European Drone Dassault nEUROn UCAV MAIDEN FLIGHT


The news was broken this morning (December 1, 2012) thanks to this tweet:

 



 
Dassault-Aviation released the news a few minutes later:

 



 

 

 



 

 

The stealth drone demonstrator “nEUROn” designed by Dassault Aviation, performed her maiden flight this morning at Istres Dassault Flight Test Center.

Dassault along with DGA – French Defense Procurement Agency, and nEUROn customer – successfully conducted this first flight test of the European UCAV (Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle).

The nEUROn project FCAS (Future European fighter Combat Air System) , launched in 2005, involves France, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Greece and Switzerland. Some parts or elements of this aircraft – flight controls maybe – would come from the Dassault Falcon 7X.

nEUROn Drone - June 2007 © Xavier Cotton

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Future Airbus Aircraft Concept

This is what the next Airbus aircraft should be in the 40 years to come. The new Airbus concept is to match the passengers’ demand.

According to a consultation with the customers, 96% of them want more environmentally sustainable aeroplanes. The aircraft of the future will have to be fully recyclable, more sustainable ie eco-efficient, and less stressful:

Now, the leading aircraft manufacturer is using the feedback to paint its vision of sustainable aviation in 2050.

Airbus had unveiled a revolutionary concept cabin through images of a transparent airliner design, last year.

There is a need among the passengers to reduce the time spent in airports. The new Airbus concept cabin will integrate an additional door for faster boarding, and exit. This airliner of the future will reduce its noise, and carbon emmissions. It will use the latest technologies – bionic structure, blended airframe, enhanced laminar flow and noise reduction; blended U-tail, biomorphing seats able to collect the passenger’s body energy, cutting-edge relaxation systems, human body thermal recycling, dramatic panoramic view, World Wide Web access, round of golf, etc. Watch the video:

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SAAB GRIPEN wins tender in Switzerland

11/30/2011 – The news broke today : The Swiss Air Force is to acquire 22 Sweedish SAAB GRIPEN fighter aircraft. The Swiss government had warned that they were compelled to squeeze their budget for this $3.36 billion bid as they could not afford to purchase the 33 fighter aircraft planned for the replacement of their F-5 Tiger fleet.

In spite of its outstanding performance during the tests as well as over the battlefields in Afghanistan, and in Libya, the Dassault Rafale was not chosen. Moreover, like the EADS Eurofighter/Typhoon, it was deemed too expensive for Switzerland could not buy as many aircraft within the budget allocated.

The Gripen is a good option for Switzerland since it is the cheapest one. The version to be delivered – JAS 39E/F or Gripen Demo/NG – is believed to be an excellent one – IRST (InfraRed Search and Track); ES-05 Raven AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar & SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar); Electronic Warfare (EW) systems; Helmet Mounted Sight and Display (HMSD)…

However, this new-generation Gripen NG is a single engine fighter aircraft. It was tactically outperformed by its opponents, and last but not least, it has not yet been produced. As a matter of fact, the Swiss should be involved in the R&D works.

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RAFALE likely to be turned down in UAE fighter aircraft bid

RAFALE fighter aircraft flying
RAFALE La Ferté Alais 2010 - © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

According to the comments of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the French Dassault RAFALE multirole fighter aircraft might be rejected as he was paying a visit to the 12th Dubai International Airshow.

About the Rafale deal, he said that Dassault seemed unaware that all the diplomatic and political will in the world could not overcome uncompetitive and unworkable commercial terms.

Dassault was deemed to race ahead in this $10-billion sale to the United Arab Emirates. The contest has taken a dramatic turn as EADS Eurofighter/Typhoon seems to receive a decisive momentum, and the Boeing F-15 and F-18 programmes would be back on track in this competition.

The Rafale performances in Libya were thought to have outclassed the other allied fighter aircraft, and it clearly headed above the competition indeed. However, some commercial negotiations would have failed. To be continued…

Photo courtesy: © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

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AIRBUS VISIONARY PROJECT – TRANSPARENT AIRLINER

Airbus has just unveiled a revolutionary concept through images of a transparent airliner design.

This aircraft of the future will use the latest technology – bionic structure; blended airframe; enhanced laminar flow and noise reduction; blended V-tail; biomorphing seats; leading-edge relaxation systems; human body thermal recycling; dramatic panoramic view; round of golf; etc.

