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Delta wrestles with too many pilots, too many planes

Delta Air Lines expects to have 7,000 more pilots than it needs in the fall as the coronavirus pandemic weighs on its operations, according to a memo to flight operations employees seen by Reuters. Conway G. Gittens has the details......»»

Category: videoSource: reutersMay 14th, 2020

The Utter Orwellian Stupidity Of Masks On Airplanes

The Utter Orwellian Stupidity Of Masks On Airplanes Authored by Jeffrey Barke, M.D., via AmericanThinker.com, I recently traveled across the country to Hillsdale, Michigan.  My wife and I sat for five hours each way on airplanes with a mesh mask pressed across our faces.  It made the absurdity of the mask mandate we live under both clear and depressing.  The charade in which we are all forced to participate is not only totalitarian in nature, but also a big Orwellian lie. I am sure most of the passengers on the planes were either COVID-19-vaccinated or COVID-19-recovered.  While few speak about the thousands of people who have had COVID-19 and survived, they are turning out to be an important group in the ongoing battle against the virus.  I myself am COVID-recovered after a bout with the disease a couple of months ago.  I now have natural immunity to the disease.  Forcing someone like me to wear a mask makes no scientific or health sense.  There are no studies to show that mask-wearing on an airplane can stop a respiratory viral illness.  If that were the case, we would expect pilots always to wear masks while in the cockpit.  But they don't.  Maybe the recirculated air on airplanes keeps them safe from onboard viruses.  Furthermore, if mask-wearing on an airplane were critical to preventing the spread of the disease, why are we allowed to remove our masks for extended periods of time while eating and drinking?  I wish someone would pose that specific question to Dr. Fauci. The requirement to wear a mask when entering or exiting a restaurant, but leaving it off while eating and drinking, also makes absolutely no sense.  Do the authorities suppose that the COVID-19 virus stops seeking new hosts to infect only when we are unmasked but not eating or drinking?  Do these bureaucratic geniuses really believe that the virus plays fair, observing equivalent rules to those invented by the Marquess of Queensberry for boxing?  I think the COVID-19 virus is more likely to play by Fight Club rules! The CDC recently acknowledged that it does not have any data showing that naturally immune COVID-recovered people can get and spread the disease to others.  Despite this, the CDC discriminates against these people by insisting that they be fully vaccinated in addition to wearing a mask to function in society. Since the CDC is requiring these measures, you would think it would have a mountain of evidence to support such a draconian policy.  It doesn't.  The science, in fact, shows just the opposite.  It shows that natural immunity is strong, durable, and broad-based.  Strong means that natural immunity protects against a COVID infection better than immunity produced by a vaccine.  It is why we do not see COVID-recovered patients getting COVID again. While it is common to see COVID-vaccinated people getting COVID and even requiring hospitalization, COVID-recovereds stay healthy.  Multiple studies have confirmed that SARS-CoV-2 behaves much like SARS-CoV-1 as well as many other viral illnesses such as chickenpox, measles, mumps, rubella, etc.  That is, these diseases provide long-lasting immunity to those who have been infected.  I had chickenpox as a child.  I got it because my mom walked my brother and me down the street to a neighbor's house where the kid who lived there had the illness.  Our dad, a physician, wanted to have us exposed and to deal with the disease under controlled conditions and when it is mild.  This was circa 1970, prior to a chickenpox vaccination being available.  Many scientists expect SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — to behave similarly.  COVID-recovered patients appear to be immune to all SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the delta variant.  This broad immunity occurs because those who contract COVID-19 have exposure to the entire virus.  This is in major contrast to the vaccine, which creates immunity to just the spike protein of the virus, thus limiting the immunity and making it much easier for the virus to break through the vaccine-induced immunity. There is an expression that says, "We get what we tolerate."  Over the past 21 months, we have tolerated assaults on our liberties that we would never have accepted before COVID-19.  We have allowed unelected health care bureaucrats to cover their rear ends against any possible outcome from the disease — no matter how unlikely.  We have allowed a complicit media establishment to knowingly sell every possible danger from the virus to a fearful public.  We should all be embarrassed by the hoax they have perpetuated and we have absorbed. I would normally think strong men would step up and say no — the same ones who fight wars, protect our streets, and battle bullies in the schoolyard.  But they were emasculated early on by the "experts."  Now, however, the mama bears have become involved as the bureaucrats, politicians, and supportive media try to force children as young as five to get an investigational vaccine against a virus that poses little risk to their age group.  Ah, but don't ever underestimate mama bears and the protective nature of their maternal instincts.  They may yet be the force to stop the current madness and then join the larger battle for the future of America. Tyler Durden Fri, 11/19/2021 - 21:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 20th, 2021

Delta wrestles with too many pilots, too many planes

Delta Air Lines expects to have 7,000 more pilots than it needs in the fall as the coronavirus pandemic weighs on its operations, according to a memo to flight operations employees seen by Reuters. Conway G. Gittens has the details......»»

Category: videoSource: reutersMay 14th, 2020

Ukraine says it shot down 3 Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers in a single day to cap off a rough month for Russia"s air force

It's an unprecedented series of losses for the Russian air force, and Ukraine's greatest reported kill streak since last fall. Sukhoi Su-34 jet fighter-bomber of Russian Air Force performs its demonstration flight at MAKS-2015 airshow near Zhukovsky, Moscow Region, Russia.aviation-images.com/Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesUkraine says it shot down three Russian Su-34 jets in one day.In total, Russia's lost 10 Su-34s and two Su-35s this month, along with one A-50 aircraft.Ukraine's hot streak in the skies comes even as they face hardships in other areas of the fighting.Ukraine is taking a victory lap after what it has says has been a very successful month of shooting down Russian aircraft.The reported loss of 13 Russian aircraft — 10 Su-34s, two Su-35s, and one A-50 — marks a hot streak for Ukraine and its greatest results since last fall.On Thursday, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine said it had shot down three Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bombers that day. The reported kills extend what appears to have been a successful month for Ukraine's air defenders and a devastating one for Russian aviation.Ukraine had been reporting kills for weeks, including fighter-bombers, multi-role fighters, and even one airborne early warning and control plane.February is the shortest month of the year, but our sky defenders have achieved the greatest results in downing russian jets since October 2022.The Ukrainian Air Force destroyed:◾️ten Su-34 fighter-bombers◾️two Su-35 fighters◾️one A-50 long-range radar detection and control… pic.twitter.com/jZ302fRxHF— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) February 29, 2024 In another post, the Ministry of Defense boasted about its successes, writing that with "13 destroyed Russian planes in 12 days," they're "running out of jokes about Russian aircraft."Business Insider was unable to independently confirm the number of aircraft Ukraine claims to have downed. It's also unknown if any of the pilots survived.Last October, Ukraine said that it shot down five Russian Su-25 close-air-support planes over a 10-day period. At the time, it was a rate and scale not seen since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion.Russian servicemen repair a Su-34 at an airbase in Syria.VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP via Getty ImagesIt's unclear what systems Ukraine is using to shoot down so many jets and if the reported kills are the byproduct of changes in Russian tactics or Ukraine's. Its defenders have relied heavily on American-made Patriot systems and other Western-made systems, but Ukraine also has various other systems at its disposal.Ukraine's reported wins in protecting its skies come at a time when its forces are playing defense, and, in some areas, in retreat. After Russia's costly conquest of Avdiivka earlier this month, there have been Russian advances along other axes, and they have claimed their own wins against key combat systems, including the reported defeat of an US M1 Abrams tank.As Russia seized Avdiivka, its air forces appeared to achieve brief and localized air superiority, allowing its planes to provide critical close-air support, but Ukraine has since been working overtime to deny the Russians further control of the skies, which experts have said would be devastating.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider11 hr. 17 min. ago

TransMedics Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:TMDX) Q4 2023 Earnings Call Transcript

