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Friday, October 1, 2010

Industry Scan

Apex Integrated Flight Deck Lends Big-Jet Feel To PC-12NG Turboprop

It’s striking how companies tackle the same issues in separate ways.

That was one of the thoughts going through my head during a short flight in a new Pilatus PC-12NG single-engine turboprop to get a taste of the newest additions to Honeywell’s Primus Apex Integrated Flight Deck.

It’s tough not to reflect on the Swiss turboprop’s business-jet feel. The cockpit, designed by BMW Group DesignworksUSA, is stylish and the left seat comfy. It would be a pleasure to spend a few hours steering this powerful, responsive airplane across the continent.

But my glass-cockpit knowledge, based primarily on Garmin’s G1000, didn’t get me very far with Apex, derived from the Honeywell Primus Epic system found in large business jets like Gulfstreams. Apex, which shares the same software architecture as Epic, contributes to the big-airplane feeling of the Pilatus flight deck. The four 10.4-inch diagonal active matrix displays and the flight data presentations look and feel like the Epic displays in a Gulfstream. Which is to say they are completely different from the G1000 system.

Fortunately, Pilatus Chief Pilot Peter Duncan was a patient guide who led me through Apex’s screens and menus as we flew the aircraft along the Arsenal Two Departure from Manassas Regional Airport (KHEF) in Virginia down to Culpeper Regional Airport (KCJR), where we did an RNAV approach with a miss before heading back to Manassas.

Most of the time, we controlled the Apex using a new track ball arrangement, or Cursor Control Device, that sits under a hand rest on the center console between the pilots. The track ball was added to the Apex cockpit in January and seemed a huge improvement over the joystick, which is still present as a backup on the keyboard that sits above the throttle panel. With my right palm resting solidly on the hand rest, it was easy to roll the track ball and manipulate its scroll wheel and buttons with my fingers, controlling everything from radio frequencies to flight plan information.

“The system is very integrated,” Duncan said. “From the pilot’s perspective, this is about as easy as it gets.... We want to minimize the pilot’s head-down time and maximize his situational awareness.”

There wasn’t much turbulence during our flight, but I felt the track ball would be easy to use in rough air, as opposed to the joystick. The track ball can be retrofitted to older Apex cockpits, something I would want if I owned an NG.

As Duncan pointed out, the philosophy behind the Apex system and the way it is organized are completely different than Garmin’s philosophy behind the G1000. For pilots, that’s not a bad thing or a good thing, just the way it is. It’s sort of like PC versus Mac. Each does the job, but also has its adherents and detractors. If pilots respect the differences of each system and get the proper training, any of these systems offer a level of safety and convenience unimaginable even 10 years ago.

There are some excellent features to the Apex, not the least of which is the ability to create custom flight plans with user-generated waypoints by pointing and clicking with the track ball. Using this feature, a pilot could draw a path around bad weather or restricted airspace and then monitor the autopilot as it carries out its orders.

Honeywell Apex, the first integrated cockpit system for the PC-12, has been around since the NG model appeared in 2008. The joint effort between avionics and airframe manufacturers used the Epic system as a point of departure and then tailored it exactly to the Pilatus and its Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67P turboprop with an emphasis on single-pilot operations.

As of May, there were 192 PC-12s with Apex, which is available only on NG aircraft. It cannot be retrofitted to older models. Overall, 1,000 PC-12s have been delivered since the program began in 1994.

Apex is aimed at the turboprop and light jet markets and was selected for the new DHC-6 Series 400 Twin Otter manufactured by Viking Air, of Victoria, B.C., Canada.

At the Farnborough Airshow in July, Viking announced Transport Canada type certification of the substantially improved 19-passenger twin turboprop, a program announced in 2007. Also at Farnborough, Honeywell announced FAA Technical Standard Order approval of the Primus Apex avionics suite on the aircraft. —Ron Laurenzo

Business/GA

Goodrich Acquisition

Goodrich will pay $280 million to acquire the cabin management assets of DeCrane Holdings Co., of Wichita, Kan., the companies announced Aug. 3.

