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Thursday, June 1, 2000

Industry Scan

HGS on the Challenger 604

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration recently approved the Flight Dynamics head-up guidance system (HGS) on the Bombardier Canadair Challenger 604. The STC follows some three years of development work.

The HGS is certified for use in weather conditions down to Category II approach minima (100-foot [30-meter] decision height and 1,200-foot [366-meter] runway visual range). It is a derivative of the HGS installed on Canadair regional jets.

The system displays flight information and guidance through a holographic "combiner" screen positioned before the pilot. The display is focused on infinity, allowing the pilot to see other aircraft and airports without changing focus. See www.flightdynamics.com.The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration recently approved the Flight Dynamics head-up guidance system (HGS) on the Bombardier Canadair Challenger 604. The STC follows some three years of development work.

The HGS is certified for use in weather conditions down to Category II approach minima (100-foot [30-meter] decision height and 1,200-foot [366-meter] runway visual range). It is a derivative of the HGS installed on Canadair regional jets.

The system displays flight information and guidance through a holographic "combiner" screen positioned before the pilot. The display is focused on infinity, allowing the pilot to see other aircraft and airports without changing focus. See www.flightdynamics.com.

Arcing Interrupted

The FAA and U.S. Navy have granted Eaton Corp., Cleveland, Ohio, a two-year $1-million contract to develop technology to protect electrical systems aboard both civilian and military aircraft against mechanical wear, environmental effects, and thermal stress. Eaton plans to adapt its arc fault circuit interruption technology to the miniature circuit breakers in an aircraft’s 400-Hz electrical system.

These interrupters use integrated electronics to diagnose when arcing or "jumping" occurs in a wiring system, then immediately shut down the circuit. The technology is to prevent intermittent, sputtering electrical arcs that could become flash points for fires. For more on the subject, see www.eaton.com.

Wake-Up Call

In a joint program with Page Aerospace Ltd., Sunbury-on-Thames, UK, and the Laboratory of Applied Anthropology (LAA) at the University Paris V, Airbus Industrie has been assessing an electronic pilot activity and alertness monitor (EPAM). Currently in the conceptual phase, the EPAM would measure a number of factors, such as eye movements and crew interaction with flight deck systems to detect the onset of fatigue.

EPAM was evaluated during a recent round-the-world flight of a FANS-A test aircraft and proved to be more effective than a simple wake-up alarm. According to Airbus, it can accurately detect states of hypo-vigilance and ascertain whether the individual needs to rest or simply perform certain tasks to return to the necessary standard of alertness. See www.pageaerospace.uk.co and www.airbus.com.

ICC Canada Selects LHAS

International Cargo Charter Canada (ICC Canada) has selected Litton’s LTR-97 heading and attitude system (LHAS) for its fleet of Airbus A300-B4 aircraft. Each aircraft will be equipped with three LTR-97 LHASs. The LTR-97 uses fiber-optic gyro technology and is based on Litton’s LTR-97 VG/DG replacement system. For more information, see www.litton-apd.com.

An ICMS from Taiwan

Taiwan’s Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology is developing an integrated cockpit management system (ICMS) as part of the Small Airplane Technical Development Project funded by the country’s Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The ICMS is the first civil avionics project by the institute’s Aeronautical Systems Research Division, and follows its involvement in developing the avionics system of the Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF). The project includes the combination of a moving map display with GPS, flexible multimode interface with relevant trans-mitters/receivers, multimedia object-oriented pilot/airplane interactive display, and a comprehensive management database.

Computer STC’d for Excel

Safe Flight Instrument Corp. has received an STC for installation of its N1 Computer on-board the Cessna Citation Excel.

The N1 Computer displays real-time target N1 thrust settings for takeoff, climb and cruise. The unit was designed to allow pilots the freedom to keep their heads up rather than down looking at printed material. It should also lower the risk of engine-damaging overspeed and overtemp conditions.

For on this, phone 914-946-9500 or direct e-mail to phfleiss@safeflight.com.

EGPWS Rule Published

The final rule has been published, and it will go into effect March 29, 2001. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has published the rule that requires all turbine-powered aircraft bearing six or more passengers to be equipped with enhanced ground proximity warning systems (EGPWS). For more information, see www.faa.gov.