Airbus will showcase their project called Concept Cabin during the Paris Air Show, at Le Bourget Airport. A movie – Airbus Future of Flight – will also be shown in a 360° planetarium at the Musee de l’Air et de l’Espace from 20 to 26 June 2011. Watch what travelling by plane could be… 40 years ahead:

Special thanks to Thierry HERMAS – Aeronautical English teacher at the French Air Force Academy (EOAA, Salon de Provence) – who passed the video link on. Thank you very much indeed.

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Volcanic ash posing a threat to flight safety

Sunday 5/22/2011 – Breaking news:

The Grimsvötn volcano began erupting yesterday. It is located underneath the uninhabited Vatnajokull glacier in southeastern Iceland. As it has been sending ash into the skies up to flight level 650 i.e. 65,000 ft or around 20 kilometers or 12 miles.

The European fleets might be grounded due to the spreading of an ash cloud which is forecast to drift over Scotland on Tuesday – May 24, 2011 – and expected to reach France and Spain by Thursday or Friday. Here is an interesting short documentary about how the scientists examine the volcanic ash, and how they determine that it can pose a threat to aircraft.

Watch the video:


Volcanic Ash – When is it a Threat to Airflight? par NewsLook

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INDIA’s Fighter Aircraft Deal – RAFALE & TYPHOON still incompetition

The Indian Air Force Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) should be a European fighter jet. India shortlisted the Eurofighter Typhoon and the French Rafale for a $12 billion fighter jet deal. 126 fighter aircraft are to be ordered! As controversial rumours have spread for months through the Internet and the Indian channels, nobody could be certain of the sort of decision that could be made. For instance, remember this idea of purchasing two different combat aircraft that was issued a few months ago. Then, the news came right out of the blue yesterday April 28, 2011. Indeed the American, Russian, and Swedish jetfighters have been discarded.

According to the video hereafter,

The high-flying American campaign to win the $10 billion multirole combat aircraft tender has crashed.

The Indian Defence Ministry confirmed that the F/A-18F Super Hornet and the latest F-16IN were out of the race. Neither of these U.S. fighters would have met the Indian Air Force’s technical requirements during the trials that were also submitted to the JAS-39 Gripen; the MiG-35; the Rafale; and the Typhoon.

RAFALE aerobatics at La Ferté Alais Airshow 2010
RAFALE La Ferté Alais 2010 - Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

One may wonder why the Gripen was not selected in this competition. Well, this excellent aircraft is not equipped with any arrestor hook, and that is probably why it has not been kept in the race for this tender.

According to previous articles in this very website, the assumption that a Rafale might have shot down an F-22 Raptor plus some other rumours about the French combat aircraft performance left my readers in utter disbelief two years ago.

It is important to notice that the Rafale purchase is a rather expensive option. However, it should also be noted that, in spite of the modest political clout of France in India, as well as its price tag – $90 million – the Dassault Rafale remains in the final competition. A transfer-of-technology amendment might be added to the contract.

As the Super Hornet and the Super Viper have been rejected, this is a deep disapointment for Lockheed Martin; McDonnell Douglas; Boeing; General Dynamics; as well as a real watershed in the geopolitical approach in Asia.

Photo courtesy: Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

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FCL 1.028 et FCL 1.200 en France – Ce qu’il faut savoir

Important information: FCL 1.028 and FCL 1.200 will be replaced by FCL .055 and FCL .055 D from April 9, 2013.

Depuis le 5 mars 2011, tout pilote désireux de quitter l’espace aérien français doit avoir validé les deux cases FCL 1.028 et FCL 1.200 (Cases XII et XIII) sur sa licence (FCL pour Flight Crew Licensing). Cependant ces exigences peuvent aller plus loin (lire les liens de la DGAC ci-dessous)

Certain pilotes étaient détenteurs de la QRI (Qualification de Radiotéléphonie Internationale) et ont bénéficié de la “loi du grand-père”. D’autres ont passé une FCL 1.200 qui leur a permis d’incrémenter le niveau requis pour le FCL 1.028.

Désormais la qualification de radiotéléphonie en langue anglaise (FCL 1.200 en VFR ou IFR) ne suffit plus. Il faut justifier au minimum du niveau 4 OACI (Organisation de l’Aviation Civile Internationale ou ICAO en anglais) à l’examen FCL 1.028 qui est une qualification différente (en langue anglaise principalement) du 1.200 (qui est un examen de RTF – radiotéléphonie).

Il faut d’abord présenter le FCL1.200 puis ensuite à échéance de votre compétence linguistique (sauf pour ceux qui ont obtenu le niveau 6),  l’examen FCL1.028. Pour l’instant, les formats de ces deux examens se ressemblent si ce n’est que l’épreuve écrite fait partie du FCL 1.200 mais pas du 1.028.