DeCrane provides seating, furniture, veneers, interior composites and cabin management systems for the business jet market. The transaction does not include the aircraft completions business of DeCrane.

Sales in 2010 for the DeCrane business are expected to be about $170 million, and are expected to grow significantly over the next several years as the business jet market recovers with the broad economy, Goodrich said. The Cabin Management assets will become part of Goodrich’s Interiors business, within its Nacelles and Interior Systems segment, according to the company.

“This acquisition is an opportunity for Goodrich to add a solid business with excellent market positions in business jet interior systems at an advantageous time in the cycle,” said Cindy Egnotovich, Goodrich segment president, Nacelles and Interior Systems.

“DeCrane’s leading position in the business jet market allows us to further support our customers in these important sectors, and to capture significant growth opportunities as the business jet market continues its recovery.”

DeCrane employs 850 people at six United States facilities. Major customers include Bombardier, Cessna, Dassault, Embraer and Gulfstream.

Gogo Biz

Two fractional jet fleets will equip with the Aircell in-flight Internet system, which has been rebranded as “Gogo Biz” for the business aviation market.

In an announcement Sept. 9, Bombardier division Flexjet, based in Richardson, Texas, said it will offer Gogo Biz as a standard feature on its fractional program aircraft at no additional charge to owners. Installations will begin on 25 Challenger 300 and seven Challenger 604/605 jets in the Flexjet fractional fleet.

All new aircraft introduced into the fractional fleet will be outfitted with the broadband equipment, Flexjet said.

Fractional ownership company NetJets, of Columbus, Ohio, announced in late July that it will equip 250 of its midsize and large-cabin business aircraft with the Aircell system. Installations were to begin immediately.

Aircell said the NetJets program represents the largest order for high-speed Internet service in the history of business aviation.

On Aug. 13, Aircell announced the rebranding of its business aviation service to Gogo Biz In-Flight Internet.

“With the Internet at the center of business and personal lives, a full-speed connection has become an expected service for busy people who travel,” said David Sokol, NetJets chairman and CEO. “NetJets owners are some of the most accomplished and productive people in the world and I know they will appreciate the added option to stay connected while onboard their aircraft.”

Avionics Magazine will host an interactive webinar, “Business Jet Connections: In-Flight Connectivity Services and Solutions for Business Aircraft,” on Oct. 13 at noon EST. For more information and to register, visit www.aviationtoday.com/webinars/2010-1013.html)

FMS Software

Honeywell in August said it received FAA Technical Standard Order (TSO) approval for the 6.1 software upgrade of its FMZ-2000 flight management system (FMS), enabling GPS Wide Area Augmentation System-Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (WAAS-LPV) approaches.

Honeywell said the upgrade “prepares the aircraft” for FAA authorization to fly Required Navigation Performance (RNP) Special Aircraft and Aircrew Authorization Required (SAAAR) operations.

Honeywell estimates 600 FMZ-2000 equipped aircraft will be eligible, including Falcon 900B, Hawker 800XP and Challenger 601 models. The company said it expects follow-on certifications for other FMZ-2000 platforms, including Bombardier Global Express, Gulfstream G-IV and G-V, Falcon 900EX, Citation X and Embraer Legacy 600/650 aircraft.

JetMap III

Honeywell introduced JetMap III, a moving map upgrade providing real-time flight data and data services for passengers. The system provides worldwide 3D perspective views of terrain, ocean topography, enhanced graphics and polar ice views.

“With JetMap III, we are not only improving the overall passenger experience, but with the addition of new Ovation C-Series cabin management and in-flight entertainment upgrades such as touch-screen passenger control units, Blu-ray video, high definition monitors and iPod docks, we can refresh the cabin as an interim step before a more costly complete interior refurbishment is done,” said Brian Sill, vice president, Aftermarket, Honeywell Aerospace.

