2nd Boeing-Built GPS IIF Satellite Enters Service with US Air force

Boeing today announced that the second of 12 GPS IIF satellites the company is building for the U.S. Air Force has achieved operational acceptance and entered service. With testing complete, GPS IIF-2, now called SVN-63, is the newest satellite to join the active 31-satellite GPS constellation operated by the Air Force 50th Space Wing and the 2nd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo.

“The Air Force and allied military forces around the world use GPS devices in virtually every system to improve their capabilities and effectiveness while reducing risk to the warfighter,” said Air Force Col. Bernard Gruber, director of the GPS Directorate. “This next-generation GPS IIF satellite has been set healthy and is ready to begin providing a strong, clear and secure signal.”

Boeing technicians examine the GPS IIF-1 satellite shortly before its shipment to Cape Canaveral for its May 2010 launch. The upright frames protect the satellite’s precision antennas during shipping. Photo credit: The Boeing Company.

Boeing is responsible for the GPS ground and space segments, providing an integrated system solution for GPS IIF and for the operation of the entire constellation. As a prime contractor for GPS satellites for more than three decades, Boeing has delivered 40 spacecraft that are successfully populating and sustaining the GPS system. Boeing GPS satellites have demonstrated reliable performance and exceeded their operational design life. GPS IIF will form the core of the GPS constellation for the next decade or longer.

“GPS is deeply woven into everyday life and is the foundation of global, civil, commercial and defense applications for more than 1 billion users worldwide,” said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems. “Boeing has a long legacy of support on the GPS program to the U.S. Air Force, and the delivery of this new IIF satellite augments the constellation’s ability to provide highly accurate, three-dimensional position, velocity and timing information 24 hours a day in all weather conditions.”

Launched on July 16, SVN-63 immediately entered verification testing using the Boeing-developed Operational Control Segment (OCS) system and government GPS ground assets and receivers. The OCS, which gained full operational status with the Air Force in April, enables an expanding set of services and capabilities, including improved anti-jam capabilities for warfighters and improved security for all users.

The flexible design of the OCS system enables new generations of GPS satellites, including GPS IIF, to be efficiently added to the constellation. On-orbit testing for the SVN-63 spacecraft took less time than for the first IIF satellite (SVN-62) because the testing on SVN-62 included a set of one-time, system-level design validation tests that involved the space vehicle, the OCS, and user equipment.

Boeing is building 10 additional GPS IIF satellites with the pulse line at its Satellite Development Center in El Segundo. The IIF pulse line efficiently moves a satellite from one work area to the next in a steady rhythm. Adapted from Boeing commercial airplane manufacturing operations, the pulse line will enable Boeing to deliver the spacecraft faster, more efficiently and with higher quality. Launch of the third GPS IIF satellite will be determined by the Air Force in the coming months.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $32 billion business with 64,000 employees worldwide.

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Boeing rolls out first 787 Dreamliner to go into service

Three years after it was first due for delivery, Boeing has rolled out the first 787 Dreamliner that is to be delivered to a customer. Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) were to take delivery in May 2008, but will now receive the aircraft next month.

The plane promises increased fuel efficiency as it is the first model to be built out of plastic and carbon composites, more lightweight than conventional materials. Boeing says they have 800 orders at $200 million per aircraft. Launch customer ANA have ordered 55.

The first flight of a B787, back in December 2009

Delayed by Boeing’s outsourcing system to a variety of subcontractors, two models have been developed. The 787-8 holds between 210 and 250 passengers; the 787-9 holds 250 to 290. Airlines choose the seating layout they want.

After the 787, already bearing ANA’s livery, arrives in Tokyo next month, the airline will use its first commercial flight for a special charter from Tokyo to Hong Kong. “We plan to use the 787 to expand our business, particularly our international routes,” says ANA senior vice president Mitsuo Morimoto. “We plan to increase our revenue from international route significantly and the 787 will play an instrumental role in this,” he adds, noting flights to Europe or the US are possibles for 787s.

“We are rolling out the first delivery airplane, the first 787,” enthused Scott Fancher, 787 project manager and Boeing vice president. “That’s an amazing thing for those who have worked on the program five, six, seven years, here at Boeing and our partners around the world.”

Boeing says they must increase the tempo of production from two a month to ten, if they are to meet customer demand. “It’s an extraordinary challenge, no one has ever built a wide body aircraft at the rate of 10 per month before,” claims Flight International writer John Ostrower.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner made its debut in India.

The Boeing  787 Dreamliner made its India debut landing at New Delhi International Airport at 11:09 a.m. (IST), arriving from Tokyo.

“Indian air carriers have recognized the tremendous value the Boeing 787 offers airlines,” said Dinesh Keskar, president Boeing India.

