Briefly Noted: Aurora Flight Sciences
Aurora Flight Sciences, Columbus, MS reports it has signed a $6.1 million contract with the U.S. Armys Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command for continued development of its Orion HALL(for High Altitude Long Loiter) ultralong endurance unmanned air system (H&FCL Aug. 06). The planes primary mission is to serve as the demonstration testbed for an advanced hydrogen propulsion system: the company is currently testing a Boeing hydrogen engine in its test facility in Manassas, VA. With this type of engine, the plane would be able to carry payloads of up to 400 pounds to altitudes of up to 65,000 feet and could stay in the air for more than 100 hours. The company is also studying a conventionally powered version that could stay up as long as two weeks at altitudes of around 20,000 feet. The new contract includes options that would bring the contracts total value to $27 million. The first flight is planned for 2009.
Contact: Aurora, Patricia Woodside, 703/396-6304, firstname.lastname@example.org.