The first installation of JetMap III was completed in August on Honeywell’s Falcon 900 business jet.

Current users of JetMap II can upgrade to JetMap III by replacing the removable compact flash memory card, Honeywell said.

Phenom SVS

Embraer on Aug. 11 said the Garmin synthetic vision system (SVS) for its Phenom 100 light jet has been approved by Brazilian, U.S. and European regulators.

The Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT) system, a feature of the aircraft’s Prodigy flight deck based on the Garmin G1000 integrated avionics suite, recreates a visual topographic landscape from the system’s terrain-alerting database.

SVT certification was achieved with the Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency, FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Embraer said SVT approval for the Phenom 300 super light jet was pending.

Commercial

Trajectory Operations

A consortium of industry partners led by Swedish Air Navigation Service Provider LFV, and including Rockwell Collins and GE Aviation, is participating in a 10-month trial called Green Connections, under the Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE).

The trial, involving revenue flights between Stockholm Arlanda and Gothenburg Landvetter airports, represents a continuation of work done by the partners to develop initial concepts that will be applied to Green Connections.

GE Aviation will provide the flight management system to predict optimum flight paths. The FMS is used for controlled time of arrivals, enabling aircraft to fly optimum required navigation performance (RNP) routes developed by GE’s Naverus business.

Rockwell Collins will provide connectivity services to allow exchange of FMS-generated trajectory and time information between the participating aircraft movements and the ground-based metering functions. Rockwell Collins Hermes data link functionality at the SAS Scandinavian Airlines data link center in Copenhagen will perform all data transactions between the aircraft, the SAS ground data link functions and the LFV air-traffic control center.

Rockwell Collins also is responsible for analyzing the effects of winds aloft, air-traffic control constraints, revisions in the trajectory, cost index, and other factors on movement trajectory and time.

The project will demonstrate technology and processes required to perform time-based, gate-to-gate operations. Within the Single European Sky ATM Research Program (SESAR), the technique is referred to as “reference business trajectory” based operations.

Wireless Connection

Thales announced an agreement with CSC and Proximetry Inc., of San Diego, focused on delivering high performance wireless ground connectivity for airlines and airport authorities.

Called “GateSync,” the system enables airlines to wirelessly load and offload content and data, such as the passenger manifest, crew logs and system performance data, while the aircraft is on the ground.

At the core of the system is Proximetry’s patented AirSync/GS wireless management software. The ground-based infrastructure relies on CSC’s existing private backbone network for the deployment and management of data at airports around the world.

On the aircraft, Thales provides GateSync components and integrates data with its TopSeries in-flight entertainment (IFE) system. As of July, GateSync had been field tested at three major airports and verified by a major equipment manufacturer and several airlines, Thales said.

“Our goal is to bring our IFE end-to-end solution to the next level, helping airlines manage information that impacts ground personnel, crew and the passenger experience,” said Alan Pellegrini, vice president and general manager of Thales’s IFE business.

Surface Management

Metron Aviation, based in Dulles, Va., released “Harmony for Airlines,” a web-based, decision support application for managing aircraft movement on the airport surface. The application provides real-time modeling, predictions, reporting and analysis, allowing aircraft operators to view current and future conditions to optimize performance at the airport and throughout their entire network, Metron said.

Metron described the product as the industry’s first Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) solution for airlines.

“For the first time, airlines can predict future congestion events, such as gate conflicts, to optimize pushback times, reduce surface gridlock and improve operations,” said Dave Basil, Metron Aviation senior vice president and general manager of Commercial Products and Solutions.

“Harmony for Airlines is an important addition to our existing suite of ATFM products and specifically addresses the issues of airline operators to fully maximize capacity, reduce delays, increase safety and help prioritize operations to achieve business objectives.”

