Prince Harry joins helicopter club in US with hopes to JET OFF with Meghan and Archie

The Duke of Sussex also reportedly joined the flying club in order to keep his licence up to date. Prince Harry qualified as an Apache helicopter commander in 2013 when he served in the Regiment Army Air Corps.

But the prince left the British Army soon after he gained his licence to instead focus on charity ventures.

A royal insider told the Sun: “He’s very proud of that licence, he worked hard to get first the basic and then the Apache.

“He’s hardly likely to be recalled for military service in England again but he wants to keep hours up for personal use, so he and Meghan can just take off for expeditions if they want to.”

It is not known whether the Duke of Sussex owns his own private helicopter.

But the source said there will be “plenty of rich benefactors” who would be more than willing to lend the prince their helicopters as they would “love the royal association”.

In 2014, Prince Harry revealed he missed being an Apache helicopter pilot and would like to return to flying sometime in the future.

The Duke was posted in Afghanistan for five months over the winter of 2012 to 2013.

He served as a top gun co-pilot, providing top cover for medical evacuations.

READ MORE: Archie could get MILLIONS of tax-free money from Harry

As parents to their one-year old son, the couple also plans to make “inspirational family programming” according to their statement released after the deal was announced.

The statement read: “We hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world.”

The Netflix deal could also reportedly include a documentary on Prince Harry’s late mother Princess Diana.

A source told The Mirror that the film will focus on Diana’s family history and heritage.

But the insider expressed their fears over the documentary expanding the rift between Prince Harry and Prince William.

Since stepping down as senior royals, the Duchess has already tipped her toes back into the showbiz world.

In April she narrated the Disney Plus documentary ‘Elephant’.

The Duchess donated all the money earnt from the film to the charity Elephants Without Borders, which aims to protect the animals from poaching.

Prince Harry also appeared in the new Netflix documentary ‘Rising Phoenix’ about the Paralympic Games which was released in late August.



China India war: US offers nation cutting-edge new fighter jet as clashes intensify

The new jet, called the F-15EX, was developed by aerospace giant Boeing, and is being offered to India by the US, the Eurasian Times has claimed. The F-15EX is an upgraded version of the F-15 Eagle, a twin-engine fighter jet that has been in operation for nearly 50 years.

The new aircraft has been called the most advanced version of the F-15 fighter ever.

Regarding the new aircraft, Boeing said: “With next-generation technologies that provide improved survivability across a broad spectrum of environment, the complementary capabilities of F-15EX enable a more balanced for structure that will remain of current and emerging threats for decades.

“Low-risk technology investments have enhanced the multi-mission F-15EX’s manoeuvrability, acceleration, durability, computing power and weapons carriage to improve interoperability and strengthen deterrence via the inherent strength of a diversified portfolio.

“In support of the National Defence Strategy, the United States Air Force must purchase 72 combat aircraft per year.”

“The best way to preserve this fighter capacity is to acquire Boeing’s cost-effective F-15EX.”

The F-15EX has had improvements in a range of areas that analysts have said could help it outperform competing jets such as the much more recent F-35, developed by Lockheed Martin.

However, Boeing say the biggest difference between the F-15EX and the standard F-15 is what it calls ‘Open Mission Systems’, or OMS.

READ: Mind your own business! China sends warning to ‘meddling’ US with new security law

Doing so would help the US replace its aging fleet of older F-15s.

India recently reached a ‘five-point consensus’ with China after foreign ministers from both nations met in Moscow last week.

Analysts say it provides some hope that a diplomatic solution to tensions between the two countries can be found.

Last week, India and Pakistan trade gunfire in a clash over the Line of Control boundary which separates the two countries.

Both sides accused one another of violating a previously-agreed ceasefire in the area.

In addition, there have been simmering tensions between India and China over the boundary between themselves known as the Line of Actual Control, or the LAC.

In June, India said 20 of its soldiers were killed in a clash between the two countries’ forces in a region known as the Galwan Valley.

Last week, the two nations accused one another of firing live weapons in the area.

If true, it would have been the first time in 45 years a shot had been fired in the region and a violation of a live gunfire prohibition within 1.2 miles of the LAC.



China India war: US offers nation cutting-edge new fighter jet as clashes intensify

The new jet, called the F-15EX, was developed by aerospace giant Boeing, and is being offered to India by the US, the Eurasian Times has claimed. The F-15EX is an upgraded version of the F-15 Eagle, a twin-engine fighter jet that has been in operation for nearly 50 years.

The new aircraft has been called the most advanced version of the F-15 fighter ever.

Regarding the new aircraft, Boeing said: “With next-generation technologies that provide improved survivability across a broad spectrum of environment, the complementary capabilities of F-15EX enable a more balanced for structure that will remain of current and emerging threats for decades.

