Virgin Galactic announced that it will enter the small satellite launcher market with the debut of “Cosmic Girl,” a retrofitted Boeing 747-400 commercial jet aircraft. The re-engineered 747-400 jet will support Virgin Galactic’s LauncherOne small satellite launch service.


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Ceradyne, a 3M Company, has received a contract modification that is worth $34 million from the US Army to assist in the making of body armor pieces for enhanced small arms protective inserts (ESAPI) for the Solider Protection System Vital Torso program. This contract was created because the U.S Armed Forces were looking to seek improvement on their agility and mobility. The U.S. Army has been brainstorming ideas on how to reduce the weight of the soldier’s armor without losing much protection.


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Pratt & Whitney has won the 2015 Gold Edison Award in the transportation-aviation category for their PurePower Geared Turbofan. The award recognizes achievement in innovation, creativity, and ingenuity in the global economy.


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On Saturday, May 2nd, the John Finn (DDG 113) was launched at the Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) shipyard. The US Navy assigned the name John Finn to the Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51), one of their newest guided missile destroyers. This name was in remembrance of a Medal of Honor recipient, John Finn, who showed “magnificent courage in the face of almost certain death.”


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In April 2015, GKN Aerospace announced that they have received a contract from Gulfstream Aerospace to provide wing skins for its G500 and G600 business jets. The deal calls for GKN to produce upper and lower wing skins for the ultra-long jets at its advance machined structures plant in Wellington, Kansas.


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GKN Aerospace is coming up with a titanium powder to use in additive manufacturing for their aerospace components.


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Major General James Post has been fired from the United States Air Force for his comments relating to the A-10 aircraft.


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Raytheon has been awarded a contract from the United States Air Force to provide Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missiles (AMRAAM). Valued at USD$528.8 million, the contract is a modification to an original Lot 28 production deal. Per the agreement, Raytheon will provide AMRAAM Lot 29 production along with other system equipment. In addition, Raytheon has to include foreign military sales to Korea, Oman, Singapore, and Thailand. Expected to be completed in 2018, work will be done at Tucson, Arizona with the contracting activity from the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Elgin Air Force Base, Florida.


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Headquartered in Papendrecht, the Netherlands, Fokker Technologies is a designer and manufacturer of lightweight aero structures, electrical wiring interconnection systems, and landing gear for the global aerospace industry. Founded in 1912, Fokker got its start by developing a number of iconic aircraft for the German Air Service during World War I, including the crimson-hued Fokker Dr.I triplane piloted by the flying ace Red Baron. As of 2008, Fokker Technologies has been operating as an entity of Dutch aerospace and industrial manufacturer Stork B.V. which purchased the fabled company in a USD$2 billion deal. Today, Fokker operates via four business units: Fokker Aerostructures, Fokker Elmo, Fokker Landing Gear, and Fokker Services. Fokker Technologies counts the following industry giants among its clients:


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Heico Corporation, a publicly-traded technology company, broke a sales record by exceeding $1 billion in total sales in 2013 for yet another year. This represents a 12% increase in total net sales, bringing the total to $1.008 billion, with a corresponding net income of $102.4 million or a 20% increase. Both third quarter and fourth quarter results exceeded initial expectations, with net sales jumping by about 19% each quarter. The growth comes as a result of a boost in credit to $1 billion through 2018, which allows management to acquire high-quality businesses.


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A division of the multibillion dollar, global company Parker Hannifin Corporation, Parker Aerospace specializes in flight control, hydraulic, fuel & inerting, fluid conveyance, thermal management, and engine technologies. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, Parker Aerospace is certified to ISO 9001:2008 and EN/JISQ/AS9100:2009 standards. Used in a wide variety of aircraft (including fixed-wing military planes, commercial and military transports, business and regional planes, missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and helicopters), the company has a vast product portfolio of nearly 50 categories.


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Finmeccanica, a large European industrial group, has seen its aerospace business falter and come to a halt as of late, as it has again reported weak end-of-quarter performance results. For the first nine months of 2014, the company has been stagnant at $10.49 billion in sales while profits are falling to 539 million euros due to drops in the bottom line in almost every sector it is involved in. While revenues from both civil and military Alenia aircraft and structures businesses have gained 16.5%, the profit has declined by 8.1%.


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Universal Avionics Systems Corporation was founded in 1981 by Hubert L. Naimer. Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, the company remains a private organization controlled by the Naimer family. Universal Avionics has a manufacturing division and a sales, marketing, and support office in Tucson, Arizona and engineering divisions in Redmond, Washington and Duluth, Georgia. The company developed the world’s first advanced multi-sensor computer Flight Management System (FMS), the UNS-1 in 1982. An integral part of an advanced avionics system, the FMS is responsible for managing the flight plan and reducing the workload on the crew.


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It is common knowledge that the commercial aviation industry is dominated by aerospace giants Boeing and Airbus, who essentially control a duopoly on the market. Most major commercial airlines are operating either a Boeing or Airbus commercial airliner. Embraer and Bombardier, however, compete for third place, albeit a distant third, in the aviation market.


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