Funding Round

In-flight Internet system provider Row 44, of Westlake Village, Calif., said it closed a new funding round, raising $37 million in new equity investment to support deployment of the system on Southwest Airlines 737s.

“This investment gives Row 44 the operating capital to continue executing on our North American launch with the Southwest Airlines fleet and our aggressive network build-out, enabling us to support airline customers across the globe,” said CEO John Guidon.

The Series B funding round includes participation by two new institutional investors along with PAR Capital Management, which led Row 44’s $21 million Series A round.

Additional investment came from former Continental Airlines chairman and CEO Larry Kellner, now president of Emerald Creek Group. Kellner joined the Row 44 board earlier this year.

Military

L-3 Records First International Sale Of AHMD

L-3 Link Simulation & Training, Arlington, Texas, in September announced the first international sale of its Advanced Helmet Mounted Display (AHMD), to Raytheon Australia in support of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Hornet Aircrew Training System.

The AHMDs, with a 360-degree field of regard, will support pilot training on the RAAF’s three F/A-18 Tactical Readiness Trainers, replacing current fixed field-of-view flat panel displays. They will be delivered to two RAAF installations during the third quarter of 2011.

“The Royal Australian Air Force’s low-cost F/A-18 Tactical Readiness Trainers will receive a significant increase in training capability when the Advanced Helmet Mounted Displays are fielded,” said Bob Birmingham, president of L-3 Link.

“This increased training fidelity will completely immerse aircrews within a realistic virtual environment, while maintaining the F/A-18 Tactical Readiness Trainers’ small footprint.”

Tranche 3A Typhoon

Selex Galileo was awarded a contract from BAE Systems worth £400 million ($615 million) to supply the Praetorian Defensive Aids Sub System (DASS) for the Tranche 3A Eurofighter Typhoon.

Under the contract, announced Sept. 6, Tranche 3A Praetorian systems will be delivered to the same standard as those delivered for the Eurofighter Tranche 2 program, but provisioned for future capability enhancements.

Selex Galileo serves as lead contractor and system Design Authority for the Praetorian DASS, comprising electronic countermeasures, electronic support measures and missile approach warning elements. The Finmeccanica company leads the EuroDASS Consortium, including Elettronica, Indra Sistemas and EADS, which shares production of more than 20 major line replaceable items of Praetorian system.

Selex Galileo said it has delivered more than 200 Praetorian systems to date. The company said it has more than a 60 percent share of avionics on the Typhoon.

“This contract award represents a significant achievement for the EuroDASS consortium and reflects the confidence that the partner nations and Typhoon crews place in the Praetorian system,” said Selex Galileo CEO Steve Mogford.

First Tranche 3A Praetorian deliveries will begin in mid-2012. Systems will be supplied to the four Eurofighter partner nations the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Germany.

In an earlier announcement, Northrop Grumman in August said it will supply 88 inertial measurement units (IMU) for Tranche 3A Typhoons under a contract signed with EADS Defense and Security.

The IMUs, which provide motion data for the aircraft, will be built by the company’s German navigation systems subsidiary, Northrop Grumman LITEF, which also provided IMUs for Tranche 1 and Tranche 2 of the program. More than 400 LITEF IMUs have been delivered and are operational on Typhoons in Germany, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, Austria and Saudi Arabia.

“Northrop Grumman’s IMU has consistently demonstrated outstanding performance in flight,” said Norbert Sandner, director of marketing and sales with Northrop Grumman LITEF.

C-130 AMP HUD

Boeing in August said its C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) Head-Up Display (HUD) and Head-Down Primary Flight Display (HDPFD) were endorsed by the U.S. Air Force Directorate of Operations as the aircraft’s primary flight reference, following four years of design reviews, lab evaluations and demonstrations.

Rockwell Collins is supplying the HUD and multifunction displays to Boeing, as well as communications and navigation equipment, for the C-130 AMP program.

“This endorsement means C-130 AMP pilots can now use the HUD as their sole primary flight reference, allowing them to use their head-down displays for other data,” said Mahesh Reddy, Boeing C-130 AMP program manager.

