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Tuesday, April 1, 2003

Industry Scan

Enter Entegra

Avidyne Corp. recently gained Federal Aviation Administration approval for its FlightMax Entegra primary flight display (PFD). The 10.4-inch display presents standard flight instrumentation, and its approval includes Avidyne’s solid state air data and attitude/heading reference system (ADAHRS), which is integrated in the display. The ADAHRS uses a three-axis inertial reference and accelerometer system, along with a magnetometer, to replace the traditional vertical and directional gyros. The Entegra’s certification follows that of Avidyne’s FlightMax EX5000 multifunction display (MFD). Together, the two displays comprise the FlightMax Entegra integrated flight deck for general aviation aircraft.

Avidyne also announced it has become an associate member of the FlexRay Consortium, a group of companies–primarily in communications and automobile manufacturing–that seek to develop an open-standard, high-speed data bus protocol for distributed control applications. Avidyne incorporates the FlexRay/ByteFlight data bus in its FlightMax Entegra line of avionics and could benefit from the protocol’s evolution. Visit www.avidyne.com.


Franco-Italian Venture

Thales ATM and Alenia Marconi Systems (AMS) have agreed to jointly develop a new flight data processing system for the French and Italian civil aviation authorities. The program, called European Flight Data Processing/France Italy (eFDP/fi), is valued at approximately 100 million euros ($118 million).

Intended to conform to the Single European Sky concept, the eFDP/fi is being designed to incorporate such features as shared flight data for seamless operations, flexible use of airspace based on dynamic management of routes and civil/military areas, use of an air/ground data link, and enhanced trajectory prediction and arrival/departure sequencing tools.

A project management team will be established in Toulouse, France. Based on the number of systems the eFDP/fi replaces in France (at five centers) and Italy (at four centers), Thales maintains 60 percent of the joint venture’s work share and AMS, 40 percent.

The two companies will design the system in cooperation with France’s Direction de la Navigation Aerienne (DNA) and Italy’s Ente Nazionale de Assistenza Al Volo (ENAV), which are financing the program. Visit www.thalesatm.com and www.amsjv.com.


Cost-Cutting Tools for UAL

Some four years ago, Lockheed Martin ATM president Don Antonucci said his company would "look beyond air traffic control" (ATC) and expand into new markets. At the Maastricht ATC exhibition in February, he proved he was true to his word, announcing a five-year contract from United Airlines (UAL) to provide Lockheed’s Flight and Weather Information and Decision Support (FltWinds) system and System Performance Evaluation and Analysis Reporting (SPEAR) system. The two products are designed to predict bottlenecks and facilitate decision making that helps the airline reduce fuel costs and flight delays. Indeed, the products are to pay for themselves within six months, according to Antonnuci, a "stringent requirement" for UAL, which has filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11.

The FltWinds system interprets weather data in relation to flights and converts it into intuitive graphic displays. It also analyzes flight plan routes and generates alerts when significant shifts in weather patterns emerge. Lockheed’s SPEAR system monitors and analyzes airline operations and airspace activity, and can be used to assess flight departures and arrivals, airport operations schedules and flight deviations. UAL’s central operations control center (OCC) manages some 1,800 departures daily. Visit www.lockheedmartin.com/atm.


Collins-Equipped Bizjets

Dassault Equipements, a division of Dassault Aviation, has contracted Rockwell Collins’ Kaiser Electroprecision company to design and develop the horizontal stabilizer trim actuator (HSTA) and sensor package for the Falcon 7X. The bizjet’s actuator incorporates three independent means of drive, using direct-current motors.

Meanwhile, Collins’ Pro Line 21 Continuum avionics system recently was certified on the Raytheon Hawker 700 business jet. The suite includes five liquid crystal displays, a traffic alert collision avoidance system (TCAS), turbulence-detection weather radar, dual attitude heading reference systems (AHRS) and radio tuning units. The Hawker 700 represents the 14th Pro Line 21 Continuum certification. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.


CMC Shifts GPS Product Line

CMC Electronics Inc., Montreal, Canada, recently decided to transfer its GPS original equipment manufacturer (OEM) product line to its subsidiary, NovAtel Inc., based in Calgary. This combines CMC’s GPS engines, which use the L1 frequency band, with NovAtel’s single- and dual-frequency (L1/L2) receivers, giving the subsidiary a product line for the mid-level, single-frequency GPS market.

CMC also recently delivered its 1,500th satellite communications antenna. It went to Lufthansa, which is fitting the CMA-2102 Aero-H/H+ antenna on 10 new Airbus 340s. CMC has sold its satcom antennas to 65 airlines and a number of corporate/VIP and military aircraft operators. Visit www.cmcelectronics.ca.


