The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has launched the Aerial Dragnet program to track drones operating above US metropolitan areas. The agency is seeking private sector proposals that will create "a scalable network of sensors on aerial platforms performing threat-agnostic UAS detection, classification, and tracking by looking over and into complex terrain."
Defense Secretary Ash Carter says he will plead with Congress to compromise to provide a defense budget and not rely on stopgap measures as it has for seven previous years. "We can't have this up, down, herky-jerky, not certain whether we're going to get a budget," he said.
US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus recently was aboard an EA-18G Growler fighter jet as part of a series of test flights that use 100% biofuel, reinforcing his commitment to using alternative fuels to meet the Navy and Marine Corps' energy needs. Dennis McGinn, an assistant secretary of the Navy, said the project involved "an extensive amount of ground testing, a lot of measurements at every point along that jet engine, from going into the fuel tank to coming out the exhaust."
JetBlue is considering whether to add wide-body aircraft to its fleet or newer single-aisle Airbus A321s. The airline has announced the potential for service to Europe, and the A330 or Boeing 787 would provide access to South America and EU countries.
More than 550,000 drones have been registered with the Federal Aviation Administration since the agency began accepting registrations this year, and 2,000 new registrations are coming in daily. Earl Lawrence, director of the FAA's drone office, said 5,080 people have passed a drone license test, while 13,710 people have applied to take the test.
Red-Tailed Hawks Flying Club based in Mukilteo, Wash., partnered with NASA to offer a free summer camp to area youths to teach them how to fly. The camp accepted seven students in its first year and is expected to be offered again next year.
The Defense Department is preparing to shift tracking of 1,400 commercial satellites -- and thousands more expected to enter orbit in the coming decade -- to the Federal Aviation Administration. Details of the handover will likely be hammered out with the next presidential administration.
Congress could thwart the Air Force's plans to shrink its inventory of planes by about 235 over the next five years to make way for the F-35 joint strike fighter. Lawmakers have prevented decreases in the past to preserve legacy planes like the A-10 Warthog.
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