TransMedics Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:TMDX) Q4 2023 Earnings Call Transcript February 26, 2024 TransMedics Group, Inc. beats earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $0.12, expectations were $-0.08. TransMedics Group, Inc. isn’t one of the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds at the end of the third quarter (see the details here). Operator: Good afternoon, and welcome […] TransMedics Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:TMDX) Q4 2023 Earnings Call Transcript February 26, 2024 TransMedics Group, Inc. beats earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $0.12, expectations were $-0.08. TransMedics Group, Inc. isn’t one of the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds at the end of the third quarter (see the details here). Operator: Good afternoon, and welcome to the TransMedics Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2023 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. We will be facilitating a question-and-answer session towards the end of today’s call. As a reminder, this call is being recorded for replay purposes. I would now like to turn the call over to Brian Johnston from the Gilmartin Group for a few introductory comments. Brian Johnston: Thanks, Operator. Earlier today, TransMedics released financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2023. A copy of the press release is available on the company’s website. Before we begin, I would like to remind you that management will make statements during this call, including during the question-and-answer portion, that include forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws. Any statements contained in this call that relate to expectations or predictions of future events, results or performance are forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements, including without limitation, are an examination of operating trends, the potential commercial opportunity for our products and our future financial expectations, which include expectations for growth in our organization and guidance and our expectations for revenue, gross margins, and operating expenses in 2024 and beyond are based upon current estimates and various assumptions. These statements involve material risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to materially differ from those anticipated or implied by these forward-looking statements. Accordingly, you should not undue reliance on these statements. Additional information regarding these risks and uncertainties appears under the heading Risk Factors on our Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 27, 2023, our subsequent Form 10-Q filings and the forward-looking statements included in today’s earnest press release, all of which are available at www.sec.gov and on our website at www.transmedics.com. TransMedics disclaims any intention or obligation, except as required by law, to update or revise any financial projections or forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise. This conference call contains time-sensitive information and is accurate only as of the live broadcast today, February 26, 2024. With that, I will now turn the call over to Waleed Hassanein, President and Chief Executive Officer. Waleed Hassanein: Thank you so much, Brian. Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to TransMedics’ fourth quarter and full year 2023 earnings call. As always, joining me today is Stephen Gordon, our Chief Financial Officer. Our fourth quarter performance represents a new high watermark for TransMedics’ business. We ended the year on a very strong note, laying a solid foundation for continued growth. Also, the fourth quarter was the first quarter that we had TransMedics transplant logistics services operational during the full three months of the quarter. Although, it is early — although, TransMedics logistics is in its early innings, I am thrilled to report on the early successes of the logistical services. We successfully executed on every front and overcame early operational challenges as we continue to expand our footprint and team. Let me share the summary of our results for Q4 and full year 2023. Total revenue for 4Q grew to $81.2 million, representing 159% growth from 4Q 2022 and a 22% sequential growth from 3Q 2023. For the full year 2023, total revenue was $241.6 million, representing 159% growth over 2022. So for the second consecutive year, we delivered on and even exceeded our aspirational — our aspirations to double revenue year-over-year in the first years of OCS commercial launch. TransMedics logistics services revenue for 4Q was $9.2 million, up from $2.1 million in 3Q. We are proud of this success in the first full quarter of operations. Based on everything we know today, we are growing extremely confident and bullish on the significant potential positive impact of TransMedics logistical services to help us grow the use of NOP platform. We fully expect our integrated NOP and logistics services to enable TransMedics to deliver an end-to-end, seamless, efficient and safe solution to transplant programs across the U.S. Simply stated, providing a world-class service through a highly cost-efficient model. Our overall gross margin for 4Q was 59%, down from 66% in 4Q 2022. The full year 2023, our gross margin was 64% compared to 70% in 2022. I know Stephen is going to detail this in his section of today’s presentation. However, I want to take this opportunity to give you my perspectives on this important topic of TransMedics gross margins. Please remember, we are still very early in our commercial ramp and more so with our logistics services. There are several leverage points. I repeat, there are several leverage points for both product and service revenues that are not fully reflected in our models yet. Based on everything we know today, we are extremely confident that we will be able to ramp the gross margin up over the next 12 months to 18 months, as we achieve more leverage of scale in our operations. In the meantime, we are thrilled that we achieved a 35% gross margin for our service business faster than we had projected, exceeding our early expectations. Again, it is just the beginning. We also achieved critical profitability milestones in 4Q as we delivered our first GAAP operating profit quarter. Specifically, we delivered $2.6 million of operating profit and $4 million of net profit in the fourth quarter. This marks a critical step forward as we strive to reach and sustain positive cash flow in the very near future. Before moving on, I’d like to take a moment to recognize that these exceptional results were only possible through the hard work of the entire TransMedics team. Let me send a message to team TransMedics. We are grateful for your world-class effort, commitment and creativity in navigating every operational challenge of our rapidly growing business in 2023. Importantly, I want to make it crystal clear that we are now gearing up for another strong year of execution in 2024. Now, let me move on to provide my perspectives on some important trends and what do they mean for our business. In line with our growth strategy, we grew our case volume across all three organ markets in 2023 compared to 2022. Our OCS lung case volume grew by approximately 11%, our OCS heart case volume grew by approximately 82% and our OCS liver case volume grew by approximately 199%, almost tripling from 2022. For the full year, we have transplanted approximately 2,300 OCS transplants in the U.S., compared to approximately 1,000 transplants in 2022. We plan to report our annual OCS case volume in the U.S. going forward as a benchmark towards the stated goal of performing 10,000 transplants in the U.S. by 2028. In terms of NOP contribution, as we predicted, NOP represented the lion’s share of OCS transplants in the U.S. We ended the year with an overall NOP rate of more than 98% across all three organs. We are confident that this sustained growth and success of NOP is based solely on the operational efficiency to grow transplant volumes, highest level of clinical care of donor organs and the overall cost efficiency experienced by transplant programs across the United States. Importantly, we are planning to present several data analyses during the upcoming transplant conferences in 2024 to unequivocally demonstrate the improved clinical outcomes achieved using OCS NOP in the U.S. Again, I want to stress a key point. The success of OCS NOP program is based on better clinical, economic and operational outcomes experienced by the transplant centers and not based on anything else. In Q4, we buttressed the NOP clinical staffing by adding 37 new clinical specialists and four procurement surgeons. Now, let me share the impact of our OCS technology and NOP and the overall national transplant volume in the U.S. For the first time in nearly eight-plus years, both liver and heart transplant volumes grew by 12% nationally in the U.S. Based on our OCS case number and donor mix, we are confident that our OCS technology and NOP services were primary drivers for this annual transplant volume growth. The overall national growth came from both increased use of DCD donors driven by OCS use, as well as a modest increase in DBD donor utilization. This is a great first step to prove the ability of the OCS and NOP to grow the overall U.S. transplant market. We are looking forward to continuing this trend in 2024 and hopefully seeing similar growth in lung driven by OCS and NOP over the next few years. Now, let’s discuss the percent — percentage penetration of the OCS use in each organ market segment nationally in the U.S. We ended 2023 with the OCS case volume representing approximately 17% share of the national liver transplant volume, approximately 16% share of the heart national transplant volume and approximately 4% share of the lung national transplant volume in the U.S. For anyone who may be assuming that TransMedics has maxed out on our growth potential, these data provided crystal clear evidence that we have a long way to go to continue to grow our market share in the U.S. This will be fueled further by our unique ability to also expand the overall national growth of transplant volumes in the U. S. to help patients who are desperately in need for a lifesaving transplant procedure. Our vision is that by the time we reach the ten thousand U.S. OCS transplants that this number 10,000 would represent a portion of the overall U.S. transplant market and not the total addressable U.S. market. Now, let me turn to a more detailed discussion on our transplant logistics service strategy and review its early performance in late 2023. I want to start by highlighting our strategy and value proposition. Please allow me to share some important facts and background on this important topic. One, historically for cold preservation and organ transport transplant center relied exclusively on charter flight brokers and local small operators. I repeat transplant center relied on charter flight brokers and/or local small charter operators. These brokers typically have used what they promote as an asset-light model, meaning they don’t own or operate any aircrafts. The role is simply to contract a charter flight and a crew from a local or regional operator when a donor mission is needed. When TransMedics first deployed the NOP program, you all remember we to relied on the same network of charter brokers. Unfortunately, we quickly learned through firsthand experience that the brokered charter flight model had significant limitations to help grow the transplant volume in the U.S. and was becoming a huge bottleneck for our NOP program. This regional charter brokerage approach was very operationally inefficient and added significant costs to the transplant centers due to; one, fragmented local and regional operators using older aircrafts that were not capable of covering the new longer range donor missions now afforded by the new U.S. national organ allocation loss and the use of OCS technology and it’s — an NOP. capability to go longer distances to increase utilization of donor organs for transplant. Two, significant shortage of charter plane availability for 24×7 to cover the growing demand for transplant mission. This resulted in the loss of approximately 20% to 30% of donor retrieval missions for NOP in 2022 and early 2023. Three, the lack of control over the planes and pilots by most charter brokers, often resulting in the use of more than one plane and multiple crews to complete a single mission, which sometimes doubled the transportation bill paid by the transplant center. Four, lack of control over the starting location of the aircraft led to use of highly inefficient routes, which added even more costs in order to reposition the aircraft. Five, lack of control over air safety standards of these contracted chartered, sorry, of these contracted local or regional operators flying 20-year, 30-year-old aircrafts. In fact, our own NOP clinical and surgical teams experienced a few near-catastrophic events on brokered aircrafts in 2022 and 2023. Six, an inefficient route — round-trip cost model even if the donor organ is not procured for transplant or if a DCD donor never progressed to become a donor. Finally, a very complex cost structure with multiple middlemen that paid with associated profit margins for the owner of the aircraft, the operator of the aircraft and the broker of the chartered flight. All these added significant and unnecessary cost burden to the transplant centers. So while this asset model might be light for the broker, it is clearly a very heavy financial burden to the transplant centers and payers who ended up paying multiple middlemen. Importantly, it is also severely — it also severely limits the ability to grow transplant volumes due to the shortage of dedicated aircrafts and we saw it as a roadblock to our stated goal and commitment to growing the U.S. transplant volume. To address these significant inefficiencies, safety issues and capacity constraints in the historical model above, TransMedics created a new more scalable model that meets the current and future needs for growth of the transplant markets in the U.S., while providing significant operational and cost efficiencies to the transplant centers. Let me share with you our vision and our goals that we’ve actually achieved to-date. One, we set out to maximize donor organ utilization for transplants by building and operating a modern fleet of jets that can go longer distances. This fleet is dedicated to transplant missions and not charter flights. Using newer model aircraft allows us to use less fuel so we can be environmentally responsible, reduce maintenance costs and reduce downtime to maximize availability to conduct transplant missions. Two, our goal was to maximize operational efficiency, which would reduce costs on the transplant centers. Three, our goal is to maintain the highest level of air safety for our staff, our clinical users and the precious donor organs we are caring for. Four, maximize logistics availability to ensure that we reduce the waste of donor organs that do not get used due to lack of plane availability. And finally, leveraging the unique NOP network and proprietary modern dispatching algorithm with a digital command and control center structure to significantly reduce cost burden of DCD donors that don’t progress to become a donor. The NOP network infrastructure created by TransMedics has given us a unique ability to share our cost efficiencies with our transplant center users. Now, with the above background, let me share with you some important early performance metrics for TransMedics transplant logistics service, which encompasses aviation and ground logistics for NOP missions. As mentioned earlier, revenue from transplant logistics service alone was $9.2 million in 4Q, compared to $2.1 million in 3Q, as we are only operational for approximately four weeks to five weeks in 3Q. The average number of active TransMedics Aviation planes were approximately seven planes in 4Q compared to approximately 3.5 in 3Q. We ended the year with a total of 11 owned aircrafts that will become fully operational in early 2024. Approximately 98 transplant programs in the U.S. use TransMedics logistics service in 4Q, compared to approximately 36 programs in 3Q. This is an important metrics to unequivocally show that operational availability, cost efficiency and high safety standards enabled us to disrupt the inefficient historical model and take market share relatively quickly. We were able to cover only approximately 35% of our NOP flights needs in 4Q using TransMedics Aviation planes compared to 13% in 3Q. At scale, we are hoping to cover 80% of the NOP cases using our TransMedics logistics service for both air and ground transport. We will use carefully selected, highly reliable and safe operators for supplemental lifts to support our missions. So far, we are humbled and proud by these early results. We are continuing to expand our air fleet and crew to operate the aircrafts. We are hoping to have 15 to 20 aircrafts operational by end of 2024 or early 2025. We opened the digital command and control, I’m sorry, command and dispatch center in Andover at the end of December and we are now fully operational 24×7, 365 from this state-of-the-art facility. This dispatch center is designed to maximize operational availability and efficient routing of our NOP resources to max — to minimize plane repositioning costs on the transplant programs. Again, based on everything we know today, we are extremely confident and bullish on the potential positive impact of transplant logistics services on the growth of our NOP case volume and a more efficient utilization of our clinical resources. Before I leave the TransMedics logistics section, I want to share some perspective on a matter that recently entered the public domain. Many of you may be aware that a letter was emailed to TransMedics from a member of the U.S. Congress on February 21st, writing in his capacity as an individual member of Congress regarding TransMedics business practices. Prior to receiving this letter, we had never communicated with this Congressman nor with any member of his staff. This letter contained serious accusations which are grossly inaccurate, unfounded and based on wrong information. Let me repeat again. This letter contained serious accusations which are grossly inaccurate, unfounded and based on wrong information. Rest assured, TransMedics has responded to this letter with the same level of seriousness with factual evidence to set the record straight. Our formal response is posted publicly on the Investor Section of our website. It is clear that what TransMedics is doing in the area of transplant logistics is disrupting this antiquated charter brokerage model for organ transplantation. This is creating some competitive dynamic in this area by some of our historical — by some of the historical brokers that are struggling to compare or to compete with our operationally efficient and cost effective logistical capabilities. Finally, let me give you a bird’s eye view of our growth strategy in 2024 and hope to detail these initiatives in our 1Q 2024 call in May. Our goal in 2024 is to continue to invest in building out our TransMedics transplant logistical services throughout 2024 to give us more operational leverage and efficiencies. We will focus on growing our NOP case volume in all three market segments by driving both growth in the overall transplant volume and take share of existing volumes. We will initiate a new clinical program to try to reinvigorate the lung transplant activities in the United States. Finally, we are investing in our next-gen OCS technology platform that will be more optimized for NOP workflow and streamline the support process on our clinical staff to maintain the highest clinical management quality and achieve better product leverage. We are humbled by our success in 2023, however, we are not standing still. We are laser focused on our execution plan for 2024 to help drive growth in the overall transplant volumes in the U.S. and for TransMedics business. That being said, we need to be balance — we need to balance our bullish plans with potential scalability and competitive challenges. We are providing an annual revenue guidance between $360 million to $370 million, which will present 49% to 53% growth over 2023. With that, let me turn the call to Stephen Gordon to cover the detailed financial results for the quarter. Stephen Gordon: Thank you, Waleed. I will now provide some additional detail on the Q4 results and other financial information for the quarter and the year. So starting with revenue, for the fourth quarter of 2023, our total revenue was $81.2 million. This is an increase of 159% from the fourth quarter of 2022 and a 22% sequential increase from last quarter. The $81.2 million included $1.1 million related to our flight school and $1.4 million related to Summit Aviation’s legacy business. So a total of $2.5 million that is non-transplant related. The $1.4 million of legacy business is not continuing and is expected to be zero in the first quarter of 2024. So that leaves $78.7 million of transplant related revenue worldwide. In the U.S., transplant revenue was $75.2 million. U.S. revenue also increased up over 100 — 159% from the fourth quarter of 2022 and the U.S. grew 26% sequentially from last quarter and this included the $9.2 million of TransMedics logistics revenue. The organ breakdown on U.S. revenue was $54.7 million of liver, $17.6 million of heart and $2.9 million of lung. All organs growing substantially over Q4 of 2022. We did see a modest sequential decline in lung revenue while liver and heart continued strong sequential growth in Q4. Ex-U.S. revenue was $3.5 million, a 51% increase in Q4 of 2022, but also a sequential decline from Q3 of 2023. As we have stated in the past, our revenue outside the U.S. may not be consistent due to the nature of transplant and the lack of reimbursement outside the United States. The OUS organ breakdown was $3.2 million of heart and $0.3 million of lung. Next, I will cover the product and service revenue. Our service revenue includes the added amounts we charge for the surgical procurement and organ management, and now also includes the amount we charge for organ procurement and transplant logistics, including air and ground services. In Q4, product revenue was $51.9 million and service revenue was $29.3 million. So the service portion was 36% of the total in Q4 and that includes the non-transplant service revenue. Gross margin for the fourth quarter of 2023 was 59%. This is down from 66% in the fourth quarter of 2022 and reflects the higher NOP service component of our business, which was still in the early stage in Q4 of 2022. Now drilling down one level, the product margin was 73% in Q4 and service margin was 35%. We did experience an unfavorable impact to product margin of about 300 basis points that will not repeat in Q1, which was related to the end-of-year inventory cleanup and adjustments. We have made changes to our processes, so we will not see this type of quarterly anomaly in the future. On the service side, we are pleased that we were able to deliver 35% service gross margin in our first full quarter of providing our logistics service. And just to repeat, the service portion of the business includes the NOP clinical service, as well as air and ground logistics. So this achievement gives us confidence that we will be able to provide this service with a mid-30%s service gross margin or better as we grow our footprint in utilization of aviation. As a reminder, all costs related to aviation, including fuel, pilots, maintenance and depreciation are included in the service cost of goods sold. Total operating expenses for the quarter were $45.3 million, 65% above Q4 of 2022 operating expense and this expense growth was driven by investment throughout the organization, including 87% growth in R&D related to investments in new products, development and NOP tools, and 59% growth in SG&A for both NOP support and overall corporate infrastructure. The growth in operating expense of 65%, while growing revenue by 159%, allowed TransMedics to deliver its first GAAP operating profit of $2.6 million and net profit of $4 million for the fourth quarter of 2023. These compare with an operating loss of $6.8 million in Q4 of 2022 and a net loss of $6.7 million in Q4 of 2022. Total cash at the end of the year was $394.8 million as of December 31, 2023, which equates to cash usage of $32.3 million from the balance at the end of Q3 of 2023. However, operating cash was a positive $8.3 million in the quarter, which was offset by the purchase of three additional planes in the quarter for about $39 million. Basic weighted average common shares outstanding for the quarter were $32.6 million and diluted weighted average common shares outstanding for the quarter were $34.2 million. Now let me share some summarized information on the full fiscal year 2023 results. For the full year, total revenue was $241.6 million, again at 159% increase over the prior year. The U.S. organ breakdown for the full year was $151.5 million of liver, $59.4 million of heart and $10.5 million of lung. Ex-US was $14 million of heart, $1.3 million of lung and $0.1 million of liver. And again, non-transplant revenue for the year was $4.9 million. Product revenue for the year was $176.1 million and service revenue was $65.6 million. Gross margin for the full year 2023 was 64%, compared to 20% — compared to 70% in 2022. Again, this is a result of the higher portion of NOP service revenue. Product margin was 77% and service margin was 29% for the full year of 2023. Total operating expenses were $182.5 million for the full year 2023, up 89%, from $96.7 million in 2022 and included $27.2 million of one-time acquired in-process R&D related to our acquisition of technology from Bridge to Life and $2 million of acquisition-related expenses from our acquisition of Summit, both in the third quarter of 2023. Our operating loss for the year was $28.7 million for 2023, compared to $31.4 million in 2022 and net loss was $25 million in 2023, compared to $36.2 million in 2022. Overall, 2023 was a tremendous year for TransMedics, as we demonstrated the potential to grow our business while helping to increase the overall number of transplants. By adding logistic services to our NOP offering, we can now provide a true turnkey solution to our transplant center customers. We continue to be extremely optimistic about our opportunities to continue to grow in 2024 and beyond. To repeat Waleed’s earlier comment, we are providing annual revenue guidance in the range of $360 million to $370 million, which represents 49% to 53% growth over the full year of 2023. Also, for modeling purposes, we expect gross margins to improve throughout 2024. We would expect to exit 2024 in the 63% to 64% range for overall gross margin. We would expect the product mix and service mix to be around 65% product and 35% service in 2024. We expect expenses to grow in 2024, likely in the 30% to 40% range. Now, I would like to turn the call back to Waleed for closing comments. Waleed Hassanein: Thank you, Stephen. We’re very humbled by and proud of TransMedics’ performance in 2023. We more than doubled our overall revenue. We helped grow the national U.S. heart and liver transplant volumes by double-digit numbers. We launched a new TransMedics logistics network to drive more operational and cost efficiency for our clinical users. And we achieved our first GAAP operating profit quarter for the business. In totality, we set a solid foundation for sustained growth of our business and our mission of growing transplant volumes to help patients in need for an organ transplant. Now, we are laser-focused on our 2024 operational plans and on our path towards achieving 10,000 OCS transplants by 2028. With that, I will now turn the call back to the Operator for Q&A. Operator? See also 20 Countries with the World’s Best Skin and 15 Highest Quality Cheeses in America. Q&A Session Follow Transmedics Group Inc. (NASDAQ:TMDX) Follow Transmedics Group Inc. (NASDAQ:TMDX) or Subscribe with Google We may use your email to send marketing emails about our services. Click here to read our privacy policy. Operator: [Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from Allen Gong with JPMorgan. Please go ahead. Allen Gong: Hi, team. Thanks for the question. Congrats on the good quarter. I wanted to start off diving a little bit deeper into your guidance. You provided the gross margin outlook by disposables versus service, but I think a big question that we still have is, when we think about your disposables versus service on the top line, how should we think about the drivers of the growth that you’re expecting to see? Stephen Gordon: Yeah. Allen, as far as drivers of growth, I mean, we continue to, as Waleed mentioned, we want to penetrate deeper across all three organs and we want to deliver a clinical program in lung that will help increase the lung later in the year. And the impact of the logistics business is not just for the growth in logistics, it’s also to grow the case volume, which we expect to happen. Waleed Hassanein: Yeah. Allen, thank you for the question. From our perspective, I agree with Stephen, but let me give you a little bit more granular response. We’re nowhere close to being done growing in transplant volume. We will grow our transplant volume by growing — by going deeper into existing accounts, by adding more DCD and DBD organs across all three organs, by reinvigorating the lung program, by adding new accounts in areas where we don’t have enough accounts, like the lung program, as well as adding more DBD to our heart franchise. We are just in the beginning of this commercial ramp up. The other impact is the indirect or direct impact of operational efficiency with the TransMedics logistics. It may even drive more growth into the actual case volume and overall revenue growth from the logistics aspect of our business. So it is — we monitor and drive both sides of our business, the disposable and the product, as well as the service and the synergies that exist between the two will also have an important catalyst to adoption of the disposables. Allen Gong: Got it. And then just as a quick follow-up, we’ve seen the letter that you sent in response to the congressional letter, so I won’t dive more into that, but there also was an article out kind of talking about a more thorough investigation of OPOs as a kind of a continuation of the investigation that’s been ongoing over the last few years. How should we think about the potential for that to disrupt the underlying transplant market and how should we think about the longer term impact on TransMedics? Thank you. Waleed Hassanein: Thank you, Allen. As you said, what was announced today in the Washington Post is just a continuation of what’s been ongoing for several years, trying to disrupt or revamp the OPO network in the U.S. The bottom line is the following. TransMedics went out alone and developed a unique model called the NOP. We built it, we executed it and we delivered results to grow transplant volumes in this country by double digits, numbers that hasn’t been seen in almost a decade. We are going to continue to do that and we are proud of what we’ve accomplished. We don’t think what’s happening with the OPOs or what’s been announced earlier today has anything to do with us, but we are here and we’re proud to show anybody who cares to know how to grow transplant volumes in this country. We’ve already done it and we will continue to do it. So, again, it’s unfortunate what’s going on, but as you said, it’s been going on for several years. In the meantime, we are focusing on our business. We’re focusing on driving more organ transplants in this country successfully with excellent results using our NOP service and now our logistics service. Brian Johnston: Next question, Operator. Operator: The next question comes from Josh Jennings with TD Cowen. Please go ahead. Josh Jennings: Hi. Good evening. Thanks for taking the questions. Congrats on a strong finish to a remarkable year. I wanted to just ask about the congressman’s letter. He provided us a strong rebuttal, shooting every accusation, allegation. Waleed, do you think there could be any short-term disruption to the business with these headlines floating around? Our sense is that you’ve added so many transplant programs as customers. They’re all aware of the business model. Don’t seem to have any issues with it. But just, one, any short-term disruption potential? And then two, any next steps that you expect from this inquiry by the congressman? Waleed Hassanein: Thank you, Josh. Josh, the first part of your question. Listen, one has always to assume some level of confusion, okay? This letter came out of left field. It was not supported by any facts. It was completely unfounded. I am sure whomever is behind this is going to try to use that letter to try to distract from TransMedics’ business. But what they’re not counting on or what you guys should expect, is TransMedics is not going to stand still. We are going to defend our practice, our success, our goal to grow transplant volumes, our ability to support these transplant institutions to deliver the best clinical support for their organs and for their patients as we have been doing for the past 25 years. And we all — you all know that TransMedics defend our positions very vigorously and fairly. So we’re not going to be standing still. We’re going to try to minimize that distraction as much as we can. Do we expect distraction? Absolutely. Because it’s natural. As far as the next part of the question, I really don’t know, Josh. I don’t know where this — how this letter came about, other than it appears that there’s some misinformation being propagated. But our response is pretty strong and it was designed as such to make sure that if anybody wants to go down the same path, that they need to know exactly the facts before they come and levy these accusations against TransMedics. And of course, we’re doing that with the full coordination of our senior advisors and legal team in Washington, D.C. But we don’t know what the next steps are, other than we have responded on time and in a comprehensive fashion and we are propagating our positions to all the right people around TransMedics and on — in the Congress as well. Josh Jennings: Thanks for that. Just a follow-up. Just you mentioned, Waleed, about the plan to present some data analyses demonstrating improved clinical outcomes, U.S. transplant using — transplant centers using the NOP and the OCS within the NOP. Any metrics you can share with us that we should be looking for and how impactful do you think these data analyses can be in terms of driving increased demand and adoption trends for NOP and OCS? Thanks for taking the questions. Waleed Hassanein: Thank you, Josh. I think our key metrics are the ones we’ve been monitoring all the time. We’re looking at both short- and long-term definitive outcomes. We’re looking at rates of PGD, primary graft dysfunction, early allograft dysfunction. We’re looking at patient and graft survival, both at six months and 12 months. So these are the metrics we — these are the metrics that transplant programs are measured by and also we’re looking at penetration and growth of the case volume within each transplant program in each market. So these are the metrics we’ll be discussing at ISHLT and ATC and ILTS. Operator: The next question comes from Bill Plovanic with Canaccord. Please go ahead. Bill Plovanic: Great. Thanks. Good evening. Thanks for taking my questions. Yeah. Very strong quarter. It looks like especially in the liver, and I’m just curious, by our math, it looks like the liver procedures were probably up about 20% sequentially and almost triple year-over-year. I was just kind of — if you could help us understand, what is kind of the really driving the liver adoption, because it seems to be going much faster than the heart, which looks like it was up sequentially, but just not at the scale and pace at which liver is. Waleed Hassanein: Thank you, Bill. I think there’s several reasons, and frankly, several expected reasons for that. We all know that liver transplant procedures are nearly double or even 2.5x heart transplant procedures. So that’s number one. Number two, liver transplantation is a dedicated service at transplant programs versus heart transplant is always adjunct to regular open heart surgery and cardiothoracic surgery in general. That’s number two. I think we are confident that the heart will pick up. Liver will always lead the way just because of the sheer number of procedures. I think over the next two years or three years, the heart will get up there as we continue to demonstrate growth and the overall transplant volume. We will get the number of procedure up, we will see the long-term effect of OCS as we will start reporting that at the next ISHLT and we are extremely confident that the heart will pick up the pace. And more importantly, we’re going to go out on a limb and say that over the next couple of years, we should see the lung starting to really become more contributing to our overall growth. Again, not at the same level of liver because of the sheer number of procedures, but that’s our goal is to get all three organs to be contributing close to each other. Bill Plovanic: Great. Thanks. And my second question, if I could, is just aviation ramp has gone a lot faster than we expected. You’re at 13 planes now. You said you get to 16 to 20. How do we and I think you gave us the metric of 80%. When do you expect to hit the 80%? Then how should we think about average revenue per case for aviation as you get a little more information and you’re getting deeper into this? And then how do we think about that service gross margin longer term is, I think originally you thought it’d be 30%, you’re already surpassing 35%? And thanks for taking my questions. Waleed Hassanein: Thank you, Bill. As always, three layered questions. The first aspect, we hope to be fully operational at the scale of doing 75%, 80% of our transplant missions with our own fleet when we surpass 20 operating TransMedics flights or aircrafts, which means we’re talking sometime second half of 2025. So that’s number one. The second part of the question was, remind me again, Bill, please. Oh, the price per — the average price per mission. We can’t comment on that until we are completely dispersed equally across the two sides of the United States, East and West, because it — the mix is different and that will happen hopefully as we exit 2024. Then finally, as far as the margin is concerned, I think, it’s early. I think we are going to be in the 30%s. I will leave it as that for now and then we will see how we’re executing going forward. Bill Plovanic: Okay. Great. Stephen Gordon: I would just add, as I mentioned, we do expect modest improvement over the year as we — really what’s important is we ramp the number of hours on the planes that we have and cover more of the fixed costs of the aviation plane. Bill Plovanic: Great. Thanks. Operator: The next question comes from Ryan Daniels with William Blair. Please go ahead. Ryan Daniels: Yes, guys. Congrats on the strong quarter and the year and thanks for the questions. Stephen, maybe we wanted to start with the margin front. It’s more revenue-related actually. This quarter it looks like about 34.5% of your sales came from the logistics and that’s with you only covering about 35% of your NOP cases with your own logistic solutions. So why would that percentage, the 65%, 35$, stay the same as it ramps towards 80% given that you’re only at 35% today, just trying to square that up? Stephen Gordon: Yeah. I think it’s important to note that that mix today, that’s not just logistics. That’s all of the NOP service. So we only had $9 million of logistics service, which is a smaller percent of the total. Ryan Daniels: Okay. Stephen Gordon: And so as we grow this business, a couple of things are different. One is we — part of the service revenue this quarter was some overhang from non-transplant-related revenue. That’s going to go away in Q1. So that’s a little bit coming out of the service. The other thing is we expect international to kind of come back to where it was last quarter and so that is higher product revenue. So both of those are skewing the service product mix in the wrong direction, I would say, in Q4. It will change a bit in Q1. And then it remains to be seen how we pass — how we go through the rest of the year. But generally speaking, I think, the service portion is going to be in the mid to kind of maybe slightly upper 30% range. I don’t think it ever gets to 40% of our business. Ryan Daniels: Okay. That’s very helpful color. And then maybe a broader strategic question. Obviously, with the growth and dynamic opportunity here, a ton on your plate, but you’ve also got Bridge to Life Technology acquisitions, new product development. You’re really building out the logistics business, hiring a lot of clinicians to support your growth targets. I’m curious if you could perhaps outline maybe two or three of the largest strategic initiatives that we should be keeping an eye on in 2024, not to set the platform as much for this year, but really to set that platform getting to the 10,000 cases? Thanks. Waleed Hassanein: Ryan, thank you for the question. We’re planning to detail all these in our next earnings call. But very important, we are doing all of the above and we are looking forward to sharing more specific and granular details about our goals in 2024 and beyond in our next earnings call. Ryan Daniels: Okay. I look forward to that. Thank you. Operator: The next question comes from Suraj Kalia with Oppenheimer & Company. Please go ahead. Suraj Kalia: Waleed, can you hear me all right? Waleed Hassanein: We can hear you just fine, Suraj. Suraj Kalia: Perfect. Gentlemen, congrats on an excellent quarter. So, Waleed, two questions. First, our math says you exited Q4 with liver, heart and lung market shares of approximately 25%, 20% and 4%. You guys do not put out guidance lightly, especially given your performance in the last two years and how the street starts building things in. And rough math is telling us, based on your FY 2024 guide, you guys are looking to get somewhere close to 25% to 30% share in heart and livers and 10% to 15% in lungs. I’ll be approximately right in our math and can you give us some additional granularity? How are you thinking through DBD, DCD or site movement? I guess just strip down the $360 million to $370 million guide a little more for us, if you could. Stephen Gordon: Yeah. Suraj, this is Stephen. So, I don’t think we can give where we expect share to be. We definitely expect share to improve from where we are today. As we said, we looked at it on an annual basis and we were kind of at 16% to 17% share in heart and liver, and we certainly expect to improve that as we go into 2024. And your — the next part of your question, Suraj, remind me? Suraj Kalia: Yeah. Just in terms of any additional color, how are you thinking about DBD versus DCD, and also the bell curve [ph] for site distribution? I guess just trying to understand is that, how are you targeting or getting to those numbers? Waleed Hassanein: Yeah. Suraj, let me address that one and thank you for the question. I think, Suraj, the way we approach this is very broad. I mean, we look at our case distribution and here’s what we expect. We expect, if we’re heavily used in DCD, we expect that to continue and we expect to continue to drive that forward across all three organs. But we’re not going to stop here. We are going to find ways to invigorate DBD utilization. We do that through a variety of different programs and mechanisms to drive adoption in that area to drive overall national transplant volume. So number three, we look at areas that are quiet or relatively quiet or lower penetration like the lung and we find ways to reinvigorate the lung and it doesn’t matter at that point whether it’s DBD or DCD. Can you imagine if we are more than where we are in the lung and near heart at least, what would that do to our revenue mix and penetration overall? It would be great. After that, as far as the transplant programs is concerned, again, our service is universal. Our service has been proven to result in every promise that we set to achieve or every hypothesis or value that we set to achieve and now it’s up to transplant programs to decide whether or not they want to be thriving and growing in the future of being a leading transplant program and that is the way every transplant program should look at OCS and NOP and transplant logistics. This is the future and we know that, we’ve proven it and we are standing by our commitment to transforming the field and we welcome and expect many of the transplant programs will be contributing part of our growth going forward, because we are contributing to their growth. So it’s not a one-size-fits-all. We have to be dynamic. We have to be flexible. We have to tackle it in a broad range across all three organs, across the two different types of donors and be creative on how we pull the levers to achieve our goals, and again, we are very early given the penetration rates we discussed. Suraj Kalia: Fair points. Waleed, if I could quickly ask a follow-up. Very nice sequential jump in the number of sites using TransMedics Aviation. So, Waleed, as it normally happens, right, even at our site visit, one of the comments you had made was like, look, we want to make it like a one-stop shop, attach TransMedics Aviation to every run. So you go to sites, the 98 sites you talked about in Q4. What has been the reception? And I’m trying to understand, is it like you all went to, I don’t know, pick a number, 200 sites, 98 are on board, the remaining one or two are resisting for whatever reason. Just set the stage for us to slice and dice how aggressive TransMedics is or lack thereof. Gentlemen, you guys are on a roll. Congrats again. Thank you for taking my question. Waleed Hassanein: Thank you very much, Suraj. Unfortunately, I might disappoint you by saying, I cannot give you more granular detail other than remind you that there are not 250 programs out there that we would go to. Again, our approach to these programs is very, very simple. When we get called for an NOP case, we provide them the option to use our TransMedics logistics. We provide them a price quote and it’s up to them to decide whether they want to use us or not. Some centers liked using us, came back and asked Tamer and Andre for a long-term contract. Some centers are — we don’t require that, but some centers wanted to do that and we are there to help them achieve that goal. The bottomline for us is, we know and we are confident that we are providing an operationally scalable and the most efficient cost structure in transplant logistics in the United States and it’s going to get better from here as we have more leverage and more plane and more capacity to meet many of these cases. And it’s up to the transplant program to participate in this, if cost-effective or efficient model or not. I hope I addressed the question, and I’m sorry, I can’t give you more granular detail than that at this early stage of launching logistics. It’s only one quarter, Suraj. Suraj Kalia: Fair enough. Fair points. Thank you. Operator: This concludes our question-and-answer session. I would like to turn the conference back over to Waleed Hassanein for any closing remarks. Waleed Hassanein: Thank you, Operator. Thank you all very much for being with us this evening and we look forward to speaking again in May. Have a wonderful evening. Operator: The conference is now concluded. Thank you for attending today’s presentation. You may now disconnect. Follow Transmedics Group Inc. (NASDAQ:TMDX) Follow Transmedics Group Inc. (NASDAQ:TMDX) or Subscribe with Google We may use your email to send marketing emails about our services. Click here to read our privacy policy......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyFeb 28th, 2024

