U.S. Air Force | December 14, 2021
The U.S. Air Force wants to soon add to its arsenal remotely piloted air combat vehicles that may be networked and controlled by piloted aircraft, according to the service’s top official.
The news comes days after USAF Secretary Frank Kendall also confirmed that the Air Force will ask for funding for two classified remotely piloted air combat vehicles in the next defense budget, according to reports.
“I’ve got two that I’m going to have in the ’23 budget in some form, They’re both unmanned air combat vehicles, unmanned platforms that are designed to work in conjunction with fighter aircraft like [the Next Generation Air Dominance fighter] or F-22 or the F-35. On the other hand they work in conjunction with bombers like the B-21. The B-21 is a very expensive aircraft. It has a certain payload and range, We’d like to amplify that capability. It has to be able to penetrate, which is valuable, but individual B-21s are gonna be very expensive so what we want is something that can operate with it,” he said, adding, “We’re gonna sort that out and think about unmanned combat aircraft, how to network them together under the control of an operator of a B-21 to operate as a formation in a loose sense against a modern enemy.”
- Kendall told Politico
The Air Force’s secret NGAD family of capabilities is expected to be operational by 2030.
The new B-21 Raider, described as forming “the backbone” of USAF’s bomber fleet, is designed to “provide operational flexibility” while also being “relevant across the spectrum of conflict,” the USAF said. The service is expected to procure at least 100 copies of the aircraft, with deliveries anticipated in the mid-2020s.
The USAF is already on the path to exploring the teaming of piloted and remotely crewed aircraft. This past summer, the service announced that its experimental autonomy core system (ACS), Skyborg, was on track to advance to a program of record by Fiscal Year 2023.
In late October, Skyborg was successfully deployed aboard two General Atomics MQ-20 Avenger tactical drones for a multi-hour test flight.
“The flight demonstrated matured capabilities of the ACS that enabled two MQ-20s to fly autonomously while communicating with each other to ensure coordinated flight, Additionally, the aircraft responded to navigational commands, stayed within specified geo-fences, and maintained flight envelopes.”
-Air Force Life Cycle Management Center said following the flight test.
The F-22 is another example of a combat aircraft that could work with the types of unmanned drones that are being proposed. Courtesy: U.S. Air Force
Competition With China
The emergence of new details about the USAF’s plans for combat drones comes as top military officials increasingly point to the escalating military capability race with China.
The DOD’s budget offers clues about spending priorities, but when it comes to classified programs, it also only tells part of the story, said Ruth Butchart, an associate fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who studies remotely crewed systems.
A sharp decline in USAF spending on remotely crewed systems in the unclassified budget might possibly be balanced by an uptick in classified spending, which isn’t publicly visible, she said.
Existing budget priorities and commitments could also create potential difficulty.
IBS Software | May 17, 2022
Oman Air has partnered with IBS Software to fully digitalize its staff travel program, delivering a highly configurable, self-service platform for employees to book and manage complex leisure travel, annual leave travel and duty travel policies.
Award-winning Oman Air overhauled its on-premise legacy system with IBS Software's SaaS-based iFly Staff platform to enable self-service for its employees to easily manage their travel needs. The system has also significantly extended usability, allowing users access via any browser or any Android or iOS device, replacing the legacy desktop-only service. iFly Staff now handles all Oman Air active and retired employee's ID travel, supplementary ticketing, and annual leave ticketing, as well as the staff ticketing of partner companies TRANSOM Catering, TRANSOM Handling and TRANSOM SATS Cargo.
The platform's highly configurable business rules engine means Oman Air gains the ability to dynamically update its policies, create and roll out new policies and processes, thus reducing the lead-time to implement policy changes. This has resulted in significant gains on operational efficiency over the last six months since the system went live.
"Our partnership with IBS Software has transformed the staff travel experience, simplifying processes to make it far easier for our employees to manage their personal and corporate travel. Navigating the intricacies of constantly updating travel policies represents a major win for the whole airline – from both an employee satisfaction and operational efficiency perspective."
