Dover Air Force Base in Delaware now has a new Reconfigurable Desktop Simulator to train C-17 pilots and loadmasters for the active duty 3rd Airlift Squadron and its associate Air Force Reserve Command 526th AS, eliminating the need for the airmen to travel to other states for their quarterly training. “We would typically have to spend six hours traveling to do six hours’ worth of simulator time,” said 1st Lt. Noah Ayers, 3rd AS first pilot. The Boeing Learning Center at Dover includes three desktop computers that enable the airmen to plan and “fly” routes, utilizing the latest C-17 controls. “They can do enough here that it gives them a lot of familiarization with the mission computer and aspects of the aircraft,” said Eugene DePaolo, C-17 aircrew training system lead pilot instructor. He added, “Having the training on this base is a giant step for the base and the crews.” Boeing received the ATS contract for Dover in August and expects to add another three to its growing list of C-17 training sites in the US and other countries flying the new military airlifter. Dover received its first C-17 in June 2007 and the last of 13 in October. (Includes Dover report by SSgt. Chad Padgett)
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.