Air India is rebranding after years of decline. Here are the biggest changes, from updated uniforms to swanky new Airbus A350s.

Air India is undergoing a total rebrand after years of decline, and it's taking notes from the likes of elite carriers including Emirates and Qatar. Air India is undergoing a total rebrand including new planes, products, technology, and crew uniforms.Taylor Rains/Business InsiderAir India is undergoing a complete transformation after years of decline under government control.The airline has ordered hundreds of new aircraft and is investing $400 million in cabin retrofits.New uniforms for cabin crew and pilots are part of the rebranding.Between 1932 and 2021, Air India went from being the gold standard of aviation under the Tata Group to a nationalized airline in complete disarray.People flying Air India's older planes routinely faced bad customer service, poor reliability, dirty cabins, and broken seats patched with duct tape. Even in business class.The downfall started in 1953 when the Indian government took over, stripping control away from the Tata Group.However, with government ownership proving disastrous and Air India in desperate need of modernization, the Tatas announced a deal to buy the company back in 2021 and quickly got to work with a completely new brand identity. "The list of things to do at Air India, and the list of opportunities ahead of us, are astonishing," the airline's new CEO, Campbell Wilson, told Business Insider in January. "And, in most of these cases, it is not a matter of 'Is there a case to do it?' but 'What do we do first?'"Some of the changes are less in-your-face, like an updated mobile app and website and a new inflight safety video.However, customers will soon start seeing the "new Air India" everywhere, thanks to the Tata Group's huge multimillion-dollar investments in its planes, products, and people.A record Airbus and Boeing orderAir India unveiled its brand-new A350 in January at the Wings Airshow in Hyderabad, where Business Insider got a full tour.Taylor Rains/Business InsiderAt the Paris Airshow in June 2023, Air India announced orders for a record 470 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, including 40 Airbus A350s, 20 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, 10 Boeing 777Xs, 140 Airbus A320neos, 70 Airbus A321neos, and 190 Boeing 737 Maxs.The aircraft, worth an estimated $70 billion at list price, will sport Air India's new livery and logo.The latter is known as "The Vista." Air India says it's "inspired by the peak of the gold window frame" and signifies "limitless possibilities, progressiveness, and the airline's bold, confident outlook for the future."The business class inflight menu features the Vista logo.Taylor Rains/Business InsiderThe first delivery was an Airbus A350-900 in December. The new plane launched on domestic routes, like Bengaluru and Mumbai, in January and will eventually launch overseas, Air India says. It's very likely to fly to the US, though Air India has yet to release specific cities."We are proud to be working with all our partners in this journey to rebuild a global airline which reflects India taking a more confident posture around the world," Wilson said. Passenger comfort is getting a much-needed refreshAir India's new A350 was originally destined for Russian carrier Aeroflot before sanctions. The seats onboard are Aeroflot's design, but Air India has added its own branding.Taylor Rains/Business InsiderThe legacy cabins on Air India's Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 aircraft haven't seen an upgrade in years and are some of the main reasons the airline has such a poor reputation. Travelers regularly complain of things like the in-flight entertainment not working and stains on the carpet. Air India's business class is also way behind industry standards.Most notably, business sports a 2×3×2 layout — meaning travelers can still be assigned a dreaded middle seat. This also means those sitting in the center and window seats do not have direct aisle access.Air India's legacy business class does not offer direct-aisle access to window seat passengers.Taylor Rains/Business InsiderThis is unlike many other airlines that have upgraded their business class over the years to offer more privacy and convenience, like adding sliding doors and opting for a 1×2×1 seat configuration.For example, Qatar Airways has added a unique quad-seating feature in its famous Q-Suite. Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines offers business class with sliding doors, and Emirates offers an inflight bar and lounge for its premium customers flying on its Airbus A380.Four passengers can chat and dine together in select quad-seats in Qatar Airways' Q Suite business class.Christophe Archambault/AFP via Getty ImagesAir India, however, now has to play catch-up — and it's investing $400 million to retrofit its legacy widebody planes.Air India's Boeing 777 legacy economy cabin where seats are commonly broken.Taylor Rains/Business InsiderWilson, Air India's CEO, said he wants to compete with the likes of Qatar and Emirates and has taken inspiration from their successful products.Some of that can be seen in upgraded cabins on the A350, where business-class seats have privacy doors and closets, for example, with access to a small bar behind the section. The plane also sports premium economy and upgraded coach seats.Air India's new branding includes bold reds and purples, which can be seen beyond the aircraft in places like the airport check-in counter and the boarding gate.Taylor Rains/Business Insider"By the end of 2025, the entire legacy widebody fleet will also be upgraded to match what we're getting on the A350," Wilson told BI, "So, essentially, our fleet will be completely reborn by then."Flight attendants and pilots are getting a makeoverIn December, Air India released photos of its new crew uniforms.Created by Indian designer Manish Malhotra, the collection features the airline's new red- and purple-heavy color scheme with items like a ready-to-wear saree (which can be worn with pants) for female flight attendants and a bandh gala for male flight attendants.Pilots will sport a black suit with the Vista logo, "signifying professionalism, timelessness, and the gravitas of the flying profession."The female cabin crew will wear a black and burgundy block heel, while male cabin crew will wear black Brogues.Air India"We are confident that our new crew uniforms will rise to the heightened expectations, distinctly making a statement that defines the very best of Indian heritage and hospitality," Air India said in a press release. The new uniforms were deployed with the launch of the new A350. Ground staff, engineers, and security personnel are also set to get new uniforms, which Air India said it will reveal in "due course."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytFeb 28th, 2024

A Ukraine pilot said flying "awesome" F-16s is like upgrading from an old Nokia to an iPhone

Denmark will deliver the first batch of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine "this summer," the Danish Defense Ministry said. An F-16 fighter jet at the Volkel Air BaseREUTERS/Piroschka van de WouwA Ukrainian pilot training to fly F-16s said it was like upgrading from a Nokia to an iPhone.He said the jets were "awesome" but had more complex electronic systems than Soviet-made jets.The first F-16 fighter jets should be delivered to Ukraine this summer, according to Denmark.A Ukrainian pilot said that transitioning from old Soviet-made planes to Western F-16s is like upgrading from a Nokia to an iPhone.The pilot, with the call sign "Moonfish," is one of six being trained to use the fighter jets at the Skrysdtrup base in Denmark."It's a really awesome jet to fly," he told Ukrainian government-backed platform United24. He said that while the F-16s are "much easier to fly" for pilots, it has been a challenge adapting to the more advanced electronic systems on the aircraft.He compared it to transitioning from a basic phone "like a Nokia, straight to an iPhone, without all those steps in between."Moonfish said the jet was more "agile" than the MiG he flew before, adding: "It feels like the jet wants you to fly it more aggressively."In July 2023, a coalition of countries led by the US, Denmark, and the Netherlands formed to help train Ukrainian pilots and transfer F-16s to the country.The first F-16 fighter jets are set to be delivered to Ukraine "this summer," Denmark's Defense Minister, Troels Lund Poulsen, said Thursday.Poulsen said Thursday it was "difficult to set a fixed schedule for the delivery of F-16s" as the handover depended on Ukrainian pilots and support personnel being fully trained and the establishment of various logistical infrastructure to service the aircraft in Ukraine.The Netherlands, Norway, and Belgium have also pledged F-16s to Ukraine. Denmark one of the countries, along with the US, the UK, France and Romania, that train Ukrainian pilots.The total number of F-16s Ukraine could receive is as many as 60.Ukraine had the right to hit 'Russian military targets outside Ukraine'Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sits in an F-16 fighter jet.Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty ImagesKyiv has long argued that it needs fighter jets to make substantial military progress against Russia and has pushed allies to deliver the pledged F-16s as soon as possible.According to the US Air Force's website, the F-16 Fighting Falcon "is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft" used in air-to-air and air-to-surface combat.The 49-foot-long aircraft can carry two 2,000-pound bombs, two AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, two AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles, and two 2,400-pound external fuel tanks. It is further equipped with one M-61A1 20mm multibarrel cannon.It can fly more than 500 miles when conducting air-to-surface operations.The F-16, armed with long-range missiles, could significantly increase the potential range of Kyiv's strike capability.In an interview this week with Radio Free Europe, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Ukraine had the right to hit "Russian military targets outside Ukraine" in line with international law.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytFeb 24th, 2024

