AIAA

The World's Forum for Aerospace Leadership

  • MY AIAA
  • Donate
  • Press Room
  • Renew
  • View Cart
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Industry News

It’s an Aerospace World. Looking for the latest headlines in the aerospace industry? This is the place to find it. And, on the outside chance we don’t have what you’re looking for, email Lawrence Garrett, AIAA web editor, and he’ll find somebody to help.

*For member access to the AIAA Daily Launch, please log in to www.aiaa.org/MyAIAA, navigate to “Access Publications & Materials” and select “Daily Launch.” The AIAA Daily Launch, distributed to AIAA members each weekday morning, is a digest of the most important aerospace news selected from thousands of sources by the editors of Bulletin Media.


2018

16 January 2018
DARPA Completes Second Phase Of UAV Swarming Demonstration

UAVSwarmFlightGlobal reported that DARPA has completed the “second phase of its collaborative control technology for unmanned air systems demonstration, the next step in an effort to orchestrate swarms of legacy UAS with the hand of a single human operator.” Lockheed Martin and Raytheon “collaborated with six smaller companies” on the second phase demonstration for Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment (CODE), and operated “RQ-23 Tigersharks modified with CODE hardware and open architecture software.” Raytheon will complete development for “CODE software in phase 3 testing, which will add more UAS to the demonstration and increase the complexity of autonomous behaviors, according to Jean-Charles Ledé, CODE programme manager.” (Image Credit: Alex Kushleyev, Daniel Mellinger, Vijay Kumar, KMel Robotics, and the GRASP Lab, University of Pennsylvania)
More Info (FlightGlobal)


16 January 2018
Airbus May Cease Production Of A380

Airbus380-WikipediaCommonsThe AP reports that Airbus may stop manufacturing its A380 superjumbo jet due to declining demand in the marketplace. Airbus COO John Leahy told journalists Monday that if Airbus “can’t work out a deal with Emirates, I think there is no choice but to shut down the program.” (Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
More Info (Associated Press)


12 January 2018
Pentagon Declines To Comment On Fate of Zuma Satellite

SpaceX-CRS-11-launch-NASAThe Wall Street Journal reports that the Pentagon declined to discuss the fate of its secret Zuma satellite during a Thursday briefing. Defense Department spokeswoman Dana White repeatedly referred reporters to SpaceX, which launched the satellite aboard one of its Falcon 9 rockets. (Image: SpaceX launch of the CRS-11 mission. Credit: NASA/Tony Gray)
More Info (Wall Street Journal)


11 January 2018
Oxford Study Predicts “Robust Expansion” In Aerospace Industry

Boeing737MaxFlightGlobal reports that an Oxford Economics study predicts “multiple years of robust expansion” in the aerospace industry “until the end of the decade.” US suppliers are expected to lead a period of “steep” growth based on data including “order backlogs, production ramp-up plans by Airbus and Boeing, low fuel costs, and ‘continued passenger growth [and] strong ongoing momentum in world trade, with a knock-on boost to air freight.’” The US aerospace industry is “projected to grow 2.9% this year, and 3.4% in 2019 and 2020.” The UK industry is estimated to have grown by 9.2 percent in 2017, “the fastest growing aerospace market among the G7 countries.” The study also “foresees growth across the eurozone accelerating to 3.4% in both this year and in 2019, and to 3.5% in 2020.” Brazil and Russia also are expected “to see a turnaround in their fortunes.” (Image Credit: Associated Press–©)
More Info (FlightGlobal)


10 January 2018
Airbus To Expand Aircraft Assembly In China

Airbus380-WikipediaCommonsReuters reports that Airbus plans to “boost the number of planes it assembles in China under a deal signed in Beijing on Tuesday to expand co-operation” at its Tianjin plant. A Beijing signing ceremony “did not however include any deal for Airbus to sell aircraft to China, despite earlier expectations of a contract timed to coincide with” French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit. (Image Credit: Juergen Lehle/Wikimedia Commons)
More Info (Reuters)


10 January 2018
Details Remain Cloudy As Media Focuses On Apparent Failure Of Zuma Mission

SpaceX-CRS-11-launch-NASAReuters reports that in response to the assumed loss of the secret Zuma satellite following its launch Sunday night, SpaceX “defended” the performance of its Falcon 9 rocket. In a statement the company declared that “after review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night. If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately.” The AP reports that SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said the rocket “did everything correctly,” and that suggestions otherwise are “categorically false.” (Image: SpaceX launch of the CRS-11 mission. Credit: NASA/Tony Gray)
More Info (Reuters)
More Info (Associated Press)


