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Tuesday, August 1, 2000

Industry Scan

New Displays for Airbus

Airbus Industrie is introducing a new, main instrument panel using liquid crystal display (LCD) technology, with certification on the A330/A340 and A320 families expected by the end of 2001. Initially offered as an option, the system will become a basic feature on all company aircraft and be available on the A340-500/600 and A318 when they enter service in 2002.

Sextant Avionique will supply these new-generation, active-matrix displays. The displays will offer more computing power and be able to process standard digital images, providing growth capability. Typically, the display will be used to monitor taxiing of the A340-600, via the on-board taxi-aid cameras. Long term, the system likely will be used to download strategic weather displays or three-dimensional terrain visuals for better situational awareness. It will also be able to print screen hard copies to provide a snapshot of displayed data.

Broadband Service Offered

SITA and AirTV have entered into an agreement to jointly offer Internet access and e-mail services to airlines worldwide. The system will use SITA’s Satellite AIRCOM and AirTV’s planned four-satellite network broadband services.

The two companies plan to have the services available from the last quarter of 2002. They will provide passengers with entertainment and information, including live television, video and audio as well as e-mail and Internet access. See www.sita.com on the Web.

NASA Contracts With Rannoch

NASA has awarded Rannoch Corp. of Alexanxdria, Va., a contract worth $20 milion to assist with the implementation of new flight critical technologies aimed at improving aviation safety.

The contract covers the introduction of new technologies to improve aircraft and air traffic control situational awareness. It also covers new technologies for aircraft systems, airframe, and propulsion health monitoring, and development of advanced guidance and control systems. Rannoch and its team of specialized companies and universities will support the programs over the next five years.

For more information, contact Rannoch President Alexander E. Smith at 703-838-9780, ext. 206, or visit www.rannoch.com.

Kalifa Selects LTR-97 FOG

Privately-owned Kalifa Airlines, based in Algeria, has selected the LTR-97 fiber optic gyro (FOG) Litton Heading and Attitude System (LHAS) for retrofit of the Sagem MGC-10 heading and attitude system on its A300B4 aircraft. Kalifa flies the aircraft between Algeria and the U.S. to support the petroleum industry in Algeria.

Kalifa is the launch customer for the new Airbus A300B2/B4 LHAS replacement program. Airbus plans to complete the certification of LHAS in October.

For more on Litton Aero Products, visit www.litton-apd.com.

Name Change to NAI

North Atlantic Instruments Inc., based in Boehemia, N.Y., has officially changed its name to NAI Inc. The company says the name change is the result of North Atlantic Instruments’ acquisitions of Apex Signal, Logitek and Astrosystems, and will better serve customers, many of whom buy from more than one of the four companies. Visit www.naii.com on the Web.

Speel Wins Certification

Speel-Praha Ltd. of Prague, Czech Republic, announced it has received ISO-9001/9002 certification from KEMA, a Netherlands-based international quality certification company, for the design and manufacture of avionics systems, including solid-state crash-protected flight data recorders, aircraft monitoring systems, and ground support equipment.

Speel specializes in solid-state crash protected flight data recorders for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, as well as modernization programs in which tape-based recorders in Russian aircraft are to be replaced with solid-state models. Phone Speel at 420-2-628-1619, or send e-mail to speel@czn.cz.

A First for BA

British Airways claims to be the first airline to successfully transmit live, human data from a commercial flight over the ocean to land. The trial used a recording from a cardiac monitor to transmit a heart rate reading to Medlink’s medical experts on the ground. Medlink’s doctors have expertise in emergency medical care in remote locations and assist the crew via an air-to-ground link. British Airways plans to install the cardiac monitors on long-haul aircraft over the next 12 to 18 months.

Tel-Instrument Gets Big Order

Tel-Instrument Electronics Corp. of Carlstadt, N.J., says it has received a substantial order from an unnamed, major freight carrier for 142 of its commercial avionics test sets. The test sets will be used to verify operation of navigation, communications, and transponder systems aboard the carrier’s air cargo fleet. The order was placed through Tel Instrument’s distributor, Avionics International Supply Inc. at Denton, Texas, and represents a significant sale for AIS. AIS is the largest Tel-Instrument distributor and specializes in the sale of test equipment to the air transport industry. Direct inquiries to dooney@telinst.com.

AMC Report Complete

The Avionics Maintenance Conference (AMC) report is now complete and posted on the ARINC web page. The address is www.arinc.com/Ind_Govt_Srv/AMC/amc_2000_rpt.html.

