Monday, September 1, 2003
FlightLogic on Helos
Chelton Flight Systems' electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) with synthetic vision recently received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval in a helicopter. The approval was achieved as part of Alaska's Capstone program, with support from FAA's Rotorcraft Directorate, in Fort Worth, Texas.
�Hillsboro Aviation, Hillsboro, Ore., performed the installation for the initial supplemental type certificate (STC) on its Bell 206B JetRanger. Additional models will be added to the STC, as up to 50 helicopters operating in southeast Alaska will be equipped with the FlightLogic system, courtesy of the Capstone program.
�The FlightLogic system, with embedded terrain awareness warning system (TAWS) and GPS/wide area augmentation system (WAAS) receiver, received technical standard order (TSO) approval in March 2003. Unique to FlightLogic's helicopter display is the precision hover display, designed to eliminate dynamic rollover due to white-out or brown-out from snow or dust. Visit www.cheltonflightsystems.com.
Avionics Market's Slow Recovery
With 9/11, the Iraqi war and, hopefully, the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic slowly fading into history, the world civil avionics market is set to enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 2.7 percent between 2002 and 2007. At least that's according to a recently completed forecast of the industry by Frost & Sullivan (F&S), the marketing analysis and consulting group in San Jose, Calif. F&S predicts growth in the following industry segments between 2002 and 2007:
Communications equipment will generate 0.7 percent compound annual growth in revenue. Total revenues will increase from $1.96 billion to $2.04 billion.
Navigation equipment is expected to recover and deliver 1.5 percent compound annual growth. Revenues will increase from $751.3 million to $823.5 million.
Surveillance equipment is expected to see fluctuating growth at a 1.3 percent compound annual rate. Revenues will increase from $1.42 billion to $1.54 billion.
And integrated systems will enjoy a 9.4 percent compound annual growth rate. Revenues will grow sharply from $857.5 million to $1.46 billion.
The integrated avionics market will get a big boost because it is expanding into the general aviation segment, according to F&S. Garmin International, Avidyne and Chelton Flight Systems "are strongly positioned for rapid growth in that� segment," says the F&S forecast.
The new, personal "minijet" market may _well give the avionics industry another shot in the arm, providing the cost, time, safety and reliability benefits can be demonstrated, the forecast adds. Other drivers of the avionics industry's predicted recovery are the following:
The upgrade market: due to terrain awareness warning systems (TAWS) and reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) mandates, and in the future, possibly a mandate for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B).
The upgrade market: due to demand for communication, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management (CNS/ATM) avionics, as the air transport market slowly recovers, and due to an ongoing strong regional airline market.
A new generation of general aviation aircraft such as the Cirrus Design SR20 and Lancair Columbia 300.
And a new generation of low-cost business aircraft such as the Eclipse and Cessna Mustang.
However, the F&S survey cautions that the air transport market is still recovering from multiple adversities, including the fact that more than 2,500 commercial aircraft remain in storage. _F&S also sees the fractional, business aircraft market flattening. And _it recognizes the uncertainties surrounding today's economy and the war on terrorism. Visit www.frost.com.
Projection Displays for F-15Js
Rockwell Collins has entered into an agreement with Shimadzu Corp. of Kyoto, Japan, to jointly develop a projection display unit for the Mitsubishi/Boeing F-15J. Kaiser Electronics, a Collins business, will serve as lead in developing a 4.5-by-4.5-inch projection-based smart display. This is Collins' first international contract for projection display technology. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
JSF Tech Transfer Issues
A report from the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) has raised technology transfer and other issues regarding the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, which involves participation by eight partner nations. Transfers of sensitive data–required to achieve commonality goals–"will push the boundaries of U.S. disclosure policy," GAO says, posing potential cost and schedule challenges.
Among the recommendations are that the program office ensure that the international industrial plan identifies current and potential contracts involving sensitive data and technology transfers to partner suppliers, evaluate the risks posed by possible adverse export decisions, and develop risk mitigations. The U.S. Defense Department concurred with these recommendations but raised the issue of affordability regarding the GAO suggestion of using U.S. suppliers as one way to mitigate exportability risks. Visit www.gao.gov.
