April 30, 2013 |
With a sonic boom that resounded above the Mojave Desert, a rocket plane belonging to British billionaire Richard Branson's commercial space venture Virgin Galactic got one step closer to carrying tourists into space. On Monday the company's SpaceShipTwo ignited its rocket motor in mid-flight for the first time and sped to Mach 1.2, faster than sound, reaching about 56,000 feet in altitude. The test flight is the biggest milestone in Virgin Galactic's 81/2-year endeavor to be the world's first commercial space liner, which would make several trips a day carrying scores of paying customers into space for a brief journey.
April 1, 2013 |
With the Pentagon set to whack its share of $85 billion in automatic federal budget cuts last month, it didn't take long for Velma Searcy to feel the pain. The owner of a Palmdale maker of military aircraft parts saw two contracts quickly evaporate as defense firms pulled back. Southern California's aerospace industry is expected to be hit hard by the so-called sequester. Still, the state generally should be able to weather the cuts without major economic damage, experts said. That's because California's economy has become more diverse over the past quarter-century, making it much less dependent on cash flowing from Washington, said Stephen Levy, director of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy in Palo Alto.
March 26, 2013 |
At a time when the aerospace industry is fretful about federal spending, defense contractor Raytheon Co. announced plans to eliminate one of its business units and slash 200 jobs. The Waltham, Mass., company did not say how those cuts will affect its 10,000 workers in California but disclosed that they will result in annual savings of about $85 million. Raytheon made the announcement as part of a larger business consolidation that aims to “achieve stronger alignment with its customers' priorities.” Under the plan, the company will go from six business units to four.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2013 |
California lawmakers are trying to resolve differences over competing proposals to host a research-and-testing center for drone aircraft that would be sanctioned by the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA has called for competing bids to establish six research centers throughout the country to help determine the extent to which non-military drones should be allowed in the U.S. Some officials argue that there should be one unified bid from California. Ventura County has proposed hosting a facility, while a separate proposal, floated by a group calling itself California Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Cal-UAS)
December 22, 2012 |
When a toy designer's young daughter becomes fascinated by the gel-like beads in a flower vase, there is only one conclusion to draw: "There has got to be a toy in here somewhere," says Ron Brawer, a partner in the Maya Group and a toy industry veteran. The fast-growing Torrance company has gone on to develop dozens of playthings based on those transparent polymer pellets. One of those toys, a modified water gun called the Xploderz XBlaster 200, was a finalist for the 2012 Outdoor Toy of the Year Award from the Toy Industry Assn.
November 13, 2012
Re “ Boeing plans more cuts in region ,” Nov. 9 As a 40-year aerospace retiree, I was sad to hear of the latest decline of the Southern California aerospace industry, with Boeing cutting more facilities. The article indicates that the cuts are due to the latest reduction in military spending. However, the decline in the once extensive aerospace industry here has been going on for decades. Not surprisingly, this decline coincides with the almost total control of the California government by the Democratic Party and the bad business environment it created.