From the Director’s Desk

by Dennis Lindell

Welcome to the fall 2023 edition of the Aircraft Survivability journal, the survivability community’s quarterly publication for sharing technical information; providing updates to ongoing programs; and reporting on relevant events, personnel changes, and awards.

In this issue’s news section, we welcome two new members to the JASP team and note the release of some new survivability-related publications.  We also recognize several historic milestones, including the 100th anniversary of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, as well as the first successful test flight of an artificial-intelligence-piloted jet.  Who would’ve predicted all the technological advances that have occurred in combat aviation and survivability in the century between the museum’s opening in 1923—with just a few World War I biplanes in the corner of a hangar—and all of today’s state-of-the-art, computer-controlled aircraft.

In our featured article, authors Lt. Jack Morgan, Lt. Alex Ramsperger, and Maj. John Hansen from the Air Force Institute of Technology discuss the ballistic testing and performance of several advanced composite materials.  Composites continue to show wide applicability and promise throughout the DoD for armor and other uses; however, current ballistic testing and modeling standards for traditional hard armors do not always adequately consider the unique properties of some composites.  Thus, the article investigates the effects of shot location and weave matrix on the ballistic strength of these materials.

This issue also reports on several recent community events, including the JASP Model Users Meeting in March, the Aircraft Combat Survivability Short Course in April, and the Threat Weapons and Effects training in May.   Though these and other annual gatherings are well known to many practitioners, their ongoing popularity and success are a testament to the commitment and excellence of community leaders in continuing to advance the field’s tools and technologies, keep colleagues informed and trained in the latest information, and help ensure our Warfighters remain safe and effective.

Finally, as a follow-on to last year’s ASJ article on the 60th anniversary of the CH-47, Roger Breece and Mark Gulley from the Program Executive Office – Aviation provide an update on the Chinook’s Block I/II testing program.  As shown, the aircraft’s ongoing survivability and other enhancements continue to make it an invaluable resource and the premier heavy-lift rotorcraft in the Army’s inventory.

Thank you again for reading.  As always, we want this publication to be your publication, so please continue to provide any feedback and contributions you have.  And keep an eye out for future issues, which will discuss topics such as aircraft losses in Ukraine, common enterprise architecture ontologies for modeling and testing, the CH-53K tail drive Live Fire test and evaluation program, fundamentals of survivability requirements, the modeling and simulation to develop software for uncrewed systems, aircraft fire/ullage research, extreme climate survivability testing, and more.