Airport collisions and close call solutions include sleep science and redesigned runways to help air traffic controllers

Airport collisions and close calls keep happening. But sleep science and redesigned runways could be solutions for fatigued air traffic controllers. A United Airlines flight landing at Harry Reid International Airport, Las Vegas.Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesNear-misses between aircraft are increasingly more common.The head of the FAA told Congress how its panel is examining sleep science to help.A shortage of air traffic controllers means mandatory overtime leads to fatigue.Last year, The New York Times found that near-misses between aircraft were happening more often than previously thought.In January 2023, an American Airlines plane taxied onto the runway at JFK Airport while a Delta Air Lines flight was about to take off.And in July, an Allegiant Air flight attendant was injured when the plane suddenly shot upwards to avoid a nearby private jet at the same altitude.Despite the best efforts of pilots and air traffic controllers, sometimes collisions do happen.Earlier in February, two JetBlue planes collided, with one plane's wing hitting the other's tail in a de-icing area at Boston Logan International Airport. It was the third plane collision at the airport within a year, although nobody was injured.The dangers were made clear in January when a Japan Airlines A350 caught fire after hitting a smaller plane on the runway at Tokyo Haneda Airport.During a congressional hearing on February 5, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration discussed how it's working to prevent these incidents.Mike Whitaker said close-calls and runway incursions — meaning when a plane is incorrectly situated on a runway — were his first area of inquiry when he took over as administrator last October.Whitaker added that the FAA is looking into "improved airport signage, and runway and taxiway redesign."An FAA spokesperson told Business Insider plans include "technologies that provide capabilities to improve controller situational awareness and reduce runway incursions," such as a device that gives an audible and visual alert to controllers.In January, the National Transportation Safety Board released its findings about the plane collision at JFK Airport a year earlier. It said the captain was distracted and confused by instructions from air traffic controllers, while the co-pilot lost track of the plane's location.A collision was only avoided because the controller shouted at the pilots of the other plane to abort their takeoff."Overall, our data shows a recent downward trend in the rate of runway incursions," Whitaker said."But to drive the number of runway incursions to zero, we must continue to focus on and invest in this priority."Air traffic control fatigueOne major cause of near-misses is the strained workload of air traffic controllers.Rich Santa, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, previously told Business Insider that many controllers are working six-day weeks and 10-hour days.And The Times reported that some controllers have turned to alcohol and sleeping pills to cope with their grueling schedules.Long hours and irregular shifts also cause fatigue, which in turn leads to more problems at airports — as pointed out by Jennifer Homendy, chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, during a Senate hearing last November."Air traffic controllers are being required to do mandatory overtime," she said. "It ends up leading to fatigue and distraction, which is exactly what we're seeing as part of these incident investigations. And it all just comes down to the shortage of staffing."A government audit released last June found 77% of critical ATC facilities are understaffed.Paul Rinaldi, a former NATCA president, told Forbes that shortages began back in 2013 due to funding restrictions from budget sequestration."They closed the air traffic control academy," he said. "They looked at reducing hours and many air traffic facilities. They looked at closing and cutting more than 100 federal contract towers, and stopped most modernization projects."It's also a notoriously difficult job, so there are lots of training requirements. When the world was struck by the COVID pandemic, many training programs were paused, in turn delaying certification for controllers.The FAA is trying to combat the shortage in a variety of ways, like streamlining training programs.An FAA spokesperson said it is "accelerating air traffic controller hiring by moving to a year-round hiring track for experienced controllers from the military and private industry," and enhancing training with modernized simulators."We are continuing to work on our culture, processes, systems, and integration of safety efforts to maintain our stellar safety record," they added.It's also put together a panel to review air traffic controller fatigue."The panel will examine how the latest science on sleep needs and fatigue considerations could be applied to controller work requirements and scheduling," Whitaker said during the congressional hearing.That includes "risks associated with controller fatigue resulting from shifting schedules and excessive overtime."For pilots and cabin crew, dealing with fatigue is more apparent because they travel through different time zones, unlike controllers whose biggest risk is exhausting work schedules.Boeing has developed an "alertness model" used for an app called CrewAlert, which anyone can download to assess fatigue risk.Brad Surak, Boeing's vice-president for digital aviation solutions, told BI at last year's Paris Air Show: "Its main purpose is for an aircrew who's operating on a complex schedule."They're changing multiple time zones, they're getting schedules disrupted, and the airline has to replan where they might be based," he added. "We don't just operate the schedule for economics, we take into account the fatigue level of the crew."Now it looks like controllers' sleep schedules are set to receive more attention too. Not because they're unavoidably changing time zones like pilots, but because the work is so demanding.Do you work in air traffic control? Contact this reporter in confidence at psyme@businessinsider.comRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 24th, 2024

A passenger plane exceeded 800 mph due to strong winds — 200 mph faster than usual. Experts say passengers had nothing to worry about.

Business Insider spoke to aviation experts who agreed that pilots and aircraft can handle 800 mph speeds. In fact, these speeds are often beneficial. A Virgin Atlantic Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner.Nicolas Economou/Getty ImagesLast week, two planes reached ground speeds exceeding 800 mph due to high winds.Aircraft and pilots are equipped to handle these speeds.Flying in high winds has benefits. Passengers get to destinations quicker, and planes use less fuel.On Saturday, two Boeing 787s operated by Virgin Airlines and United Airlines zoomed through the air at ground speeds exceeding 800 mph — about 200 mph more than typical.The speeds — Virgin's plane reached 802 mph and United at 838 mph — are some of the fastest speeds recorded in recent years.This was due to high winds over the mid-Atlantic. According to the National Weather Service in the DC area, winds reached speeds of 265 mph. The highest record in the region was 267 mph in 2002, NPR reported.While the plane rides were unusually fast, two experts told Business Insider that both planes and pilots are equipped to handle the speeds.A United Airlines 787-10 Dreamliner takes off.Getty ImagesPlanes are designed for high winds and fast speedsThe fast winds the pilots flew through on Saturday were tailwinds, meaning they were moving in the direction of the plane and helping the aircraft reach a higher ground speed, which is the speed relative to the planet's surface.Kathleen Bangs, a former commercial pilot and a spokeswoman for the flight-tracking website FlightAware, told BI that tailwinds are "generally awesome."That's because the plane uses a jet stream to gain higher speeds. And these high speeds are something aircraft are designed to handle.Domenic LaFauci, an assistant professor of aviation at Southern New Hampshire University and a former flight instructor, told BI that an "aircraft has no issue working through this."The challenges come when the plane needs to leave the jet stream, Bangs said. That's when turbulence can happen.This might make a pilot's job harder, but as for the plane itself, they "are engineered to take or absorb turbulence," she said.On turbulent flights, passengers might notice the plane's wings bending and flexing, and that's on purpose, Bangs told BI."It can be disconcerting to passengers, but it's how airliners are designed, and it increases their safety," she added.A former pilot said cruising in fast winds is 'fun'Chances are, your pilot isn't just ending up in a jet stream — they're looking for one, LaFauci said.Airline dispatchers will help plan routes in jet streams because "this leads to shorter route times, less fuel consumed, better efficiency, etc.,'" LaFauci said.And happy passengers, Bangs added."What's fun in the cockpit is to watch your ground speed on the avionics computer screen increase and increase until you're sailing through the air over 700-750 mph ground speed — and for some aviators recently — over 800 mph," Bangs said.Bangs said pilots are trained for turbulence and briefed ahead of time on the weather. This gives them a better understanding of what to expect on the flight and allows them to communicate with passengers about a potentially bumpy ride.Ultimately, Bangs said, "if that 260 mph jet stream is acting as a tailwind on your flight, it's a lot of fun."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytFeb 23rd, 2024

Aviation experts share their thoughts on passenger planes exceeding 800 mph due to strong winds

Business Insider spoke to aviation experts who agreed that pilots and aircraft can handle 800 mph speeds. In fact, these speeds are often beneficial. A Virgin Atlantic Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner.Nicolas Economou/Getty ImagesLast week, two planes reached ground speeds exceeding 800 mph due to high winds.Aircraft and pilots are equipped to handle these speeds.Flying in high winds has benefits. Passengers get to destinations quicker, and planes use less fuel.On Saturday, two Boeing 787s operated by Virgin Airlines and United Airlines zoomed through the air at ground speeds exceeding 800 mph — about 200 mph more than typical.The speeds — Virgin's plane reached 802 mph and United at 838 mph — are some of the fastest speeds recorded in recent years.This was due to high winds over the mid-Atlantic. According to the National Weather Service in the DC area, winds reached speeds of 265 mph. The highest record in the region was 267 mph in 2002, NPR reported.While the plane rides were unusually fast, two experts told Business Insider that both planes and pilots are equipped to handle the speeds.A United Airlines 787-10 Dreamliner takes off.Getty ImagesPlanes are designed for high winds and fast speedsThe fast winds the pilots flew through on Saturday were tailwinds, meaning they were moving in the direction of the plane and helping the aircraft reach a higher ground speed, which is the speed relative to the planet's surface.Kathleen Bangs, a former commercial pilot and a spokeswoman for the flight-tracking website FlightAware, told BI that tailwinds are "generally awesome."That's because the plane uses a jet stream to gain higher speeds. And these high speeds are something aircraft are designed to handle.Domenic LaFauci, an assistant professor of aviation at Southern New Hampshire University and a former flight instructor, told BI that an "aircraft has no issue working through this."The challenges come when the plane needs to leave the jet stream, Bangs said. That's when turbulence can happen.This might make a pilot's job harder, but as for the plane itself, they "are engineered to take or absorb turbulence," she said.On turbulent flights, passengers might notice the plane's wings bending and flexing, and that's on purpose, Bangs told BI."It can be disconcerting to passengers, but it's how airliners are designed, and it increases their safety," she added.A former pilot said cruising in fast winds is 'fun'Chances are, your pilot isn't just ending up in a jet stream — they're looking for one, LaFauci said.Airline dispatchers will help plan routes in jet streams because "this leads to shorter route times, less fuel consumed, better efficiency, etc.,'" LaFauci said.And happy passengers, Bangs added."What's fun in the cockpit is to watch your ground speed on the avionics computer screen increase and increase until you're sailing through the air over 700-750 mph ground speed — and for some aviators recently — over 800 mph," Bangs said.Bangs said pilots are trained for turbulence and briefed ahead of time on the weather. This gives them a better understanding of what to expect on the flight and allows them to communicate with passengers about a potentially bumpy ride.Ultimately, Bangs said, "if that 260 mph jet stream is acting as a tailwind on your flight, it's a lot of fun."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytFeb 23rd, 2024

Everything You Need to Know About Military Stealth Technology

Stealth technology is a wide-ranging term that can refer to various technologies and tactics that prevent a person or vehicle from being detected by direct observation, radar, or other equipment. Generally, the principles of stealth translate between vehicles and areas. But what exactly do people mean when they talk about stealth technology? Here is your […] The post Everything You Need to Know About Military Stealth Technology appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.. Stealth technology is a wide-ranging term that can refer to various technologies and tactics that prevent a person or vehicle from being detected by direct observation, radar, or other equipment. Generally, the principles of stealth translate between vehicles and areas. But what exactly do people mean when they talk about stealth technology? Here is your introduction to the secret world of stealth. The History of Stealth The B-2A Spirit. The desire to hide from predators and enemies has existed for millions of years and predates the dawn of humanity. Animals and plants evolved natural camouflage to conceal themselves from predators and hide themselves as they approached their prey. These principles were adapted by early humans and continue to influence stealth technology today. Humans are pretty good at recognizing the figure of other humans in various positions, speeds, and distances. Basic camouflage and stealth obscures and hides the natural human form, making it harder for other humans to understand what they are looking at. It is reasonable to assume that camouflage and basic stealth techniques were employed by our ancient ancestors, even though we have no concrete evidence of their use. Many of these skills have been preserved by native peoples all around the world. The earliest example we have of camouflage being used for stealth comes from the book The Art of War, written in the 5th century BCE by Sun Tzu. Obviously, his compilation of war strategies pulled from earlier, proven tactics, so the skill of visual concealment probably was used by armies long before the book was written. Generals and commanders employed various stealth tactics throughout history. This includes concealing the movement of troops on the battlefield, or concealing the true intention and capabilities of a force before a battle begins. Most stealth involved fooling or misleading those who observe the soldiers themselves, but with the introduction of modern observation equipment like sonar, radar, and other tools, the methods of stealth and concealment had to adapt and evolve as well. Background of Modern Stealth Technology A modern stealth bomber. Stealth technology, also known as low observability, is not just one tool or technology. In order to be successful, stealth technology must incorporate a wide range of technology used in concert to reduce the distance and accuracy a vehicle or person can be detected. This includes reducing radar cross-sections, reducing acoustic and thermal signatures, confusing and misleading detecting equipment, and more. Advancements in the lethality of weapons during the 1900s led governments to move away from heavy armor toward faster, more agile, and less noticeable vehicles. It is easy to survive a shot from the enemy if that shot is never fired in the first place. The tactics and technology that keep planes, ships, and submarines undetected and safe are also used by ground forces in some way instead of mass infantry tactics. Aircraft Acoustic Stealth The F-35B. Early military aircraft pilots learned that if they used slow-turning props, they could avoid being heard by enemy troops who had quickly learned to identify the sound of an approaching airplane. Modern planes that regularly travel at speeds faster than the speed of sound will create a loud sonic boom as they fly. To combat this, some stealth aircraft travel below Mach 1 in order to not produce a sonic boom and reduce the chances of being noticed. However, as technology has advanced, planes are able to fly higher and faster than ever before, so the effect of sonic booms and the noise stealth planes make as they fly has become less important. Submarine Acoustic Stealth Virginia-class submarine. Submarines rely on acoustic stealth not only to complete their job but to survive in hostile waters. In order to reduce the noise submarines produce while operating underwater, submarines have designed the interior spaces so crew don’t make as much noise as they move and work, they do not communicate with the outside world through a radio while submerged, and do not use equipment or machinery that will produce noise. However, nuclear submarines always produce a small amount of noise because they cannot shut down their reactors or the pumps that feed cooling water into the reactor. Camouflage Modern camouflage. The simplest technology of stealth and deception continues to be among the most effective. Modern camouflage includes paint and natural and manufactured materials to blend a person or vehicle into its surroundings. Stealth airplanes use black, matte paint, and dark colors and fly only at night in order to blend into the dark night sky. Important military satellites have been fitted with mirrors to reflect the space around them. Infantry and ground vehicles use color-based camouflage and plants and dirt from the area in which they are fighting to blend in. Tarps and nets are used to cover stationary vehicles and gun emplacements, ghillie suits are used by infantry to make them look nearly invisible while laying down. At sea, it is impossible to make a ship disappear, so color camouflage is used to make a ship appear to be moving faster, slower, or look closer or further away than it really is. This can cause enemy ships to calculate the position of the target incorrectly and miss. Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures A B-2 Spirit. Infrared equipment is able to find soldiers and vehicles based on their temperature and how much hotter or colder they are than their surroundings. Humans have natural body heat that makes them easily identifiable, and vehicles generate heat from their engines and how fast they move. In order to avoid detection, soldiers can wear clothing that dissipates or hides their body heat, and vehicles can incorporate different technologies to make their heat signature less recognizable or harder to detect. Some aircraft now have a non-circular tail pipe so the hot exhaust is thinner and mixes faster with the colder air. In some engines, cold air is injected directly into the exhaust to make it dissipate faster. Some exhaust ports are located on the tops of the aircraft instead of the rear so the exhaust can’t be seen from the ground. Reduced RF Emissions Tuo Chiang-class stealth coastal guided-missile corvette. All electronic equipment emits some kind of detectable energy. Radars, radios, screens, and all other technology can be detected by sensors on the ground. This detectible energy is called RF leakage. To combat this, some stealth aircraft have begun to implement passive infrared and low-light television sensors to aim at targets. Others use a special kind of radar that can detect enemy aircraft without alerting radar warning systems. Reducing RCS An F-22 Raptor. RCS stands for radar cross-section. It refers to the image that appears on a radar system if a vehicle is detected by radar. Radar works by bouncing light from a moving object and measuring the time it takes for that light to return. Normally, the larger a vehicle is the bigger its RCS will be on a radar screen. However, by incorporating non-normal angles and irregular shapes into a vehicle body, most of the energy from a radar is reflected away from the vehicle and does not return to the receiver. This is why stealth vehicles look like they do — their bodies make them nearly invisible to radar systems. Modern stealth aircraft can have a radar cross section as small as a small bird or large insect. Stealth Tactics A use of concealment and camouflage. It doesn’t help to have the best stealth technology if your driving behavior makes you an obvious target. Additionally, stealth tactics can make up for not having any stealth technology at all. Even with advanced technology, attacking important targets like command centers or air defense installations with aircraft is nearly impossible while they are defended by radar systems with overlapping coverage. To get around this, mission planners plot a path balancing altitude, speed, and route to minimize the time aircraft can be detected. This is only possible if there is information about the locations of enemy radar systems. Other basic stealth tactics include night operations, moving in smaller groups and squads, limiting radio contact and electronic equipment, and more. Infantry Stealth Facepaint aids with concealment. Infantry can easily be detected by infrared and normal visual detection. Stealth tactics employed by infantry units vary depending on whether they are in open ground or a city or in a crowd of civilians. Simple camouflage and moving at night are usually the most effective at avoiding detection, while concealment and adopting the clothing and customs of the locals are just as effective depending on where the infantry are located. Specialist stealth units include paratroopers and Navy Seals who approach enemy locations underwater. Stealth Aircraft Two F-35 aircraft. The first operational aircraft to use stealth technology was the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk. Other stealth aircraft that have been, or continue to be, in service include China’s Chengdu J-20 and Chengdu WZ-10, Lockheed’s SR-71, F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II, and RQ-170 Sentinel, Northrop Grumman’s B-2 Spirit and RQ-180, and Russia’s Sukhoi Su-57, among others. Stealth Ships Skjold-class stealth coastal patrol corvette. The most noteworthy of stealth ships is the Zumwalt-class destroyer, with the first ship being launched in the U.S. Navy in 2013. This class of stealth ship is much larger than typical destroyers and only three were ever built. Other stealth ships include China’s Type 055 destroyer, the Gowind-class frigates and corvettes, the United States’ Independence-class littoral combat ship, and Indonesia’s Klewang-class fast attack craft, which is the only wave-piercing, trimaran fast attack craft on this list. Submarines A U.S. submarine. While other vehicles use stealth to make them more effective and more dangerous, submarines would be entirely useless in modern conflicts without stealth technology. Because they are slow and vulnerable, submarines rely entirely on stealth to survive. In fact, the entire purpose of the ballistic missile submarine is to remain undetected and unnoticed just so it can be used for second-strike capabilities, in which it will fire ICBMs at an enemy nation. Everything about a submarine from the propeller, water and waste discharge, communication, shape, size, and interior design was created to minimize sound and the chance it is detected on sonar. Stealth helicopters Where helicopters are involved, stealth usually isn’t a priority. Generally, stealth technology is not very useful for helicopters because of their loud, recognizable sound, low speed, and low operational altitude. There are, however, some examples of helicopters incorporating stealth technology. These examples include the Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche and the Hughes 500p. The Future of Stealth Technology A stealth frigate. According to Moore’s Law, the computing and processing power inside radar systems continues to increase at an exponential rate. Eventually, there will be no stealth technology that can hide from the most advanced radar systems. Other advances in detection technology could also render other systems of stealth and concealment impractical. When that day comes, soldiers and vehicles will have to rely on other methods of avoiding detection or destruction. The battlefield is always changing and evolving, and the future holds many interesting and unknown surprises. URGENT – New Seats Available (sponsored) Top financial advisors are now accepting new clients for 2024! Finding the right advisor can be the difference between retiring early, or working forever. Don’t waste a moment matching with the right advisor for you. Every moment today can mean riches tomorrow, with the right advisor by your side. Use the advisor match tool below, or click here now, to find your financial freedom! The post Everything You Need to Know About Military Stealth Technology appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.......»»