9 January 2018
Chinese Engineer: Tiangong-1 Space Station “Not Out of Control”

ChineseSpaceStation-WikiReuters reported that the Chinese Tiangong-1 space station is “not out of control and does not pose a safety threat, a top Chinese spaceflight engineer said on Monday.” Zhu Congpeng of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation “told the state-backed Science and Technology Daily” newspaper, “We have been continuously monitoring Tiangong-1 and expect to allow it to fall within the first half of this year” into a “designated area of the sea.” Re-entry originally was delayed in September 2017 in order to “ensure that the wreckage would fall into an area of the South Pacific ocean where debris from Russian and U.S. space stations had previously landed, the paper said.” (Image Credit: Penyulap/Wikimedia Commons)
More Info (Reuters)


9 January 2018
Lockheed Martin SR-72 May Be Further Along In Development Than Thought

SR-72-LMCJalopnik reports on Lockheed Martin Vice President of Strategy and Customer Requirements, Advanced Development Programs Jack O’Banion’s comments at the AIAA SciTech Forum, where the executive “may have just unintentionally revealed that America’s next hypersonic warplane is much farther along the development process than previously suggested.” Speaking about how Lockheed has adapted to digital disruption, O’Banion “brought up the so-called SR-72, which so far is only known as a conceptual hypersonic aircraft.” Against a backdrop of three aircraft, including the SR-72, O’Banion commented, “Without the digital transformation, the aircraft you see there could not have been made. In fact, five years ago, it could not have been made.” The article links to a livestream of the SciTech Forum, and O’Banion’s comments start after the 59 minute mark. The comments “all but confirmed” the SR-72 “to be well clear of the conceptual and modeling phases of development, and possibly operational.” (Image: SR-72 as envisioned in 2013. Credit: USAF/Wikipedia)
More Info (Jalopnik)


8 January 2018
Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser Passes “Key Milestone”

DreamChaser_NASASPACE reported that Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced on January 5 that NASA confirmed that the company’s Dream Chaser space plane successfully passed a key milestone during its November free flight test. In a statement, SNC “said that NASA cdoncluded that the Nov. 11 free flight of the Dream Chaser engineering test article, at Edwards Air Force Base in California, met or exceeded all the requirements of the company’s last remaining funded milestone in its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) award from 2012.” SNC is “focused” on developing a cargo transport version of Dream Chaser that will service the ISS “under a Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract awarded to SNC in January 2016.” (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info (SPACE)


8 January 2018
Chinese Space Lab Potential “PR Embarrassment”

ChineseSpaceStation-WikiCNN reported on the Chinese Tiangong-1 space station, which is “out of control and expected to crash-land on Earth by the end of March.” Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell said that the Chinese “have a PR embarrassment on their hands.” While the “actual danger” of the space station causing any damage to humans or property “is small,” McDowell said, “it is accepted international best practice nowadays that objects that big shouldn’t be able to fall out of the sky in this manner.” If wreckage from Tiangong-1 falls on land, “it could potentially provide some insight into China’s space program.” Space law expert Michael Listner said, “It would be an opportunity for Western analysts to look at remnants of China space hardware,” which would be a “risk for the Chinese.” (Image Credit: Penyulap/Wikimedia Commons)
More Info (CNN)


5 January 2018
Weather Delays SpaceX Zuma Launch To Sunday

SpaceXLaunchFacility-KSC-NASAFlorida Today reports that SpaceX is targeting “this weekend for a secretive Falcon 9 mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,” with the launch scheduled for “no earlier” than 8 p.m. Sunday. In a statement on Twitter, SpaceX said, “Extreme weather slowed operations but Falcon 9 and the Zuma spacecraft are healthy and go for launch.” The Air Force’s 45th Weather Squadron “said Sunday’s attempt will see 90 percent ‘go’ conditions,” despite a low of 36 degrees and a high of 60 degrees at Cape Canaveral Sunday. (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info (Florida Today)


