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December 31, 2011

Why The Secrecy? USAF Awards LAS Contract VERY Quietly

HBC Surprised to Learn That LAS Contract Was Already Awarded to Foreign Contender

One really has to wonder what is REALLY behind the colossal mess that appears to surround the USAF LAS program... ANN has just learned that HBC was told that the contract for the LAS program, for which they had taken the government to court, HAD ALREADY been awarded a week ago... without publicity and in apparent secrecy. According to HBC, they 'learned during this week's initial status conference at the Court of Federal Claims that the U.S. Air Force awarded the Light Air Support (LAS) contract to the Sierra Nevada Corporation and its Brazilian manufacturer Embraer last week.'

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Will They Continue? Reno Air Race Announcement Set For Next Week

In The Face Of The 2011 Tragedy, Aviators The World Over, Hope For 2012 Race Resumption

A cryptic message was put forth on Facebook a few hours that may answer the question that has persisted in the wake of the tragedy that befell the Reno Air race Community last Fall... will the races fly again? The message simply states that, "On Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012, the Reno Air Racing Association will make a significant announcement on the future of the National Championship Air Races at a press conference at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno at 11 a.m. We thank you for your continued support and hope to see you there."

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NASA's GRAIL-A Closing In On The Moon

GRAIL-A Just Hours Away, GRAIL-B Close Behind

NASA's unmanned programs are celebrating the end of 2011 with a return to the Moon. NASA's Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL)-A spacecraft is within a few hours of its insertion burn that will place it into lunar orbit. At the time the spacecraft crossed the milestone at 1:21 p.m. PST Friday (4:21 p.m. EST), the spacecraft was 30,758 miles from the moon. Launched aboard the same rocket on Sept. 10, 2011, GRAIL-A's mirror twin, GRAIL-B, is also closing the gap between itself and the moon. GRAIL-B is scheduled to perform its lunar orbit insertion burn on New Year's Day (Jan. 1) at 2:05 p.m. PST (5:05 p.m. EST).

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Obama OKs Sale of F-15s To Saudi Military

Announcement Seen As A Slap At Iranian Sword-Rattling

The Obama Administration has confirmed persistent rumors of the approval of a significant sale of F-15 Eagle fighter jets to the Saudis. According to a statement released by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Joshua Earnest, "The United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have signed a government-to-government agreement under the Foreign Military Sales program to provide advanced F-15SA combat aircraft to the Royal Saudi Air Force. Valued at $29.4 billion, this agreement includes production of 84 new aircraft and the modernization of 70 existing aircraft as well as munitions, spare parts, training, maintenance and logistics.  These F-15SA aircraft, manufactured by The Boeing Company, are among the most s

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ANN 2011 In Review: Business Aviation

President Obama Gives BizAv A Black Eye, BARR Becomes Focus Of A Major Lobbying Effort

The Obama administration rode roughshod over business avaion this year, holding up corporate aircraft, and jets in particular, as the very symbol of those it thinks do not pay enough in taxes ... and the industry spent a great deal of the year working to tell the story of its successes in helping buinsesses grow and prosper. While some small jet projects were placed on the shelves, a bright spot for the entry-level end of the bizav spectrum was Eclipse, which announced it would re-enter production.

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Army To Deploy A160 Hummingbird UAS

Army Looking to Heavy Use of UAS Capabilities

The US Army is using a hybrid-type acquisition approach to develop a helicopter-like, Vertical-Take-Off-and-Landing Unmanned Aerial System with a so-called ARGUS wide-area surveillance sensor suite designed to beam back information and images of the surrounding terrain, service officials said. Beginning in May or June of 2012, the Army will deploy three Boeing-built A160 Hummingbird Vertical-Take-Off-and-Landing Unmanned Aerial Systems, or VTOL-UAS, to Afghanistan as part of a Quick Reaction Capability, an acquisition approach aimed at delivering cutting-edge and emerging technologies to theater to add capability and inform requirements while simultaneously developing a formal Program of Record approach, said Lt. Col. Matthew

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Delta 757 Blows Tire On Landing At ATL

Crew Stopped On Runway To Await Tow To Gate

The world's busiest airport had one of its five runways shut down late Wednesday after Delta Flight 418, a Boeing 757 arriving from San Juan, Puerto Rico blew a tire on landing at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International.

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ANN 2011 In Review: Commercial Airlines

New Airliners, Record Sales, Crew Rest Rules Are Among The Top Stories

Where other segments of the industry had their ups and downs, the news coming from commercial aviation was largely positive ... including the certification of Boeing's Dreamliner, the announcement of re-vamped A320 and B737 airliners, and record sales figures for both Boeing and Airbus. But crew rest rules announced by the FAA were a bit of a counterpoint to the good news for the industry, in that they do not set the same standards for pilots of passenger and cargo flights.

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Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (12.31.11)

"This is yet another example of the Air Force's lack of transparency throughout this competition. With this development, it now seems even clearer that the Air Force intended to award the contract to Embraer from early in this process." Source: Bill Boisture, Hawker Beechcraft chairman and CEO, commenting on the mysterious situation surrounding the LAS program and HBC's having been booted from consideration... with no explanation.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (12.31.11): Contained Engine Failure

A “contained” engine failure is one in which components might separate inside the engine but either remain within the engine’s cases or exit the engine.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (12.31.11)

Sport Pilot LSA Locator

The next big event on the ANN calendar is the LSA show in Sebring, Florida in January. Use this Sport Pilot Locator map to find fellow airplane light-sport aircraft pilots, flying clubs, and services.

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