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03 Mar 05. Fossett sets solo flight record. US adventurer Steve Fossett has achieved the first solo non-stop flight around the globe. He completed his mission despite a fuel shortage, landing the Virgin GlobalFlyer at 1948 GMT in Salina, Kansas, where he took off on Tuesday. The millionaire had considered aborting the trip and landing in Hawaii, but he decided to press on because of favourable tail winds. Mr Fossett had faced a number of technical challenges on his historic journey. In the first few hours of the flight, the plane’s navigation system failed, leaving Mr Fossett flying blind. On Wednesday, there was speculation that Mr Fossett might have to abandon his first attempt at a jet-propelled circumnavigation because of an unexplained loss of fuel. But later, project manager Paul Moore said wind conditions and the fuel situation had improved between Japan and Hawaii, prompting Mr Fossett to tell mission control: “Let’s go for it.” The experimental plane is able to glide up to 320km (200 miles) without fuel. Checks revealed on Wednesday that the vehicle was missing 1,200kg (2,600lbs) of fuel. Mission controllers have been at a loss to explain the discrepancy – whether the plane was incorrectly filled on the runway, or if it burnt off too much fuel in the early stages of the flight.
VIRGIN ATLANTIC GLOBAL FLYER – LONG-DISTANCE JET PLANE
(1) Fuel tanks – Gross weight is 10 tonnes; empty weight is 1.5t
(2) Engine – Williams FJ44-3 ATW (10,200 Newtons of thrust)
(3) Cockpit – Pressurised and large enough for pilot to lie down
(4) Length – 11.7m; Height – 3.6m; Wingspan – 35m Speed – in excess of 460km/h; 290mph; 250 knots
24 Feb 05. The Office of Naval Research has awarded General Atomics (GA) a $46mcontract for detail design, fabrication, and factory testing of a full-scale superconducting dc homopolar motor for ship propulsion. Under this contract, GA will deliver a 36.5-megawatt, 120-rpm advanced design prototype motor, motor drive, and support equipment, which will be shipped to a US Navy facility for full-performance testing. This full-scale system is sized to propel large vessels, such as destroyers, now in development by the Navy. Under earlier contracts, GA designed, fabricated, and tested a test-stand motor at the 300-kilowatt level, upgraded this motor to the 3.7-megawatt level for further testing, and completed the preliminary design of the 36.5-megawatt motor. The superconducting dc homopolar motor offers many benefits, including a very small diameter and light weight. GA’s subcontractors on this program include Alstom USA, Gibbs & Cox, General Dynamics Electric Boat Corporation, and Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. The homopolar motor program is being carried out in GA’s Electromagnetic Systems (EMS) Division, which currently has several projects aimed at increasing electrical functionality aboard Navy ships. These include the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), Advanced Arresting Gear, Integrated Fight-Through Power, and Electromagnetic Launch System (rail gun).
01 Mar 05. A command and control system designed by Raytheon Company for the U.S. Army, recently demonstrated its ability to support the Army National Guard’s homeland defense mission. Called Army Airborne Command and Control System (A2C2S), the flying tactical operations center has logged more than two thousand hours in support of combat and peacekeeping missions in the Middle East. On February 24th, during a Homeland Defense Communications Module concept demonstration, the system proved that it could track and control first responder vehicles, retransmit video and “crossband” otherwise incompatible communications
03 Mar 05. Lockheed Martin has achieved a major milestone with completion and delivery of a sophisticated, high-performance communications subsystem integral to the infrared payload of the first Space-Based Infrared Sys