Archangel Selects FMS FMS Enterprises Ltd. has been appointed Archangel Systems Inc.’s exclusive representative in Israel. FMS customers include aircraft modification centers, local airlines, and the Israeli Air Force. Archangel manufactures glass cockpit equipment for small aircraft and rotorcraft, offering products such as a primary flight display, electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) and engine instrument crew alert system (EICAS). Visit www.archangel.com.

Japanese Representation

Mitsui & Co Ltd. has been appointed to represent Airbus Industrie in Japan and will support the European manufacturer’s commercial activities with Japanese airlines. Higher than average levels of growth in the air transport market are forecast for the area, with likely demand for more than 660 new aircraft over the next 20 years. This forecast includes a requirement for at least 170 very large, A3XX-size aircraft.

Wescam on HU-25s

Wescam has received an order for the first Model 16 multisensor system to be installed on a jet airplane. In an $8.6-million contract, Northrop Grumman ordered the maritime surveillance system for installation on the U.S. Coast Guard’s HU-25 Falcon Jet as part of the aircraft’s upgrade. Deliveries are to run from second quarter 2001 to third quarter 2002. Wescam has options for additional units, worth $11.5 million over the next four years. For more information, see www.wescam.com.

Reflectone Renamed

The UK simulation and training company, formerly known as Reflectone, has been renamed as the Flight Simulation and Training business unit of BAE Systems. Founded in 1939, Reflectone was acquired by British Aerospace in May 1997. On Nov. 30, 1999, British Aerospace merged with Marconi Electronic Systems to form BAE Systems. For more information, see www.baesystems.com.

In-Flight Entertainment

IFE Software for the Web

Sextant In-Flight Systems (IFS) has signed an agreement with Den-O-Tech (DTI) to develop Web-based software for use with its m Series interactive video-on-demand (VOD) and communication systems. The new applications will allow Sextant IFS’ customers to add intranet services to interactive in-flight entertainment systems, as well as e-mail and internet browsing. According to Sextant, passengers will initially only be able to browse stored Web sites that the airline selects. As increased bandwidth becomes available, passengers will be able to surf the Web and carry out Internet transactions. For more information see www.sextant-avionique.com.

New IFE for Qantas

Qantas is fitting individual seat-back video screens and telephones in the economy class cabins of its Boeing 747-400 aircraft. In addition, new, larger individual screens, in-seat power points for laptop computers, and telephones are being fitted in the aircraft’s first and business class cabins. Qantas selected an interactive entertainment system from Rockwell Collins, for installation in all three classes of its Boeing 747-400s. The first aircraft will be fitted with the new system by April 2001 with completion scheduled for mid-2002. See www.collins.rockwell.com.

Music and Announcements

Heads Up Technologies Inc., Carrollton, Texas, recently delivered its digital PBS600 Pre-Recorded Announcement Machine (PRAM) to Bombardier for installation and certification on the Canadair Regional Jet 200 Series. Bombardier offers the PBS600 as an option for those customers who want prerecorded announcements and boarding music on the CRJ200 and CRJ700 series aircraft.

The PBS600 stores up to seven hours of boarding music, as well as safety messages, promotional briefings and other in-flight service announcements in up to 63 languages. Visit www.heads-up.com.

DirecTV on jetBlue

jetBlue Airways recently began providing its passengers with up to 24 channels of television programming as part of its in-flight entertainment. The airline will provide live DirecTV programming on in-flight entertainment equipment supplied by LiveTV. Passengers view personal flat-screen monitors installed in each seatback, and they control the service with remotes built into their armrests.

The DirecTV package features sports, news, general entertainment and children’s programming, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPN Classic, The Golf Channel, CNNsi, Bloomberg Television, CNNfn, CNN Headline News, ZDTV, The Weather Channel, The Travel Channel, Home and Garden TV, The Food Network, Game Show Network, and A&E. See www.ifetv.com or www.directv.com.

Defense

S-70 Tests a Success

The Turkish military successfully completed the first flight of a Sikorsky S-70 outfitted with a new Rockwell Collins cockpit. The multimission, multirole rotorcraft is one of 58 ordered by the Turkish armed forces.

