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March 30, 2004

Newspaper Investigation Reveals Irregularities In Tanker Bid

A newspaper investigation shows the Air Force gave Boeing five months to examine and, in many cases, rewrite the Request For Proposal on a fleet of refueling aircraft to replace the aging KC-135s. Knight-Ridder Newspapers reports Boeing officials eliminated 19 of the specific capabilities requested by the USAF. There were only 26 in total. That's not all. The newspaper chain reports Air Force procurement officials then gave Airbus just 12 days to answer the bid before awarding the contract to Boeing. Even so, Airbus met 20 of the 26 original conditions.

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Creating 'Buzz' At AEA 2004: Mid-Continent Instrument's Electric AI With Battery

An excellent job of integrating a backup power source with an agile electric attitude indicator has made Mid-Continent's "Lifesaver Gyro" an instant hit at this year's AEA 2004 Convention and Tradeshow. Currently the only attitude indicator to offer a self-contained battery backup, the MCI 4300 AI provides one hour of emergency attitude reference -- no matter what happens to the aircraft's main power sources... including the airframe battery(s).

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US Sport Aviation Expo Coming This Fall

Another event that looks to supplant activities once associated with the ailing Sun 'n fun Fly-In is starting to look like it might have the right stuff to do so. Preparation continues for the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo to be held at the Sebring Regional Airport (KSEF) from October 28-31, 2004. This event is centered around the class of aircraft defined by the FAA as Light Sport Aircraft. The field layout is nearly complete, sponsors are being solicited, the office is open, volunteers are being recruited and the website is available for those desiring information about exhibiting, camping, admission fees and the many other details of an event of this size.

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Bombardier Delivers First CRJ700 to US Airways

Bombardier Aerospace has delivered the first of 25 70-seat CRJ700 Series 701(i) regional jets to US Airways' wholly-owned subsidiary PSA Airlines of Dayton, Ohio. It is the first 70-seat aircraft to operate in the US Airways Express fleet. Bombardier announced on May 12, 2003 that US Airways had placed firm orders for 60 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200(i) and 25 Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft.

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AOPA's 'Win A Twin' Gets A Facelift

By the time you read this, the grand prize in AOPA's Win A Twin sweepstakes, a better-than-new 1965 Piper Twin Comanche, should have changed from primer gray to Matterhorn White and Bahama Blue.

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EMS Technologies Intro's New ELT

EMS Technologies has introduced a new 406-1 Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) at the Aircraft Electronics Association's 47th Annual Convention and Tradeshow. EMS's advanced life-saving technology is now accessible to a wide range of aircraft operators, most notably, small aircraft owners. EMS's innovation brings the ELT to the aviation market at a more affordable price and in a smaller package than previously was available.

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Martian Methane Could Be Indicator Of Ancient Life

Don't get excited. Yet. Three independent groups of scientists have confirmed that there are definite signs of methane in the thin atmosphere surrounding Mars.

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Certified: Max-Viz EVS For Falcon 900 Series

Demand for Max-Viz Enhanced Vision Systems Equipment Expands

Max-Viz has announced the company's first Enhanced Vision Systems U.S. Supplemental Type Certification (STC) of its EVS-1000 system onboard the Falcon 900A, B, C and EX aircraft. "This U.S. Federal Aviation certification of the Falcon 900 is another milestone win for our company," said Jim Tuttle, Max-Viz CEO.

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Klyde Does AEA 2004 (Day Two): Klyde Morris-033004

AEA 2004: Klyde Does His Thing Every Day For The AEA Annual TradeShow!

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Joint Strike Fighter Under Attack On Capitol Hill

AF Officials And Legislators Debate Funding

A senior Air Force official told lawmakers March 25 that the service would not be interested in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter if a technical glitch could not be overcome or if program funds were cut off. The general's meeting came in response to subcommittee chairman Rep. Curt Weldon’s question about Secretary of the Air Force Dr. James G. Roche’s testimony March 24 before the Senate Committee on Appropriations subcommittee on defense.

