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Technology to improve military aircraft environmental performance

By John Dean - 01 Mar 2011 13:9:0 GMT
Technology to improve military aircraft environmental performance

American company GE Aviation is to provide technologies for mission control systems used in the Boeing KC-46A aircraft, which was selected by the United States Air Force (USAF) for its tanker replacement programme.

The programme calls for 179 tankers to replace the current USAF tanker fleet and GE Aviation was selected for the mission control system because the technology provides the ability to fly shorter flight paths and allows 'idle-thrust' descents which reduces fuel consumption, thereby lowering emissions and community noise levels.

Lorraine Bolsinger, president and CEO of GE Aviation Systems, said:

''The flight management system will enable the aircraft to perform with navigation precision not currently available to the tanker fleet. Our technologies will help enhance operational efficiencies and will enable the aircraft to perform to the demanding mission requirements of the USAF Tanker.''

* The company has also announced that it is investing $60 million to purchase and refurbish a Boeing 747-400 aircraft to convert into a flying test bed for its next generation of jet engines, starting with the LEAP-X engine. The 747 aircraft will be based at GE’s facility in Victorville, California facility.

Dom Pitocco, plant leader for GE's Victorville Flight Test Operations, said: ''This investment in an updated 747 flying testbed is exciting news for the Victorville site and shows our commitment to the Southern California Logistics Airport and the Southern California region. Refurbishment of the new flying testbed will take about two years with the aircraft making its inaugural test flight with the new LEAP-X engine.''

The Boeing 747 aircraft was formerly used by Japan Airlines.

Image Credit: BOEING © 2011