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June 20, 2013
The 2013 Paris Air Show has featured multi-billion dollar aircraft orders, groundbreaking partnerships and some innovative new technological concepts from some of the world's biggest aerospace companies. Although the show has not ended yet, Avionics Magazine has some of the biggest news from the show thus far, starting with commercial aircraft orders, followed by avionics news.  Also, be sure to...
June 6, 2013
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said the ground infrastructure for the nation's automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) will be ready for operations by next year.     (An ITT Exelis ADS-B Ground Station. Photo, courtesy of ITT Exelis.)   Huerta, speaking at the RTCA Symposium on Wednesday, said the entire United States will be covered by more than 700 ADS-B ground radio...
May 30, 2013
The integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into civilian airspace presents the next frontier in the air transportation industry. And it is one that faces numerous technological, regulatory and public perception issues as it moves forward towards its 2015 deadline.     (Boeing Phantom Eye, a liquid hydrogen-powered high altitude long endurance (HALE) UAS used for persistent intelligence...
May 23, 2013
Boeing began flight testing a new package of upgrades to the engines and avionics of one of its flagship aircraft this week, the 747-8 Intercontinental. The Performance Improvement Package (PIP), includes enhancements to the large passenger aircraft’s GE-2nx engines and Flight Management Computer (FMC), continuing a string of upgrades that Boeing has installed over the past two years to improve fuel...
May 10, 2013
In-flight connectivity could be faster and accessible to more commercial and business aircraft in a few years, under a proposal from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish a terrestrial-based air-to-ground mobile broadband service for aircraft flying in the National Airspace System (NAS).   The proposal would establish an air-to-ground Internet service first proposed to the...
May 9, 2013
The U.S. Air Force's B-52 Stratofortress fleet is receiving a major digital upgrade from Boeing, helping the airframe manufacturer to provide a foundation for continued modernization of the military's longest serving bomber airplanes.      (B-52 Bomber. Photo, courtesy of Boeing.)   The upgrades are part of a new $76 million Combat Network Communications Technology (CONECT) contract...
April 15, 2013
FAA is dismissing claims made by Hugo Teso, a German information technology consultant, that aircraft navigation systems can be hacked using a smartphone application and desktop computer.    Last week, during a cyber security conference in Amsterdamn, Teso, who is also a commercial pilot, demonstrated the ability to hack into a virtual airplane by sending radio signals to its flight-management...
April 3, 2013
NASA recently demonstrated another example of how unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are used for civilian purposes, by launching AeroVironment’s Dragon Eye UAS into the San Jose, Costa Rica Turrialba Volcano’s sulfur dioxide plume to study its chemical environment. (The three Dragon Eye unmanned aircraft systems used by NASA for the study. Photo, courtesy of NASA/Randy Berthold) The “In...
February 28, 2013
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told the House Subcommittee on Aviation on Wednesday his agency cannot avoid furloughing its employees under its $600 million in automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect this week. Additionally, Huerta said the cuts could result in delays and cancellations at the nation's busiest airports. The hearing occurred two days before the $85 billion in across-the-board...
February 13, 2013
A day after President Barack Obama called for an alternative to the upcoming sequester, Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee released a report outlining the impact of the $1.2 trillion in federal spending cuts scheduled to occur in two weeks, including the impact to FAA’s operating budget. According to the report, the Office of Management and Budget will sequester $85 billion in federal...
February 12, 2013
The multi-billion dollar general aviation industry had increases in aircraft shipments and declines in airplane billings in 2012, results that the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) called a “mixed bag." According to GAMA's annual State of the General Aviation Industry report, the 2,133 airplane shipments in 2012 was an increase of less than 1 percent year over year, with airplane...
January 24, 2013
ITT Exelis filed a formal protest with FAA over the $331 million datacomm contract awarded to Harris Corp. in September, Avionics Magazine has learned. The protest, which was filed in November with FAA's Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition (ODRA) for review, asks the agency to review "aspects of the evaluation that warrant further review," ITT said in a...
January 10, 2013
Cessna said Thursday it has begun the initial production run of its Citation M2 light business jet, with certification on track for second quarter of 2013. Unit 800 is slated for demonstrator purposes, and is expected to roll off the assembly line this April, the company said. The front and aft cabin assemblies for the light business jet are built at Cessna's Wichita, Kan., facility and are then...
December 13, 2012
The Solar Impulse team has already set the record for the world’s longest fully solar-powered flight, and now it plans to take its four-engine plane that weighs less than an SUV around the world powered by nothing but the sun. (Solar Impulse aircraft) The Solar Impulse aircraft is powered by the 12,000 solar cells that rest below the solar panels on the upper part of the wings. The cells capture the...
November 30, 2012
As negotiations continue between the White House and Congress over how to avoid the highly publicized fiscal cliff, U.S. aerospace and defense manufacturers are bracing themselves for what could happen if the worst-case scenario comes true. Lawmakers from both parties are trying to come up with a compromise with the White House to avoid the automatic $1.2 trillion in government spending cuts starting Jan...
November 15, 2012
Thales on Thursday said it will pay an undisclosed sum to acquire Sysgo AG, the German supplier of operating system products, middleware, and software services for the real-time and embedded market. Thales said the acquisition will strengthen its leadership in embedded computing solutions for mission-critical applications. At the same time, it will bring Sysgo access to the market for Thales solutions...
November 1, 2012
A team of researchers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has received funding for a project to assess the performance of pilots when they land small airplanes at small airports using an approach normally employed at airports with longer runways. The results could help shed light on the feasibility of letting small aircraft use GPS-aided approaches for small airports, according to the...
October 24, 2012
With less than two weeks remaining until the presidential election, the candidates addressed the issue of sequestration on Monday, saying they both would like to see that scenario avoided, but offered little in the way of specifics on how to see it doesn't happen. Aerospace Industries Association President Marion Blakey said she and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers President...
October 18, 2012
In-flight entertainment and communications systems provider Panasonic Avionics, of Lake Forest, Calif., signed an agreement with operator Asia Satellite Telecommunications (AsiaSat) to secure additional Ku-band capacity on the AsiaSat 5 satellite, an agreement that will bring new capacity and improve in-flight connectivity service over the Middle East and India. The agreement builds on an...
October 11, 2012
GPS is precious resource for the aviation industry and must be protected from threats, intentional or otherwise, according to panelists on an Avionics Magazine Webinar this week. What started out as military-only network has exploded so that everyone, everywhere is connected via GPS. For aircraft operators, the systems are invaluable, providing benefits that allow pilots to safely and efficiently...
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