Blue Origin's BE-4 rocket is on track to complete qualification testing in 2018, CEO Bob Smith says. "We continue to roll through our test program and hope to qualify that engine by the end of the year," he says.
Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Joseph Kernan says artificial intelligence can be even more helpful in tapping the Defense Department's satellite data troves for useful insights. "It's about enabling analysts to use their cognitive process so they don't have to jam and finger-push things into a computer," he said.
Congressman Jim Bridenstine has been officially sworn in as NASA's administrator. "NASA represents what is best about the United States of America: We lead, we discover, we pioneer, and we inspire," he said. "I look forward to our journey together. Thank you so much."
The Transportation Security Administration screened 72.1 million passengers during the spring break period from March 15 through April 15, up 5% compared to last year. "Travelers are taking to the skies this spring in record numbers, thanks to persistently low fares, unsurpassed levels of investment in the product, increasing competition, and unprecedented access for passengers of all regions, age groups, and income levels," said John Heimlich, Airlines for America vice president and chief economist.
JetBlue Airways and JetSuiteX have announced a codeshare partnership that will enable customers to book JetSuiteX flights directly on JetBlue.com. The agreement will also place JetBlue's "B6" code on JetSuiteX flights in California between Concord, Burbank, and Oakland; and Las Vegas.
Embraer successfully launched its new E-Jet E2 regional jet this month, delivering the first plane to Norway's Wideroe on schedule and boasting better-than-promised performance indicators. The manufacturer is courting potential customers for the plane, including JetBlue Airways and United Airlines.
FedEx's Boeing 777 ecoDemonstrator landed Monday at the shipper's hub in Memphis, Tenn. The plane runs on biofuel made from animal fat and beef tallow waste and features obstacle-sensing technology, 3D-printed parts, recycled titanium parts and other innovations.
American Airlines, with Marvel and Stand Up To Cancer, is raising money for cancer research. The carrier has rolled out an A321T plane with a special livery featuring Marvel's Avengers and airline employees who have survived cancer.
UPS has named Charlene Thomas president of the shipper's West Region, responsible for leading small package operations in eight districts over 25 states. Thomas has been with the company since 1989 and was most recently North Atlantic District Manager.
Participants at the General Aviation Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Summit at the AOPA You Can Fly Academy last week discussed the challenges rescue organizations and individual aviators face while responding to natural disasters like hurricanes and fires. Civil Air Patrol Middle East Region Commander Col. John Knowles noted that pilots can help by reaching out to local emergency response officials: "The response for anything begins at the local level, and there are exercises you can participate in," he said.