Avoir une bonne moyenne ne suffit pas: c’est la note la plus basse des sept compétences évaluées qui est retenue. Autrement dit, il faut être au mieux bon en tout et au pire mauvais dans aucune des compétences suivantes:

  • Compréhension orale
  • Prononciation
  • Débit, aisance à l’oral
  • Constructions grammaticales à l’oral
  • Champs lexical à l’oral
  • Interaction
  • Compréhension écrite (QCM, uniquement pour le FCL 1.200)

On peut trouver de nombreuses informations sur des forums mais il y a un risque d’interprétation voire d’erreur et il vaut mieux prendre les informations à jour et à la source, c’est à dire sur ces liens de la DGAC (certains devraient de nouveau être mis à jour):

  1. Le contrôle de compétence linguistique (FCL 1.028 et 1.200)

  2. Les modalités du contrôle de compétence linguistique

  3. L’examen FCL 1.200

Vous pouvez télécharger les publications suivantes (en partie bilingues) concernant la radiotéléphonie:

Il est important également d’acquérir le document ICAO PANS-RAC DOC 4444 ainsi que le manuel de radiotéléphonie (Manual of Radiotelephony – Doc 9432). Il est possible de trouver ces documents sur Internet mais attention, il s’agit de versions légèrement périmées et il ne faudrait pas non plus oublier que l’Agence Européenne de la Sécurité Aérienne (AESA, en anglais EASA qui signifie European Aviation Safety Agency) réglemente de plus en plus notre espace aérien.

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French FIGHTERJETS and/or PILOTS possibly SUPERIOR

First of all, it is not that simple. Last instance: The “World’s Armed Forces Forum” has recently posted a new topic relating to this Prepa PLS Anglais post: /rafale-vs-typhooneurofighter/ which was edited here on December 20, 2009. It is very clear that this was just a post to pass rumors on to other websurfers who may not have already read/heard such gossips.

This post may have been deemed as a preposterous one among the aviation community. That is why I then posted this post: /french-fighter-aircraft-performance/ in early 2010. Well, in hindsight I ought to add that I had forgotten that confrontation between the French Dassault fighter aircraft with the Eurofighter: the Rafales – there were only two of them according to the report – shot down four Typhoons during an exercise. Yes, twice as many…

The assumption that a Rafale might have shot down an F-22 Raptor left my readers in utter disbelief in 2009. Well, in hindsight again, I ought to add that I had forgotten to quote the Korean balance sheet about the Rafale performance, as I had forgotten that a United Arab Emirates Air Force (UAEAF) Mirage 2000-9 (variant of Mirage 2000-5 Mk.2) flown by a French pilot would have – virtually – shot down an F-22 Raptor as well…

RAFALE fighter aircraft aerobatics at La Ferté Alais airshow 2010
RAFALE La Ferté Alais 2010 © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

I would never write anything like “an F-5 cannot down any French jetfighter”. Let us get real on this – I guess that either an F-5 or a MiG-21 could down any Mirage 2000 or Rafale. It depends on the radars; the sensors; the weapon systems used that day; the weather conditions; the pilots’ training; and their skills; the distance – BVR or WVR, not to mention autonomy; etc. When I read that some people remain adamant that any Rafale cannot have downed any F-22 Raptor, I think that they have the right to take such a stance. As I have the right to believe that they are wrong in their assertion. All-in-all, everything would be rumors… So, why should they care about them?

The pragmatic Swiss have honestly stated that they would be interested in the French Rafale for they got the results of their demanding NAC tests. However, due to a shrinking defense budget, they may not buy Rafales.

As far as the Brazilian, Emirati, Greek, and Indian (for MMRCA tender) media are concerned, they have already issued – at least once – breaking news according to which their countries would not purchase any Rafale for it would be “too expensive“.

Blimey! Let them buy what they like. I do not know whether it is worth paying for such performance because with these tenders, it is not a question of purchasing warplanes but foreign policies. Nonetheless, I would not be suprised to learn that some French Rafale pilots might be eager to challenge the brand new Chinese J-20 5th-generation fighter aircraft as it is deemed to be less performant than the F-22 Raptor.

If it were to happen – J-20 vs Rafale – the result would remain, as usual, among the rumors.   😉

Photo: © Xavier Cotton – http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

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Multi-role fighter aircraft sales

RIA NovostiGlobal fighter market leaders after 10 yearsGlobal fighter market leaders after 10 years

17:46 01/02/2011 Companies sharing world market for new multi-role fighters>>

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