The flight concludes a 14-month development program for Rockwell Collins and Sikorsky Aircraft that outlines a new glass cockpit architecture configuration intended to provide improved flexibility and performance for mission management. Collins’ multifunction displays (MFDs) and flight management system (FMS) and Sikorsky’s equipment integration provide the S-70 with increased situational awareness capability in the cockpit, says Kevin Bredenbeck, chief of test for Turkey programs at Sikorsky. Visit www.collins.rockwell.com for more information.

ADS-B for the Navy?

The U.S. Navy has awarded Rannoch Corp., Alexandria, Va., a research contract to evaluate the military utility of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B). Already, the following benefits have been identified:

  • An improved tactical picture for both command-and-control personnel and pilots. This could generate higher confidence to engage an enemy without visual identification.

  • Improved safety through better situational awareness and reduced pilot workload.

  • And collision avoidance, range clearance, and compatibility with aircraft operating in the National Airspace and civil aircraft in foreign airspace.

For further information contact, Alexander E. Smith, president of Rannoch, by e-mail: asmith@rannoch.com.

Litton INS for IPTN

Nusantara Aerospace Industries of Indonesia (IPTN) has ordered from Litton Aero Products Division avionics systems for eight CN235 aircraft currently being manufactured for the South Korea Air Force.

The avionics suite consists of the LTN-92 ring laser gyro, inertial navigation system (INS), interfaced with the LTN-2001 GPS. The LTN-92 system is an ARINC 561 strapdown INS with ARINC 704 digital interface capability. The CN235 is a twin-turboprop transport aircraft built jointly by IPTN and Spain’s Construcciones Aeronauticas SA (CASA).

Litton Aero Products is based in Woodland Hills, Calif. For more information, see www.litton-apd.com.

Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Rockwll Collins announced on April 27 its plan to purchase Sony Trans Com, producer of in-flight entertainment (IFE) equipment. The acquisition will add to Rockwell Collins’ Passenger Systems IFE business, in Pomona, Calif. The combined businesses are expected to generate more than $500 million annually in revenue by 2001.

  • Meggitt Plc., based in the United Kingdom, is acquiring S-TEC Corp. of Mineral Wells, Texas, from its shareholders. S-TEC supplies retrofit systems for autopilots in the general aviation market and original equipment autopilots for new aircraft. Meggitt says the acquisition will help expand its "ability to offer an integrated avionics package" and penetrate aftermarket sales in general aviation. The acquisition’s approval by regulatory agencies was expected in May.

Air Traffic Control

Europe Battles Delays

A special ad hoc session of the Eurocontrol Provisional Council, held in Brussels March 22, discussed ways to enhance air traffic capacity in Europe.

It was noted that as a result of action taken by the individual countries and Eurocontrol since its last session, delays in summer 2000 are predicted to be significantly lower than those of the previous summer. Despite a 5.3% traffic growth forecast, the figure of 3.5 minutes delay per flight remains the target for this summer. The council encouraged countries to consider the following for this summer:

  • Introducing an enhanced version of the Central Flow Management Unit (CFMU) software,

  • Introducing a monthly operational performance monitoring process, and

  • Commitment by senior managers in all parts of the air traffic management (ATM) system and aircraft operators to work together.

The council also drew up medium-term proposals, for action beyond this summer:

  • Establish an appropriate function within the Eurocontrol European ATM Program (EATMP) to improve the capacity target-planning process, and

  • Develop Local Convergence and Implementation Plans (LCIP) documents, to define clear capacity-related objectives.

For more information, see www.eurocontrol.be.

Sensis, Raytheon Team

Sensis Corp. and Raytheon Co. are teaming to produce for the FAA a system to reduce runway incursions. The teaming is in response to the Screening Information Request for the Airport Surface Detection Equipment acquisition.

The FAA claims the number of U.S. runway incursions presenting safety hazards jumped 75% since 1993, from 186 to 327 in 1999. The Sensis-Raytheon team plans to combat this situation with a turnkey system that fuses data from transponder multilateration surveillance systems and surface movement radars onto air traffic controller displays. See www.sensis.com and www.raytheon.com.

A Frequentis USA First

A Frequentis air traffic control voice communications system recently became operational at Williams Gateway Airport in Mesa, Ariz. It was Frequentis USA Inc.’s first voice-switch sale. See www.frequentis.com.

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