“Low-risk technology investments have enhanced the multi-mission F-15EX’s manoeuvrability, acceleration, durability, computing power and weapons carriage to improve interoperability and strengthen deterrence via the inherent strength of a diversified portfolio.

“In support of the National Defence Strategy, the United States Air Force must purchase 72 combat aircraft per year.”

“The best way to preserve this fighter capacity is to acquire Boeing’s cost-effective F-15EX.”

The F-15EX has had improvements in a range of areas that analysts have said could help it outperform competing jets such as the much more recent F-35, developed by Lockheed Martin.

However, Boeing say the biggest difference between the F-15EX and the standard F-15 is what it calls ‘Open Mission Systems’, or OMS.

READ: Mind your own business! China sends warning to ‘meddling’ US with new security law

Doing so would help the US replace its aging fleet of older F-15s.

India recently reached a ‘five-point consensus’ with China after foreign ministers from both nations met in Moscow last week.

Analysts say it provides some hope that a diplomatic solution to tensions between the two countries can be found.

Last week, India and Pakistan trade gunfire in a clash over the Line of Control boundary which separates the two countries.

Both sides accused one another of violating a previously-agreed ceasefire in the area.

In addition, there have been simmering tensions between India and China over the boundary between themselves known as the Line of Actual Control, or the LAC.

In June, India said 20 of its soldiers were killed in a clash between the two countries’ forces in a region known as the Galwan Valley.

Last week, the two nations accused one another of firing live weapons in the area.

If true, it would have been the first time in 45 years a shot had been fired in the region and a violation of a live gunfire prohibition within 1.2 miles of the LAC.



India-Pakistan war fears soar: Pakistan could receive Chinese semi-stealth jet fighters

China and Pakistan have drawn closer after the latter has been the recipient of billions of dollars of investment from Beijing, particularly through Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative. Not only are the Chinese creating a military port on the coast of Pakistan, at Gwadar, they are also ensuring that Pakistan receives its latest military hardware. China wants the port of Gwadar to give it access to the Indian Ocean so it can circumvent the Straits of Malacca which could be potentially blocked off by the Indian navy.

The Pakistan and Chinese military partnership has caused anxiety with India who has had wars with both countries in the past.

India has thus decided to draw closer ties with Washington, prompting fears of a new ‘Cold War’.

Reports suggest China will supply Pakistan with J-10 fighter jets that are comparable with advanced versions of the US F-16 fighter.

Further antagonising India, Pakistan has also asked China for short-range PL-10 and long-range PL-15 air to air missiles.

In response to Chinese manoeuvres in the Galwan Valley in the Himalayas, India has ordered an additional assortment of MiG-29 fighters from Russia.

The upgraded MiG-29s are comparable with the Chinese J-10s that could be ordered by Pakistan.

The Chinese J-10 fighter is highly agile and is equipped with AESA radar.

In air warfare, AESA radar is the highest standard and boasts higher resolution and can jam other radar signals.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson in private ‘lavished’ praise on Donald Trump

Russia was the world leader in AESA radar, but now China has overtaken Russia by deploying the system in its J-10 fighters.

The J-10 also has advanced fire-control systems and Infrared technology.

Speaking of the ability of the J-10 fighter Justin Bronk Research Fellow for Airpower and Technology at the RUSI think-tank said: “With a light airframe, relaxed stability, decent although not stellar thrust to weight ratio and large canards, the J-10C is very agile in airshow configuration and the option for thrust vectoring only increases this capability at low speeds.”

However, Forbes aviation writer Sébastien Roblin spoke of the blemished record of the Chinee J-10.

He said: “J-10s have crashed at least eight times between 2014-2018.

“In one incident killing one of China’s first female fighter pilots.”

China is now Pakistan’s only supplier of advanced armaments.

However, Pakistan will have to contend with India’s new allotment of French-made Rafale fighters.

The Rafale fighter comes with the Meteor air-to-air missile and the air-launched Mica missile.

New Delhi is hoping to modernise its Soviet-era air force with the French Rafale multi-role jets.



China plane crash: Taiwan accused of shooting down fighter jet with missile defence system

In videos, flames and smoke can be seen emanating from the landing sight of the Chinese military jet. 

The jet allegedly crashed in Guangxi after flying over the Taiwan Strait. 

In the video, the pilot is seen to be motionless on a stretcher as members of the public gather round him. 

The condition of the pilot is not known although videos show him being treated by locals. 

This has not yet been confirmed. 

Although it is not sure as to why the jet crashed, tensions between China and Taiwan have risen soured rapidly. 

