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July 1, 2009
It’s auspicious for NextGen that new FAA Administrator J. Randolph "Randy" Babbitt chose to make his first public speech outside of Congress at the RTCA Symposium in June. Babbitt is not a newcomer to the NextGen effort — prior to being nominated as administrator, he was due to chair RTCA’s NextGen Mid-Term Implementation Task Force. But as important as NextGen is to the future...
July 1, 2009
Let’s stop flying into turbulence to find it! Let’s avoid beverage spills in our laps and flight attendants bouncing around the cabin. There exists a unique form of GPS processing with subsequent mathematical procedures to produce a national map of turbulence. Introduced at the AEEC Symposium in Minneapolis in early April, the method and its impact on aviation are summarized below. Science has...
July 1, 2009
Pilot Report: Bendix/King AV80R Portable Multifunction Display The day finally arrived and here it was — a new Bendix/King AV80R portable MFD. The unit came with a 4GB SD card, which contained an extensive aviation and automotive database as well as plenty of spare room for personal multimedia files. The database in my unit covered the United States, Canada and Mexico. After fully charging the unit...
July 1, 2009
Battery Tester Concorde Battery Corp., West Covina, Calif., introduced the BC-5000 Battery Capacity Tester (Concorde P/N 4163). The company said the tester, which weighs 10 pounds and measures 12 inches long, 9 inches wide and 10 inches high, has been market tested and approved for use by various aviation maintenance technician groups and private pilots. The BC-5000 is made to test airworthiness and...
July 1, 2009
Jay LaFoy L-3 Avionics Systems, of Grand Rapids, Mich., named Jay LaFoy president of the company. LaFoy will oversee all aspects of the L-3 Avionics Systems business. LaFoy has more than 25 years of aviation industry experience in the areas of operations, manufacturing and MRO. He joined L-3 Avionics Systems in 1996 as the director of operations and he has held a variety of increasingly responsible...
July 1, 2009
July 22-25 Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA) Annual Convention, Savannah, Ga. Contact ALEA, phone 301-631-2406 or visit www.alea.org. 27-Aug. 2 EAA AirVenture 2009, Wittman Regional Airport, Oshkosh, Wis. Visit www.airventure.org. August 10-13 Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Unmanned Systems North America 2009, Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C. Contact...
June 1, 2009
The Dassault Aviation Rafale is the newest combat aircraft serving France’s Air Force and Navy. Over the past few years, the twin-engine fighter has replaced the Armée de l’Air’s older Jaguar fighter-bombers and the Aéronavale’s vintage F-8E (FN) Crusader ship-borne interceptors. It is presently in service with four squadrons. In the near future, the Rafale is...
June 1, 2009
The Airbus A350XWB represents different opportunities for different avionics suppliers, but some common themes emerge in equipping the new wide body. Under a new Airbus supplier policy, major avionics vendors have been involved much earlier in the systems definition process than on previous aircraft, with deeper responsibility for design and integration. This closer participation entails greater risk for...
June 1, 2009
With its proven ability to ease air-traffic congestion, save fuel and facilitate approaches to airports that are encumbered by weather or terrain, performance-based navigation (PBN) is now an option being considered by airlines and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) for many different airports in all regions of the world — not just those on mountaintops in Tibet. Assisting those airlines and...
June 1, 2009
Electronic flight bag (EFB) systems are now mature products that provide a wide range of benefits for commercial flight decks and business jet cockpits. However, sales of the systems are expected to be slower in the retrofit market due to the economic downturn. EFBs have a classification scheme that defines three types of hardware and three classes of software. The hardware includes Class 1 (entirely...
June 1, 2009
Installing an EFB system may seem like a simple matter, but it could be one of the most complicated modifications an airline will ever make to an airplane, according to industry veteran Merritte DeBuhr of ECS. DeBuhr, who has seen the retrofit of everything from electronic flight instrument systems (EFIS) to ground proximity warning systems (EGPWS) in his long career, says EFB installations are the most...
June 1, 2009
As airlines consider adopting EFBs, it is often the benefit of one or more software applications that makes the difference in the business decision to go ahead with a significant capital expenditure. EFB software can reduce operating costs and boost productivity, and many hardware and software vendors believe airlines will continue to install EFBs in both forward fit and retrofit situations despite the...
June 1, 2009
Continental Airlines, Virgin America and Miami Air have all selected Class 2 electronic flight bag (EFB) systems for different reasons. But the benefit of a growing list of software applications makes it likely that in the future other airlines will have an easier time making a business case for equipping their fleets with EFBs. One issue driving recent interest in Class 2 EFBs is FAA’s decision in...
June 1, 2009
The RTCA task force assigned the unenviable task of recommending "mid-term" NextGen operational capabilities to FAA, as in those capabilities that can be achieved by 2018, wasn’t given a lot of rope to work with. Conceived in January and convened for the first time a month later, the task force is expected to deliver what could be industry-altering recommendations by August, along with a...
June 1, 2009
In mid-January, Hank Krakowski and Peggy Gilligan of the FAA asked RTCA to undertake a new task force initiative to serve as the catalyst for the collaboration essential to transforming the promise of NextGen into reality. They recognized the imperative that the aircraft operational community must be more involved in shaping NextGen solutions — in particular the transition. Consequently, the primary...
June 1, 2009
Avionics Webinar: Providers Outline EFB Installation Considerations The business case for aircraft operators to deploy electronic flight bags (EFBs) is strong, but there are important trade-offs to consider when deciding between a portable Class 2 or an installed Class 3 device, advised speakers participating in the May 7 Avionics Magazine Webinar, "Operators Guide To EFBs: Choosing and Applying...
June 1, 2009
Mike Stolarik QinetiQ North America, of McLean, Va., named Mike Stolarik president and chief operating officer. Stolarik is a 30-year industry veteran. Prior to this appointment, he was president of QinetiQ North America’s Mission Solutions Group. Stolarik served as president and COO at Analex before its acquisition by QinetiQ North America. In the 12-year period before joining Analex, he was the...
June 1, 2009
June 10-11 RTCA Annual Symposium, Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles Hotel, Chantilly, Va. Visit www.rtca.org. 15-21 International Paris Air Show, Le Bourget Exhibition Center, Paris. Visit www.paris-air-show.com. 30 Required Navigation Performance (RNP): Operations and Equipment, an Avionics Magazine Webinar, 12 p.m., EST. To register, visit www.aviationtoday.com/webinars July 22-25 Airborne Law...
May 1, 2009
The volatile oil market and financial meltdown have wreaked havoc on the regional aviation market. Tumbling traffic numbers and rising operating costs have forced U.S. regional carriers to follow the lead of their major airline partners and slash capacity. Following suit, many of the world’s largest aircraft makers have scaled back production plans and laid off employees. After predicting a growing...
May 1, 2009
New in-flight data and communications services on commercial airlines in the United States, Asia and Europe are driving development of smaller antennas with greater functionality for both data and voice. At the same time, Ku-band systems and their associated antennas are gaining greater prominence beyond their usual applications in business aviation. "We see a large appetite, even though commercial...
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