UPS Installs ADS-B

UPS has begun installing an advanced air traffic display, produced by UPS Aviation Technologies, on its entire fleet of Boeing 757 and 767 jets. The new cockpit display of traffic information (CDTI) correlates and presents information from an automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) system and a traffic alert collision avoidance system (TCAS). The cargo carrier is the first major airline to equip with an ADS-B traffic display system fleetwide, allowing the collaborative development of procedures for more efficient airport arrivals and departures at UPS’ Louisville, Ky., hub. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is expected to upgrade the air traffic automation systems at Louisville International Airport to allow controllers to collaborate with pilots of ADS-B-equipped aircraft. Initially, the participants want to improve approach capability in visual weather conditions; as the experience level grows, the goal will be to improve approach capability in instrument meteorological conditions, too. Visit www.upsat.com.


Cabin Displays Approved

Spirent Systems’ newest line of cabin displays, the AvVisor Plus, recently received supplemental type certificate (STC) and parts manufacturing approval (PMA). New features of this sixth-generation product line include a worldwide moving map and digital video disc (DVD). AvVisor Plus also provides passengers with cabin audio interface, real-time flight data, and the capability to show customized grahics, PowerPoint presentations and video clips. Visit www.spirent-systems.com.


BA’s Broadband Trial

During a three-month trial, beginning in late February, passengers in First, Club World and World Traveller Plus classes aboard a British Airways B747-400 flying between New York and London-Heathrow have been able to access with their laptops broadband e-mail and Internet service via Connexion by Boeing connectivity. British Airways wants to test the service’s acceptance before committing to its installation across the carrier’s long-haul fleet. Visit www.boeing.com.


New Company

A new company, Avionics Certification Services LLC, has been created to provide Federal Aviation Administration-compliant certification services. Greg Wilson, former director of certification programs and product marketing for Sandel Avionics, is president of the new, San Marcos, Calif., firm. Visit www.acs4cert.com.


ATC for Budapest

HungaroControl, Hungary’s air traffic service provider, has selected Park Air Systems to provide a turnkey air traffic control (ATC) communications system for Budapest Ferihegy Airport. The system is to be delivered during this year’s second quarter. Also, Belgium’s Belgocontrol has contracted Park Air Systems to furnish Brussels Airport with a NOVA 9000 surface movement guidance and control system, for tracking aircraft and ground vehicles. Visit www.parkairsystems.com.


Three More PRMs

The U.S. Congress recently allocated $18.5 million in initial funding of three Precision Runway Monitor (PRM) systems, produced by Raytheon. The electronically scanned, monopulse secondary surveillance radar, with phased array antenna, "will be installed in Cleveland and probably Detroit," said a Raytheon official in late February. "The third airport is not yet known." Site acceptance testing of the PRM at San Francisco and New York JFK airports recently was completed. The runway monitoring radar is in operation in St. Louis, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Hong Kong, and Sydney, Australia. Visit www.raytheon.com.


Targeting the Tower Market

Four European providers of air traffic management systems have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly provide a family of products for airport towers, which are compatible through standardized interfaces. The companies are Sweden’s Saab, the Netherlands’ HITT Traffic, Switzerland’s RUAG Aerospace and Austria’s Frequentis, and the product family is called TAPtools (tower and airport tools). Visit www.frequentis.com.


Condor-Dy4 Collaboration

Condor Engineering, Santa Barbara, Calif., and Dy4 Systems, Kanata, Ontario, are collaborating to develop an environmental qualification-tested, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solution for system integrators looking to add ARINC interfacing capabilities to a ruggedized single-board computer (SBC). The solution–designed for tactical aircraft, helicopters and reconnaissance platforms, among other applications–will comprise Condor’s CEI-820 ARINC interface for PMC (PCI mezzanine card) platforms and Dy4’s Power-PC-based high-performance SBC. Visit www.condoreng.com and www.dy4.com.


Elbit Joins UAV Team

The Thales-led team for the UK’s Watchkeeper tactical unmanned air vehicle (UAV) has selected Israel’s Elbit Systems to participate in the program’s final assessment phase. Elbit will provide to the program the Hermes-180 and Hermes-480 UAVs. Watchkeeper is to be a globally deployable platform that delivers imagery and intelligence to battlefield commanders. Visit www.thalesgroup.com and www.elbit.co.il.



An article in our February issue misidentified the Gables Engineering Web site. The correct address is www.gableseng.com.

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