5 January 2018
MU Researchers Use UAVs To Assist In Various Agricultural Tasks

UAV_Monitors_Idaho_Farm1_APThe Bolivar Herald-Free Press reports that University of Missouri (MU) Extension researchers are using UAVs specially manufactured for agricultural use to scout fields, evaluate cover crop effectiveness and “capture plant infrared wavelength readings to find nitrogen deficiencies in crops.” MU Extension natural resources engineer Kent Shannon presented the UAV during the college’s annual Crop Management Conference on December 18 and 19. (Image Credit: Associated Press–©)
More Info (Bolivar Herald-Free Press)


4 January 2018
New National Security Strategy Makes Space A Priority

Earth-and-NASA-SatelliteThe Hill reports that the Trump Administration’s National Security Strategy (NSS) “prioritizes U.S. leadership in military, commercial, and scientific components of space.” In contrast to previous strategies, the new NSS takes a “hardline approach” to national security as well as to Russia and China, “who have been increasingly bold and occasionally aggressive space players in recent years.” The NSS “accentuates the administration’s intention to brand the domestic economy a key component of its U.S. national security strategy,” and seeks to “promote space commerce through regulatory reform.” NASA and the Defense Department are “well suited to facilitate” public-private partnerships, which “have the potential to attain both scientific and commercial goals in space.” By distributing cost “across multiple entities, the U.S. could achieve grander goals more quickly and cost-effectively.” (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info (The Hill)


4 January 2018
Boeing: Southwest Airlines Order Has “No Impact” On 737 Max Strategy

Boeing737MaxCNBC reports on Southwest Airlines’ decision to exercise options for “40 Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes worth $4.5 billion at list prices” and defer deliveries for smaller Max 7 aircraft until “at least 2023.” Boeing said that “there is no impact to the Max program” from Southwest’s decision, “and noted that the airline still plans to take delivery of seven of the smaller 737 planes next year.” Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz said that both the models “still fit in with our fleet plan.” (Image Credit: Associated Press–©)
More Info (CNBC)


3 January 2018
Launch Of SpaceX Zuma Mission Moved To Friday

SpaceXLaunchFacility-KSC-NASA Florida Today reports that the launch of the US government’s “classified Zuma mission from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station” aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has been delayed until Friday evening. The launch “had been planned Thursday evening,” but is now targeted for liftoff at 8 p.m. Friday. No reason was given for the delay. (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info (Florida Today)


3 January 2018
ATC Privatization Debate Expected To Intensify During First Quarter Of 2018

ATC-at-Dulles Aviation International News reports that the March 31 deadline to reauthorize the FAA “sets the stage for an intense period of lobbying – on both sides of the ATC issue – in the first quarter of 2018 as lawmakers seek to come to a resolution on whether to create an independent, user-funded ATC organization.” House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) is expected to “make a formidable push for the ATC proposal this year,” but “many speculate that if unsuccessful this year, the issue may be shelved, at least for the time being.” (Image: Dulles Airport ATC. Credit: AIAA)
More Info (Aviation International News)


2 January 2018
NASA Ranked Top Agency By Federal Employees For Sixth Straight Year

NASA-Employees-and-Atlantis-2Nov2012-AP-PurchasedThe Washington Times reports that “for the sixth straight year,” NASA “was the top large agency” in the Office of Personnel Management’s annual survey of hundreds of thousands of federal employees. HHS and the Transportation Department also scored highly. DHS “continued its run at the bottom, ranked yet again as the worst large agency – though even it saw a huge improvement, leaping 6 points in President Trump’s first year in office.” (Image: NASA employees including astronauts that flew on space shuttle Atlantis pose for a photo at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Friday, 2 Nov. 2012, in Cape Canaveral, FL. Credit: Associated Press-©)
More Info (Washington Times)


2 January 2018
Weather “Excellent” For SpaceX Zuma Launch From Cape Canaveral Thursday

SpaceXLaunchFacility-KSC-NASA Florida Today reports that a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is expected to “kick off this year’s Eastern Range launch manifest with a secretive Thursday mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.” According to the US Air Force’s 45th Weather Squadron, conditions are expected to be 90 percent favorable “during a launch window that opens at 8 p.m. and closes at 10 p.m., according to a statement released on Monday.” The Zuma mission, “a government payload handled by Northrop Grumman, was delayed from November due to issues with the Falcon 9 rocket’s protective nose cone.” (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info (Florida Today)