-8A squadron deployed to Kadena, Japan, in December and has been conducting operational missions ever since. The second squadron will deploy this summer.

“Our team appreciates the Navy’s urgency to induct additional P-8As into the fleet,” said Rick Heerdt, Boeing Mobility, Surveillance & Engagement vice president and program manager. “The positive feedback we’ve received about the aircraft currently in service is a great motivator.”

Based on the Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 commercial airplane, the P-8A provides anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

The Navy plans to purchase the versatile multi-mission aircraft to replace its P-3 Orion fleet. Boeing is currently under contract for 53 P-8As. The most recent delivery is the first from the third low-rate initial production contract awarded in 2012.

Happy Birthday Hawkeye! – Navy Celebrates 50th Anniversary of E-2 Aircraft

Hawkeye_50th_logo_web_smallWARBIRD RADIO — The United States Navy has announced a yearlong series of events that will mark the milestone 50th anniversary of the first E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft, delivered to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 11 on Jan. 19, 1964, becoming what is affectionately known as “the eyes and ears of the Navy.” As the first aircraft explicitly designed for the Navy’s AEW mission, the E-2 has had a presence aboard every carrier strike group in the Navy’s arsenal and has participated in every major combat operation, providing humanitarian and disaster relief.

According to a recent news release, the E-2/C-2 Airborne Tactical Data Systems Program Office (PMA-231) has named 2014 as the Year of the Hawkeye. The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the newest variant of the E-2 aircraft platform. It features a state-of-the-art radar with a two-generation leap in capability and upgraded aircraft systems that will improve fleet supportability and increase readiness. The E-2D is on schedule to reach initial operational capability later this year.

Celebrations are scheduled to begin Jan. 19 kicking off a yearlong series of events focusing feature podcasts, videos, photos and articles about the E-2 Hawkeye that will be posted online (see Quick Link below for details).

QUICK LINK:  Hawkeye

The US Navy’s MQ-82 “Fire Scout” Powers Up For The First Time

Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout test preparations at Naval BasWARBIRD RADIO – The U.S. Navy’s first MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter was powered up by Northrop Grumman and it even rotated rotated it’s four blades for the first time during initial ground testing and engine runs at Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu, Calif., Sept. 20.

According a recent news release, conducting initial engine runs of the aircraft allows engineers to collect data to ensure that all the aircraft’s systems are functioning and communicating properly prior to its first flight.

“Completion of these tests signifies our steady progress toward the first flight of the MQ-8C Fire Scout,” said George Vardoulakis, vice president of medium range tactical systems at Northrop Grumman. “We continue to work closely with our Navy customer, ensuring that the Fire Scout system is checked out and ready before operational use.”

This latest aircraft upgrade to the Fire Scout system provides the Navy with more than twice the endurance and three times the payload carrying capacity, enabling an unprecedented level of persistent surveillance, intelligence and reconnaissance capability.

Northrop Grumman is the Navy’s prime contractor for the Fire Scout program and is currently under contract to produce MQ-8C aircraft for deployment beginning in 2014.

What A Week! The Next Generation For Naval Aviation Takes Flight

130514-N-ZZ999-005WARBIRD RADIO – It’s been a historic week for military aviation.  The next generation of US Naval aviation catapulted it’s way into history with the X-47B.  According to a news release from Northrop Grumman the U.S. Navy launched a new chapter in the history of unmanned systems – carrier-capable unmanned aircraft – by successfully catapulting the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator from the deck of the USS George H.W. Bush(CVN-77).

The launch occurred May 14th 2013 at 11:18 a.m. Eastern time while the carrier was under way off the coast of Virginia. The tailless, strike-fighter-sized aircraft flew autonomously back to Naval Air Station Patuxent River where it landed safely 65 minutes later.

“Today’s catapult launch of the X-47B is a momentous feat for naval aviation,” said Capt. Jaime Engdahl, Navy UCAS program manager for the Naval Air Systems Command. “It proves that the Navy’s goal of operating unmanned systems safely and effectively from aircraft carriers is well on its way to becoming a reality.”

Northrop Grumman is the Navy’s prime contractor for the UCAS Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. The company designed, produced and is currently flight testing two X-47B air vehicles for the program. Air Vehicle 2 completed the catapult shot.

“Catapulting the unmanned X-47B off the USS George H.W. Bush is an event as historic as the Navy’s first catapult of a manned aircraft, which occurred in Nov. 1915 from the armored cruiser USS North Carolina (ACR-12),” said Carl Johnson, vice president and Navy UCAS program manager for Northrop Grumman. “We are delighted to help launch this new era of naval capability.”

The X-47B catapult launch occurred just one day after the USS George H.W. Bush had departed from Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va.

The current at-sea period is the second such test period for the UCAS-D program. In December 2012, the program hoisted an X-47B aircraft aboard the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75), then demonstrated that the aircraft could be maneuvered safely and precisely on the ship’s flight deck, in its elevators and in its hangar bay.

In preparation for the launch, the UCAS-D program successfully completed a series of shore-based catapult shots at Naval Air Station Patuxent River between November and March. The air vehicle was transported by barge from Patuxent River to Naval Air Station Norfolk in early May, then hoisted aboard the ship.

Northrop Grumman’s UCAS-D industry team includes Pratt & Whitney, GKN Aerospace, Eaton, GE Aviation, UTC Aerospace Systems, Dell, Honeywell, Moog, Lockheed Martin, Wind River, Parker Aerospace and Rockwell Collins. The latest news and information about the UCAS-D program can be found by clicking on the Quick Link posted below.


The Plastic Scale Modeling Hour – The F-18 Hornet – Episode #10

WARBIRD RADIO – The US Navy celebrated its Centennial Of Naval Aviation and as part of that celebration several aircraft were given retro paint schemes including two versions of the F-18. This week on The Plastic Scale Modeling Hour we learn more about what it was like to fly the CONA F-18s from one of the demo pilots who flew them. LT Alex “Scribe” Armatas, from VFA-122 “Flying Eagles.”

He’ll share what it was like to perform at airshows such as AirVenture, flying both the Legacy Hornet and the Super Hornet during the Heritage Flights to celebrating 100 years of Naval Aviation. You’ll have you chance to call in with your questions about the Hornets and the Navy. We’ll discuss what it is like to fly an F-18 Hornet from a steel island in the middle of the ocean. So Rhino fans be sure to tune in!

We’ll be talking about modeling the F-18 too! So grab your F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet kits, accessories, references and articles from your stash, its time to take notes and hopefully listening to his program will get you motivated to get building an F-18!

To see a few of the images I took of Scribe and the CONA F-18s at AirVenture…CLICK HERE

Xuron Corp has stepped up once again to provide this week’s Door Prize so, be sure to listen how you can qualify to WIN some great scale modeling tools!

Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM Eastern

Studio Line: 478.787.4768

The Plastic Scale Modeling Hour rebroadcasts at 5:00 AM and 2:00 PM Eastern daily.

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