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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Industry Scan


First-Quarter Report: Osprey Delivers The Goods in Iraq

The first MV-22 Osprey tiltrotors assigned for operational duty in Iraq arrived in country last October. The following report, based on the first three months of the deployment, is excerpted from an article by Richard Whittle in the February 2008 issue of Rotor & Wing magazine, our sister publication.

One December evening, a half-dozen U.S. Marine Corps V-22 pilots gathered in their squadron ready room for a briefing on their mission — for the next 12 hours, they were to stand ready to fly anywhere in western Iraq to pick up casualties.

Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 (VMM-263) had been assigned to keep three of its 10 Bell-Boeing Ospreys and six of its 23 pilots ready 24 hours a day to evacuate casualties in Anbar Province. No calls came in that night, nor anytime else in December.

While the pilots of VMM-263 had flown plenty during the first three months of a scheduled seven-month stint in Iraq, most of their missions were "general support," carrying passengers and cargo. Nevertheless, squadron members and Marine leaders were pleased with the debut of the MV-22B.

As of Jan. 4, VMM-263 had accumulated 1,752 mishap-free flying hours in Iraq, carried 7,144 passengers, and delivered 686,047 pounds of cargo. Even with three planes a day sitting on alert for casualty evacuation in December, that was nearly 500 hours, 2,000 passengers and 50,000 pounds more cargo than the squadron of 11 CH-53D helicopters it had relieved.

"We’ve been taking a very methodical approach — crawl, walk, run — like you would do" with any new aircraft, said Maj. Gen. Kenneth Glueck, commander of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at Cherry Point, N.C., who visited VMM-263 in December. "I don’t think there’s any better way you’re going to be able to test it than having it out here forward-deployed and in a desert environment the way we have."

The Pentagon has spent more than $22 billion over 24 years in developing the Osprey, whose record of four crashes and 30 deaths in testing prior to 2001 led critics to predict disaster if it flew in Iraq. That hadn’t happened, although some critics remained unconvinced.

The Marines are buying 360 Ospreys at a price of $69.3 million per aircraft, or $110 million if all development costs are averaged in. The U.S. Air Force plans to buy 50 and maybe more CV-22s for special operations. The "flyaway" price of their version, which includes special operations gear, is about $86 million, according to the Naval Air Systems Command.

Maintenance issues

Surprisingly, Iraq’s sand hasn’t damaged the Osprey’s rotor blades and turbine-engine compressor blades as it has those of U.S. military helicopters. The squadron had to replace only one of the Osprey’s Rolls-Royce AE1107C engines during its first three months in Iraq, fewer than it replaced in just over a month of training in mid-2007 at Yuma, Ariz. The talcum-powder fineness of Iraq’s sand, compared to the gritty variety found near Yuma, is one apparent reason for that.

Speaking in early December, CWO2 Carlos Rios, maintenance material control officer, said the squadron’s readiness rate had ranged from 50 to 100 percent on any given day.

The average readiness rate was 76 percent in October and 65 percent in November, which veteran aviators say isn’t bad for an aircraft just introduced into service. The goal for the V-22 once the Marine Corps fleet reaches 60,000 flight hours is an average readiness rate of 82 percent.

There have been some unwelcome surprises on the maintenance front. When VMM-263 flew into Iraq from the Gulf of Aqaba off the deck of the USS Wasp, the amphibious assault ship that brought the squadron across the ocean from its home base at New River, N.C., one of its 10 Ospreys posted cockpit warnings of flight-control and hydraulic system faults that led pilots to land in Jordan.

After nearly three days of troubleshooting the problem and changing wire bundles to fix it, the Osprey left Jordan for Iraq but landed at a forward operating base in western Iraq when it had a problem with a swashplate actuator, which had to be replaced.

VMM-263’s readiness rate also was lowered by unexpected problems with slip rings, which distribute electricity to the Osprey’s rotor heads to operate its blade fold mechanism and vibration sensors.

