Rapid Fire July 16, 2012: Droning On
- The American FAA has released thousands of pages of certification documents for UAV flights in civil airspace. They establish which organizations have sought permission, their specific drone models, where they fly, how often, and for how long. Hat tip: reader Jason Attas.
- Kurt Albaugh from the US Naval Academy marvels at the 9 million lines of code helping fly the F-35 and wonders whether this could lead to unmanned JSFs. This is a rather fast shortcut. Modern cars that cost less than the seat in a fighter jet often run as much or more code, but this has led to reliability issues. Quantity in code has an adverse quality of its own, that is, more code makes things more complicated to troubleshoot. There’s probably a lot that aircraft makers, car manufacturers, and software companies like Google (working on driverless cars) can learn from one another – Even the more so with increased civilian UAV use.
- Colombia’s air force releases an official statement that says their downed Super Tucano was not hit by FARC anti-aircraft fire. Brazil also had a crash recently, and Colombian crash pictures didn’t show bullet holes in the wing. The front section, where a missile would hit or AA fire could take out the pilot/engine, was destroyed in the crash.
- Iraq has set money aside to field air defense systems. It currently has none, but the April 30/12 SIGIR report [PDF] said that a formal request for mobile Avenger systems was coming.
- BAE has begun simulator tests to modify the Eurofighter’s cockpit for the new long-range Meteor air-to-air missile. Britain’s Prime Minister recently announced an agreement to integrate the Meteor, but this test’s timing shows why it’s expected to take until 2015.
- Canada’s 1st “CH-147F” heavy-lift helicopter makes its 1st flight at Boeing’s facility.
- Pro tip for the PLAAN: When you’re trying to be a bully in disputed waters around the Spratlys, try not to run your frigate aground on a reef.
- A look at current and future prospects for defense contractors based in Indiana.
- The Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) in the British parliament issued a report scrutinizing arms exports, stating that “the Government should apply significantly more cautious judgements when considering arms export licence applications for goods to authoritarian regimes which might be used to facilitate internal repression.” They acknowledge that the executive provided them plenty of information though these answers were delayed, an issue raised last year in Germany as well.