Water salute to Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Indira Gandhi International Airport

 Air India is one of the early customers and has ordered 27 787s. Jet Airways also has ordered 10 Dreamliners. The 787 offers the potential to enhance the revenues of customers due to its passenger appeal and reduction in maintenance costs and fuel burn.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Taxing at Indira Gandhi International Airport.

“We look forward to the airplane’s introduction into the fleets of our valued customers in India,” said Keskar. He also mentioned that the 787’s visit was a great day in the long history of Boeing’s partnership with India.

The airplane will depart for the Mumbai Airport in the evening of July 15 and will fly back to Seattle on the morning of July 16.

The 787 Dreamliner is built by an international team and will provide airlines around the globe with a new level of efficiency in operations, with a 20 percent reduction in fuel use when compared to similar-sized airplanes. The 787 also brings a new level of passenger comfort to travelers including bigger windows and more personal space as well as an environment designed to help them arrive at their destinations feeling refreshed.

Cargo plane crashes in Dubai, two dead

According to Wakalat Anba’a al-Emarat, the official news agency of the United Arab Emirates, a Boeing 747-400 cargo plane belonging to the United States courier UPS Airlines, crashed after take-off in Dubai on Friday. Two crew members were on board at the time of the crash, both of whom were killed. There were no reports of any other deaths or injuries on the ground.

Crashed UPS Airlines Flight 6

The aircraft was en route to Cologne Bonn Airport in Cologne, Germany when it crashed. According to witnesses, at around 7.45 p.m. local time, it caught fire and attempted to return to the airport, then crashed into the ground near Dubai Silicon Oasis. It had just taken off from Dubai International Airport a few minutes beforehand. The crash site is inside the perimeter fence of Emirati air base, located near a busy highway intersection.

UPS 747-400

A contributing witness on the Professional Pilots Rumour Network, an aviation discussion board, wrote: “Just five minutes ago. I heard and saw an aircraft, possibly an airliner going down in Dubai near Silicon Oasis. It has just over-flown my house and [there was] a big fireball.” Another contributor suggested that the aircraft was attempting to land on Runway 30L, when it declared an emergency and subsequently veered off course. The aircraft then allegedly disappeared from radar, descending through 500ft doing 250 knots. Another contributor reported that “the wreckage trail is fairly long … so it looks like it is possible they still had control & tried to force land it.”

UPS international operations manager Bob Lekites released a statement describing the incident as “very unfortunate” and that UPS “will do everything to find the cause.” An investigation into the cause of the incident has been launched by UAE authorities, and Boeing has announced it intends to “send a team to provide technical support to the investigation upon invitation from the authorities.” The National Transportation Safety Board of the United States also released a press statement, stating that it “will dispatch an aviation investigator to assist the government of United Arab Emirates in its investigation of the crash”. The team will, according to the statement “include NTSB specialists in the areas of human performance, fire, operations, and systems.”

Boeing Completes Firm Configuration of 787-9 Dreamliner

EVERETT, Wash., July 1, 2010 – Boeing [NYSE:BA] today announced the completion of firm configuration for the 787-9 Dreamliner. Boeing reached this milestone after years of collaboration with airline customers and partners to determine the optimal configuration for the new stretch version of the Dreamliner.

“Firm configuration means the airplane’s structural, propulsion and systems architectures are defined and not changing,” said Mark Jenks, vice president of 787-9 development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Boeing has completed the trade studies required to finalize the airplane’s overall capability and basic design, allowing the airplane manufacturer and its suppliers to begin detailed design of parts, assemblies and other systems for the 787-9. As detailed designs are completed and released, production can begin. The first 787-9 delivery is scheduled for late 2013.

“We have a disciplined process in place to ensure we have completed all of the requirements for the development stage of the program,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The team has done a fantastic job to get us through this important milestone.”

Boeing Completes Firm Configuration of 787-9 Dreamliner

The 787-9 is the second member of the 787 family. A slightly bigger version of the 787-8, the airplane will seat 250-290 passengers, 16 percent more than the 787-8. The 787-9 will have a range of 8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles (14,800 to 15,750 km).

“We have been working closely with our customers for years to reach this milestone,” said Mark Jenks, vice president of 787-9 development. “We are excited about the performance and capability this airplane will offer our customers.”

The 787 Dreamliner is an all-new twinjet designed to meet the needs of airlines around the world in providing nonstop service between midsize cities with new levels of efficiency. The airplane will bring improved levels of comfort to passengers with larger windows, bigger baggage bins and advances in the cabin environment, including lower cabin altitude, higher humidity and cleaner air. Delivery of the first 787 is planned for the fourth quarter of 2010.

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