Slip rings usually are replaced at 420 hours. "Some of them have been failing prematurely," Rios said. "That’ll make you take the bird out of the fight," he added, because a slip-ring failure disables vibration sensors that provide warnings if the rotorhead or swashplate actuators are suffering so much vibration they risk damage.

A pleasant surprise has been the performance of the Osprey’s often-troublesome engine air particle separators (EAPS), blowers that filter out sand, dust and other debris before they reach the engines. In training and other flights in the United States, failures of these separators have been a frequent annoyance. In two cases last year, separator failures were blamed for Osprey engine fires. In Iraq, Rios said, "we’ve had no issues with it."

On Dec. 6, the Osprey was used on its first-ever raid, inserting 24 Marines and 24 Iraqi troops near Lake Tharthar in northern Iraq to search for insurgents. Later in December, Ospreys also took part in three "Aeroscout" missions.

The Aeroscout tactic typically involves Bell AH-1 Cobra helicopter gunships, a Bell UH-1 Huey command helicopter, CH-53E Super Stallion transports to carry troops as well as fuel for the smaller helicopters, plus Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighters accompanied by a Lockheed Martin KC-130J refueling tanker.

Things could be tougher for a second Osprey squadron from New River — VMM-162 — scheduled to replace VMM-263 at Al Asad this year for its own seven-month deployment. The weather will be much hotter, and the war could be, too. — Richard Whittle


Dreamliner Delayed

Boeing on Jan. 16 moved back the first flight of the 787 Dreamliner for a second time in three months due to assembly issues. The maiden flight was postponed by three months to the end of the second quarter; deliveries are expected to begin in early 2009, rather than later this year.

"The fundamental design and technologies of the 787 remain sound," Scott Carson, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, reassured. "However, we continue to be challenged by start-up issues in our factory and in our extended global supply-chain."

In October, Boeing revised the 787 schedule by about six months, setting the first flight by the end of March, and first delivery to All Nippon Airways in November or December. Within days of that development, the company announced a management shake-up in the program, naming Pat Shanahan vice president and general manager in place of Mike Bair. Shanahan previously was vice president of Boeing Missile Defense Systems.

Parts availability from fasteners to structural assemblies, and "travel work" — wiring and systems installation done by Boeing on the first production aircraft, but later the responsibility of partner companies — have been cited as causing the delays.

Following the January revision, Boeing said it would work over the next several weeks, with customers and suppliers, to assess impacts of the schedule change on the 787 flight-test program and entry into service.

"This effort will include an assessment of supplier progress in meeting their commitments to deliver more complete assemblies on subsequent airplanes," the company said.

777 Crash Probe

Investigators probing the Jan. 17 crash landing of a British Airways Boeing 777 at London Heathrow first concentrated on an electrical or computer fault but later switched their focus to the aircraft’s fuel supply, reports Air Safety Week, Avionics sister publication.

British Airways Flight 38, en route from Beijing, crash-landed just shy of Runway 27L. There was one serious injury among the 136 passengers and 16 crew members onboard.

A week after the crash landing, the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said the 777’s two Rolls-Royce Trent 895-17 engines did not shut down, as previously thought. Investigators said the thrust on the right engine fell first. Eight seconds later, the thrust on the left engine also fell. Both engines, however, continued to run but with inadequate power.

It was not believed that the aircraft simply ran out of fuel, so AAIB was examining the complete fuel flow path to identify any interruption that would cause both Trent engines to provide too little thrust. Fuel management problems don’t normally affect both engines at the same time.

The probe into the non-fatal accident shows how closer examination of evidence, including data from the aircraft’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders, can lead to twists and turns in an aircraft crash investigation. AAIB previously said both turbofans failed to respond to demands for more power moments before the first-ever crash of a Boeing 777-236ER.

The 777 entered service in 1995 and about 687 remain in use. The accident aircraft was built in 2001.

After issuance of AAIB’s First Preliminary Report on the accident Jan. 18, work continued on all fronts to identify why neither engine responded to required throttle lever inputs during the final approach. According to a Jan. 24 probe update, "whilst the aircraft was stabilized on an ILS approach with the Autopilot engaged, the Autothrust system commanded an increase in thrust from both engines. The engines both initially responded but after about three seconds the thrust of the right engine reduced.

