At the end of April 2015, RBC bearings announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Dover’s Sargent Aerospace & Defense unit. The Sargent business unit was purchased by RBC for $500 million. The transaction is expected to close in the second calendar quarter of 2015, which is the same as the first quarter of fiscal year 2016.


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The mysterious Boeing X-37B, a space plane made for the United States Air Force, is scheduled for its fourth launch a month from now. This is a computer-operated system, flying without the guidance of a physical human being aboard the space aircraft.


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Life in outer space has been an ongoing topic of interest for countless years. NASA plans to further this research with a team of professionals from the University of Arizona. This group will carry out an analysis of Earth-like features on nearby stars. This is part of the Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) program, which is comprised of a group of members from three NASA centers, ten universities, and two research institutes. Director of Planetary Science at NASA Jim Green stated, “This interdisciplinary endeavor connects top research teams and provides a synthesized approach in the search for planets with the greatest potential for signs of life. The hunt for exoplanets is not only a priority for astronomers, it's of keen interest to planetary and climate scientists as well." With the first discovery of an exoplanet in 1995, research in this field has attracted scientists and researchers across the globe.


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Toyota Motor Corp. will be constructing a $1 billion factory in Mexico specifically to manufacture their new Corolla compact that is expected to go on sale as a 2020 model. Mexico was chosen by the major car producer due to the lost costs of business, a strong regional supplier base, and their new architecture called TNGA. With all of these combined, the 2020 Corolla is expected to become more competitive on price and otherwise. Toyota’s TNGA - basic materials and methods for constructing the chassis and body of the car - will result in a car that has an improved lower center of gravity, ride, handling, lighter weight, and better fuel efficiency.The new factory will be built in Guanajuato, Mexico and will create approximately 2,000 jobs. With production beginning in 2019, Toyota estimates that it will be able to produce upwards of 200,000 Corollas per year for North American customers and possibly export. Currently, Corollas are also being produced in Blue Spring, Mississippi and Ontario, Canada where they are distributed to 18 countries.


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In April 2015, the United States Air Force announced their plans to award multiple contracts worth up to USD$6 million this year for companies to demonstrate their abilities to build the next batch of GPS 3 positioning, navigation and timing satellites. This low number might come as a surprise to many, as last year’s contract figures fell between USD$100 and 200 million. Lieutenant General Ellen Pawlikowski, military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, explained the strategy in an interview at the 31st Space Symposium.


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Announced in April of 2015, the Mexican Navy will receive its first shipment of the new Airbus C295W medium transport aircraft. The C295W, manufactured by the Airbus Defence and Space division of the European Airbus Group consortium, will join the service’s existing fleet of four C295s. With the Mexican Navy as the initial customer, the C295W is an upgraded variant of the model’s predecessors with the addition of winglets and enhanced engine settings. Spokesman for the Mexican service Admiral José Maria Garcia stated that the branch has decided to equip all future orders of the aircraft with winglets after determining that the feature greatly enhanced the performance of the C295, particularly in hot and high conditions.


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In March of 2015, the United States Air Force released its requirements for its Northrop T-38C Talon combat aircraft trainer replacement program, known as T-X. According to USAF Brigadier General Dawn Dunlop, the T-38 is unable to complete 12 of 18 advanced pilot training tasks, which forces the Air Force to rely on fighter and bomber formal training units to complete the training at a much greater cost. Northrop Grumman, the designer and manufacturer of the T-38 Talon twin-jet trainer, has built 1,187 of these aircraft to date and over 60,000 pilots have trained in them since it entered service in 1961 when it was the world’s first supersonic trainer. More than 500 remained in service with the US Air Force and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and it is also in service with the armed forces of Germany (40 aircraft), South Korea (30), Taiwan (40) and Turkey (69).


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After many successful implementations of Sikorsky’s Matrix Technology, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Sikorsky with an $8 million contract to equip existing aircraft with the technology. This contract is allocated to Phase 1 of the Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation (ALIAS Program) in efforts to reduce dependence on aircraft crew members. The ALIAS Program uses Matrix Technology to install an aircraft automation system. Introduced in 2013, this program includes a remote pilot method, allowing for piloted vertical take-off and landing (VTOL). This removable kit can replace up to five crew members through a touch and voice recognition screen. Most importantly, this new operation may increase aircraft safety during emergency situations and harsh weather conditions.


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The highly accurate Tomahawk Block IV Land Attack Missile has been upgraded. The latest variant of the Tomahawk will include a two-way satellite data-link that allows for in air re-targeting. Planned upgrades to the Tomahawk will also include a more powerful warhead, upgraded communications, and a new seeker designed to hit moving targets on land or at sea. Launched from a ship or submarine the Tomahawk can be sent into heavily defended airspace to make a precise strike on high-value targets.The Tomahawk is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile. Dimensionally, it is 5.56 meters long and possesses a 51.8 centimeter diameter, a wing span of 2.67 meters, and weighs 1,315 kilograms. The Tomahawk has a range of over 1,000 meters.


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Alcoa’s Power and Propulsion business division was awarded a 10-year USD$360 million contract to provide aluminum forgings used on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. As the key supplier for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program, Alcoa provides several key components. Their advanced, patented 7085 alloy aluminum die forgings will be supplied. The forgings include 15 large bulkheads and six wing box parts which serve as the skeletal structure of the wing. The bulkheads are the primary structural support for the wings and engines. They can weigh anywhere from 1,800 to 6,000 pounds and range in size from 10 to 23 feet in length.