“We involved the Air Force customer from the beginning of the design reviews. This allowed them to ask questions along the way, become familiar with the product and make all necessary adjustments to the HUD design.”

The C-130 AMP was approved for low-rate initial production (LRIP) on June 19. Boeing will upgrade five of the 20 LRIP aircraft.

BAE Systems Purchase

BAE Systems said Sept. 7 it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire OASYS Technology, of Manchester, N.H., a privately owned company specializing in the design and manufacture of electro-optical systems and subassemblies for aerospace, defense and other markets.

The acquisition was expected to close in the fourth quarter. OASYS Technology employs 65 people at its 40,000-square-foot design and manufacturing facility in Manchester. Its operations are expected to be integrated with the BAE Systems business based in Nashua, N.H.

“OASYS Technology’s talented workforce and technologies will enhance BAE Systems’ ability to serve its customers as a leader in day/night surveillance and targeting systems as well as precision guidance,” said Bob Murphy, BAE Systems executive vice president of product sectors.

Strategic Alliance

TTTech North America, a subsidiary of Austria-based TTTech, formed a long-term strategic alliance with Avionics Interface Technologies (AIT) to add local support for North American customers.

AIT formerly was AIM-USA, the U.S. partner of AIM GmbH of Germany. That partnership was set to expire at the end of September, according to AIM GmbH. AIM GmbH recently launched a new U.S. enterprise, based in Philadelphia and headed by Bill Wargo.

AIT, based in Omaha, Neb., will remain an independent company. AIT provides a suite of test and simulation products for avionics bus applications, including Mil-Std-1553, ARINC 429, ARINC 615A, Fibre Channel and Mil-Std-1760e. With support from TTTech, ARINC 664/AFDX, Time-Triggered Ethernet (TTEthernet) and Time-Triggered Protocol (TTP) will be added to AIT’s portfolio.

“We are pleased to have partnered with an experienced company like TTTech, who have a mature capability in product design to full flight certifications and AS9100 aerospace quality standards,” said AIT President Bill Fleissner. “TTTech’s products in TTP, TTEthernet and ARINC 664/AFDX round out our product portfolio, specifically supporting emerging technologies for the future.”

Unmanned Systems

Integrator Flight Control

Rockwell Collins will provide the flight control and navigation systems for the Small Tactical Unmanned Air System (STUAS) Tier II program.

Boeing subsidiary Insitu, of Bingen, Wash., in July was awarded the STUAS/Tier II contract from the Naval Air Systems Command for its Integrator unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The Integrator uses Rockwell Collins’ Athena 111m, a miniaturized flight control system combining integrated INS/GPS, air-data sensors and control algorithms.

Under the STUAS/Tier II program, Rockwell Collins will work with Insitu during a two-year engineering and manufacturing development phase to mature the UAS design to meet the STUAS requirements.

“We are pleased to be working closely with Insitu on this important program,” said David Vos, Rockwell Collins senior director of UAS and Control Technology.

“Rockwell Collins’ role in the STUAS contract validates the reliability and performance of our Athena flight control and navigation systems.”

T-Hawk Order

Honeywell will provide its T-Hawk micro air vehicle (MAV) system, training and logistics support under an $11 million contract for low-rate initial production of the U.S. Army Brigade Combat Team Modernization (BCTM) Increment 1 program.

Honeywell supports the Boeing-led BCTM team. Low-rate initial production will enable fielding of the T-Hawk to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Armored Division for initial operational test and evaluation beginning in 2011.

T-Hawk is a 17-pound, vertical lift air vehicle that can hover and stare, deploying electro-optical and infrared cameras for real-time surveillance. Versions of the MAV have been fielded in Afghanistan and Iraq with the U.S. Army and Navy, and are on order by the U.K. Ministry of Defense.