Dr. Khalid Al Zadjali, Senior Vice President Digital, Oman Air
"The new staff travel system comes as part of Oman Air's ongoing efforts to enhance the benefits and facilities presented to employees," said Hilal Al Siyabi, Senior Vice President, People, Oman Air. "Self-service and mobile capabilities have significantly improved our employees' travel experience while reducing the workload associated with providing facilities."
"It has been a privilege to work with the teams at Oman Air, who are constantly striving to deliver new, innovative services to staff and passengers alike," said Vijay Chakravarthy, Vice President and Head of Staff Travel, IBS Software. "Fully digitalizing processes has allowed them the ability to not only provide superior staff travel functionality and ease of use for users, but also considerably improve Oman Air's internal operations. We're also proud that the deployment of iFly Staff was managed remotely due to Covid-19 travel restrictions."
About IBS Software
IBS Software is a leading SaaS solutions provider to the travel industry globally, managing mission-critical operations for customers in the aviation, tour & cruise and hospitality industries. IBS Software's solutions for the aviation industry cover fleet & crew operations, aircraft maintenance, passenger services, loyalty programs, staff travel and air-cargo management. IBS Software also runs a real time B2B and B2C distribution platform providing hotel room inventory, rates and availability to a global network of hospitality companies and channels. For the tour and cruise industry, IBS provides a comprehensive, customer-centric, digital platform that covers onshore, online and on-board solutions. IBS Software is a Blackstone portfolio company and operates from 15 offices across the world.
About Oman Air
Oman Air, the national airline of the Sultanate of Oman, began its operations in 1993. Initially founded to serve key domestic routes, it has since undergone rapid growth and is today recognized as a major international carrier connecting cities around the world to Oman's spectacular natural beauty, captivating charm and genuine openness. A Five-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating from Skytrax and two consecutive Five-Star Major Airline Ratings from the Airline Passenger Experience Association are among its many industry accolades.
The airline has played a vital role in transforming Muscat into an important traffic hub in the Middle East, supporting adjacent commercial, industrial and tourism activities. With a fleet comprising ultra-modern, fuel-efficient aircraft that feature luxuriously appointed interiors, Oman Air is renowned for its exceptional products and services, both in the air and on the ground, and for the signature Omani hospitality available to guests on every flight.
Ongoing investments in new technologies, innovative products and enhanced guest services have solidified its position as a premium, multi-award-winning airline of outstanding repute. Both Oman Air and Oman Air Holidays proudly display the Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) for best practices relating to standardized global health and hygiene protocols.
Avelo Airlines | January 03, 2022
Avelo's exclusive direct service between Connecticut's most convenient airport – Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN) - and Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) will operate daily between December 16, 2021 and January 4, 2022. Flight 345 departs HVN at 7:00 a.m. arriving PBI at 10:10 a.m. Flight 346 departs PBI at 10:50 a.m. arriving HVN at 1:40 p.m. Beginning January 5, Avelo will operate the flight five days per week (Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays). The flights will be operated by Boeing Next Generation 737-700 aircraft.
"We are excited to begin service today between the Palm Beaches and Southern Connecticut, HVN is Connecticut's most convenient airport and the ultimate gateway between the remarkable cultural, dinning, entertainment and outdoor options both regions have to offer. We look forward to welcoming our new Customers from both popular and beautiful destinations."
-Avelo Chairman and CEO Andrew Levy.
Explore the Palm Beaches
The Palm Beaches is home to legendary beaches, shopping and entertainment. The area's iconic restaurants, glitzy nightlife and unapologetically luxurious resorts attract sunseekers from across the globe. Lined with stately palm trees, this South Florida paradise is a vacationer's nirvana. With miles of world-famous white sand beaches and turquoise water, there is a spot on this majestic Atlantic coastline for every mood and interest.
"We are excited to welcome Avelo Airlines to PBI with nonstop service from New Haven, CT, Offering our passengers an easy, convenient, stress-free experience is our goal and this will only build on that reputation. The northeast is a very important market and additional nonstop service is key to its continued growth and popularity for our travelers."
-Laura Beebe, director of airports for Palm Beach County.
The New Way to Connecticut
Best known as the home of Yale University, New Haven is the second largest city in Connecticut and is part of the New York metropolitan area. The coastal city has experienced—and continues to enjoy—a renaissance. Within an easy stroll from the New Haven Green are more than 100 distinctive restaurants, offering something for every palate, and the city abounds with theaters, museums, and shopping destinations to satisfy all interests and tastes.