Category: blogSource: 247wallstFeb 22nd, 2024

Ranking of All Modern Fighter Jets from Slowest to Fastest

In the decades since the humble beginnings of the first military plane, the 1909 Wright Military Flyer purchased by the Aeronautical Division of the then-U.S. Army Signal Corps, the field of aviation has evolved tremendously. The 1909 Wright Military Flyer was constructed of wood and muslin and traveled at a top speed of 42.5 mph. […] The post Ranking of All Modern Fighter Jets from Slowest to Fastest appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.. In the decades since the humble beginnings of the first military plane, the 1909 Wright Military Flyer purchased by the Aeronautical Division of the then-U.S. Army Signal Corps, the field of aviation has evolved tremendously. The 1909 Wright Military Flyer was constructed of wood and muslin and traveled at a top speed of 42.5 mph. Although this first aircraft was never used in combat, it was used to train pilots and paved the way for aviation of the future.  It wasn’t until the Second World War that the United States began to invest heavily in aircraft, and today they are used in practically every aspect of society, including waging war. Military aircraft, in particular, saw rapid evolution in just a few decades, from basic reconnaissance biplanes to $100 million fighter jets. Now in its fifth generation, the modern fighter jet boasts a wide range of new technology, including stealth, low-probability-of-intercept radar, and supercruise performance, which is a core requirement for the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Tactical Fighter program. From a top speed of 42 mph, today’s fighter jets fly at supersonic speed. The new F-35 Lightning II is pushing top speeds close to 1,200 mph — and there are faster jets still. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Military Factory’s catalogs of aircraft – from third-, fourth-, and fifth-generation – to determine the ranking of all modern fighter jets from slowest to fastest.  Each aircraft was ranked by its maximum speed, and supplemental information from Military Factory regarding the type of aircraft, the year it was introduced, country of origin, manufacturer, and production was included. Aircraft that did not make it out of the prototype or proposal stage were excluded. The majority of fighter jets mentioned here were built in the 1970s or later, and while this might suggest newer jets are faster, this is not necessarily the case. There are technological and biological limiting factors to consider when designing high-speed aircraft, and the focus of militaries in recent decades has been to improve stealth capabilities and modernize fleet technology as opposed to focusing on speed. An iconic aircraft near the top of this list is the F-14 Tomcat, despite entering service in 1974. This fighter jet was capable of hitting roughly 1,550 mph, just over Mach 2, making it an ideal naval interceptor in the latter stages of the Cold War. The F-14 Tomcat also made an appearance in the film “Top Gun,” solidifying its spot in American culture. (These are the 24 planes that form the backbone of the U.S. Air Force.) Here is a ranking of all modern fighter jets from slowest to fastest.  42. AV-8B Harrier II Maximum speed: 665 mph Type: Short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) strike aircraft Year introduced: 1985 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas / Boeing / BAe Systems Production run: 500 41. Sukhoi Su-17 / Su-20 / Su-22 (Fitter) Maximum speed: 718 mph Type: Strike fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1970 Country of origin: China Manufacturer: Sukhoi Production run: 2,867 40. KAI KF-16 Fighting Falcon Maximum speed: 870 mph Type: Multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1991 Country of origin: South Korea Manufacturer: Korean Aerospace Industries Production run: 140 39. F-16V (Viper) Maximum speed: 917 mph Type: Multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2017 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin / Hellenic Aerospace Industry Production run: 100 38. Xian JH-7 (Flounder) / FBC-1 (Flying Leopard) Maximum speed: 1,118 mph Type: Fighter-bomber aircraft Year introduced: 1992 Country of origin: China Manufacturer: Xian Aircraft Industry Corporation Production run: 240 37. F/A-18 Super Hornet Maximum speed: 1,187 mph Type: Carrier-based strike fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1999 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas / Boeing Production run: 615 36. F/A-18 Hornet Maximum speed: 1,190 mph Type: Carrier-based strike fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1983 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas / Boeing / Northrop Production run: 1,480 35. F-35 Lightning II Maximum speed: 1,199 mph Type: Advanced multi-role strike fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2016 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin / Northrop Grumman / BAe Systems Production run: 785 34. PAC JF-17 Thunder Maximum speed: 1,218 mph Type: Lightweight multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2007 Country of origin: Pakistan Manufacturer: Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Production run: 132 33. HAL Tejas LCA Maximum speed: 1,227 mph Type: Lightweight multirole fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2015 Country of origin: India Manufacturer: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Production run: 33 32. Shenyang J-15 (Flying Shark) Maximum speed: 1,305 mph Type: Carrier-based multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2013 Country of origin: China Manufacturer: Shenyang Aircraft Corporation / Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) Production run: 25 31. Chengdu J-20 (Black Eagle) Maximum speed: 1,305 mph Type: Multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2017 Country of origin: China Manufacturer: Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAIC) / Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) Production run: 55 30. Mirage III Maximum speed: 1,312 mph Type: Interceptor aircraft / Strike fighter Year introduced: 1961 Country of origin: France Manufacturer: Dassault Aviation Production run: 1,422 29. F-16 Fighting Falcon Maximum speed: 1,317 mph Type: Lightweight multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1978 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: General Dynamics / Lockheed Martin Production run: 4,604 28. Sukhoi Su-30 (Flanker-C) Maximum speed: 1,317 mph Type: Twin-engine air superiority strike fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1996 Country of origin: Russia Manufacturer: Sukhoi Design Bureau Production run: 635 27. JAS 39 Gripen (Griffin) Maximum speed: 1,370 mph Type: Lightweight multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1997 Country of origin: Sweden Manufacturer: Saab AB Production run: 247 26. F-CK-1 (Ching-Kuo) Maximum speed: 1,379 mph Type: Lightweight multirole fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1994 Country of origin: Taiwan Manufacturer: Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation Production run: 131 25. Dassault Rafale Maximum speed: 1,383 mph Type: Fighter-bomber aircraft Year introduced: 2001 Country of origin: France Manufacturer: Dassault Aviation Production run: 201 24. MiG-21 (Fishbed) Maximum speed: 1,386 mph Type: Single-seat supersonic fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1959 Country of origin: Soviet Union Manufacturer: Mikoyan-Gurevich Production run: 11,496 23. Chengdu J-10 (Vicious Dragon) Maximum speed: 1,452 mph Type: Fighter-bomber aircraft Year introduced: 2005 Country of origin: China Manufacturer: Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAIC) / Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) Production run: 350 22. Mirage F1 Maximum speed: 1,453 mph Type: Interceptor aircraft Year introduced: 1973 Country of origin: France Manufacturer: Dassault Aviation Production run: 750 21. Shenyang J-8 / J-8 II (Finback) Maximum speed: 1,453 mph Type: Fighter-bomber aircraft Year introduced: 1980 Country of origin: China Manufacturer: Aviation Industry Corporation of China Production run: 325 20. Mirage 2000 (M2000) Maximum speed: 1,453 mph Type: Strike fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1979 Country of origin: France Manufacturer: Dassault Aviation Production run: 611 19. F-4 Phantom II Maximum speed: 1,473 mph Type: Carrier-based strike fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1960 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas Production run: 5,195 18. MiG-35 (Fulcrum-F) Maximum speed: 1,491 mph Type: Multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2020 Country of origin: Russia Manufacturer: Russian Aircraft Corporation MIG Production run: 10 17. Panavia Tornado ECR Maximum speed: 1,491 mph Type: Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD) Aircraft Year introduced: 1990 Country of origin: Germany Manufacturer: Panavia Aircraft GmbH / British Aviation Systems / MBB Production run: 52 16. Panavia Tornado IDS Maximum speed: 1,491 mph Type: Low-level strike aircraft Year introduced: 1979 Country of origin: United Kingdom Manufacturer: Panavia Aircraft GmbH / British Aviation Systems Production run: 400 15. Sukhoi Su-35 (Flanker-E / Super Flanker) Maximum speed: 1,491 mph Type: Multi-role heavy combat fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2014 Country of origin: Russia Manufacturer: Sukhoi OKB Production run: 130 14. IAI Kfir (Lion Cub) Maximum speed: 1,516 mph Type: Multi-role combat aircraft Year introduced: 1976 Country of origin: Israel Manufacturer: Israel Aircraft Industries Production run: 230 13. MiG-29 (Fulcrum) Maximum speed: 1,519 mph Type: Lightweight multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1984 Country of origin: Soviet Union Manufacturer: Mikoyan OKB / United Aircraft Corporation Production run: 1,625 12. Grumman F-14 Tomcat Maximum speed: 1,544 mph Type: Swing-wing, carrier-based fleet defense fighter Year introduced: 1974 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: Grumman Aircraft Production run: 712 11. Eurofighter Typhoon (EF2000) Maximum speed: 1,550 mph Type: Fighter-bomber aircraft Year introduced: 2003 Country of origin: Germany Manufacturer: BAe Systems / Eurofighter GmbH Production run: 570 10. MiG-23 (Flogger) Maximum speed: 1,553 mph Type: Swing-wing fighter-interceptor aircraft Year introduced: 1970 Country of origin: Soviet Union Manufacturer: Mikoyan-Gurevich Production run: 5,047 9. Mitsubishi F-2 Maximum speed: 1,553 mph Type: Multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2000 Country of origin: Japan Manufacturer: Mitsubishi / Lockheed Martin Production run: 98 8. Shenyang J-11 (Flanker B+) Maximum speed: 1,553 mph Type: Multi-role air superiority fighter Year introduced: 1998 Country of origin: China Manufacturer: Shenyang Aircraft Corporation / Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) Production run: 255 7. Sukhoi Su-27 (Flanker) Maximum speed: 1,553 mph Type: Multi-role air superiority fighter Year introduced: 1985 Country of origin: Soviet Union Manufacturer: Sukhoi OKB / United Aircraft Corporation Production run: 809 6. Sukhoi Su-33 (Flanker-D) Maximum speed: 1,553 mph Type: Carrier-based air defense fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1994 Country of origin: Russia Manufacturer: Sukhoi OKB Production run: 35 5. F-22 Raptor Maximum speed: 1,599 mph Type: Air dominance fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2005 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: Boeing / Lockheed Martin Production run: 195 4. Sukhoi Su-57 (Felon) Maximum speed: 1,616 mph Type: Multi-role stealth aircraft Year introduced: 2019 Country of origin: Russia Manufacturer: Sukhoi OKB / United Aircraft Corporation Production run: 25 3. F-15E Strike Eagle Maximum speed: 1,653 mph Type: Strike fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1988 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas / Boeing Production run: 420 2. Mig-31 (Foxhound) Maximum speed: 1,864 mph Type: Supersonic interceptor aircraft Year introduced: 1979 Country of origin: Soviet Union Manufacturer: Mikoyan OKB / United Aircraft Corporation Production run: 500 1. F-15 Eagle Maximum speed: 1,875 mph Type: Air superiority fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1976 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas / Boeing Production run: 1,500 Sponsored: Want to Retire Early? Here’s a Great First Step Want retirement to come a few years earlier than you’d planned? Or are you ready to retire now, but want an extra set of eyes on your finances? Now you can speak with up to 3 financial experts in your area for FREE. By simply clicking here you can begin to match with financial professionals who can help you build your plan to retire early. And the best part? The first conversation with them is free. Click here to match with up to 3 financial pros who would be excited to help you make financial decisions. The post Ranking of All Modern Fighter Jets from Slowest to Fastest appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.......»»

Category: blogSource: 247wallstFeb 21st, 2024

See the hectic flight deck operations aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier in the Red Sea, where warplane pilots and crews are "on alerts all the time"

Business Insider recently visited USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, a leading ship in the Navy response to the Houthis, and saw flight operations firsthand. A fighter jet prepares for takeoff on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.Jake Epstein/Business InsiderThe US Navy has been regularly striking Houthi missiles and drones before they launch.Planes from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower are always flying and ready to execute these strike missions.Business Insider recently traveled to the Ike in the Red Sea and saw these activities firsthand.Flight operations aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower are chaotic to watch, with sailors and aircraft constantly in motion. That flurry of activity though allows the warship to put a tremendous amount of combat power in the air, including heavily armed jets that are ready to strike at a moment's notice.The Eisenhower, a nuclear-powered Nimitz-class aircraft carrier operating in the Red Sea, is a lead ship in the US Navy's battle against the Iran-backed Houthis, who have spent the last few months firing missiles and drones into the international shipping lanes off the coast of Yemen.Fighter jets from the Ike have been involved in intercepting these threats in the air and striking the Houthis directly in Yemen. It's a large-scale operation for the crew to keep the aircraft ready for flight and airborne, with aircraft taking off from the carrier all the time.Business Insider recently embarked on the Ike as it carried out its mission in the Red Sea and observed the flight ops firsthand. Here is what it looked like from the carrier's massive flight deck.The Eisenhower's air wing includes F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters, E-2 Hawkeye early-warning aircraft, EA-18 Growler jets for electronic warfare and surveillance, and helicopters.Sailors work on the flight deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.Jake Epstein/Business InsiderMost of the 70 aircraft on the carrier are on the flight deck. The rest of the planes are below in an area known as the "hangar bay," where maintenance is performed.The flight deck on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.Jake Epstein/Business InsiderThe personnel on the flight deck wear different colored vests to indicate their jobs, such as handlers, landing signal officers, arresting gear and catapult officers, and so on.Sailors work on the flight deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.Jake Epstein/Business InsiderThese service members are constantly in the process of receiving planes, launching them, or getting aircraft ready for their next launch.Sailors work on the flight deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.Jake Epstein/Business InsiderThese preparations include refueling and rearming the aircraft with munitions, especially if any are released during the previous flight.Sailors transport munitions on the deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.Jake Epstein/Business InsiderDuring a typical day on the Ike, dozens of planes may take off over multiple launch and recovery cycles that in total can last up to 12 hours — sometimes longer if needed.A fighter jet prepares for takeoff on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.Jake Epstein/Business Insider"We are on alerts all the time," Capt. Marvin Scott, the commander of the Ike's carrier air wing, told BI. "And then inside of those alerts we also have cyclic flight operations where we fly regularly over the course of half a day. We can go longer, we can go shorter. It just depends on exactly what the operational need is."A fighter jet is towed across the flight deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.Jake Epstein/Business InsiderFighter jets carrying heavy payloads are launched from one of the Ike's multiple catapults, which on this carrier are steam-powered mechanisms that slingshot the aircraft forward at fast speeds.A fighter jet prepares for takeoff on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.Jake Epstein/Business InsiderWhen they take off, reaching speeds of 150 mph in just seconds, fighter jets make an incredibly loud roar and leave a trail of hot exhaust in their wake. It has a real "Top Gun" opening scene vibe to it, just without "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins playing.A fighter jet takes off from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.Jake Epstein/Business InsiderUpon landing, the aircraft is slowed down in seconds from speeds of 150 mph by the Ike's arresting gear, which are belts that help the aircraft quickly decelerate.A fighter jet lands on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.Jake Epstein/Business InsiderEven though flight operations are chaotic with lots of moving parts, there are still moments of resounding peace and quiet on the flight deck between missions. But then it's right back to operations again.The flight deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.Jake Epstein/Business InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 20th, 2024