“The Class I UAV is an essential asset for identifying improvised explosive devices and other hazards facing soldiers,” said Vicki Panhuise, Honeywell vice president, U.S. defense customers.

“It is the only unmanned system with hovering capability to identify opposing forces located on roof tops, within buildings and along maneuver routes well in advance of the Army unit.”

Surveillance Processor

BAE Systems was awarded a $49.9 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop the advanced processor for the agency’s night-time infrared system, called Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance-Infrared (ARGUS-IR).

ARGUS-IR provides real-time, high-resolution, nighttime video surveillance capability for U.S. combat forces for detecting, locating, tracking and monitoring events on battlefields and in urban settings. The system is being developed for compatibility with a variety of unmanned aerial systems.

BAE Systems Electronic Solutions Sector, based in Nashua, N.H., is responsible for the design, development, manufacture and test of the ARGUS-IR Airborne Processing Subsystem (APS). The company also will integrate a high-resolution infrared sensor subsystem over the course of the 32-month, eight-phase DARPA project.

The APS will process and store the imagery provided by the infrared sensor and downlink a minimum of 256 independent 640X480 video streams over a data link with a maximum effective bit rate of 200 Mbits per second. BAE Systems is scheduled to conduct the first flight test of the system by the second quarter of 2012.

“ARGUS-IR further expands military capability by providing 24-hour, day-night reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities over a much wider area than previously possible,” said John Antoniades, BAE Systems ARGUS program manager and director of ISR technology. “Following the successful development of the daytime version of ARGUS, the new APS establishes appreciably expanded capability, and will be designed for use with a number of possible platforms.”

The first flight tests of ARGUS-IR’s predecessor, ARGUS-IS, concluded last October on a U.S. Army Black Hawk.

Contacts

Ducommun Inc., of Carson, Calif., in June said its Ducommun Technologies, Inc. (DTI) subsidiary has been awarded a contract from Boeing to deliver Next-Generation 737 engine start switches. The rotary switches, which are being designed and qualified by DTI’s Human Machine Interface product group, will support all 737 models in production as well as classic platforms, beginning in 2011.

Cobham was awarded a $46 million contract from the U.S. Navy to manufacture the AN/ALQ-99 Low Band Transmitter-Antenna Group for Navy and Marine Corps EA-6B and E/A-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft. The new contract continues funding for a third full-rate production lot. With the award, 217 of 292 required transmitters were ordered. The AN/ALQ-99 Low Band Transmitter-Antenna Group, developed by Cobham Sensor Systems, has been in production since 2005.

➤ Brazil’s GOL Airlines selected Rockwell Collins to provide the CMU-900 Communications Management Unit (CMU) for its fleet of Boeing 737NGs. The aircraft also will be equipped with Rockwell Collins’ GLU-925 Multi Mode Receiver (MMR). The CMU-900 will be certified in January 2011 for the European Link 2000+ Protected Mode ATN CPDLC mandate which begins in January 2011. It was the first communications management unit to participate in the European Link 2000+ Controller to Pilot Datalink Communications (CPDLC) trials, which validated the use of advanced digital communications for Air Traffic Control communications. The GLU-925 is the first MMR certified for precision landing using either Global Navigation Satellite System or Instrument Landing Systems, according to Rockwell Collins.

Honeywell announced contracts related to its IntuVue weather radar system at the Singapore Air Show in February. The company finalized a 10-year maintenance agreement with Singapore Airlines for its fleet of 19 Boeing 777-300ERs equipped with IntuVue. And PT Lion Mentari Airlines, operating as Lion Air, extended an avionics selection for 78 additional Boeing 737NGs, completing its fleet of 178 aircraft equipped with Honeywell avionics, including IntuVue radar.

InterSense, of Billerica, Mass., received additional funding from NASA for the continued development and testing of an inertial-optical head tracking system for commercial pilots. InterSense is developing a miniaturized inertial-optical tracker prototype integrated into a head-mounted display for airline and business jet pilots. In the next phase, InterSense will flight-test the system to assess its functionality and performance.