New Haven has a rich cultural heritage, from museums and theatres to music festivals and entertainment throughout the year, including the New Haven Jazz Festival, the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, and the Wooster Square Cherry Blossom Festival that regularly bring thousands of visitors to the city.
Amidst the crowds, long lines, lengthy walks, and traffic congestion encountered at other airports frequented by travelers to and from the region, HVN offers a refreshingly smooth and simple alternative hometown airport experience. HVN's adjacency to multiple major highways and commuter railways make it Connecticut's most convenient and easily accessible airport.
Avelo is the first airline to offer nonstop flights between HVN and Florida. Avelo's arrival to HVN also marks the largest expansion of service at HVN in more than 30 years.
A Different, Better and More Affordable Travel Experience
Avelo's everyday low fares have no change or cancellation fees. There is also no charge for Customers who choose to make reservations by phone. Additionally, Avelo offers several unbundled travel-enhancing options that give Customers the flexibility to pay for what they value, including priority boarding, checked bags, carry-on overhead bags, and for bringing a pet in the cabin.
Avelo operates single-class, fuel-efficient 147-seat 737-700 Boeing jets between HVN and PBI, offering Customers a more spacious and comfortable experience than the regional aircraft historically serving HVN. Customers may choose from several seating options, including seats with extra leg room, as well as pre-reserved window and aisle seating.
Avelo became America's first new scheduled airline in nearly 15 years when it initiated service on April 28, 2021, from its first base at Los Angeles' Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR). The airline – which offers a convenient, affordable, and caring experience – currently serves 18 popular destinations across the U.S.
Avelo initiated service from HVN to Florida on November 3. In addition to PBI, Avelo currently serves Fort Myers, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. Avelo will initiate service to Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla. in January.
Avelo is distinguished by its Soul of Service culture. The culture is grounded in a "One Crew" mindset that promotes teamwork, understanding and kindness. By caring for one another and owning their commitments, Avelo Crewmembers provide a smooth, enjoyable, reliable, and caring experience for its Customers.
About Avelo Airlines
Avelo Airlines was founded with a simple purpose — to Inspire Travel. The airline offers Customers time and money-saving convenience, very low everyday fares, and a refreshingly smooth and caring experience through its Avelo Soul of Service culture. Operating a fleet of Boeing Next Generation 737 aircraft, Avelo serves 18 popular destinations across the U.S., including its West Coast base at Los Angeles' Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) and its East Coast base at Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN). For more information visit AveloAir.com. Avelo BROLL + Images here.
Butler National Corporation | January 06, 2022
Butler National Corporation (OTCQB: BUKS) announces that its subsidiary Avcon Industries, Inc., a leading provider of ISR and special mission solutions for aircraft, received Federal Aviation Administration approval of Avcon special mission modifications for the Model 208 and 208B Caravan. FAA Supplemental Type Certificate number SA01975WI approves Avcon fuselage sensor ports with or without the Avcon Mission Power System for the Textron Aviation (Cessna) Model 208/208B.
The Avcon Caravan Sensor STC solution offers a cost-effective installation of dual sensor holes (ports) in the aft fuselage of the airplane and the optional provisions for custom missionization power for the Caravan.
"This is tremendous break-through project for entering a new aircraft market. The objective of the Avcon Caravan Sensor Platform is to incorporate unique features and functionality gained from Avcon's extensive modification experience. This provides the marketplace with a cost-effective sensor port modification to a recognized single-engine platform. The modification was designed to easily be produced as a kit for qualified installers and to minimize downtime. There are over 2,500 of these aircraft built and we are confident that this modification will satisfy a need in a significant market and accommodate larger new-technology sensors. We look forward to continuing to grow our product offerings."
-Marcus Abendroth, President of Avcon
AboutAvcon Industries, Inc.
Avcon Industries, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Butler National Corporation. Butler National operates in the Aerospace and Management Services business segments. The Aerospace segment focuses on the manufacturing and certification of aviation-related products, including Special Mission – Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance solutions, avionics offerings, regulatory solutions, and controls for weapons systems. Services include temporary employee services, gaming services and administrative management services.