"Hostile elements" tried to take over communications with a flight from Thailand to Israel, trying to divert it, airline says

Unknown individuals tried to take control of an El Al plane's communication network as it flew over Houthi-controlled territory, per reports. El Al Israel Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesAn El Al plane from Thailand to Israel was targeted by 'hostile elements,' according to reports.It's unclear if it was linked to the war in Gaza, but it took place over a Houthi-controlled region.Airspace disputes in Somalia could also be responsible, the Israeli airline said in a statement."Hostile elements" tried to seize control of the communication network of an El Al plane flying from Thailand to Israel over the weekend, The Jerusalem Post reported.The Israeli national carrier's flight from Phuket to Ben Gurion International Airport ultimately reached its destination in Tel Aviv, the newspaper reported, despite the likely attempt to divert it.The Post reported that this was the second time in a week that such an incident occurred to an El Al flight.According to the Israeli broadcaster Kan, the incident took place over an area where the Iran-backed Houthis are known to be active.The Houthis, a political and military group controlling vast areas of Yemen, began attacking ships in the Red Sea in October in solidarity with Palestinians.The group has said that it will continue the attacks until Israel agrees to a cease-fire in Gaza.Kan reported that a group in the unrecognized state of Somaliland may also have been responsible, citing unnamed sources in Somalia.The cabin crew became aware they were being misled when the instructions deviated from their set route, per Kan.According to the broadcaster, the crew ignored the instructions and switched to an alternative means of communication, cross-referencing their data with information from other air traffic controllers in the area.According to the broadcaster, there was "serious concern" that those involved intended to damage the plane, lead it to a dangerous location, or even kidnap people on board.In a statement provided to Kan, El Al said that the disruptions were not aimed solely at its planes.The statement referenced ongoing airspace sovereignty disputes between Somalia and Somaliland, leading to air traffic controllers in Mogadishu recently issuing safety advisories to international carriers in the region, according to the Horn Observer.The airline also said the flight was able to stay on its normal course thanks to the "professionalism of the pilots who used alternative means of communication."The airline did not respond to a request for comment by Business Insider.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 19th, 2024

Ukraine says it shot down 2 more Russian fighter jets — extending its streak to 6 in just 3 days

Ukraine said it destroyed two Russian jets on Monday, after claiming to have taken out four at the weekend, in what would be an impressive kill streak. A Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter bomber over Russia.REUTERS/Maxim ShemetovUkraine said it destroyed two Russian fighter jets on Monday morning.This adds to the four it claimed to have destroyed over the weekend.Ukraine has been successful in holding back Russia's vastly superior air force throughout the war.Ukraine said it destroyed two more Russian fighter jets on Monday, bringing its claimed tally to six jets shot down in just three days.Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander in chief of Ukraine's armed forces, said in a statement that Ukraine's air force destroyed two Russian aircraft on Monday: A Su-34 fighter-bomber and a Su-35S fighter jet.He said the aircraft were destroyed on Monday morning after they had been attacking Ukrainian troop positions with guided air bombs.Syrskyi's announcement came after Ukraine's air force chief, Mykola Oleshchuk, said his forces had destroyed four Russian aircraft over the weekend: Three Su-34s and one Su-35.The Su-34 is considered Russia's best fighter bomber, costing $50 million each, according to Forbes.The Su-35, meanwhile, has a bomb load of over 17,000 pounds.Ukraine's air force is outclassed by Russia's air power, with far fewer planes and much older models. But Ukraine has been able to restrict Russia's planes to a limited role in the fight, largely by using its air defense systems to keep them in their own airspace and unable to fly over Ukraine.Professor Justin Bronk, an expert on Russia and air warfare at the UK-based Royal United Services Institute, told BI that Ukraine has been able to make Russia's air force "largely irrelevant to the conflict."He described this as a "very impressive" achievement by Ukraine.Ukraine has previously shot down several Russian jets: In December, Ukraine said it eliminated three Russian Su-34s over a two-day period.Ukraine also said it shot down a Russian A-50 radar early-warning plane in January, an expensive and rare Russian jet that helps it coordinate its battlefield activities.Those losses were "embarrassing" for Russia given its superior air force, Rajan Manon, a Russia and Ukraine expert and a director of the US-based Defense Priorities think tank, previously told BI.Russia has also taken down some Ukrainian aircraft as part of its full-scale invasion, which it launched in February 2022.Ukraine has repeatedly urged its allies to give it fighter jets that would enable it to shoot down Russian missiles and aircraft.The US said in August 2023 that US-manufactured F-16s could be sent to Ukraine.Ukraine's pilots are training on the fighter jets, but it's unclear when they will be able to be used in the conflict.A Pentagon official said last month that the US and other Ukrainian allies expect Ukraine's air force to achieve "initial operating capability" on the F-16s by the end of this year.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytFeb 19th, 2024

Landmarks: Roots of Black aviation in America can be traced to a short flight from Robbins to Oak Lawn

Landmarks: Roots of Black aviation in America can be traced to a short flight from Robbins to Oak Lawn Around the time Henry Ford’s Detroit assembly lines began making the latest in automotive technology available to the masses, traffic was similarly increasing overhead. A little over 20 years after Orville and Wilbur Wright pioneered powered flight, the industry was soaring. Speculators were bulldozing farmland into airstrips anywhere they thought they could generate enough business, and manufacturers produced kit planes that even those of modest means could purchase. Schools opened to provide training and licenses to anyone who had interest in flying. Except, perhaps, if one wasn’t a white man. Pioneering pilot Bessie Coleman, who had gone to France for flight training, dreamed of opening a flight school for prospective Black pilots in Chicago and was raising funds to make it happen by putting on flying exhibitions. But an in-air mishap dumped her from her plane before a 1926 show, and she and another pilot were killed. News of her death made national headlines, and inspired two auto mechanic friends in Detroit to follow in Coleman’s wake. Cornelius Coffey and John Robinson ended up making history in Chicago’s south suburbs. But it wasn’t easy. They initially were denied admission to Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical University in Chicago, because they were Black, according to Tyrone Haymore, executive director of the Robbins Historical Society and Museum. Cornelius R. Coffey trained many men who would become the first Black pilots in the U.S. Military, the Tuskegee Airmen. (Robbins Historical Society & Museum) Instead Robinson got a job as a janitor at the school on South Michigan Avenue, and timed his tasks to allow him to eavesdrop on classes. He also established an automotive garage near where the new Rosenwald Courts apartments were being erected. The garage gave the friends the space and tools to build their own small Heath Parasol aircraft from a kit. They couldn’t afford the recommended motor, Haymore said, so they used one from Coffey’s motorcycle instead. The plane worked, and they convinced a Curtiss-Wright instructor to come out and give it a test flight. “I’m sure he was nervous, but that plane took off into the sky just like any other ordinary plane,” Haymore said. The test flight turned into an invitation to take classes at the school that had previously turned them away. “They found out they could learn something from these two Black guys, the first Black students at Curtis-Wright Aeronautical school.” Coffey and Robinson learned fast and became certified pilots. Their next step would be to open their own school. “They heard about this all-Black town called Robbins, and said, ‘we won’t have any problems out there,’” Haymore said. Indeed, they were welcomed heartily. Mayor Samuel Nichols, whose daughter Nichelle Nichols notably was a trailblazing icon aboard another aircraft, Star Trek’s USS Enterprise, helped them find land and labor to clear it for a hangar. And the residents of Robbins also were happy about the development. “When people here found out there were two Black guys building an airport in Robbins, they were like superheroes,” Haymore said. “People would feed them — restaurants would give free food to anyone building that airport. And if they wanted to spend the night they always had a place to stay. People were so welcoming.” Operating under the name the Challenger Air Pilots Association, they opened the nation’s first Black-owned airport in Robbins in 1931 along 139th Street. The Robbins Historical Museum now occupies part of the site. The Robbins History Museum in the 3600 block of West 139th Street occupies part of the site of the former Robbins Airport. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune) Around the same time, brothers Fred and William Schumacher were developing a new airport in what was then unincorporated Oak Lawn, at 87th Street and Harlem Avenue. “They had money, but they didn’t have a lot of aviation skills,” Haymore said. “As far as I know, neither one of them were pilots. They were looking for a way to make money, and back then airports were a moneymaker.” The Schumachers had funds to build several hangars, Haymore said, while the Challenger Air Pilots Association was raising money on the fly and relied upon volunteer labor and donated wood for the Robbins Airport’s single hangar, which would house two planes. Among their investors were Janet Harmon Bragg, a business owner who financed the association’s aircraft. She would later become the first African American woman to hold a commercial pilot license. Pioneering Black pilot Willa Brown also was involved, helping the association get government grants to fund the operation. Things were going well until disaster struck. “Three years after they had built the airport, they’d built the hangar, but not put the front door on it,” Haymore said. “In 1933, a violent wind storm hit this area and completely tore up that hangar and destroyed the two airplanes inside.” Coffey and Robinson planned to rebuild in Robbins but their skills at repairing aircraft as well as the success of their training program for Black pilots had caught the eye of the Schumacher brothers in Oak Lawn. “The Schumachers talked Coffey and Robinson out of rebuilding in Robbins,” Haymore said. “They said, ‘just come up here. We need you here.’” Haymore will present a program on the south suburban pioneers of Black aviation at 6 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Oak Lawn Public Library. Integrating the Harlem airport’s training program for white pilots and the Challenger program for Black students wasn’t easy. “They knew race would be a problem, and they thought they could manage it,” Haymore said. “But they had real problems.” The Schumachers initially separated the two programs into different hangars, but that wasn’t enough. The hangar where Coffey and Robinson operated was burned down. “They didn’t want Blacks out there,” Haymore said. “But the Schumachers weren’t going to let the whites turn them out of there.” They moved the operation to another hangar at the south end of the airport but not long after that, Coffey began teaching white and Black students together at the facility. “Coffey kept saying that Black instructors could teach everyone, and that white students and Black students can learn together,” Haymore said. “Finally, the Schumachers agreed with that and it happened.” The flight school at the airport in rural Oak Lawn ended up training hundreds of pilots, many who went on to become associated with the Tuskegee Airmen and some who fought in World War II as part of the Red Tails squadron. John Robinson, of Chicago, who became an Ethiopian army pilot nicknamed the “Brown Condor,” is pictured Sept. 27, 1935. (Associated Press) Robinson left the program in the mid 1930s after being recruited by Ethiopia to help develop that country’s air defenses as an invasion by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini loomed. “They have monuments to him over there,” Haymore said. Coffey stayed at the airport at Harlem Avenue and 87th Street, which closed for good after its owners lost its lease in 1956. He later went on to teach at several schools in Chicago, including a long stint at Dunbar High School. The historic airstrip where boundary busting trailblazers and World War II flying heroes learned to fly fell victim to the latest trend in moneymaking land use. The site became a shopping center and was annexed by the village of Bridgeview. Haymore said he went out there and asked around about the old airport, but few remembered it, “even old people.” But memory of its former use, and the occupants initially shuffled to its far reaches lives on in the plaza’s name as well as the street that accesses it: Southfield. The legacy of Coffey, Robinson and the Challenger Air Pilots Association remains strong in Robbins, though the airport there lasted only a couple of years. Haymore said it remains a point of pride just as much now as it did then. “That airport brought so much excitement to this area,” he said. “Neighboring communities were jealous.” A story Coffey told him about those days still offers that spark of civic pride in Robbins. “The mayor of Midlothian at the time lived right next to the airport,” Haymore said. “He’d send the police to lock up Coffey and Robinson in jail, because he didn’t like them flying as low as they were flying over his house. “They always get bailed out, and he got voted out and later he moved. That lot is still up for sale.” Landmarks is a weekly column by Paul Eisenberg exploring the people, places and things that have left an indelible mark on the Southland. He can be reached at peisenberg@tribpub.com......»»

Category: topSource: chicagotribuneFeb 17th, 2024

The Fastest Planes in the US Military

The 1909 Wright Flyer was the first military airplane in the world. Created for the United States Army Signal Corps, which later became the United States Army, this early airplane was used to train Army aviators on flight and didn’t see combat. The first widespread effective use of airplanes came in World War I. Initially, […] The post The Fastest Planes in the US Military appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.. The 1909 Wright Flyer was the first military airplane in the world. Created for the United States Army Signal Corps, which later became the United States Army, this early airplane was used to train Army aviators on flight and didn’t see combat. The first widespread effective use of airplanes came in World War I. Initially, planes were used only as scouts, reporting enemy positions. But as the war went on, they were repurposed for aerial combat with mounted machine guns, leading to the age of WWI flying aces. (These are the greatest fighter pilots in aviation history.) Although airplanes were a relatively new invention during the First World War, this is when the race for air superiority commenced and since then, military aircraft have evolved considerably. Demonstrating air superiority with increasingly more sophisticated fighter jets is an essential element of modern warfare. No military force can win a war without controlling the skies. Gaining an advantage in the air depends on how fast the plane can fly. Fighter planes that can whip across the skies at tremendous speeds can evade enemy missiles and hit their target sooner. (Here are the most common planes in the US Air Force.) The U.S. military has some of the fastest warplanes on the planet. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a  list of U.S. military aircraft from Military Factory, an online database of military vehicles, aircraft, arms, and more to determine the fastest planes in the U.S. military. All aircraft were ranked by us according to their top speed, choosing the 20 fastest. Supplemental information on the military branch using the aircraft and the aircraft’s role came from the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft. The first flown dates came from both WDMMA and from Military Factory. The “slowest” aircraft on the list is the aerial tanker and refueler transport, McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender. It tops out at 600 mph, about the same as large commercial jets with top speeds of 550 to 580 mph. The majority of commercial planes are much slower at 160 to 180 mph. Here are the fastest planes in the US Military. 20. McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender Top speed: 600 mph Category: Aerial tankers, refuelers Military branch: US Air Force First flown: 1980 19. Boeing E-4 Nightwatch Top speed: 603 mph (tied) Category: Special mission Military branch: US Air Force First flown: 1973 18. Boeing E-6 Mercury Top speed: 603 mph (tied) Category: Special mission Military branch: US Navy First flown: 1987 17. Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker Top speed: 610 mph Category: Aerial tankers, refuelers Military branch: US Air Force First flown: 1957 16. Cessna Citation Top speed: 615 mph Category: Transports Military branch: US Marine Corps, Army First flown: 1972 15. Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit Top speed: 628 mph Category: Bombers Military branch: US Air Force First flown: 1985 14. McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk Top speed: 645 mph Category: Trainers Military branch: US Navy First flown: 1988 13. McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II Top speed: 665 mph Category: Trainers, fighters Military branch: US Marine Corps First flown: 1978 12. Bombardier Global Express Top speed: 684 mph Category: Special mission Military branch: US Air Force First flown: 1996 11. Rockwell B-1 Lancer Top speed: 833 mph Category: Bombers Military branch: US Air Force First flown: 1974 10. Northrop T-38 Talon Top speed: 857 mph Category: Trainers Military branch: US Navy, Air Force First flown: 1959 9. Northrop F-5 Tiger II Top speed: 1,077 mph Category: Trainers Military branch: US Navy, Marine Corps First flown: 1959 8. Boeing EA-18G Growler Top speed: 1,181 mph Category: Special mission Military branch: US Navy First flown: 2006 7. McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet Top speed: 1,190 mph Category: Trainers, fighters Military branch: US Navy, Marine Corps First flown: 1978 6. Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Top speed: 1,193 mph Category: Trainers Military branch: US Navy First flown: 1999 5. Lockheed F-35 Lightning II Top speed: 1,199 mph Category: Trainers, fighters Military branch: US Navy, Air Force, Navy First flown: 2016 4. Lockheed F-16 Fighting Falcon Top speed: 1,317 mph Category: Fighters, trainers Military branch: US Navy, Air Force First flown: 1974 3. Lockheed F-22 Raptor Top speed: 1,599 mph Category: Fighters Military branch: US Air Force First flown: 1997 2. Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle Top speed: 1,653 mph Category: Fighters Military branch: US Air Force First flown: 1986 1. Boeing F-15 Eagle Top speed: 1,875 mph Category: Trainers Military branch: US Air Force First flown: 1972 Financial Experts Agree – The Right Credit Card Makes All The Difference (sponsored) Financial experts like Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey agree: choosing the right credit card is more important than ever. Whether you’re trying to get out of debt, save for retirement, or travel the world – there is a card that can help you acheive your dreams. Use the card match tool below, or click here now, to find your financial freedom! The post The Fastest Planes in the US Military appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.......»»