Rockwell Collins ’ Venue cabin management system was selected for Nextant Aerospace’s BeechJet 400NEXT offering. The agreement, initially for 30 Venue shipsets, represents the first aftermarket availability of Venue, Rockwell Collins said. The BeechJet 400NEXT is a retrofit system offered by Nextant Aerospace, based in Cleveland, for BeechJet 400A/XPs. The first Venue-equipped aircraft was scheduled for delivery in February.

Era a.s., based in Fairfax, Va., said Sept. 10 it will provide a nationwide Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) system for the Republic of Tajikistan. The system will be deployed in three phases. The first phase includes WAM surveillance for the northern portion of the country and will provide air-traffic controllers with situation awareness of en route traffic in the Khujand portion of the Dushanbe flight information region as well as approach surveillance for the Khujand International Airport. The second and third phases will include surveillance for the south and central areas of the nation and surveillance for the eastern portion, respectively.

➤ Russian aviation authorities selected surface surveillance equipment from Era a.s. for Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport. The selected equipment includes Era’s MSS multilateration and ADS-B system, as well as 150 Squid vehicle tracking units, integrated into an advanced surface movement guidance and control system.

Thales signed a six-year agreement with Hainan Airlines of China for the support of the carrier’s Airbus A340-600 fleet. Within the scope of the Avionics-By-The-Hour contract, Thales will maintain specific components under a single package, including provision and storage of on-site components located at the airline’s main base in Haikou, access to a pool of spare parts and component repair on a flight-hour basis.

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies, based in St. Augustine, Fla., in January signed two long-term supply agreements with Airbus. Under the first agreement, Carlisle will supply airframe wire and cable. Deliveries were to begin in March. The second agreement calls for ECS, which was acquired by Carlisle Interconnect Technologies in October 2009, to supply ARINC 600 trays for all Airbus aircraft.

Panasonic Avionics Corp., of Lake Forest, Calif., announced March 29 a strategic agreement with Deutsche Telekom designating Deutsche Telekom and its T-Mobile brand as the preferred wireless Internet service provider for Panasonic’s in-flight Global Communications Suite, which provides broadband Internet, data and voice communication services to passengers and crew, using a GSM or Wi-Fi enabled device. Deutsche Telekom will manage the Internet gateway and handle passenger billing and customer support for Wi-Fi services, and provide marketing and promotional support.

L2 Consulting Services, of Dripping Springs, Texas, was awarded an FAA supplemental type certificate for the installation of a DAC International Class 3 electronic flight bag (EFB) on the Boeing 777. The system was installed for ARINC on a Cathay Pacific Airways B777 in Hong Kong, L2 Consulting said.

Jade Cargo International of China signed a contract to equip its cockpit crews with Lufthansa Systems ’ Lido/RouteManual. The airline was to implement navigation charts by this summer; the electronic version of the charts, Lido/eRouteManual, was to be introduced later.

Behlman Electronics, based in Hauppauge, N.Y., received a follow-on order from the U.S. Air Force to provide its COTS DCMA power supplies for the RC-135 Rivet Joint all-weather surveillance aircraft. Behlman said deliveries of its DCMA COTS power supplies, valued in excess of $530,000, are expected to continue on a scheduled basis through the second quarter 2011.

Data Device Corp., of Bohemia, N.Y., was selected by NASA to supply Mil-Std-1553 PCI-Express cards for NASA’s System Integration and Software Development Labs to support the Ares-1 Launch Vehicle. Ares-1 is the crew launch vehicle being developed by NASA as a component of the Constellation Program.

➤ Air Navigation Service Providers in Norway and Denmark renewed their service agreements with ARINC for Data Link Air Traffic Control applications, the companies announced in September. ARINC provides delivery of Digital Automatic Terminal Information Service and Departure Clearance services.

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