"Some eight seconds later the thrust reduced on the left engine to a similar level. The engines did not shut down and both engines continued to produce thrust at an engine speed above flight idle, but less than the commanded thrust.

"Recorded data indicates that an adequate fuel quantity was on board the aircraft and that the Autothrottle and engine control commands were performing as expected prior to, and after, the reduction in thrust.

"All possible scenarios that could explain the thrust reduction and continued lack of response of the engines to throttle lever inputs are being examined, in close cooperation with Boeing, Rolls Royce and British Airways."

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) database records six previous engine failures involving the Boeing 777, including one in August 2005, when a Malaysia Airlines 777 suffered a loss of thrust 30 minutes after takeoff from Perth, Australia. The safety board’s investigation of that incident might shed some light on the 777 loss at Heathrow.

On Aug. 29, 2005, FAA issued emergency airworthiness directive (AD 2005-18-51), superseding an earlier directive. It states operators should install ADIRU-03 software within 72 hours in their Boeing 777 aircraft.

It also states faulty ADIRU data could cause anomalies in 777 primary flight controls, autopilot, pilot displays, autobrakes and autothrottles. — Ramon Lopez

CAT III Beijing

Operations started on the third runway at Beijing Capital International Airport following flight-test acceptance of a new CAT III ILS provided by Thales. The new runway is designed to serve the Airbus A380.

The Thales CAT III ILS is capable of safely guiding aircraft on automatic precision landing in very low visibility conditions down to 200 meters horizontal visibility.

Beijing Capital International Airport handled more than 48 millions passengers in 2006, with an average of 1,100 landings and departures per day. The previous two runways would not have been able to meet the requirements of increased traffic expected for the 2008 Olympic Games.

A350 Avionics

France’s Thales will provide avionics and cockpit systems for the new Airbus A350 XWB, a contract expected to generate up to $2.9 billion over its 20-year life.

The Thales package includes the aircraft’s Integrated Modular Avionics suite, Interactive Control and Display Systems and Air Data and Inertial Reference Unit. The A350 XWB is expected to enter service in 2013.

Among other named suppliers on the A350 are Rockwell Collins, providing the Trimmable Horizontal Stabilizer Actuator, AFDX switches, multimode receiver and digital radar altimeter; and Honeywell, HGT-1700 auxiliary power unit.

Midlands Surveillance

The Manchester, U.K., Airport Group selected Era Corp.’s wide area multilateration and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast surveillance system for deployment at East Midlands Airport.

The system initially will provide enhanced surveillance information for the airport’s environmental management program, with the option to extend the use of the system to support air-traffic control operations, both on the surface and on approach, Era said.

Saab Investment

navAero Ab, based in Sundsvall, Sweden, in January announced a "significant investment in equity capital" from the Saab Group. The specific amount was not disclosed.

The company is the European arm of electronic flight bag provider navAero, based in Chicago.

"The infusion of capital, along with the substantial resources that the Saab Group brings to our company, will fuel our continued R&D investment in the development and commercialization of new technology for the commercial airline industry and enable us to continue our global expansion," said navAero CEO Stefan Ridderheim.

"This is more than just an investment. It is a relationship," said Håkan Rosen, head of Saab Ventures. "There is tremendous synergy between Saab and navAero and we look forward to having the opportunity to further the relationship through advancing the commercialization of many of our technologies through this new channel."

Era Director

Surveillance and flight-tracking systems provider Era Corp., Reston, Va., named Russell Chew, former FAA chief operating officer, to its board of directors. Chew is president and COO of JetBlue Airways, where he leads the airline’s strategic direction and operations.

While at FAA, Chew oversaw FAA’s research and acquisition programs and the U.S. air-traffic control system. He also held leadership positions with American Airlines, with responsibility for evaluation and implementation of new aircraft and ground technologies for airline fleet and operations planning.