Category: blogSource: 247wallstFeb 16th, 2024

First US Air Force wing to get operational A-10 attack aircraft nearly 50 years ago starts sending its Warthogs to the boneyard

The 355th Wing was the first Air Force unit to get operational A-10s, but now the wing's Warthogs are on their way out. An A-10 Thunderbolt II assigned to the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, flies over the Nevada Test and Training Range, Nev., during a weapons evaluation mission Sept. 15, 2022.U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Makenna GottThe 355th Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base has started retiring its A-10s.The base was the first to receive the A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft nearly 50 years ago.The entire Warthog fleet is expected to be divested in the next three to five years and replaced with F-35s.The first US Air Force wing to receive operational A-10 attack aircraft nearly 50 years ago has officially begun retiring its fleet and sending them to the Boneyard.The pilots and maintainers at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, which the Air Force says got the first production A-10As in the mid-1970s, will now transition from the decades-old ground-attack aircraft to fifth-generation F-35s.Last week, Air Force officials announced that the 355th Wing had begun divesting of its fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, planes built around a powerful cannon for close-air support and ground-attack missions.A-10C number 82-648 with the 354th Fighter Squadron was officially retired and sent to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, which oversees the Davis-Monthan Boneyard, the largest aircraft boneyard in the world.Birds fly past Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft stored in the boneyard at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona on May 13, 2015.BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images"The A-10 has been the symbol of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base for many years, and it will continue to be a symbol for the Airmen of DM, a symbol of their commitment, excellence and service," said Air Force Col. Scott Mills, 355th Wing commander and A-10 pilot."For now, we're divesting a single squadron during the summer-fall timeframe of 2024," he added.The entire fleet of A-10s will be retired in the next three to five years, the base said. Then, personnel will transition to the F-35."Perhaps the biggest draw of future maintainers will be in the F-35 community," said U.S. Air Force Col. Clarence McRae, 355th Maintenance Group commander. "Airplanes are still going to break, and we are still going to fix them."A U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II from the 25th Fighter Squadron receives a hot-pit refuel at Osan Air Base, South Korea, Feb. 9, 2023.U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tristan TruesdellThe first production A-10 arrived at Davis-Monthan on March 2, 1976. When the A-10, commonly called the Warthog, entered service, it was designed for tank-busting and close-air support missions.The aircraft is probably best known for its GAU-8 Avenger 30 mm cannon, which protrudes from the nose and can fire around 3,900 rounds a minute. The loud, startling BRRRRRRRT noise of its gunfire — as well as the painted shark teeth war paint that some Warthogs have — is defining for the plane.The A-10 Thunderbolt II is rather "unique in its diverse ability to support our ground team not only with precision munitions from a distance, like we're doing as we speak in the Middle East, but also with scalpel-like accuracy using the GAU-8 gun under the most difficult environments imaginable," US Air Force Col. Razvan Radoescu, the 355th Operations Group commander, said in a statement."The plane, coupled with our high-level training standards, are the reasons so many of our joint and coalition forces returned home to fight another day — because they had A-10s overhead covering their six, or employing weapons to save their lives when nobody else could," he added.The Air Force has been moving toward retiring the plane since 2015 to free up funds for other projects, preferably platforms that, in the words of Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, "scare China."The aircraft is decades old and probably too slow for higher-end threat environments, but it can still pack a punch. A February 2022 exercise at the Nevada Test and Training Range showed that A-10Cs still had formidable firing power. They were able to knock out even modern tanks equipped with Explosive Reactive Armor.And even though they're on their way out, the Air Force is still putting them to use. During a training exercise in December, the Air Force practiced strafing runs with A-10s, resulting in the aircraft executing impressive flight maneuvers and gun runs. Photos showed the action, including a bullet-riddled cargo container target.U.S. Air Force Capt. Coleen Berryhill, 74th Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II pilot, flies near a formation of B1-B Lancer and A-10 Thunderbolt II above the Philippine Sea, Nov. 9, 2022.U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Coleen BerryhillDespite last week's announcement on retiring the A-10, Air Force officials made clear that A-10s were still considered a valuable asset, especially thanks to its well trained and prepared pilots."While the aircraft's maneuverability and munitions, including the mighty GAU-8, make it overwhelmingly effective on the battlefield, it's the pilot that makes it special," Mills said. "The pilot has been trained to care about and understand the young Army infantryman on the ground; they are the mission."Though questions remain about just how well the new fighter aircraft can do this, the Air Force's F-35As are expected to pick up the A-10's close-air support mission capability.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 14th, 2024

American Weapons Manufacturers of World War II

After the Second World War, the United States emerged as an industrial powerhouse as a result of supplying its own military as well as its allies, including the Soviet Union, with a wide array of weapons and equipment. Many companies transitioned from peacetime to wartime manufacturing and contributed to the war effort. Several stood out […] The post American Weapons Manufacturers of World War II appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.. After the Second World War, the United States emerged as an industrial powerhouse as a result of supplying its own military as well as its allies, including the Soviet Union, with a wide array of weapons and equipment. Many companies transitioned from peacetime to wartime manufacturing and contributed to the war effort. Several stood out as the most important, helping to shape the outcome of the war.  24/7 Wall St. reviewed a variety of historical and military sources, including Military Factory to identify the most notable American weapons manufacturers of World War II. The manufacturers were ordered alphabetically on this list and included supplemental information regarding notable weapons, aircraft, or vehicles each produced. Boeing, primarily known for its aircraft, played an important role in WWII. The B-17 Flying Fortress and B-29 Superfortress bombers, both produced by Boeing, became iconic symbols of American air power. These aircraft delivered devastating blows to Axis forces, with the B-29s dropping atomic bombs on Japan. Aside from bombers, Boeing also manufactured fighter planes, reconnaissance aircraft, and transport planes. (These are the 20 fastest planes that flew in World War II.) General Motors is one of the many automakers that aided in the war effort (Chrysler and Ford were also among them.) Before the start of the war, the production of automobiles reached three million, but during the war, there were only 139 made. General Motors pivoted its vast automotive production capacity to meet the demands of the U.S. military. The company’s plants churned out a wide range of military vehicles, from trucks to tanks. The most famous of these was the Sherman tank, which became the backbone of the Allied armored forces. GM’s expertise in mass production greatly contributed to the rapid mobilization of U.S. forces, providing essential support to the war effort on multiple fronts.  The Colt Firearms Company was another prominent American company of the era, which produced a variety of firearms for the U.S. military during WWII. One of its most notable firearms was the M2 Browning machine gun that was used by American troops and Allied forces throughout the conflict. Colt is also known for its iconic pistols like the M1911A among others. (Here are the classic long-range sniper rifles of World War II.) Here is a look at American weapons manufacturers of WWII American Locomotive Company Notable weapons: M7 Priest, M4 Sherman Tank American Locomotive Company produced thousands of tanks in WWII. Perhaps the most notable were the M4 Sherman Tank and the M7 Priest. The company produced several other weapons as well, like self-propelled howitzers or anti-aircraft guns. Beech Aircraft Corporation Notable weapons: Beech AT-10 Wichita, Beech C-45 Expeditor Beech Aircraft Corporation is known for its AT-10 Wichita, which trained thousands of pilots for World War II. The company was founded in 1932 in Wichita, Kansas, but it has since been acquired by Textron Aviation. Beechcraft continues to produce aircraft used in both civilian and military applications. Bell Aircraft Corporation Notable weapons: Bell P-39 Airacobra, Bell P-59 Airacomet, Bell P-63 King Cobra Bell is an American aircraft manufacturer, known today primarily for its helicopters. However, during its early years in the 1930s, Bell was known for its fighter aircraft like the P-63 Kingcobra or the P-59 Airacomet. This company was bought out by Textron Aviation in the 1960s. Boeing Company Notable weapons: B-17 Flying Fortress, B-29 Superfortress Boeing is one of the most famous companies on this list and one that is still in operation today. The B-29 Superfortress gained notoriety as the aircraft that dropped the atomic bombs on Japan. Boeing has also been producing commercial aircraft outside of its military contracts. Brewster Aeronautical Corporation Notable weapons: Brewster F2A (Buffalo), Brewster SB2A Buccaneer Brewster Aeronautical Corporation was originally a carriage builder but pivoted to aviation in the years following World War I. Its aircraft had a significant impact during WWII, namely its F2A Buffalo and the SB2A Buccaneer. However, despite producing these iconic planes, the company would later go defunct in the years after the war. Colt Firearms Notable weapons: Colt M1911 Pistol, Browning M1917, Colt Browning M1895 (Potato Digger) Firearms manufacturer Colt was responsible for several of the most iconic American firearms in World War II. The most recognizable, and lasting, of these is the Colt M1911 Pistol. The .45 caliber sidearm was developed to replace the U.S. Army’s standard-issue Colt .38 revolver. By the end of WWII, more than 2.5 million 1911s had been manufactured. The gun was so popular that the U.S. military continued to use it and its variants through 2023. Consolidated Aircraft Notable weapons: B-24 Liberator, B-32 Dominator, PB2Y Coronado Founded in Buffalo, New York, Consolidated Aircraft is known for producing one of the most iconic aircraft of the World War II era. The B-24 Liberator saw widespread use in the European Theater as over 18,000 were produced in total, even if the plane only entered service in 1941. Consolidated Aircraft would later merge with Vultee Aircraft in 1943. Cranston Arms Notable weapons: Johnson Model 1941 LMG, Johnson Model 1941 Rifle Cranston Arms is primarily known for its shotguns, specifically the Johnson Model 41, but it also produced light machine guns as well. Throughout the war, Cranston produced tens of thousands of these weapons, although the reviews among American soldiers were not necessarily positive. Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company Notable weapons: SB2C Helldiver, SC Seahawk, C-46 Commando The Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company produced many aircraft, including the SB2C Helldiver used on aircraft carriers across the Pacific Theater. Reportedly, the Helldiver sank more ship tonnage than any other aircraft in World War II. Curtiss would later go on to merge with the Wright brothers’ company to form Curtiss-Wright. Detroit Tank Arsenal Notable weapons: M26 Pershing Tank, M4 Sherman Tank The Detroit Tank Arsenal was the first ever plant built for the mass production of tanks. Founded in 1940 by Chrysler, the company would go on to produce Sherman and Pershing tanks that would march across Europe and help secure the Allied victory. Douglas Aircraft Notable weapons: A-20 Havoc / Boston, A-26 / B-26 Invader, C-47 Skytrain / Dakota Founded in the wake of WWI, Douglas Aircraft would go on to design and produce some of the most iconic aircraft of World War II. The A-26 Invader and the A-20 Havoc made names for themselves as bomber aircraft throughout the conflict. Douglas would later go on to merge with Boeing in 1997. Fisher Tank Arsenal Notable weapons: M10 Wolverine, M4 Sherman Tank, M26 Pershing Tank Fisher Tank Arsenal opened in 1942 in Michigan, and throughout World War II it was responsible for producing over 12,000 tanks. Specifically, Fisher was responsible for the Sherman and Pershing tanks. In the Cold War era, Fisher transitioned to producing the M48 Patton tanks. Ford Motor Company Notable weapons: M10-A1 Tank Destroyer, Ford GP/GPW Ford Motor Company is one of several companies that turned their factories from civilian automobile production to tanks and other vehicle production during the war. In total, Ford estimates that it produced about 278,000 vehicles, including tanks, armored cars, and reconnaissance vehicles. General Motors Company Notable weapons: M3 (Grease Gun), M18 Hellcat, M19 Air Defense Vehicle General Motors started producing military land vehicles in 1940, shifting the focus of many of its factories to trucks, tanks, powertrains, and ammunition manufacturing. GM delivered hundreds of thousands of artillery and vehicles for the military, totaling more than $12.3 billion. Some of its most iconic weapons included the M18 Hellcat and the M19 Air Defense Vehicle. Glenn L. Martin Company Notable weapons: Martin AM Mauler, Martin B-26 Marauder, Martin Baltimore Glenn L. Martin Company was renowned for producing a handful of bomber aircraft like the B-26 Marauder and A-22 Maryland. Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, the company eventually became part of what is now Lockheed Martin. Grumman Notable weapons: Grumman TBF Avenger, Grumman F4F Wildcat, Grumman F6F Hellcat Grumman was a large producer of aircraft in World War II. One of the most iconic was the F4F Wildcat which served on the decks of American aircraft carriers. The F4F Wildcat was originally conceived as a biplane, but Grumman went in a different direction. Over 7,500 of these aircraft were produced in total. Grumman merged with Northrop decades later to become Northrop Grumman. Lockheed Aircraft Notable weapons: Lockheed Hudson, Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star Lockheed produced one of the most famous aircraft to take flight in World War II, the P-38 Lightning. It was considered the most innovative plane of its day, adding incredible speed to four 50-caliber machine guns and a 20mm cannon. Today, Lockheed Martin’s newest jet, the F-35 Lightning II, draws its name from the original P-38 in World War II. North American Aviation Notable weapons: North American P-51 Mustang, North American T-6 Texan, North American B-25 Mitchell North American Aviation produced perhaps some of the most iconic aircraft of World War II. The P-51 Mustang and T-6 Texan were notorious for their exploits on the battlefield. Like many other aviation companies, North America went through a series of mergers and acquisitions to ultimately find itself as part of Boeing. Northrop Notable weapons: Northrop N-3PB Nomad, Northrop P-61 Black Widow Northrop started producing aircraft in 1939, but these aircraft would go on to have a big impact on the war. Throughout World War II, Northrop built roughly 700 P-61s, also known as the Black Widow, which was equipped with four 50-caliber machine guns, and four 20mm cannons, and could carry up to 6,400 lbs. of bombs. Northrop merged with Grumman decades later to become Northrop Grumman. Remington Arms Notable weapons: Remington Model 10 Shotgun, M1903A3 Remington Arms was founded early in American history. Renowned for its rifles and shotguns, Remington supplied Allied troops in World War II with M1903s and Model 10. The company has since been broken up, but many arms today still bear its name. Republic Aviation Notable weapons: Republic P-43 Lancer, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt Although it was founded years before, Republic Aviation was reorganized in 1939 and produced a series of military aircraft. The P-47 Thunderbolt was first delivered to the U.S. Army in June 1942, designed as an escort for the B-29. The P-47 would become the most-produced aircraft of the war with 15,660 total being built. Rock Island Arsenal Notable weapons: M101 Towed 105mm Medium Howitzer, M1 Light Tank, M2 Light Tank Rock Island Arsenal finds its roots in the Civil War era, and the company has since focused on artillery-type weapons. One of the company’s most famous productions was the M1 Light Tank, although the Pershing and Sherman tanks were later used more broadly than the M1 Light Tank. Savage Arms Corporation Notable weapons: M1 Thompson (Tommy Gun), Savage Arms M720 Shotgun Savage Arms, founded in the late 1800s, primarily manufactures rifles and shotguns. Perhaps its most iconic is the Tommy Gun. Even though it gained fame from being depicted in gangster films, it played an important role on the battlefield with its continuous fire. Sikorsky Notable weapons: Sikorsky R-4, Sikorsky S-43 Sikorsky, known for its helicopters, is now owned entirely by Lockheed Martin. The Sikorsky R-4 utility helicopter was introduced in 1942 and became the first widely-produced helicopter in aviation history. Just over 130 units of this first-generation helicopter were produced. Smith & Wesson Notable weapons: S&W Model 10 Revolver, S&W Model 27 Smith & Wesson gained notoriety through its series of pistols, specifically its revolvers, throughout the 1800s. Some of its revolvers, such as the Model 10 or Model 27, were standard issue firearms for American soldiers. S&W is still considered one of the most iconic gunsmiths to this day. Springfield Armory Notable weapons: M1 Garand, Springfield M1903 Sniper Rifle Springfield Armory has been a staple of American arms since the Revolutionary era, and it has produced a bevy of guns since then. One of the most notable guns that saw action during World War II was the M1 Garand, which General Patton famously proclaimed one of the greatest battle implements ever. Stinson Notable weapons: Stinson L-1 Vigilant, Stinson L-5 Sentinel, Stinson Reliant Stinson, founded in 1920, primarily focused on aircraft production in Detroit. It is most well known for its production of the L-5 Sentinel, which was a light reconnaissance and observation aircraft. This aircraft served in World War II up through the Korean War. Stinson produced nearly 4,000 of the L-5s in total. Vought Notable weapons: Vought F4U Corsair, Vought OS2U Kingfisher, Vought SB2U Vindicator Vought’s F4U Corsair fighter aircraft first entered combat in 1943 despite development beginning as early as 1938. The company would go on to produce thousands of aircraft throughout the war. Vought specialized in carrier-based aircraft for the U.S. Navy. Vultee Aircraft Notable weapons: Vultee P-66 Vanguard, Vultee A-35 Vengeance, Vultee BT-13 Valiant Vultee Aircraft produced a series of iconic dive bombers known as the A-35 Vengeance. Nearly 2,000 of these dive bombers were produced, despite having only entered the service in 1941. Vultee would merge with Consolidated Aircraft in 1943, forming the new company Convair. Winchester Repeating Arms Notable weapons: M1 Carbine, M1917 Enfield, Winchester Model 1912 Shotgun Winchester Repeating Arms is an American gunsmith that found prominence in the old West with its lever action rifles. While these guns were popular, the company gained notoriety with its M1 Carbine which was standard issue for soldiers in World War II. URGENT – New Seats Available (sponsored) Top financial advisors are now accepting new clients for 2024! Finding the right advisor can be the difference between retiring early, or working forever. Don’t waste a moment matching with the right advisor for you. Every moment today can mean riches tomorrow, with the right advisor by your side. Use the advisor match tool below, or click here now, to find your financial freedom! The post American Weapons Manufacturers of World War II appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.......»»