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Some of the modern features that Rockwell Collins has put into airplanes are not just for the pilots - many of them are found right in the cabin. In this age of technology, gone are the days of reading a newspaper or being forced to talk to that stranger sitting next to you on your flight. Whether you’re a movie buff, into the latest breaking news, or you just want to stay connected to others while you’re high in the sky, Rockwell Collins has you covered. Their in-flight entertainment systems are found on many single- and twin-aisle aircrafts, while their business jets offer a way to stay connected to your office even when you can’t be there.


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Developed as a response to the Airbus A350 XWB long-range, twin-engine, wide-body jetliner, the Boeing 777X family of jetliners is expected to debut in 2020. The fuselage of the 777X wide-body calls for an impressive 60,000 fasteners—all of which are currently installed by hand. However, to meet the already-placed firm orders from Lufthansa, Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Cathay Pacific by the declared delivery date, Boeing needed to automate its riveting system.


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On September 29, 2014, the American industrial company OshKosh Corporation, was awarded a contract by the U.S. Marine Corps to modernize their extended boom forklift fleet. Valued at $99 Million, the contract calls for OshKosh to update 485 EBFLs, provide 100 armored cabs, and produce replacement parts. The EBFL is a military spec four-wheel drive, rubber-tired forklift with two-wheel, four-wheel and crab steering. The forklift is designed to withstand rough terrain, is self-deployable, and has the capabilities of reaching 35 miles per hour. Without any type of equipment preparation, the EBFL can ford up to 60 inches and is fitted with an armored cab for all weather conditions.


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The Boeing Company, an American multinational corporation, was awarded two government contracts valuing a total of over $54 Billion in February 2014.In mid-February, 2014, the U.S Air Force awarded Boeing with a 10+ yearlong contract with a total value of approximately $52 Billion. The contract calls for Boeing to produce a newly designed Tanker called the KC-46 which will costs $250 - $300 million each. These new tankers are to replace Boeing’s old military spec KC-135 tankers. The KC-46 is larger than the old KC-135, has a higher transfer fuel load, and the passenger seating has been increased from 37 to 114 seats. Performance has also been made better as well as the KC-46 has a cruising range of about 5-times that of the KC-135 which will allow better service over longer distances.


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The Harris Corporation is an international communications and information technology company. They got their start in 1895 when brothers Alfred and Charles Harris developed a revolutionary automatic sheet feeding printing press. After merging with Radiation, Inc. in 1967 the company began developing antenna and integrated circuits to be used in the space race. In 1974 the name was changed from Harris Automatic Press Company to Harris Corporation. The headquarters was also moved from Cleveland to Melbourne Florida. Today the company earns roughly $5 billion in annual revenue and employees over 14,000 employees.


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Just this year in 2014, Meggitt PLC, a British aerospace business, was awarded a contract to supply their newest advanced braking and monitoring system for the Gulfstream G500 and G600, the staple of the Gulfstream aircraft portfolio. The multi-million dollar contract for the business jets stipulates that Meggitt provide advanced wheels and compact carbon brakes. This new technology features carbon composite heatsink material and anti-oxidant coating that will optimize the weight and reliability of the brakes. Both the G500 and G600, which boast a range of 5,000 to 6,200 nautical miles and a max operating speed of Mach 0.925, can attribute their performance to Meggitt, which is supplying brake-by-wire control systems and high performance braking for both aircraft as opposed to conventional pedal braking.


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In August of 2013, Rockwell Collins agreed to acquire Arinc, a manufacturer of commercial flight systems, for $1.39 billion. The announced deal came out a time when the US government is make drastic budget cuts in defense spending, a move which has affected many of the largest US defense contractors. The acquisition is intended to subsidize the losses that Rockwell Collins was taking from budget cuts by moving its business away from government work and into commercial work. The move will also greatly augment the company’s aviation information management offerings. By the year 2014, commercial business is expected to total 54% of Rockwell Collin’s total business.


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Spirit Aero Systems Holdings Inc., one of Boeing’s major suppliers and also a first-tier aero structures manufacturer, just reported higher-than-anticipated quarterly profit. Thanks to higher margins, the company was able to raise its full-year profit forecast once again as major customers and aircraft manufacturers around the world are increasing production. Shares of Spirit Aero Systems rose by 5% and company revenue rose by 12.6% percent, bringing total revenue to $1.69 billion in the third quarter. Spirit shares also rose to $3.35-$3.45 per share from $2.90-$3.05 per share, with total estimated revenue increased to $6.8-$6.9 billion


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Founded in 1927 and headquartered in Vero Beach Florida, Piper Aircraft, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of general aviation aircraft. Piper Aircraft is the only general aviation manufacturer to offer a complete line of aircraft worldwide. They offer modern, efficient, reliable, and time-tested aircraft from single-engines up to six-place turboprop aircraft. Piper Aircraft is owned by Brunei Ministry of France and is a member of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Piper Aircraft aviators are single and twin engine aircraft. The models that Piper offers include M-Class, Twin Class, and Trainer Class. The single-engine M-Class series such as the Meridian, Mirage and Matrix offers individuals and businesses elegant performance and value.


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In February of 2014, Enstrom Helicopter unveiled its newest product on opening day of the Heli-Expo 2014. The TH-180, which is a low-cost scaled-down version of the company’s currently widely-used FX-280 three-seater, will launch with an approximate price tag of $365,000. This two-seat, piston-powered training aircraft is powered by a 210-hp Lycoming HIO-390 engine and is expected to incure costs of only $175 per hour to operate while burning less than 12 gph of fuel.The aircraft will also feature a Lycoming engine governor as well as an electric clutch switch. Compared with the larger and more expensive FX-280 model, the TH-180 boasts more versatile landing gear and a frame that is 500 pounds lighter, amounting to about $2,250 total pounds in gross weight.


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