"The value proposition of JetBlue and the satisfaction of our customers are directly related to the safety and efficiency of the ATM system of today and tomorrow," Chew said. "Next-generation technologies from companies like Era are essential to modernizing the global air transportation system."

Embry Expands

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in January opened a new College of Business building at the university’s Daytona Beach, Fla., campus.

The 54,225-square-foot, $13 million building contains faculty and administrative offices, classrooms, conference rooms and computer labs. It represents part of an investment of $125 million in new and planned construction at the Daytona Beach campus.

Future projects include additions to the aviation complex, an administration building and a headquarters building for the worldwide division.


Gulfstream SVS, EVS

Gulfstream Aerospace in late January announced FAA certification of both its Synthetic Vision-Primary Flight Display (SV-PFD) and Enhanced Vision System II (EVS II) for applications on G350, G450, G500 and G550 business jets.

The SV-PFD provides 3-D color terrain images derived from data stored in the Honeywell Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System. The system display represents the first application of Honeywell’s Integrated Primary Flight Display, announced in 2006.

Gulfstream’s EVS II, with components from Kollsman, Inc., of Merrimack, N.H., provides real-time images detected by a nose-mounted infrared camera and viewed on the aircraft’s head-up display.

"The combination of EVS with SV-PFD brings a whole new level of safety to the flight deck," said Pres Henne, Gulfstream senior vice president of programs, engineering and test. "The effect of using both systems simultaneously provides an unmatched magnitude of pilot situational awareness and a flight path that is always visible, regardless of the conditions outside the cockpit window."

VLJ Study

Eurocontrol in January said it expects the number of Very Light Jets (VLJ) to soar in Europe, with up to 100 additional aircraft entering service each year, totaling 700 in operation by 2015.

To accommodate that growth, the air-traffic organization launched a forum known as the "European VLJs Integration Platform (VIP)" to propose solutions for integrating VLJs into European airspace. A number of large VLJ manufacturers and operators participate in the VIP.

"The growth in VLJs adds a significant extra dimension to the complexity of air traffic in Europe," said Alex Hendriks, Eurocontrol’s deputy director of ATM Strategies. "VLJs have very different speeds and cruising levels from current commercial jet aircraft, so we need to conduct an impact assessment to see how they will affect the network as a whole. We also need to assess the technical requirements for onboard systems, including examining whether there is a requirement for" an airborne collision avoidance system.

In order to understand how VLJs will be integrated into European airspace, Eurocontrol is preparing a simulation that will assess the impact of VLJ operations. This will be carried out in 2008 in full consultation with the VIP, the organization said.

An initial comparison of published VLJ performance and that of commercial jets indicates VLJs will have a considerable impact on at least the take-off and en route parts of the air-traffic control system. Analysis also will be carried out on the technical requirements for onboard systems, as there may be difficulties in adapting some of the fully integrated avionics employed in VLJs to particular navigation requirements.

Eurocontrol said there are about 440 VLJs currently on order for operation in Europe. Of these, at least 230 are expected for delivery by the end of 2010. The majority of VLJs are expected to be used for air-taxi operations. Typically, this would result in each aircraft making an average of two to three flights a day, adding 200 to 300 extra flights per day each year.

Avionics Loans

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) in January unveiled a plan to provide low-interest loans to pilots in order to install the advanced avionics needed for the NextGen flight regime. The loans, part of a larger aviation safety initiative, would facilitate installation of Capstone-compliant avionics, enabling aircraft to receive and display Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast position information as well as real-time weather data.

"In addition to reducing aircraft accidents, equipping planes with these advanced avionics can offer safer access to rural communities," Palin said. "This new technology will also increase the safety and effectiveness of medical evacuations and search-and-rescue operations."

Another aspect of the aviation safety initiative will be to create new digital maps, with accurate height and depth data of physical terrain, to be incorporated in FAA terrain models. The state’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, working with the Medallion Foundation, a non-profit organization funded by the federal government, were working to provide map data in flight simulators.


