Sporty Business

EADS North America formally announced Tuesday that it will pursue the KC-X tanker program, with itself as the prime contractor. Company officials, speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, said their KC-45 is a maturing design with a new...

The Other Side

In the Boeing camp, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) quickly released a statement following the EADS North America announcement Tuesday confirming news that it would enter the KC-X tanker contest. Murray said she would “continue to work with Republicans and Democrats...

On the Other Hand

In the EADS North America camp, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), quickly released a statement supporting the decision by EADS to bid in the KC-X competition. He said: “The objective should be to acquire the best new tanker for the US...

Changing Circumstances

Asked Tuesday at the press conference announcing EADS North America would compete for the KC-X tanker contract why he thinks the Airbus A330 can win the contest after former partner Northrop Grumman (see Opting Out) concluded the competition favors a...

Partners, Partners

EADS officials said they are not seeking a large US prime with which to partner on the KC-X. There were talks with Raytheon and L-3, but the company feels it has the chops to spearhead a major program on its...

Can EADS Win?

“There’s no question about it” the KC-X tanker request for proposals “is very much about replacing the KC-135; that is definitionally a different airplane than the one we’re offering,” EADS North America CEO Sean O’Keefe said Tuesday at a press...

Putting Reusability to the Test

Weather conditions (see below Launch Delays) are favorable for Thursday’s launch of the X-37B reusable unmanned orbital test vehicle into space aboard an Atlas V booster from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., Air Force officials said Tuesday. “It is great to...

Launch Delays

Weather issues delayed the launches for the Minotaur IV Lite, carrying DARPA's HTV-2 hypersonic test vehicle, and USAF's X-37B orbital test vehicle. The Minotaur launch from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., was set for April 20 but late Monday officials decided to delay a day, possibly two, because of poor weather conditions, reports the Lompoc Record. Similarly poor weather forced delays in the space shuttle landing (Discovery landed April 20), so officials postponed the inaugural X-37B launch, now set for April 22, per United Launch Alliance's launch schedule.

Tuskegee Airman Honored

Retired CMSgt. Walter H. Richardson, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen of World War II fame, was recognized for his service with the group during a ceremony earlier this month in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Congress in 2006 awarded the World War II-era Tuskegee Airmen the Congressional Gold Medal (actual presentation in March 2007). Back on March 25, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) honored Richardson in remarks on the House floor, saying: "Walt has spent his life dedicated to his country, his community, and his family." Miller noted Richardson's training at Tuskegee Army Airfield "in a variety of disciplines" and 30 years of service "through many of our nation's wars and conflicts" that ended with his retirement at the highest enlisted rank. (Also see Northwest Florida Daily News report)

Recognizing Airmen, Air Nurse

The Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame last week inducted retired Maj. Gen. Richard Bodycombe, Lt. Col. John Slattery, Maj. Louis J. Sebille, and 1st Lt. Aleda Lutz. Bodycombe, who retired as the chief of the Air Force Reserve, flew the B-24 during World War II and was recalled for the Berlin Airlift. Slattery, who died in 2008, was a marine infantryman in World War II and Korea; switching to USAF and helicopters, he flew more than 100 rescue missions in Vietnam. Sebille, who flew the B-26 in WWII and F-51 during the Korean War, received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his support to ground forces at Pusan, where he flew his F-51 into enemy forces. Lutz was one of the most experienced flight nurses in WWII, flying 814 combat hours before being killed in a C-47 crash. (Also read Hall of Fame release; Free Press report; on Lutz, Michigan Women's Hall of Fame biography; on Sebille, Air Force Magazine's April 1990 Valor: Epitaph for a Valiant Airman)

Mobility Veteran Mikolajcik Dies

Retired Brig. Gen. Thomas R. Mikolajcik, who last served as the Air Staff’s director of transportation and was a member of the C-X Task Force that led to development of the C-17, died April 17 at age 63 after a...

Air Sorties in SWA 041610

Air Sorties in Southwest Asia, April 16, 2010 Sortie Type OIF OEF OIF/OEF Total YTD ISR 27 47 74 6,468 CAS/Armed Recon 20 67 87 9,767 Airlift 179 179 17,951 Air refueling 46 46 4,481 Rescue 24 24 1,256 Total...