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Luxor Air Banned From Flying In France

Egyptian Airline Faulted for 'Abnormal' Flight Path

Note to all airline pilots flying over France: Don't deviate. The crew of a Luxor Air jet flew what French air officials characterized as "a completely abnormal" flight path over the city of Nantes. As a result, the French government has banned the Egyptian airlines from flying over the country. Michel Wachenheim, director-general of France's Civil Aviation Authority, said Luxor Air's flying rights in France were suspended during a investigation into the March 21 flight from Luxor, Egypt, to Nantes in western France.

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EMS Announces First Helicopter Installation Of AMT-50, HSD-128

EMS Technologies, Inc. has announced that for the first time its renowned AMT-50 multi-channel SATCOM antenna has been installed and integrated with the HSD-128 high-speed data terminal aboard a helicopter. TC Communications performed the installation on a Boeing 234 twin-rotor helicopter for the National Fire Administration (NFA) of Taiwan. This helicopter is used for disaster management and search-and-rescue missions, and has been operational since November 11, 2003.

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Anybody Seen My Missiles?

Where did they go? The Ukrainian defense minister says hundreds of SAM missiles are missing from his country's arsenal and he has no clue as to where those pesky things have gotten off to. "We are looking for several hundred missiles," said Defense Minister Yevhen Marchuk, in an interview published in the newspaper Den. "They have already been decommissioned, but we cannot find them."

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NATA Urges Caution On Repair Station Security Proposal

NATA Monday told the TSA it's worried about new rules that would affect security at authorized repair stations both at home and abroad.

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Space Tourist Does Homework

For the first time since introducing the controversial space tourist program, Russia has reportedly found someone who actually has a mission. Gregory Olsen is a scientist who made his mark in the optics business. Sure, he'll still have to fork over $20 million for the ride, but he wants to do more than float around the cabin of the International Space Station eating food out of tubes.

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Sarasota Puts Bounty On New Air Service

So you say you're an airline, down on your luck? Well, no more. All you need to do is land in Sarasota (FL). Often. Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is trying to lure more low-fare airlines to its runways. So the idea is pretty simple: Offer them cash. Two million dollars, to be precise.

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SPEEA to Picket Boeing in Chicago

Employees from several states will picket The Boeing Company's headquarters Tuesday, protesting the aerospace giant's "continued efforts to cut its United States workforce while expanding overseas employment." Members and union officials from the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001, AFL-CIO, will set up pickets at 9:00 am outside Boeing World Headquarters, 100 North Riverside Plaza. Around noon, the group will march to Chicago City Hall to draw attention to the $22 million of city-backed incentives used to attract Boeing.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (03.30.04)

"Meeting today on price was very good. Darleen (Druyun, then still an Air Force official) spent most of the time bringing the USAF price up to our number. ... It was a good day. She may be running her own covert operation on this one, so we probably don't want to discuss openly." Source: Boeing's man in charge of the tanker deal, Bob Gower, in an email during the five months when Boeing was reportedly allowed by the USAF to rewrite proposal requirements on 100 new air-to-air tankers. Druyun was a negotiator for the Air Force in the tanker talks. Shortly after Boeing won the contract, she went to work for the aerospace giant. But a few months later, she and Boeing CFO Mike Sears were fired and CEO Phil Condit resigned, all under intense scrutiny after allegations t

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Indonesians Told To Reel In Their Kites

Indonesian kite-flyers, beware. You're no longer wanted anywhere near the international airport in Jakarta.

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ARINC and AeroMech Team Up On RVSM

ARINC and AeroMech say they've teamed up to offer complete RVSM (Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum) solutions for popular Cessna, Beechjet, and Hawker business jet airframes. The teaming agreement between the two companies gives the market a new choice in RVSM service providers.

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