The Goodrich Corp. Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) system received Supplemental Type Certification (STC) from Transport Canada for the Bombardier Global Express family of long-range business jets, including the Global Express, the Global XRS and Global 5000.

The certification process was conducted by Business Jet Aircraft Completions (BJAC), based in Dorval, Quebec. Goodrich selected BJAC as a worldwide authorized sales and service center of EFBs for business jets last year.

Goodrich, Charlotte, N.C., offers 8.4-inch and 10.4-inch, high-resolution, passively cooled displays for the EFB system. The computer has integrated video surveillance system capability and optional wireless connectivity.

Adam Restructures

Very light jet (VLJ) manufacturer Adam Aircraft, Englewood, Colo., underwent a restructuring with the goal of obtaining type certification of the A700 VLJ in 2008.

The company said was closing its Ogden, Ore., operations and transferring lay-up and bonding operations from Pueblo, Colo., to Englewood. The company said the required engineering, manufacturing, planning, supply chain, tooling and other development resources will be available to achieve type certification of the A700 this year.

Adam Aircraft manufactures the A500 twin-engine piston aircraft and the A700, which is undergoing flight-test and development.

"We have two excellent products in the A500 and A700, with a very strong global market, and will continue to move the company forward in achieving our goals," said Adam Aircraft President Duncan Koerbel.

Console Certification

Geneva Aviation, Kent, Wash., received FAA certification for an advanced version of its P132 Avionics Switch Console, which expands the space in Eurocopter AS350-series helicopters for electronic components widely used by airborne law enforcement and electronic news-gathering operations.

Geneva Aviation, a wholly owned subsidiary of DART Helicopter Services LLC, said the console provides wiring compatibility with electrical system changes recently made by the manufacturer in the latest versions of AS350-B2 and AS350-B3 production helicopters. It also enables improved compatibility with previous modifications of the AS350-B3.

The console provides space for a 10-inch stack of avionic components conveniently in reach of the pilot and crew. It provides enough room for up to 60 circuit breakers as well as switches for added equipment.


Columbia Avionics, Columbia, Mo., received FAA Supplemental Type Certification (STC) of the Universal Avionics EFI-890R EFIS, Vision 1 Synthetic Vision System, Application Server Unit, pedestal extension and dual Garmin GNSx30 WAAS comm/nav receivers in the Cessna Citation 500 series.

The company said it previously obtained STCs for the system for the Cessna Citation 650. The EFI-890R consists of a three-panel installation with a primary flight and navigation display pair and a second, standalone PFD. The installation is designed to replace either existing electro-mechanical instruments or older, less reliable EFIS systems.

Air Agency

FAA late last year granted Emteq, of New Berlin, Wis., Air Agency Certificate E3TR548Y for repair stations.

As a certified repair station, Emteq is authorized to issue Return to Service tags and FAA Forms 8130-3 as well as 337s for Emteq designed and manufactured ARINC 404/600 trays, coax cable assemblies, LED dome, reading, wash and strip lighting. Emteq said it plans to expand its capabilities list over time and was expecting European Aviation Safety Agency approval to issue repair tags by the first quarter of 2008.

C90GTi Ticket

Hawker Beechcraft Corp. obtained FAA certification of the King Air C90GTi, an evolution of the twin-turbine Beechcraft King Air 90 series aircraft.

Introduced in May 2007, the King Air C90GTi upgrade adds the Rockwell Collins ProLine 21 avionics suite, which includes three 8-by-10-inch liquid crystal displays, multi-sensor flight management system, solid state weather radar and automated chart selection system.

Other avionics include the TAWS+ terrain warning system, TCAS-I and USB data base loader.

Hawker Beechcraft said it delivered 10 King Air C90GTis in December 2007. Certification was achieved for Brazil, and other certifications were being sought in Europe, Mexico, Canada, Venezuela and Guatemala, the company said.

Display STC

Southern Star Avionics, Mobile, Ala., obtained FAA Supplemental Type Certification for the Envision primary flight display system manufactured by Avidyne Corp., Lincoln, Mass., for the Cirrus SR 20 and 22 models.