The autonomous island has repeatedly warned the Chinese airforce has repeatedly violated its airspace over the last few months. 

Located off China’s coast, Taiwan is seen as part of the mainland with the Communist Party vowing to one day reclaim the island. 

More to follow…



China plane crash: Taiwan accused of shooting down fighter jet with missile defence system

In videos, flames and smoke can be seen emanating from the landing sight of the Chinese military jet. 

The jet allegedly crashed in Guangxi after flying over the Taiwan Strait. 

The condition of the pilot is not known although videos show him being treated by locals. 

More to follow…



UK's secret plan to HALVE planned fighter jet purchases to invest in new ‘wonder weapon’

The UK had planned to buy 138 of the new vertical landing jets from a US company. Many of these would be deployed on the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, Britain’s two new aircraft carriers.

However according to a report in The Times this number could be sharply reduced.

The UK is only formally committed to buying 48 F35B Lighting II jets by 2025.

There is speculation the final number purchased could be around 70 which would allow for 60 operational aircraft as well as ten as backups.

This is a big reduction in the number recommended in the UK 2015 defence review.

Instead the money could reportedly be invested into developing the Tempest jet which is expected to enter production by 2035.

This next generation warplane would be able to operate remotely without a pilot should the situation require.

It will also control a swarm of drones, nicknamed its ‘loyal wingmen’, which can be used to attack enemy targets.

Development of the Tempest is being led by the UK with Italy also involved.

READ MORE: Erdogan FURY at US refusal to deliver F-35s – ‘It’s a robbery!’ 

Speaking about the project in 2018 then Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Tempest is going to be a future jet fighter that will take the RAF to an ever greater height.

“If the RAF is to have the capability to keep Britain safe and make sure we can defeat our adversaries at home and abroad, we need to be making this investment in a fighter jet.

“We have been a world leader in the combat air sector for a century, with an enviable array of skills and technology, and this Strategy makes clear that we are determined to make sure it stays that way.

“It shows our allies that we are open to working together to protect the skies in an increasingly threatening future – and this concept model is just a glimpse into what the future could look like.”

The final decision on how many F35B Lighting II jets Britain buys is expected to be influenced by the foreign defence and security review which completes in November.

Speaking to The Times, a defence source said: “The guiding principle of the review is to ask ourselves what the threat it, and whether we have the capability to meet it.”

However Tobias Ellwood, Tory MP and chair of the Commons defence select committee, raised concerns about the proposed cut.

He warned: “We can’t keep eroding out spectrum of capability in this way.”

Separately there are reports the British Army’s entire tank fleet could be scrapped.

Sweeping defence cuts are expected to address damage caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

Some of the money that was going to be spent on tanks would instead be invested into cyberwar and aerial capabilities.

The Government’s approach was condemned by John Healey, Labour’s shadow defence secretary.

He said: “This Government has shown time and time again that it lacks the strategy and competence needed to maintain our national defences, with little to show from a decade in power other than a shortage of troops and an equipment funding black hole.

“The Secretary of State must make a credible assessment of Britain’s defence requirements based on a full consultation with military chiefs and stakeholders. Britain simply cannot afford for ministers to pursue pet projects or repeat the past mistakes of knee-jerk cuts to defence assets.”

 



British engineering! Hypersonic jet engine passes tests – could revolutionise air travel

Reaction Engines Ltd and Rolls Royce plc today confirmed a new strategic partnership agreement to develop and build high-speed aircraft propulsion systems, in what Dr Turnock hailed as further evidence of Britain’s booming space sector. He said: “This strategic partnership will open a new world of possibilities and be the starting gun for making hybrid-electric airliners, and jets that fly at three times the speed of sound, a reality by 2030.

“Our space sector is booming and this collaboration will help put the UK at the forefront of developments in supersonic and hypersonic aviation.”

Jefferson Manufacturing, which describes itself as “passionate advocates of the British manufacturing sector”, tweeted: “Rolls-Royce and Reaction Engines announce a new strategic partnership.

“The British aerospace manufacturer’s SABRE hypersonic jet engine technology recently passed a crucial heat test in conditions equivalent to Mach 5 – five times the speed of sound.”

SABRE Reaction Engines

An artist’s impression of a SABRE engine-powered plane (Image: Reaction Engines)

Reaction Engines SABRE

Another impression of a SABRE Engine-powered craft (Image: Reaction Engines)

The Reaction Engines/Rolls Royce deal will also explore applications for Reaction Engines’ thermal management technology within civil and defence aerospace gas turbine engines and hybrid-electric systems.

Mark Thompson, Director of Global Strategy & Business Development, Rolls-Royce, said: “We have been working closely with Reaction Engines for the past two years, including exploring the potential of high-Mach systems for defence applications, and I am delighted that we are able to strengthen that relationship.

