CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 21, 2009 |
Newly released records contradict a finding by the U.S. Forest Service that steep terrain prevented the agency from using aircraft to attack -- and potentially contain -- the Station fire just before it began raging out of control. Experts on Forest Service tactics also dispute the agency's conclusion that helicopters and tanker planes would have been ineffective because the canyon in the Angeles National Forest was too treacherous for ground crews to take advantage of aerial water dumps.
December 5, 2009 |
For decades, workers at McStarlite Co. in Harbor City pounded billboard-size sheets of metal into doughnut-shaped parts called lipskins that cover the edges of Boeing Co. jet engines. But about 10 years ago, Boeing switched suppliers after McStarlite refused to cut prices to levels that the aerospace giant wanted. To stay afloat, McStarlite turned to Boeing's archrival, Airbus. "I felt betrayed when Boeing left," said Simon Menzies, general manager at McStarlite. "But then Airbus came along and we've been doing business together ever since."
December 2, 2009 |
Northrop Grumman Corp. has stepped up its threat to pull out of a $35-billion competition to build aerial refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force. In a letter to the Pentagon's top acquisition official Tuesday, Northrop President Wes Bush said the government's "request for proposal" that outlines requirements for the aircraft favors a bid by its rival, Boeing Co. If the terms are not changed, Northrop might not enter the competition to build 179 tankers, he said. "I must regrettably inform you that, absent a responsive set of changes in the final RFP, Northrop Grumman has determined that it cannot submit a bid," Bush said.
November 18, 2009 |
A federal appeals court has reversed a ruling that overturned Boeing Co.'s $1.1-billion contract for maintenance of an Air Force refueling tanker jet. The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reinstates Chicago-based Boeing's 10-year contract for work on the KC-135 Stratotanker, the Air Force's primary mid-flight refueling aircraft. Rival bidder Alabama Aircraft Industries Inc. had argued the contract was not properly awarded to Boeing, citing pricing and past performance.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 1, 2009 |
On a sizzling August morning, as flames burned unchecked down the road, fire crews milled about at an Angeles Crest Highway ranger station. Others were parked along the pavement -- a critical line of defense -- their engines quiet and hoses slack. It was more than an hour after first light, and some six hours after U.S. Forest Service commanders had determined that the fire required a more aggressive air attack. But the skies remained empty of water-dropping helicopters -- tankers that were readily available.
October 5, 2009 |
A fuel tanker exploded near a checkpoint outside Baghdad International Airport, Iraqi officials said, along a route once known as the world's deadliest road because of frequent attacks there during the height of the insurgency. There were conflicting reports about the cause of the explosion, which wounded at least five guards at the checkpoint. No fatalities were reported. A police official said a bomb attached to the tanker detonated at the checkpoint on the four-lane road leading to the airport.
October 5, 2009 |
When the U.S. Air Force recently launched its third attempt to award a $35-billion contract for aerial refueling tankers, Pentagon officials said the competition would be fair and transparent. But it was only a matter of days before the process was under attack. Interest groups, politicians and the contenders -- Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp. -- began blasting the way the bids were evaluated, prompting some defense industry analysts to question whether the Air Force would ever get its much-needed tankers.
October 2, 2009 |
Northrop Grumman Corp. beat out rival Boeing Co. for a $3.8-billion deal to provide logistics services for a fleet of KC-10 aerial refueling tankers, the Pentagon said Thursday. Boeing, based in Chicago, builds the KC-10 and currently holds the current service contract for the plane, which is set to expire in January. It has been providing 24-hour service seven days a week on the aircraft since 1998. Boeing expressed disappointment over the Air Force's selection, saying it would review the decision before taking any further action.
September 26, 2009 |
The race to win one of the largest military deals ever awarded kicked off Friday, when Defense Department officials unveiled the arcane criteria they will use to purchase a fleet of aerial refueling tankers from Northrop Grumman Corp. or Boeing Co. But what was once a sprint has become a marathon as the Pentagon attempts for a fourth time to replace its fleet of 415 Eisenhower-era tankers through contracts expected to total more than $100 billion. The Air Force said it would be "crystal clear" in its requirements for new tankers to avoid errors from previous selection processes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 7, 2009 |
Fire crews battling the Station fire continued to focus their efforts Sunday on its eastern edge in the San Gabriel Wilderness, with air tankers swooping into the ravines above Monrovia in an effort to keep the blaze from crossing California 39. The fire, which had consumed 157,220 acres by Sunday, seemed to be taking its time, settling into canyons and burning through vegetation it had skipped earlier. But it remained a safe distance from populated areas. "The fire is moving slowly through the wilderness area," said Nathan Judy, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service.