Aerospace Service Industry Emerges at Former San Bernardino Air Base

The aerospace firms congregated at the airport over the past two years after hearing about its facilities and aerospace tenants through the industry grapevine. They form a one-stop shop for customers.

International aerospace company Smiths Group moved its Smiths Aerospace subsidiary from Yorba Linda into Corona in 2004 to accommodate its local workers. Smiths Aerospace on April 19 announced the completion of its first in-flight test of an aerial wing refueling system for Boeing Co. Boeing's customer for the wing aerial refueling pod system is the Italian Air Force which will use the system on the KC-767 tanker. The cone-shaped refueling pod, mounted underneath each tanker wing, allows military planes to fly behind and below the tanker and receive fuel through hoses trailing from the pods. The receiving planes have probes protruding from the aircraft. Pilots fly the receiving plane to connect the probe with the tanker's hose. Patented system software recognizes the connection. It checks hoses for movement and stabilizes them to prevent a dangerous situation called hose whip, a key problem of aerial refueling systems. "It's the reason we're so excited about this successful test," said Greg Piponius, business director for aerial refueling at Smiths.

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