It’s been clear ever since the downturn in defense spending began that our industry would have to develop new approaches to protecting the national asset that is our defense industrial base. One such approach is to grow our industries’ markets overseas. In recent years, we’ve seen gratifying advances in U.S. sales abroad of civil-related aircraft, helicopters, satellites and launch vehicles. That said, I’m convinced we can do more on the civil side and there are ways for the U.S. to become even more competitive with defense-related exports, which in turn will bolster our nation’s national security, foreign policy and economic interests.
At the AIA/NDIA Virginia STEM Workforce Call-to-Collaboration Forum held at Huntington-Ingalls in Newport News this summer, Virginia STEM Director Megan Healy announced her state’s commitment to establish a Southeastern Virginia STEM hub in the coming year.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced on July 30 it would not seek to regulate turbine engines to meet volcanic ash airworthiness requirements. Instead, the agency will continue to work with operators to ensure that flights conducted following volcanic eruptions avoid visible ash clouds. This is an important outcome for manufacturers and operators, both of which argued that development and circulation of new airworthiness standards regarding volcanic ash ingestion would be problematic.
The Raytheon-sponsored U.S. Rocketry Team from Canton, Georgia took second place at the seventh annual International Rocketry Challenge during the 2014 Farnborough International Air Show. Team USA out-performed their French and British opponents in the fly-off stage, but fell a few points short of the French team's overall score based on the presentation component of the contest. A group from Japan performed a demonstration launch, laying the groundwork for broader international participation in the 2015 challenge.
During this summer’s Farnborough International Air Show (July 14-20), AIA and its member companies provided a useful platform for dialogue between U.S. industry, key U.S. government officials and current and prospective international customers.