NASA’s Orion Spacecraft Passes Significant Design Milestone

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HOUSTON — NASA has taken a major step toward building the next crew
exploration vehicle by completing the Orion Project’s preliminary
design review, or PDR. Orion is being designed to carry astronauts to
the International Space Station and other destinations.

The preliminary design review is one of a series of checkpoints that
occurs in the design life cycle of a complex engineering project
before hardware manufacturing can begin. As the review process
progresses, details of the vehicle’s design are assessed to ensure
the overall system is safe and reliable for flight and meets all NASA
mission requirements.

The Orion features a capsule-shaped crew module designed for maximum
crew operability and safety, a service module housing utility systems
and propulsion components and a launch abort system for improved
astronaut safety. The preliminary design review evaluated the
vehicle’s capability, as currently designed, to support three types
of missions: flights to the International Space Station, weeklong
missions to the moon and missions to the moon for up to 210 days.

“This is the successful culmination of all of the design trade studies
and activities to date,” said Mark Geyer, manager of the Orion
Project Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “As a
project, a program and an agency, we are reviewing the design
maturity, strategy and plans for NASA’s next human spacecraft and
agreeing that this is the architecture we are going to build.”

Teams representing each subsystem of Orion conducted focused reviews
from February to July before proceeding to the overall vehicle-level
review. The preliminary design review lasted about two months and
included reviewers from all 10 NASA field centers to evaluate the
hundreds of design products delivered by the Lockheed Martin-led
industry partnership.

“The Orion vehicle design is much more mature than you might see on
many programs at the PDR checkpoint because we have worked so closely
with our NASA counterparts every step of the way during the vehicle
design phase,” said Cleon Lacefield, vice president and Orion project
manager at Lockheed Martin in Denver. “To date we have completed more
than 300 technical reviews, 100 peer reviews and 18 subsystem design
reviews.”

The PDR process culminated with a review board that concluded Aug. 31
and established the basis for proceeding to the critical design phase
of Orion. Participants identified technical and management challenges
and addressed ways to reduce potential risks as the project goes
forward.

NASA will continue the review process with an independent agency-level
evaluation to validate the PDR results and gain formal approval to
transition the project into the next life cycle phase.

For more information about the Orion crew capsule, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/orion


Orion Passes Milestone As Questions Loom

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By Frank Morring, Jr.

Putting the Orion crew exploration vehicle atop a new rocket would require a year or two more work to get back to its current stage of development, project managers said Sept. 1….
Orion Passes Milestone As Questions Loom


Southwest/FAA Deal Keeps Planes Flying

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By Andrew Compart

Southwest Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration reached an agreement today that will let the airline keep flying Boeing 737 aircraft with unapproved parts, provided the parts are inspected for wear-and-tear every seven days and are replaced on all of the aircraft by Dec. 24….

Southwest/FAA Deal Keeps Planes Flying


Indian Navy Mulls Northrop Advanced Hawkeye

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By Neelam Mathews

NEW DELHI — Last month’s export authorization from the U.S. government now permits Northrop Grumman to have discussions with the Indian navy on the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, a platform that provides a highly adaptive form of airborne early warning and control (AEW&C)….

Indian Navy Mulls Northrop Advanced Hawkeye


Shuttle Astronauts Start Work At Station

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Frank Morring, Jr. morring@aviationweek.com

Astronauts from the space shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station (ISS) have combined forces to begin eight days of docked activities, plugging the Leonardo pressurized logistics module into the station’s Harmony node for unloading….

Shuttle Astronauts Start Work At Station


Amerijet Strike Goes Into Sixth Day

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Jennifer Michels jennifer_michels@aviationweek.com

Things are getting ugly at Fort Lauderdale-based cargo carrier Amerijet International, where pilots and flight engineers walked off the job last Thursday, and the company has turned to Mexican and Canadian cargo carriers for temporary replacements….

Amerijet Strike Goes Into Sixth Day


Northrop, Boeing Eyed For Project Liberty

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Amy Butler/Greenville, Tex.

Northrop Grumman or possibly Boeing could be added to the contractors participating in the U.S. Air Force’s Project Liberty, a program designed to deliver Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350 and 350-ERs outfitted with video and signals intelligence to Iraq and Afghanistan….

Northrop, Boeing Eyed For Project Liberty


Premier II Delayed At Least Two Years

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Fred George fgeorge@san.rr.com

Hawker Beechcraft yesterday said it is making “significant progress” in developing Premier II, a derivative of the Premier IA light jet, but has delayed its entry into the market….
Premier II Delayed At Least Two Years


EMBRAER SHOWCASES THE LEGACY 600 AT ASIAN AEROSPACE EXPO 2009

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Airplane will move on to a demo tour in mainland China following event

São José dos Campos, September 2, 2009 – Embraer
will participate in Asian Aerospace EXPO 2009
(www.asianaerospace.com/en/Home), September 8 –
10, at Hong Kong International Airport. Company
officers will meet the public in Suite 2, of the airport’s
Business Aviation Centre, and Embraer’s super
midsize Legacy 600 executive jet will be shown at
static display No. 9.

Located at the hub of Asian enterprise, Hong Kong,
the event’s motto is: The Right Place. The Right
People. The Right Value. Held in conjunction with
Pacific Aviation Training (APATS), Aircraft EXPO interiors, Air Freight Asia (AFA), and
Asian Business Aviation (ABA), Asian Aerospace focuses on developing commercial
aviation interests in China and the rest of Asia.

“It is a great pleasure for Embraer to participate in Asian Aerospace EXPO 2009, which is
one of the most influential air shows in the region,” said Mr. Guan Dongyuan, President,
Embraer China. “We are pleased to show the Legacy 600 aircraft, which has been well
accepted by the global market and is suitable for the emerging Chinese market.”

Immediately following the air show, the Legacy 600 will go on a demo tour of four cities in
mainland China. From September 10 to 15, it will be in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, and
Kunming, as part of the larger Asia tour already announced by the Company. The range of the
Legacy 600 allows it to cover all of China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia, departing from
Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, or Kunming.

About the Legacy 600

The super midsize Legacy 600 carries 13 passengers (standard configuration) in comfort and
privacy in three distinct cabin zones. In the standard configuration, the refined interior offers
leather seats, sofa, credenza, and tables for meals or meetings. The airplane also has a
spacious galley for preparing hot and cold meals, an ample aft lavatory, wardrobes, cabinets,
and an entertainment system with DVD and satellite communication. Optional High-Speed
Data (HSD) equipment and Wi-Fi technology enable customers to browse the Internet, access
e-mails, and transfer files during trips, providing a better use of time, increased work
productivity, and more entertainment possibilities.

The aircraft has a large baggage compartment, which is easily accessed during flight, and has a
total capacity of 286 cubic feet (8,100 liters). The jet has a cruising speed of Mach 0.80. Its range of 3,250 nautical miles (6,019 km) with eight passengers, or 3,400 nautical miles (6,297 km) with four passengers, both with NBAA IFR fuel reserves, means that the jet can fly nonstop from Dubai to Munich (Germany), London, or Geneva (Switzerland); from Karachi (Pakistan) to
Frankfurt (Germany); from Delhi (India) to Hamburg (Germany); from Delhi or Singapore to
Tokyo (Japan); from Beijing, Shanghai or Kunming (China) to Darwin (Australia); from Beijing
to Singapore; from Shanghai to Delhi; or from Hong Kong to Mumbai. More than 170 Legacy
600 jets presently operate in 26 countries, with high rates of dispatch reliability and low operating costs. For more on Embraer Executive Jets, go to http://www.EmbraerExecutiveJets.com.