DEFENSE AND SPACE
Kennon | September 06, 2022
As the US military continues to look for ways to increase mission flexibility and protect its pilots and aircraft, industry pioneer Kennon Products is unveiling its innovative Portable Magnetic Aircraft Covers (PMAC). The entire PMAC line provides superior protection in a highly portable format. Today's modern fighter jets — the F-22 and F-35 — are high precision, state-of-the-art flying computers susceptible to Foreign Object Debris (FOD). FOD can come from nature — birds, rodents, blowing dust, rain, and snow. It can also come from human error. Such was the case in May 2020, when an F-22 crashed near Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Investigators determined the event resulted from human error — a piece of tape was left on the aircraft after servicing. The piece of tape impacted a flight control sensor and caused the pilot to eject (safely). However, the $200M+ F-22 jet was lost. Kennon's covers protect aircraft, ease maintenance, and reduce deadly accidents by providing coverage that prevents FOD intrusion. They also reduce the need for tape.
"The best covers are the ones you have with you and the ones you use. Our PMAC covers are easier to see and remove; plus, they stow on board the aircraft,"
Kennon CEO Joe Wright.
Unlike standard covers, Kennon's PMAC line of products can be folded and packed into a small compartment on the aircraft. This portability enhances mission flexibility and reduces the logistical footprint of moving traditional bulky covers and plugs from location to location. Because the covers stay with the aircraft, regardless of where it lands, crews can cover up the various intakes, exhausts, and ports. The jet will never be apart from its protective covers. Kennon can also print on the covers, including a squadron's graphics, tastefully displayed when the jets are parked. The PMAC covers use various advanced composite materials and seals to withstand repeated washings and environmental exposure, including winds up to 70 mph. Kennon's covers protect the fighter jet canopies during maintenance without touching sensitive surfaces. Kennon designed the F-22 Alpha Cover for line-to-line fitment. Made from UV-resistant polyurethane, the cover seals the probe from the elements without damaging fifth-generation LO (low observable) coatings. The fit is secure, even during extreme weather. Kennon's PMAC line was born from a prototype first designed by Retired Air Force Technical Sergeant Daniel Caban, who witnessed the logistical challenges of transporting the complete set of plugs and covers that must go with each aircraft. Caban's prototype, featured in the Air Force's Spark Tank competition, prompted AFWERX, the Air Force's technology accelerator group, to award Kennon several contracts. The initial award was to develop, manufacture, and commercialize the PMAC product line. Kennon has received additional contracts from the US Air Force that address other PMAC products, including multi-purpose wash covers and an advanced canopy protection system for the F-35 and F-22 are now in development. "These technologies can be applied or scaled to other aircraft platforms, both fixed wing and rotorcraft. American allies worldwide also fly these aircraft, so we know there is a large market for this technology," Wright said.
About Kennon Products
Founded in 1984, Kennon Products is a leading designer and manufacturer of products that protect people and high-value assets for the military, aviation, and healthcare industries. The company employs more than 60 people at its Sheridan, Wyoming facility. Kennon is an employee-owned ESOP (employee stock ownership program) company. With engineering and manufacturing at its core, Kennon Products says yes to virtually any project whose goal is to protect high-value assets.
Merlin Labs | July 12, 2022
Merlin Labs, the leading developer of autonomous flight technology for fixed-wing aircraft, announced that Dan Elwell, former Acting FAA administrator, industry advocate, and pilot, has joined the company's advisory board. He will advise the company on policy and strategy as it engages with regulators in shaping the future of autonomous flight.
"Throughout my career, I've been an advocate for common-sense implementations of new technologies in the aerospace industry, with a particular focus on safety and efficiency. What Merlin Labs has been building these last few years, with its numerous applications across civilian and government aviation, has been tremendously interesting to observe, and I'm excited to help shepherd it to commercial and governmental adoption under Merlin's 'crawl-walk-run' approach."
Elwell has extensive experience in governmental administration: he served as Deputy Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration from June 2017 to November 2020, including an appointment as Acting FAA Administrator from January 2018 to August 2019. Prior to that appointment, Elwell served as a Senior Advisor on Aviation to the Secretary of the Department of Transportation. He had previously served at the FAA as the Assistant Administrator for Policy, Planning, and Environment from 2006–2008.
Lieutenant Colonel Elwell retired from military service as a Command Pilot with more than 6,000 hours combined civilian and military flight time in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Air Force Reserve, including combat service during Operation Desert Storm.
In the private sector, Elwell held the position of Senior Vice President for Safety, Security, and Operations at Airlines for America (A4A), where he was responsible for leading the advancement of commercial aviation safety and security excellence for major U.S. air carriers. Prior to that, Mr. Elwell was Vice President of the Aerospace Industries Association. In this role, he represented civil aerospace manufacturers and led policy development and advocacy for the civil aerospace manufacturing industry.
