Mike Petters, president and CEO of Huntington Ingalls Industries, says the company is balancing protection of its workers while continuing to advance projects for the government. The company has provided flexibility and security for employees, including doing away with co-pays for healthcare.
Textron Aviation has commenced production of plastic face shields and cloth masks for first responders, medical personnel and company employees. These efforts come in addition to the 7,500 N95 face masks the company has donated in Kansas.
Lockheed Martin has been subcontracted by Northrop Grumman to provide E-2D Advance Hawkeye radar systems, part of a $404 million contract with the Navy. Last year, Northrop received a $3.2 billion contract for the production of E-2D Advance Hawkeye surveillance aircraft for the Navy and Japan.
Boeing has shown the capabilities of the S-100 Camcopter with a supply run for the Army. The company has a marketing contract with S-100 maker Schiebel Industries and performed the demonstration as part of the US Army's Future Vertical Lift effort.
Bell is continuing work on its entry for the Army's Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program in spite of coronavirus, with design work commencing and some components already undergoing initial tests. Bell is planning "to have an aircraft on the ramp ready to fly in fall of '22," Bell's Keith Flail says.
The Project Caircraft initiative, comprised of health care, aviation and technology professionals in England, is seeking government approval for their plans to transform idle wide-body aircraft into intensive care units to treat coronavirus patients. Leaders of the group say the airplanes, which can be hermetically sealed to eliminate the spread of germs, could easily be modified to hold between 100 and 150 beds along with necessary equipment once seats are removed.
Boeing has announced another mission to the International Space Station for its Starliner spacecraft. "Flying another uncrewed flight will allow us to complete all flight test objectives and evaluate the performance of the second Starliner vehicle at no cost to the taxpayer," according to the company
Government equity in airlines as a condition of receiving coronavirus crisis aid is "a bad idea" that evidences "a fundamental misunderstanding of the proper roles of both government and business in a capitalist society," writes Richard Rahn, chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth. "Airlines (and many other businesses), their shareholders, employees and customers should not be paying a disproportionate share of the cost because of the failure of government leaders," Rahn says. Instead, the government should provide direct aid in order for airlines to maintain payroll.
"We need those flights for emergency use, for military people," President Donald Trump said on Monday, asserting that it is crucial to maintain air service despite the coronavirus pandemic. Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly echoed that statement in his latest video Q and A, saying that airlines "need to be there for those who still have to travel for essential work," especially "our medical heroes."
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