Orbital's Hyper-X Launch Vehicle was successfully tested
Saturday, in a flight that originated from NASA's Dryden Flight
Research Center located at Edwards Air Force Base (CA). The Hyper-X
launch vehicle uses a modified first stage rocket motor, originally
designed and flight-proven aboard Orbital's Pegasus space launch
vehicle, to accelerate NASA's X-43A air-breathing scramjet to seven
times the speed of sound.
Check the date. No, it's not April 1st yet. But given what
follows, it sure could be.
A psychic's warning to the TSA office in Fort Myers (FL) Friday
forced American Airlines to ground a DFW-bound flight. Nothing
unusual was found on board Flight 1304 in a search conducted before
the 128 passengers had a chance to board.
It's the mother of all aerial bombardment tanks and Erickson
AirCrane says it will revolutionize the firefighting business. The
Central Point (OR) company says Italy has purchased four S-64
"helitankers," equipped with 2650 gallon tanks. The helitankers
will be on the fire line later this year.
Lt. Wesley Baumgartner is lucky to be alive.
The 26-year old Navy pilot assigned to VFA-15 -- the Valions -- was
part of a two-aircraft flight taking off from Raleigh-Durham
International Airport Friday, when his F/A-18 Hornet (file photo of
type, below) burst into flames. Baumgartner ejected from the
aircraft with minor injuries, as the Hornet cartwheeled down the
runway, engulfed in fire. Air traffic was halted for hours, as was
ground traffic on a nearby interstate, while officials put out the
fire, cleaned up the wreckage and began the investigation.
"It was surreal. It was almost like a NASCAR crash. You could
see dirt flying."
Source: Rob Shapard, a reporter for the Raleigh
Herald-Sun, who was on a flight that hadn't yet pushed from the
gate when a Navy F/A-18 Hornet erupted in flames on a take-off roll
and the pilot ejected. He spoke by phone from the Delta flight. The
pilot of the Hornet, Lt. Wesley Baumgartner, ejected from the
burning Hornet, sustaining minor injuries in the process.
Hawaiian Airlines Friday announced its final financial results
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2003, showing that the
company reported an operating profit of $77.5 million (including a
$17.5 million security fee reimbursement from the federal
government) on revenue of $706.1 million, compared to an operating
loss of $55.2 million on revenue of $632.0 million for 2002.
The results reflect an operating profit turnaround of $132.7
million and Hawaiian's most profitable annual operating result
How lethal can a UAV be? The military thinks it can take out a
high-profile target and even considered doing so when it began
hunting down Osama bin Laden. The Associated Press reports US
intelligence and military officials intensely debated how far to go
using an unmanned aircraft to spy on — and perhaps attack
— Osama bin Laden in the year before Sept. 11, 2001.
According to preliminary findings of an independent commission
investigating the attacks, the discussions, which reached some of
the highest levels of government, centered on when and how to use
the Predator UAV.