Elwell was a commercial pilot for 16 years with American Airlines, flying numerous airframes, during which time he also served as Managing Director for International and Government Affairs at American Airlines.
Elwell is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, where he earned a degree in International Affairs. He earned his pilot wings at Williams Air Force Base.
About Merlin Labs
Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Boston, with additional offices in Los Angeles, Denver, Mojave, and Auckland, NZ, Merlin Labs is building the definitive autonomy system for all things that fly.
CMC Electronics | July 11, 2022
CMC Electronics is pleased to announce that Korea Aerospace Industries has awarded a new contract to CMC for the modernization of the Republic of Korea Air Force fleet of KA-1 trainer aircraft used for advanced mission training and light attack missions.
KAI was looking for a best-in-class cockpit upgrade to renew their products and provide ROKAF's KA-1 fleet with more modern avionics with room for growth. Drawing from a long and fruitful business relationship, CMC worked closely with KAI to meet their request and proposed its state-of-the-art mission computer-based cockpit built on the PU-3000, the world's first certified multicore mission computer. The PU-3000 and its partitioned, embedded, software applications offer a flexible solution to integrate several conventional multifunctional displays (MFDs) or a single large area display (LAD) configuration as used in the KA-1 solution. The PU-3000 software development kit also allows KAI to develop specific proprietary mission applications on their own.
"This new contract is a timely and strategic development for all parties involved. We believe that the upgraded KA-1 platform with a PU-3000 driven LAD interface will both increase aircraft availability and better prepare ROKAF pilots for their future modernized frontline fleet of KF-X fighters."
Mr. Brad Nolen, Vice President, Sales and Marketing at CMC Electronics
Mr. Jae Min Park, Deputy Senior Manager, Aircraft Procurement team, added: "KAI is confident that the KA-1 avionics upgrade program will be successfully completed in a timely manner adding vastly improved system performance and capabilities to the KA-1 aircraft."
CMC's solution allows KAI's trainer to emulate the advanced avionics of today's cutting-edge fighter aircraft. The system employs the latest in cockpit management technology, resulting in better and more rapidly trained pilots at a far lower cost than conventional training.
The PU-3000 avionics computer is the world's first civil certified multicore mission computer. It can host multiple avionics applications reducing equipment count and integration costs. Modular by design, it can be used as a common computing platform able to host a large variety of functions into a single unit and is capable of driving multiple screen sizes with the redundancy needed for flight critical functions.
CMC Electronics has achieved an international reputation for innovation and excellence in the design and manufacture of innovative cockpit systems integration, avionics, display solutions and high-performance microelectronics for the military and commercial aviation markets. Based in Montreal, Canada, the company also has facilities in the USA serving its customers worldwide.
Ascent Aerospace | September 05, 2022
Ascent Aerospace, a leading provider of aerospace tooling systems, factory automation and integration services, will be an exhibitor at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, IL at McCormick Place from September 12-17, 2022. As the largest show in the Western hemisphere, and this year being co-located with Hannover Messe, it will be the event of the year with over 2,000 booths and 9 application focused pavilions to cater to each and every industry need.
This year at IMTS, Ascent will be showcasing a parallel kinematic machine (PKM) that has extreme accuracy, flexible mounting options and is customizable to meet specific machining applications for any industry. As an expert in automated solutions and factory integration, Ascent Aerospace can incorporate robots, like this PKM, into new or existing systems to meet specific customer needs and industry requirements. With unmatched expertise, Ascent creates flexible and scalable applications to propel production for customers in the right direction to reduce cycle times or recurring costs while increasing overall quality and a safer work environment for all.
About Ascent Aerospace
Ascent Aerospace is a world renowned, single-source provider of turnkey production and automated assembly systems for the aerospace, defense and space industries. Our unique offering consists of a variety of products and solutions to resolve challenging aerostructure assembly requirements, from wing components and fuselage structures to final assembly lines. As the industry's largest tooling and automation group, Ascent produces a full suite of composite tooling, including layup molds, mandrels, bond tools, and trim and drill fixtures, including the largest Invar molds ever made for aerospace. In addition, Ascent offers automated, high-precision drilling and fastening systems, having installed more than 2,200 systems globally. As an assembly line integrator, Ascent works with airframers to develop their project and see it through from process design and engineering through build and installation, to ensure it is an efficient and cost-effective solution. This strategy has allowed Ascent Aerospace to develop long-term, strategic alliances with the world's foremost manufacturers in the commercial aerospace, business aviation, defense, space launch and satellite industries.