A C-27A fuselage pulled from the boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and housed at Robins AFB, Ga., for the past year will be converted into a cockpit and cargo-loading simulator for the Afghan air force. The 33,000 pound fuselage was dismantled Aug. 11 for shipment to Slovakia, where it will be modified by Virtual Reality Media in Trencin. The company will outfit the fuselage with the electronics, systems, and software needed to teach Afghan loadmasters and flight crew how to properly load and operate the C-27. The finished simulator will go to Kabul, where NATO Air Training Command advisors will begin training for eventual hand-over to the AAF. The simulator is the first of four which will be used to train Afghan aircrew to operate their indigenous fleet of C-27As. Thus far, 11 of the 20 C-27As refurbished from Italian Air Force stocks have already been delivered to Afghanistan. (Robins report by Jenny Gordon)
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.