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Sep 08. New tilt test table at Millbrook. Millbrook Proving Ground has got a new, state-of-the-art tilt table facility at its Bedfordshire test site and is taking bookings for its commercial use from industry. “The table is probably the most capable of its kind in the country,” said Darren Carter, principal engineer, projects and business development for the firm. “We can tilt vehicles of up to 42 tonnes at a table angle of 45 degrees on the 9m long and 3.2m wide bed.” (Source: Transport News Brief)

24 Sep 08. Ocean to sea. Royal Naval helicopter carrier HMS Ocean sailed from Devonport Royal Dockyard today (Wednesday 24 September) to start sea trials, following a large and complex upgrade and maintenance programme, valued in excess of £30m, undertaken by through-life defence support specialist Babcock Marine. HMS Ocean, described as one of the most powerful and flexible ships in the fleet, arrived in Devonport to start her second Docking Period (DP2) in September 2007 and will now undergo sea trials before returning to the fleet in October. The programme represents a major upgrade, which has focused on improving accommodation and further equipping her for her worldwide role, and has involved a number of ‘firsts’, and some significant challenges. Work undertaken has included removal of the existing underwater paint and application of a new, more environmentally-friendly ultra-sleek system (the first on a capital warship); installation of pyrolysis waste disposal equipment (first use of the technology, which will also be used on the future aircraft carrier, on a Royal Naval ship); fitting of new sections of main propulsion shafts; improvements to shipboard systems such as HP salt water, fresh water, scuppers and drains and sewage; extensive improvements in accommodation including heads and bathrooms, provision of mess-decks in troop accommodation areas, storage for troop equipment and an entirely refurbished and reconfigured galley and improved food storage areas; and equipping the ship with advanced communications facilities and a better weapon defence system, as well as an upgrade to the ship’s aviation support facilities to improve support to helicopter operations including the Apache attack helicopter.

22 Sep 08. NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory are looking for university and industry partners to establish the national hypersonic science centers. The jointly funded program will support university-level basic science or engineering research to improve the understanding of into flight at hypersonic speed, defined as Mach 5 or faster. NASA’s Hypersonics’ Project and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research plan to set aside up to $30m over five years to fund the centers, meaning a maximum grant of about $2m a year. (Source: Aviation Week)

10 Sep 08. The Integrated Project Team comprising Airbus Military, EPI, Ratier-Figeac and Marshall Aerospace completed successful full power powerplant runs on the A400M TP400 Flight Test Bed during approximately 2 hours of ground runs at MA’s Cambridge facility, UK. This represented the first proper shakedown of both TP400 powerplant and propeller at full power. Subsequent testing will further assess prop stress and powerplant stability, and expand into crosswind conditions. Further testing is planned this week. Another 3 to 4 such trials are to take place, and, depending on the results, taxi trials can then start, to be followed by flight trials when all ground and taxi trials are complete.
No further major development issues have occurred following the first fullpower run. Approximately 40GB of data has been recorded on the MA data acquisition systems providing service results to Airbus Military which is currently being assessed by the partners.


22 Sep 08. Some positive unintended consequences of the City Crash has been a number of key personnel majoring in mathematics available for defen

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