Pro Line 21 on the CJ2

Rockwell Collins’ Pro Line 21 system recently was certificated on the Cessna Citation CJ2. Standard Pro Line 21 equipment on the CJ2 includes two 10-by-8-inch liquid crystal displays, with an optional third display for the copilot. These displays can present weather and Stormscope data, as well as flight information. The system was certified on the CJ1 earlier this year.

For more information, visit www.collins.rockwell.com.

New Standby Display for UP-3As

Lockheed Martin chose BFGoodrich’s electronic standby instrument system, the GH-3000, as part of the cockpit upgrade for the U.S. Customs Service’s UP-3A. The GH-300 provides attitude, airspeed and altitude, as well as heading and vertical speed. The UP-3As were transferred to the Custom Service by the U.S. Navy.

Visit www.bfgoodrich.com for info.

West China Route Open

The first flight over the Tibetan Plateau using Future Air Navigation System- (FANS)-1/A navigation equipment was made June 23 by Qantas Airways. The so-called China West Route has been established thanks in part to eight communications, navigation and surveillance/air traffic management workstations that ARINC Inc. installed at air traffic control centers in Qunming, Chengdu, Lanzhou and Urumqi.

These workstations provide automatic dependent surveillance (ADS) and controller-pilot data link communications (CPDLC) capabilities. Development of what is also called the beginning of the "Silk Road Route" is being carried out jointly by ARINC, Qantas, AirServices Australia, Boeing, Airbus and China’s Civil Aviation Authority. For more information, visit www.arinc.com.

New Generator for the V-22

The U.S. Navy and Boeing Company selected Smiths Industries Aerospace’s U.S.-based Leland Co. to come up with an improved constant frequency generator (ICFG) for the V-22 Osprey program.

The firm fixed-price contract covers design, development, qualification test, and data requirements for a 40kVA CFG, based on Leland’s Variable Speed Constant Frequency (VSCF) generator system. Qualification on the V-22 tiltrotor is expected to take less than one year, with ICFG production deliveries available six months later. See www.smithsind-aerospace.com.

GECU for the Gripen

Ericsson Saab Avionics AB received an order from Saab AB for General systems Electronic Control Units (GECU) for the Gripen batch 1 and 2, covering 140 aircraft. Deliveries to Saab will begin in 2002.

The GECU is a combined unit for controlling and monitoring the air, hydraulic and fuel systems, and it replaces three separate units currently used in batches 1 and 2 of the Gripen. See www.gripen.se.

Avoiding Mission Abortion

A device meant to avoid aborting missions by transferring data from a disabled aircraft to a healthy one was recently demonstrated. A prototype of the Air Vehicle Prognostic and Health Management (PHM) and Joint Distributed Information System (JDIS), developed for the Joint Strike Fighter (JFS), was tested in a simululated two-aircraft mission during which a radar failure was artificially induced. Visit www.jsfteam.com.

Army Chooses Collins’ Software

The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) selected Rockwell Collins’ HF Messenger off-the-shelf software to create a high frequency (HF) gateway for its Tactical Internet. Under the Army’s 21st Century Warfighter Initiative, the Tactical Internet communicates situational, logistics and command-and-control data across and between battlefields.

HF Messenger can provide more than 40 miles of airborne helicopter-to-ground data communications, as well as cross-range communication for ground-to-ground operations. When used with existing HF radio infrastructures, it provides secure, encrypted data communications. See www.collins.rockwell.com.

L-3’s HPMS-700 Proven on F-22

L3 Communications announced the successful flight test of its Model HPMS-700 horsepower measurement system (HPMS) on Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor tactical jet fighter aircraft. The HPMS is from L-3’s Telemetry-East unit. For more on L-3 Communications, visit www.L-3Com.com.

ETCAS Approved on KC10-A

Aeronautical Radio Inc. (ARINC) announced that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has granted certification for the installation of Honeywell’s enhanced traffic collision and avoidance system (ETCAS) on the U.S. Air Force KC10-A platform. ARINC provided all design, installation support, test, training, certification, and manual supplements for the effort. Visit ARINC’s Website at www.arinc.com.

Frankfurt Airport in ‘99

Frankfurt Main/AG (FAG) Airport has released its 1999 results:

  • Pre-tax profit: over DM349 million ($171 million);

  • Net income (after taxes): DM138 million ($67.6 million), one-third more than in 1998;

  • Aircraft movements: 439,093, 5.5% over 1998;

  • Average daily takeoffs/landings: 1,200.

FAG’s shareholders are the State of Hesse, the City of Frankfurt, and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Free Weather Forecasts

For the first time, The Met, in the UK, is making available aviation weather forecasts free of charge to general aviation pilots. This move, which is expected to greatly enhance air safety in the UK, includes half-hourly weather observations (METARs) and terminal aerodrome forecasts (TAFs). It is being credited to reductions in the cost of delivery afforded by the Internet; plans to make European TAFs and METARs available free via the Internet in the coming months are currently being explored. See www.met-office.gov.uk/aviation/.

