(LYNNWOOD, Wash., October 30, 2006) -- Crane Aerospace & Electronics has been awarded a contract from Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Patuxent River, MD, to provide their AirWeighsTM Real Time Weight & Balance System for the U.S. Navy's C-130 Hercules Airlifter. The contract is valued at approximately $6.6 million over the three-year development period.
The AirWeighs Real Time Weight and Balance System is designed to provide significant improvements in flight safety by giving aircrews the ability to accurately measure aircraft weight and balance. The system replaces manual weight calculations - based on external data - with highly accurate, real-time on-board measurement.
Accurate weight and balance information is critical to safe flight operations, especially in military applications where operations can be from short, unimproved runways; with a variety of loading conditions and non-standard cargo, and, not infrequently, in hostile fire zones. In June of 2002, for example, a C-130 Combat Talon II was lost in Afghanistan, and later investigation determined that inaccurate information overloaded the aircraft, and caused the crash that claimed the lives of two Airmen and one soldier.
In 2004, Crane Aerospace & Electronics embarked on a three-phase Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the USAF Air Mobility Battlelab (AMB) for the AirWeighs Weight & Balance System. In that program, Crane Aerospace & Electronics demonstrated that the AirWeighs technology could accurately weigh a fully-loaded C-130 with less than 1% difference between the weight measured by the system and pre-calibrated ground scales.
Greg Ward, Aerospace Group President of Crane Aerospace & Electronics, stated "We are proud to apply our AirWeighs Real Time Weight and Balance technology for use by the U.S. Navy. We expect that many existing military and commercial aircraft can be made safer and more efficient through application of this technology."