Category: blogSource: 247wallstFeb 14th, 2024

The Tank Is Dead?

The Tank Is Dead? Authored by Patrick Drennan via RealClear Wire, Lessons from the battlefields of Ukraine Hundreds of expensive tanks of both sides are being destroyed on the battlegrounds of Ukraine by cheap UPV drones. These include the Russian T-90MS Tank (worth about $4.2million) and the German Leopard 2A6 Tank (about $6.3 million). They are being destroyed by ubiquitous Chinese UPV drones, and their local variants, that sell for about $3000. The U.S. has also supplied Ukraine with 155mm howitzer rounds known as Remote Anti-Armour Munitions (RAAM). Each shell scatters nine 2.3kg magnetically activated mines. Tanks with limited vision, especially Russian tanks, often hit these mines, damaging their tracks, and making them sitting targets. They are all then finished off by precision artillery and antitank guided missiles. Several military experts have argued that tanks will always have a place because “lighter infantry organizations lack the combination of firepower and mobility to achieve early battlefield dominance and immediately exploit success.” They are likely correct. However, most of their previous examples they give are combined arms battles of the 20th Century. Equally, there is no doubt that against lightly armed foes like Hamas in Gaza, they can seize key objectives. However, Ukraine presents a different experience. Primarily, the losses for both sides in Ukraine are extraordinary. Moscow invaded Ukraine with an estimated fleet size of 3,417 main battle tanks, around three and a half times that of Ukraine. Russia lost roughly 60 percent, about 2,000 of these by mid-2023, The Moscow Times reported in July, citing the Kiel Institute’s Ukraine Support Tracker. They claim that Ukraine has lost the same number of tanks, but there is no source for that claim. GitHub - an American AI platform,  estimates  Russian tank losses have remained above 3:1 over Ukraine since the start of the war. Of course, that figure is relative, considering the Ukrainians had a smaller fleet to begin with. What about replacements? Considering new tank production, recovery of old tanks from long-term storage and the need to make good steep armor losses in 2022, the Kremlin can afford to write off 50 or so tanks a month without depleting its overall arsenal of around 3,000 front-line tanks. Around Avdiivka alone, the Russians are losing 60 tanks a month. And that number could grow as the 239th Tank Regiment rolls into battle—and runs into the same minefields and artillery and drone kill-zones that pulverized the tank units that came before it. And they keep on coming. The Russians plan to roll more tanks toward Avdiivka. “The concentration of the 239th Tank Regiment of the 90th Tank Division is ongoing southwest of Avdiivka,” the Center for Defense Strategies, a Ukrainian think-tank, reported. The 239th is the third Russian tank regiment on the Avdiivka front, after the 80th and 10th. On paper, the 239th has a hundred or more tanks in several battalions altogether manned by a few thousand people. Which tanks are performing best on the battlefield? The old 42-ton Ukrainian T-64 Tanks (worth about $1.12 million) are heavily armored and are performing well. The German Leopard 2A6 Tank (62 tons) and the British Challenger II Tank (64 tons) are both faster and superior to the Russian tanks. "They have better armor protection using advanced active protection systems, fire control, optics, and munitions," Seth G. Jones, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) noted. Still tank on tank battles are very rare. The most powerful American tank in Ukraine’s armory, the M1 Abrams Tank has not seen action simply because at 73 tons it too heavy for the muddy Ukrainian roads. It is also too expensive to maintain. The U.S. has stopped all further production of new Abram models. Ironically, one of the best American tanks on the battlefield, is not actually a tank. It is a Bradely Fighting Vehicle (worth about $2.4 million)  The M3 Bradley (27.6 tons) equipped with BGM-71 TOW missiles is more than  a match for many Russian tanks. Ther are several Telegram videos of Bradely’s destroying Russian armored columns. Originally developed as an infantry carrier, it has a V shaped base and is very protective of its crew. The Russians who partly destroyed and captured one, after the Ukrainian crew escaped, were amazed at the protective inner compartment. Which raises the issue that few of us want to visualize. We, of the Xbox generation of immersive video games like Call of Duty and the World of Tanks, see exciting explosions but never burnt and injured realistic victims. In real life tanks crews are burnt, injured, concussed, and suffer long-term brain damage.   There is small consolation for Russian tank crews, as the ammunition is stored right next to the crew, and death is often instantaneous. So, what is the future for the tank? If there is infantry, there will be tanks. Big tank battles, however, will not be common. In the short term: Tanks that are lighter in order to ease the logistic, with V-shaped floors, crewless turret, with minor heat signature, APS systems against drones (like Trophy or light Droneguns), more equal armor thickness all around since now top hitting kamikaze drones and missiles are the main enemy, not other tanks anymore. They would all be armed high-trajectory indirect-fire weapons like rockets, missiles, or mortars. Many tank models would also have additional secondary weapons like rotary multi-barrelled autocannons, machine guns, anti-infantry explosive strips on the sides, side-firing ports for internally carried soldiers or crew, etc. They would also have various types of advanced computer brains, communications, systems, and sensors. Increasingly they sound like the relatively inexpensive M3 Bradley and the variants America are about to produce. In the long term: Tanks will be AI controlled and/or remotely controlled, crewless vehicles, with light armor and focus on mass production and low maintenance. The Russian T-14 Armata is the first MBT designed with eventual automation in mind. The Russians are developing  a robotic addition to the Armata platform, called the Tachanka-B, and even retrofitting existing manned units for automation. The crew compartment will be replaced with additional fuel and ammunition. Possibly: Single human pilots will be commanding entire units of robot tanks and planes from support stations or command vehicles near the front. The human operator/commander will give the detachments of robots mission directives and the robots will execute the directives autonomously. This will be more combat efficient and less prone to electronic jamming. The robots will communicate with all other robotic and manned assets on the field to coordinate their attack and improve efficiency, human input will gradually decrease in the race to improve the operational efficiency of these new robot armies. Futuristic and fantastic? - Maybe - Long live the tank. Tyler Durden Fri, 02/09/2024 - 03:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytFeb 9th, 2024

All Modern Fighter Jets Ranked from Slowest to Fastest

The field of aviation has evolved tremendously in the decades since the humble beginnings of the first military plane, the 1909 Wright Military Flyer. Constructed of wood and muslin, this aircraft traveled at a top speed of 42.5 mph. While this was used to train pilots, and was never used in combat, it paved the […] The post All Modern Fighter Jets Ranked from Slowest to Fastest appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.. The field of aviation has evolved tremendously in the decades since the humble beginnings of the first military plane, the 1909 Wright Military Flyer. Constructed of wood and muslin, this aircraft traveled at a top speed of 42.5 mph. While this was used to train pilots, and was never used in combat, it paved the way for future aviation.  Today, we use aircraft in practically every aspect of society, including waging war. Military aircraft, in particular, saw rapid evolution, from basic reconnaissance biplanes to $100 million fighter jets. (Here are the 30 planes that started the U.S. Air Force.) The modern fighter jet is now in its fifth generation, boasting a wide range of new technology, including stealth, low-probability-of-intercept radar, and supercruise performance. From a top speed of 42 mph, today’s fighter jets fly at supersonic speed. The new F-35 Lightning II is pushing top speeds close to 1,200 mph — and there are faster jets still. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Military Factory’s catalogs of third-, fourth-, and fifth-generation aircraft to determine all modern fighter jets from slowest to fastest.  Each aircraft was ranked by its maximum speed, and supplemental information from Military Factory regarding the type of aircraft, the year it was introduced, country of origin, manufacturer, and production was included. Aircraft that did not make it out of the prototype or proposal stage were excluded. The majority of fighter jets mentioned here were built in the 1970s or later, and while this might suggest newer jets are faster, this is not necessarily the case. There are technological and biological limiting factors to consider when designing high-speed aircraft, and the focus of militaries in recent decades has been to improve stealth capabilities and modernize fleet technology as opposed to focusing on speed. Despite entering service in 1974, the F-14 Tomcat is an iconic aircraft that is near the top of the list. This fighter jet was capable of hitting roughly 1,550 mph, just over Mach 2, making it an ideal naval interceptor in the latter stages of the Cold War. The F-14 Tomcat also made an appearance in the film “Top Gun,” solidifying its spot in American culture. (These are the 24 planes that form the backbone of the U.S. Air Force.) Here are all modern fighter jets ranked from slowest to fastest.  42. AV-8B Harrier II Maximum speed: 665 mph Type: Short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) strike aircraft Year introduced: 1985 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas / Boeing / BAe Systems Production run: 500 41. Sukhoi Su-17 / Su-20 / Su-22 (Fitter) Maximum speed: 718 mph Type: Strike fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1970 Country of origin: China Manufacturer: Sukhoi Production run: 2,867 40. KAI KF-16 Fighting Falcon Maximum speed: 870 mph Type: Multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1991 Country of origin: South Korea Manufacturer: Korean Aerospace Industries Production run: 140 39. F-16V (Viper) Maximum speed: 917 mph Type: Multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2017 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin / Hellenic Aerospace Industry Production run: 100 38. Xian JH-7 (Flounder) / FBC-1 (Flying Leopard) Maximum speed: 1,118 mph Type: Fighter-bomber aircraft Year introduced: 1992 Country of origin: China Manufacturer: Xian Aircraft Industry Corporation Production run: 240 37. F/A-18 Super Hornet Maximum speed: 1,187 mph Type: Carrier-based strike fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1999 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas / Boeing Production run: 615 36. F/A-18 Hornet Maximum speed: 1,190 mph Type: Carrier-based strike fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1983 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas / Boeing / Northrop Production run: 1,480 35. F-35 Lightning II Maximum speed: 1,199 mph Type: Advanced multi-role strike fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2016 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin / Northrop Grumman / BAe Systems Production run: 785 34. PAC JF-17 Thunder Maximum speed: 1,218 mph Type: Lightweight multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2007 Country of origin: Pakistan Manufacturer: Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Production run: 132 33. HAL Tejas LCA Maximum speed: 1,227 mph Type: Lightweight multirole fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2015 Country of origin: India Manufacturer: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Production run: 33 32. Shenyang J-15 (Flying Shark) Maximum speed: 1,305 mph Type: Carrier-based multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2013 Country of origin: China Manufacturer: Shenyang Aircraft Corporation / Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) Production run: 25 31. Chengdu J-20 (Black Eagle) Maximum speed: 1,305 mph Type: Multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2017 Country of origin: China Manufacturer: Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAIC) / Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) Production run: 55 30. Mirage III Maximum speed: 1,312 mph Type: Interceptor aircraft / Strike fighter Year introduced: 1961 Country of origin: France Manufacturer: Dassault Aviation Production run: 1,422 29. F-16 Fighting Falcon Maximum speed: 1,317 mph Type: Lightweight multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1978 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: General Dynamics / Lockheed Martin Production run: 4,604 28. Sukhoi Su-30 (Flanker-C) Maximum speed: 1,317 mph Type: Twin-engine air superiority strike fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1996 Country of origin: Russia Manufacturer: Sukhoi Design Bureau Production run: 635 27. JAS 39 Gripen (Griffin) Maximum speed: 1,370 mph Type: Lightweight multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1997 Country of origin: Sweden Manufacturer: Saab AB Production run: 247 26. F-CK-1 (Ching-Kuo) Maximum speed: 1,379 mph Type: Lightweight multirole fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1994 Country of origin: Taiwan Manufacturer: Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation Production run: 131 25. Dassault Rafale Maximum speed: 1,383 mph Type: Fighter-bomber aircraft Year introduced: 2001 Country of origin: France Manufacturer: Dassault Aviation Production run: 201 24. MiG-21 (Fishbed) Maximum speed: 1,386 mph Type: Single-seat supersonic fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1959 Country of origin: Soviet Union Manufacturer: Mikoyan-Gurevich Production run: 11,496 23. Chengdu J-10 (Vicious Dragon) Maximum speed: 1,452 mph Type: Fighter-bomber aircraft Year introduced: 2005 Country of origin: China Manufacturer: Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAIC) / Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) Production run: 350 22. Mirage F1 Maximum speed: 1,453 mph Type: Interceptor aircraft Year introduced: 1973 Country of origin: France Manufacturer: Dassault Aviation Production run: 750 21. Shenyang J-8 / J-8 II (Finback) Maximum speed: 1,453 mph Type: Fighter-bomber aircraft Year introduced: 1980 Country of origin: China Manufacturer: Aviation Industry Corporation of China Production run: 325 20. Mirage 2000 (M2000) Maximum speed: 1,453 mph Type: Strike fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1979 Country of origin: France Manufacturer: Dassault Aviation Production run: 611 19. F-4 Phantom II Maximum speed: 1,473 mph Type: Carrier-based strike fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1960 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas Production run: 5,195 18. MiG-35 (Fulcrum-F) Maximum speed: 1,491 mph Type: Multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2020 Country of origin: Russia Manufacturer: Russian Aircraft Corporation MIG Production run: 10 17. Panavia Tornado ECR Maximum speed: 1,491 mph Type: Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD) Aircraft Year introduced: 1990 Country of origin: Germany Manufacturer: Panavia Aircraft GmbH / British Aviation Systems / MBB Production run: 52 16. Panavia Tornado IDS Maximum speed: 1,491 mph Type: Low-level strike aircraft Year introduced: 1979 Country of origin: United Kingdom Manufacturer: Panavia Aircraft GmbH / British Aviation Systems Production run: 400 15. Sukhoi Su-35 (Flanker-E / Super Flanker) Maximum speed: 1,491 mph Type: Multi-role heavy combat fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2014 Country of origin: Russia Manufacturer: Sukhoi OKB Production run: 130 14. IAI Kfir (Lion Cub) Maximum speed: 1,516 mph Type: Multi-role combat aircraft Year introduced: 1976 Country of origin: Israel Manufacturer: Israel Aircraft Industries Production run: 230 13. MiG-29 (Fulcrum) Maximum speed: 1,519 mph Type: Lightweight multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1984 Country of origin: Soviet Union Manufacturer: Mikoyan OKB / United Aircraft Corporation Production run: 1,625 12. Grumman F-14 Tomcat Maximum speed: 1,544 mph Type: Swing-wing, carrier-based fleet defense fighter Year introduced: 1974 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: Grumman Aircraft Production run: 712 11. Eurofighter Typhoon (EF2000) Maximum speed: 1,550 mph Type: Fighter-bomber aircraft Year introduced: 2003 Country of origin: Germany Manufacturer: BAe Systems / Eurofighter GmbH Production run: 570 10. MiG-23 (Flogger) Maximum speed: 1,553 mph Type: Swing-wing fighter-interceptor aircraft Year introduced: 1970 Country of origin: Soviet Union Manufacturer: Mikoyan-Gurevich Production run: 5,047 9. Mitsubishi F-2 Maximum speed: 1,553 mph Type: Multi-role fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2000 Country of origin: Japan Manufacturer: Mitsubishi / Lockheed Martin Production run: 98 8. Shenyang J-11 (Flanker B+) Maximum speed: 1,553 mph Type: Multi-role air superiority fighter Year introduced: 1998 Country of origin: China Manufacturer: Shenyang Aircraft Corporation / Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) Production run: 255 7. Sukhoi Su-27 (Flanker) Maximum speed: 1,553 mph Type: Multi-role air superiority fighter Year introduced: 1985 Country of origin: Soviet Union Manufacturer: Sukhoi OKB / United Aircraft Corporation Production run: 809 6. Sukhoi Su-33 (Flanker-D) Maximum speed: 1,553 mph Type: Carrier-based air defense fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1994 Country of origin: Russia Manufacturer: Sukhoi OKB Production run: 35 5. F-22 Raptor Maximum speed: 1,599 mph Type: Air dominance fighter aircraft Year introduced: 2005 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: Boeing / Lockheed Martin Production run: 195 4. Sukhoi Su-57 (Felon) Maximum speed: 1,616 mph Type: Multi-role stealth aircraft Year introduced: 2019 Country of origin: Russia Manufacturer: Sukhoi OKB / United Aircraft Corporation Production run: 25 3. F-15E Strike Eagle Maximum speed: 1,653 mph Type: Strike fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1988 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas / Boeing Production run: 420 2. Mig-31 (Foxhound) Maximum speed: 1,864 mph Type: Supersonic interceptor aircraft Year introduced: 1979 Country of origin: Soviet Union Manufacturer: Mikoyan OKB / United Aircraft Corporation Production run: 500 1. F-15 Eagle Maximum speed: 1,875 mph Type: Air superiority fighter aircraft Year introduced: 1976 Country of origin: United States Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas / Boeing Production run: 1,500 URGENT – New Seats Available (sponsored) Top financial advisors are now accepting new clients for 2024! Finding the right advisor can be the difference between retiring early, or working forever. Don’t waste a moment matching with the right advisor for you. Every moment today can mean riches tomorrow, with the right advisor by your side. Use the advisor match tool below, or click here now, to find your financial freedom! The post All Modern Fighter Jets Ranked from Slowest to Fastest appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.......»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytFeb 8th, 2024