Lab Aircraft Delivered

Raytheon Co. delivered the first of four System for Vigilance of the Amazon (SIVAM) laboratory aircraft, a Hawker 800 XP, to the Brazilian Air Force in Rio de Janeiro June 1.

The aircraft is outfitted with an automatic flight inspection system, to evaluate the performance of air traffic control systems, instrument landing systems, and ground-to-air/air-to-ground communications systems. Additionally, it will be used to validate the performance of other ground-based equipment being developed and installed in Amazonia as part of the SIVAM program. SIVAM was launched to link radars, sensors and satellites connected to regional coordination centers in Brazil through a telecommunication network. See www.raytheon.com.

Swiss Test Software

Switzerland’s air traffic navigation service provider Swisscontrol will become the first in Europe to beta test the PrecisionWare software suite used for the design, simulation and validation of GPS/GNSS procedures. The software was developed by Wavionix Innovative Solutions International (WISI), a joint venture company of Wavionix Software Ltd. and Innovative Solutions International (ISI). Beta testing of PrecisionWare at Swisscontrol’s headquarters in Geneva started in May. Test results were to be released this summer. Visit www.wisiinc.com or www.precisionware.com.

Europe Monitors for RVSM

Eurocontrol is now set to monitor aircraft altitudes for the European reduced vertical separation minima (RVSM) program. On May 25, the agency formally monitored the first aircraft, a Britannia Airways Boeing 757, flying from Paphos, Cyprus, to London Gatwick. The ground-based, height monitoring unit (HMU) was near Linz, Austria. On that same day, Eurocontrol marked another first; a GO-FLY Boeing 737, flying from London Stansted to Alicante, Spain, was monitored for RVSM using an airborne GPS monitoring unit (GMU).

SVS Absorbed By Boeing

In a move that both parties consider quite fitting, The Boeing Co. announced its acquisition of SVS Inc. of Albuquerque, N.M., for an unspecified amount. The deal, the result of a strategic alliance initiated in November 1998, was to become finalized June 30, and effective July 1, at which time SVS would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Boeing Co.’s Space & Communications group, led by Jim Albaugh.

"We all kind of fell in love with each other," SVS co-founder and chairman of the board Paul Shirley told Avionics Magazine. Boeing approached SVS a couple of years ago with an interest in having a bigger presence in space technology, particularly in the laser and electro-optic systems arena, he said.

SVS had been approached by other prospective buyers, as well, but Shirley said Boeing had the greatest appeal. There was a need to "protect the culture," he said. SVS management wanted the company to keep its identity, which has a strong presence in the local and business communities. "They [Boeing] will work to keep the culture intact."

Although he could not reveal any figures, Shirley said the sale of SVS, a seven-year-old, employee-owned company would give shareholders "a nice payoff." There would be no layoff’s, he stressed, although he said he would be leaving his post at SVS to spend more time with his family and chase other business possibilities.

"Boeing has made a major investment in the directed-energy marketplace, with its lead role in airborne laser, space-based laser and its development work in the laser and beam control technologies," says Mike Skolnick, vice president and general manager of the Boeing’s Laser & Electro Optical Systems unit. "SVS would bring critical and specialized capabilities to the company, not only in directed energy, but also in a wide range of electro-optical controls and image processing applications for both the defense and commercial markets."

For more about SVS, visit www.svsinc.com, for Boeing, see www.boeing.com.

LKD Acquires BMR

LKD Aerospace Inc. of Issaquah, Wash., in June said it entered into an agreement to acquire BMR Aviation Inc., a Canada-based distributor of rotable products to the aerospace aftermarket. The acquisition is expected to accelerate LKD’s growth in rotable products and add depth to its globalization efforts. It was due to close in mid-summer. Visit www.Lkdaerospace.com for more information.

Horizon Buys Lewis Engineering

Horizon Aerospace, a Victor, N.Y.-based manufacturer of flight instruments, has purchased Lewis Engineering, Naugatuck, Conn. Lewis, a division of BFGoodrich, produces indicator instruments. It will be moved to New York, where Horizon Aerospace plans to build a 15,000-square-foot (1,395-m2) addition to its existing facility. For more information, call 716-742-4900.

AIL Technologies Joins EDO

The merger of two New York firms, AIL Technologies Inc. and EDO Corp., has been finalized. Frank Fariello will continue as EDO’s chairman; AIL president and CEO James Smith will assume the same titles with EDO. See www.edocorp.com.

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