Greetings from The Aero Experience Team

Greetings!



The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team












Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fifth Annual Plane & Pilot Midwest LSA Expo Adds Warbirds and Fly Baby Reunion to the Lineup September 5-7

By Carmelo Turdo
The Fifth Annual Plane & Pilot Midwest LSA Expo, a premier Midwest Aviation event, is set to kick off next Thursday, September 5, at Mount Vernon Outland Airport, IL.  About 45 LSA manufacturers and advocacy groups will be present with their aircraft and products on the ramp just outside of the terminal through Saturday, September 7.  The Expo has been very successful in the past at achieving what both buyers and sellers want - sales!  Anyone interested in trying on an LSA for size, taking a demo flight, and plunging into the world of LSA flight should attend the Expo to get a comprehensive look at the available aircraft.             

Chris Collins, Manager of Mount Vernon Outland Airport, has also just announced that in addition to the LSA representation, there will be special attractions on the ramp.  Several warbirds will be in attendance - the Commemorative Air Force Dixie Wing Red Nose P-51D Mustang and the Arizona Wing’s B-25J “Maid in the Shade” on Friday, September 6th and Saturday, September 7th.  Several Bowers Fly Baby homebuilt LSAs will fly in, and Personal Rotorcraft distributor John Snider will bring his impressive display of Mosquito Helicopters and fly his turbine powered Mosquito XETreme. 

Collins explains the phenomenon now known as the Plane & Pilot Midwest LSA Expo:



With free admission, parking, and camping available, there are no excuses for missing this opportunity to visit Mount Vernon Outland Airport and enjoy Midwest Aviation at its finest.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Advanced Super Hornet Makes Public Media Debut in St. Louis


By Carmelo Turdo

By Mark Nankivil
The Boeing Company's Defense, Space and Security Division hosted a presentation of its Advanced Super Hornet (previously nicknamed Ultra Hornet in the media) yesterday for the international aerospace media at its St. Louis Headquarters near Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.  The Aero Experience contributors Carmelo Turdo and Mark Nankivil participated in the day's activities, along with media representatives from Aviation Week, Aviation International News, Flight Global, Jane's and Canadian Skies, among others.  There were various opportunities for the media to learn about the Advanced Super Hornet, namely through a detailed briefing by Boeing program executives, an aircraft viewing session with the flight crew, a flight demonstration of the Advanced Super Hornet  configured with Conformal Fuel Tanks (CFTs) and the Enclosed Weapons Pod (EWP) and a  "flight" in the Next Generation Cockpit simulators.  There were also opportunities to meet with Industry Partners from Northrop Grumman, General Electric and Raytheon who contribute significantly to the current and future Super Hornet production.  We continue our comprehensive coverage of the event with more photos from the demonstration flight and simulator exhibit flight demonstration of the Advanced Super Hornet:

Conformal Fuel Tanks and Enclosed Weapons Pod:














                        




 

 
Flight Demonstration:










 






































Special thanks the Boeing Company and its Industry Partners for allowing access to The Aero Experience for our coverage of the Advanced Super Hornet media demonstration.


 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Boeing Demonstrates Advanced Super Hornet for International Media in St. Louis

(Mark Nankivil photo)
By Carmelo Turdo












By Mark Nankivil

The Boeing Company's Defense, Space and Security Division hosted a presentation of its Advanced Super Hornet (previously nicknamed Ultra Hornet in the media) today for members of the international aerospace media at its St. Louis Headquarters near Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.  The Aero Experience contributors Carmelo Turdo and Mark Nankivil participated in the day's activities, along with media representatives from Aviation Week, Aviation International News, Flight Global, Jane's and Canadian Skies, among others.   There were various opportunities for the media to learn about the Advanced Super Hornet, namely through a detailed briefing by Boeing program executives, an aircraft viewing session with the flight crew, a flight demonstration of the Advanced Super Hornet configured with Conformal Fuel Tanks (CFTs) and the Enclosed Weapons Pod (EWP) and a  "flight" in the Next Generation Cockpit simulators.  There were also opportunities to meet with Industry Partners from Northrop Grumman, General Electric and Raytheon who contribute significantly to the current and future Super Hornet production.

(Carmelo Turdo photo)
(Mark Nankivil photo)












Conformal Fuel Tanks  (Mark Nankivil photo)
Enclosed Weapons Pod  (Mark Nankivil photo) 
































According to Boeing Super Hornet and Growler Program Director Mr. Paul Summers, the Advanced Super Hornet is more a suite of upgrades rather than one aircraft model.  The current prototype is fitted with two of them - Conformal Fuel Tanks (CFTs) above the fuselage and the Enclosed Weapons Pod (EWP) on the external centerline station.  These modifications to a Block 2 F/A-18F Super Hornet are for aerodynamic testing only, and do not contain operational hardware to make them functional.   Nonetheless, they have been involved in 15 flights up to 350kts. airspeed to date since the first flight on August 5, and nine more are planned.  The production CFTs will add 3,500 pounds of fuel, extending the aircraft's range by 260nm with essentially no drag penalty.  They are manufactured by long-time Hornet production partner, Northrop Grumman.  The EWP is made to contain weapons that normally are carried on high-drag pylons, and its drag penalty is no more than that of the conventional centerline fuel tank.  The production EWP, which can be carried on the fuselage centerline and inboard wing pylons, will carry 2500 pounds of weapons each.  These and the other modifications available in the Advanced Super Hornet suite can be accomplished at the depot maintenance level as well as in new production (estimated within the decade) at a 10% price premium over current aircraft prices.

The other modifications included in the Advanced Super Hornet suite include radar signature reduction from the front view, internal Infra-Red Search and Track Sensor (IRST), AN/APG-79 AESA Radar enhancements, Next Generation Cockpit and Enhanced Engine.  According to Mr. Dan Meador, representing General Electric Aviation, the Enhanced Engine model F414 will produce up to 20% more thrust using 3% less fuel, all with 50% less overall out of service maintenance requirements.    

The highlight of the day for many attending the media event was the flight demonstration of the current Advanced Super Hornet prototype, flown by Test Pilot John Tougas.  The aircraft was flown once in front of the media to show off the CFTs on top and once to show off the EWP on the centerline fuselage station.  Here are some views of the Advanced Super Hornet demonstration flight (photos by Carmelo Turdo and Mark Nankivil):















 
Special thanks to the Boeing Company's Defense, Space and Security Division in St. Louis for their hospitality and permission to photograph the Advanced Super Hornet during the demonstration flight.  Here are some additional photos provided by Boeing:

Boeing photo

Boeing photo

Boeing photo