“This partnership follows our recent announcements with Boom Supersonic and Virgin Galactic.”

READ MORE: Turkey vs Greece – war would ‘set whole region in flames’

Reaction Engines

One of the groundbreaking engines (Image: Reaction Engines)

He added: “Reaction Engines’ thermal management skills, added to our suite of existing technologies and capabilities, will further assist us as we explore opportunities in supersonic and hypersonic aviation.

“Building on our many decades of innovation, we will also explore the use of Reaction Engines’ technology within our aerospace gas turbines and its potential application in future hybrid-electric propulsion systems, as we look to make flying ever more efficient and sustainable.”

Rolls-Royce is also making a further investment in Reaction Engines as part of a wider round of funding.

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Hypersonic jet

How an hypersonic jet would look above the clouds (Image: Reaction Engines)

Reaction Engines

The engines were put through rigorous tests in October (Image: Reaction Engines)

The two companies have been working together for two years, including on the first phase of a UK Ministry of Defence contract to undertake design studies, research, development, analysis and experimentation related to high-Mach advanced propulsion systems.

Mark Thomas, Chief Executive of Reaction Engines, explained: “This strategic partnership is about developing market ready applications for Reaction Engines’ technology in next generation engines and is a significant step forward for our technology commercialisation plans.

“Our proprietary heat exchanger technology delivers incredible heat transfer capabilities at extremely low weight and a compact size.

Reaction Engines' test centre

Reaction Engines’ test centre (Image: Reaction Engines)

“We look forward to expanding our international collaboration with Rolls-Royce, a global leader in power systems, to bring to market a range of applications that will transform the performance and efficiency of aircraft engines, enable high speed – supersonic and hypersonic – flight and support the drive towards more sustainable aviation through innovative new technologies.”

Speaking about the test breakthrough last year, Science Minister Chris Skidmore said: “The SABRE engine is one of the UK’s most exciting engineering projects which could change forever how we launch satellites into orbit and travel across the world.

“It’s fantastic to see Reaction Engines passing this significant milestone, which demonstrates how its pre-cooler technology can deal with the extreme temperatures associated with travelling at five times the speed of sound.

Science Minister Chris Skidmore

Science Minister Chris Skidmore (Image: GETTY)

“The Government has invested £60 million in SABRE and is committed to taking a more strategic approach to space, developing our national capabilities to complement and expand on the UK’s leading role in the European Space Agency once we leave the EU.”

The ground-based test, which took place in October 2019, achieved the highest temperature objective of the company’s HTX testing programme and took place at its specially constructed facility at the Colorado Air and Space Port.

During the latest tests, Reaction Engines’ pre-cooler successfully quenched airflow temperatures exceeding 1000C in less than 1/20th of a second.



Macron brutally mocked after he's pictured posing on jet ski while France reels from COVID

The French president travelled to Fort de Brégançon earlier this month to enjoy his summer holiday. The medieval fortress has been the official retreat of the President of the French Republic since 1968.

During his stay so far, Mr Macron has met with Gisèle Charles, an 80-year-old widow, where he promised more pay for home carers.

He also paid a visit to Beirut following the devastating explosion which left at least 200 people dead and chaired a video conference to raise funds for Lebanon.

Mr Macron, who has already faced 18 months of protests followed by coronavirus, has now been heavily mocked online for zooming around on a jet ski.

One person wrote on Twitter: “Macron in Bregancon. Our national Rambo training to save the world.”

Another said: “Macron had already done jet-ski in a protected maritime zone while he was on a vacation in Bregancon in 2018.

“Laws and regulations are only for others. This president is a really bad guy.

Someone else joked about the thought process the French President must have had ahead of his holiday.

They said: “France has lost half a million jobs.

READ MORE: Huge number of French admit Brexit Britain made the correct choice

With another adding: “It may not last… let him enjoy it, the landing will be hard.”

While someone else pointed out the image means the “death of the presidential office and representation.”

Someone else pointed out while France fights against the deadly pandemic and riots on the streets, the president “disconnects”.

They wrote: “France sinks into violence and chaos.

“The second wave of #COVID19 threatens.

“Many French people don’t go on vacation.

“Meanwhile in Bregancon, Macron disconnects.”

During his stay in the medieval fortress, the French President is expected to invited German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Ms Merkel is expected to arrive at his summer residence around August 20 and has been described as another sign of a renewed vigour for the Franco-German engine.

This meeting comes after a game-changing deal was agreed for the European Union to raise debt for the first time to help fund recovery from the pandemic.

Under the new plan, the fund will be financed by borrowing from the market in the name of the EU while the money given out will not have to be paid back.