Automatic Collision Avoidance
The Automatic Air Collision Avoidance System (Auto ACAS), developed by a Lockheed Martin-led team, was recently demonstrated in a U.S. Air Force F-16. Designed to assure "last-ditch" collision avoidance, the system initially provides optimum escape maneuvers. If the pilot doesn't take action, it will execute the escape maneuver itself through the aircraft's electronic flight control system. Continually computing trajectories, the system gathers data either via data link from other Auto ACAS-equipped aircraft or, if nearby aircraft are not fitted with Auto ACAS, from an onboard sensor such as radar. Flight demonstrations were conducted at Edwards AFB, Calif., with assistance from NASA. The Lockheed team included Saab, Boeing, Veridian Engineering, Bihrle Applied Research, Raytheon and Smiths Aerospace. The program is funded and managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory and Forsvarets Materielverk of the Swedish defense establishment. Visit www.lockheedmartin.com.
IBM and Raytheon have signed a contract to collaborate in the design of custom semiconductors and systems for aerospace and defense industry customers. This new strategic relationship will leverage Raytheon's experience in defense and aerospace electronics and IBM's expertise in complementary areas such as chip design, software development, large systems computer architectures and network integration. As part of the joint effort, Raytheon is expected to be an IBM technology and intellectual property customer, which could be worth up to $100 million to the computer giant over the next five years. Visit www.ibm.com.
Astraeus' Door Security
AD Aerospace, Manchester, UK, and Aircraft Engineering & Installation Services, Orlando, Fla., are providing the FlightVu cockpit door video security system and the accompanying installation design to Astraeus, a UK charter airline, for its fleet of Boeing 737s. The system includes three closed circuit TV cameras. Visit www.ad-aero.com and www.aeisinc.com.
GATM C/KC-135 Delivered
Rockwell Collins delivered the first production C/KC-135 aircraft equipped with Global Air Traffic Management (GATM) technology in late July. It is the first of the airlift/tanker GATM upgrades to reach this milestone. Upgraded aircraft will have unrestricted access to civil airspace via required navigation performance (RNP) of less than 1.0 nautical mile, controller pilot data link communication (CPDLC) and automatic dependent surveillance (ADS). The GATM avionics–85 to 90 percent commercial or government off-the-shelf–include elements such as CMU-900 communications management units for data links, SAT-2000 satcom radios, GNLU-955M multimode receivers, and data link mods to ARC-190 HF and ARC-210 VHF/UHF radios. At the heart of the GATM suite is the integrated processing center-7010, featuring a 10/100BaseT, Ethernet backplane. The IPC combines civil flight management system (FMS) and military mission management system functions in the same hardware. Functions are separated via software partitioning enabled by Collins' VMOS operating system. The IPC also monitors health and status of flight avionics and provides information for the displays. The upgrade program could cover as many as 490 aircraft. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
Three airlines have contracted Rockwell Collins for new systems. Air Hong Kong ordered nav/com systems for six Airbus 300-600s, plus options for four additional aircraft. Air New Zealand ordered nav/com systems, multimode receivers (MMRs) and weather radars for 15 A320s, plus options for five more aircraft. And Kenya Airways ordered in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems for three Boeing 777s, plus IFE system upgrades for three B767s. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
Racal Antennas Is Back
Chelton has acquired Thales Antennas, Southampton, England, from Thales Plc for $9.6 million. The purchased company has reverted back to its previous name, Racal Antennas. Visit www.racal-antennas.com.
RVSM for Cessnas
ARINC Direct, Shadin Co. and AeroMech Inc. have joined to offer an avionics and certification package, providing Cessna Citation 500-series business jets a reduced vertical separation minimum capability. ARINC has developed the installation kit and avionics supplemental type certificate (STC), and plans to offer a complete installation service. Shadin is providing the ADC-6000 dual air data computer and Aero-Mech is performing flight testing and measurements for the group STC. Visit www.arinc.com.
VHF Expansion in China
China's Air Traffic Management Bureau has contracted Park Air Systems to establish 14 VHF communications facilities that will interconnect to the Guangzhou area control center, which serves the country's central and southern region. The contract is worth more than $4 million. Visit www.parkairsytems.com.
The automatic test equipment article in our August issue listed EADS test program sets for Boeing aircraft. The 14 items in the list actually represent only the EADS TPSs for Boeing-built avionics. The total rises to some 80 TPSs if all Boeing aircraft avionics systems are considered.