The Envision STC gives pre-2003 model Cirrus owners the opportunity to upgrade their aircraft with Envision, a large-format, integrated flight display system available for retrofit in single-engine piston aircraft.


Wedgetail Australia

The first Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft modified by Boeing Australia Ltd. in January completed a successful functional check flight. During the more than two-hour flight from the Royal Australian Air Force Base in Amberley, Australia, pilots performed a series of functional tests that verified the airworthiness of the aircraft’s systems and structures.

The modification includes Northrop Grumman’s Multi-Role Electronically Scanned Array antenna with integrated identification friend-or-foe capabilities, an open architecture, new communications suite and aerial refueling capability.

AESA Retrofits

The U.S. Navy is retrofitting 135 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets with the APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, in an initial contract worth up to $55 million, manufacturer Raytheon said. Under terms of the contract, Raytheon will supply 19 AESA systems, spares and maintenance.

The APG-79 program is moving toward full-rate production in anticipation of delivering 415 systems plus spares to the Navy and 24 systems to the Royal Australian Air Force in coming years. Two AESA-equipped fleet squadrons are training for deployment expected in 2008.

AESA-equipped Super Hornet Block IIs are being delivered to two squadrons at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va. — the "Black Lions" of VFA-213 and the "Gladiators" of VFA-106.

The former is the first Navy squadron to fly all AESA-equipped F/A-18F Super Hornets. In addition, AESA-equipped Block II Super Hornets are being introduced to squadrons at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California.

Black Hawks

The Aerostructures division of Kaman Aerospace Corp., in Jacksonville, Fla., signed a memorandum of agreement worth $74.3 million with Sikorsky Aircraft to manufacture cockpits for U.S. military Black Hawk helicopters through 2012.

The agreement calls for Kaman to supply cockpits for Sikorsky’s UH-60M, HH-60M and MH-60S helicopters. Fully exercised, it has a total potential value to Kaman of about $196.4 million.

Kaman began manufacturing cockpits for Sikorsky in 2005 and had delivered 147 cockpits of various models, including UH60L, MH60S, S-70A International and UH60M models through November 2007.

In addition to cockpit structures, Kaman also installs wiring harnesses, hydraulic assemblies, control pedals and sticks, seat tracks, pneumatic lines and the composite structure that holds the helicopter windscreen.

E1553 Layoffs

Canadian firm Edgewater Computer Systems said Feb. 4 it would temporarily lay off a number of workers after the United States Air Force "unexpectedly" capped its financial commitment to Edgewater’s Extended 1553 data bus technology.

"The duration of the layoffs and the length of time we will need to reach resolution are currently unknown," the company said. "Edgewater will make every effort to keep its employees and other interested parties advised of the status of discussions."

Edgewater’s E1553 technology allows wideband data to be carried over existing aircraft 1553 wiring and bus components (Avionics, Dec. 2007, p. 42). Last July, the company said it successfully completed a flight test of the E1553 data bus in a USAF Block 30 F-16 at Tucson, Ariz.

Edgewater, based in Kanata, Ontario, said it is working to reestablish the E1553 program with Canadian government support, and also is discussing the program with NATO and other countries. The technology was close to initial product launch, Edgewater said.

Data Link

BAE Systems demonstrated an upgraded airborne reconnaissance system capable of transmitting and receiving data over long distances, as well as real-time data analysis.

Working under an $11.5 million U.S. Air Force contract, BAE demonstrated the long-range data link capability of its high-resolution, medium-altitude Theater Airborne Reconnaissance System (TARS).

The data link provides real- and near-real-time transmission of images from TARS to a surface terminal, or to any other compatible ground-based receiving equipment. System upgrades were tested and qualified on F-16s at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.


PCB Piezotronics, Depew, N.Y., formed a new division, PCB Aerospace & Defense, to specialize in products and programs developed for the civil and military aviation, defense, homeland security, nuclear and test and measurement markets.

Ronald J. Livecchi, (photo, above), a 30-year aerospace industry veteran, will oversee the new division.

Products will include Health and Usage Monitoring Systems for unmanned aerial vehicles, helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and ground vehicles, system electronics, combustion monitoring pressure sensors, high-temperature engine vibration monitoring sensors, and aircraft hydraulic pressure sensors.

"PCB has experienced unprecedented growth and customer demand for our products within A&D over the past few years, prompting our decision to form a dedicated division to better suit our customers’ needs," said PCB President John A. Lally.

AIM Acquisition

AIM-USA LLC, based in Omaha, Neb., completed the acquisition of Precision Fibre Channel (PFC), the companies said in January. PFC, based in Beavercreek, Ohio, manufactures high-performance tester modules for Fibre Channel interfaces.

The two entities will be combined under the AIM-USA banner. Bill Fleissner, president of AIM-USA, continues as president of the combined company.

The merger enables the AIM-USA to better compete in the avionics and weapon systems data bus market, the companies said. Technology that PFC owns can be applied to AIM-USA’s aerospace applications to engineer new avionics and weapons interface products.


  • CAE signed contracts to manufacture full-flight simulators and suites of its Simfinity training devices, for Qantas, Hainan Airlines, Airbus, Atlas Air, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Blue. The contracts are valued at about $44 million at list prices.

  • Raytheon was awarded a $34 million contract from the U.S. Navy for repair of components of the APG-65 and -73 radar systems, used to support the F/A-18. Work will be performed in Indianapolis, Forest, Miss., El Segundo, Calif., and Andover, Mass., and is expected to be completed by 2010.

  • The Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office in Amarillo, Texas, was awarded a $32 million contract modification with the U.S. Navy for non-recurring development and integration of the MV-22 Block C Weather Radar Upgrade. Work will be performed in Ridley Park, Pa., and Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in 2012.

  • BAE Systems was awarded a $28.1 million U.S. Air Force contract to provide radar warning receiver systems for new C-130J transport aircraft. BAE said the AN/ALR-56M receiver detects a broad range of incoming radar signals and identifies and characterizes their origin as friend or foe, alerting the pilot when it detects threats to the aircraft. Under the contract, BAE Systems will provide 28 new units.

  • McDonnell Douglas was awarded a $15.4 million order from the U.S. Navy under a previously awarded basic ordering agreement for avionics repair facility support, providing for repair of various F/A-18 and AV-8B components. Work will be performed in Lemoore, Calif., Cecil Field, Fla., and Philadelphia, and is expected to be completed this year.

  • Longbow Limited Liability Co., Orlando Fla., was awarded a $15.4 million contract from the U.S. Army for the Apache helicopter Block III radar electronics unit and unmanned aerial vehicle tactical common data link assembly. Work will be performed in Baltimore and Orlando, Fla., and is expected to be completed in 2009.

  • McDonnell Douglas was awarded a $9.1 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to provide T-38C Avionics Upgrade Program post-production support. The contract also calls for McDonnell Douglas to continue Air Force Education and Training Command T-38C Training System operations.

  • BAE Systems Technologies won a $10.3 million contract modification with the U.S. Navy for engineering and technical products and services in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s air-traffic control and landing systems. Work will be performed at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, St. Inigoes, Md., and San Diego, and is expected to be completed in 2009.

  • Jeppesen, Englewood, Colo., signed an agreement with Singapore Airlines for Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) applications, traditional paper chart services and "OpsData" services. Jeppesen already provides the airline with Class III EFB services for its new and retrofitted B777s and A380s.

  • AirBaltic, Latvia’s national airline, selected AD Aerospace Ltd., of Cheshire, U.K., to provide video-based cockpit security systems for Boeing 737 and 757 airliners. The CabinVu-123 Cockpit Door Monitoring Systems will provide pilots with a clear view of any activity outside the cockpit door and in the adjacent galleys.

  • BAE Systems awarded Metronor AS of Nesbru, Norway, an additional Harmolign boresight system contract. The agreement covers development and supply of a new configuration of the boresight system for BAE’s Hawk jet trainer. Total orders for the Harmolign boresight exceed $6 million.

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