Honeywell Creates New Unit
As if Honeywell hasn’t had enough excitement in one year, the company has created a new, third division under Aerospace Electronic Systems (AES). Avient Technologies will be an end-to-end business headed by Barry Siadat.
Honeywell Aerospace Electronic Systems President and CEO Mike Smith revealed plans for the start-up to Avionics Magazine at Honeywell’s Phoenix, Ariz., headquarters. A Honeywell spokesman has since confirmed that the new business has been successfully launched and negotiations are underway with potential customers, mainly airlines.
Avient will be a counterpart to Honeywell’s Commercial Electronic Systems and Defense & Space Systems. It will provide a range of gate-to-gate services–from flight deck, back of the aircraft, in-flight and ground connectivity to equipment, services, support and information technology.
"The new business will allow Honeywell to take a broader role," Smith says. He explained that demand calls for suppliers to "step up and take a larger role...and we’re ready to step up."
Honeywell also has combined two of its market segments. Business & General Aviation has been folded with Air Transport & Regional. The new market segment, called Commercial, is headed by Lynn Brubaker, former vice president and general manager of Air Transport & Regional. The Defense & Space market segment will remain unchanged.
For more information about Honeywell, visit www.honeywell.com.
End of an Era
After more than 50 years of providing radio positioning for mariners and aviators, the Decca Navigator system ceased to operate at midnight, March 31. By measuring the differences in signals received from transmitters, Deca users were able to establish their positions with a high degree of accuracy. However, the advent of the Global Positioning System (GPS) made Decca superfluous and the General Lighthouse Authority, which had been funding Racal to maintain and operate the Decca chains, ended its support at the end of March.
E-Commerce for Six Airlines
Six of the world’s major airlines plan to form a new company that will create and operate an Internet marketplace. It will link carriers with qualified sellers of airline-related goods and services and is expected to handle some $32 billion of the six airlines’ supply chain business annually. The new company comprises British Airways, American Airlines, Air France, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. A technology partner, to be selected later, will be headquartered in the United States. Items bought and sold through this airline purchasing portal may include fuel and fuel services, aircraft components, avionics and engine components, and maintenance services, among other goods and services agreed to by the founding airlines.
Satcom Services Expanded
COMSAT Mobile Communications (CMC), Bethesda, Md., and ARINC Inc., Annapolis, Md., announced during the Inmarsat Aeronautical Users Conference, in London, that they agreed to expand their satellite voice and data communications services with Aero-I and Aero-H+ satcom. This adds to the current Aero-H and Aero-L services, which are provided as a result of the two companies’ about 10-year relationship. CMC’s aeronautical services are provided via the Inmarsat satellite constellation. The Aero-I and Aero-H+ services will permit phone and fax communication in a larger variety of aircraft, including smaller corporate airplanes. See www.arinc.com and www.comsat.com.
EGPWS for Helicopters
Honeywell will introduce the first in a series of new enhanced ground proximity warning systems (EGPWS) designed for helicopters. The first system, the Mark XXII, is to be certified and available later this year. Honeywell was to begin flight testing the system on a Sikorsky S-76 in May to validate look-ahead algorithms. The Mark XXII incorporates a terrain database for both on- and off-airport/helipad operation, tail-strike warning, and call-outs for autorotation altitude awareness. Visit www.honeywell.com.
HGS for Tyrolean’s Dash 8s
Austria’s Tyrolean Airways ordered head-up guidance systems (HGS) from Rockwell Collins for its fleet of 12 Bombardier Dash 8-300 aircraft. The system reduces takeoff visibility requirements down to 250 feet (75 meters) and upgrades the Dash 8’s landing capability from Cat II to Cat IIIa. Deliveries are to begin in September. Visit the Website www.collins.rockwell.com.
The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contracted Rannoch Corp., Alexandria, Va., to assist in implementing new flight critical technologies, to improve aviation safety. Possible new technologies range from improved aircraft and air traffic control (ATC) situational awareness to advanced guidance and control systems. The five-year contract is worth about $20 million. For more information, see www.rannoch.com.
New Testing for Old Concorde
British Airways Avionics Engineering (BAAE) and RADA Electronic Industries (Israel) recently completed the successful delivery of the Pitch Computer test program to test Concorde on the RADA CATS (commercial aviation test station) automatic test platform. The Pitch is the 15th major Concorde test program set to be rehosted onto the RADA CATS tester. This process was begun with the engine control amplifier, a complex box requiring testing from the whole of the Concorde avionics suite. Visit www.rada.com for more about CATS.
Learning On Line
The Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) and Aviation Learning Inc. (ALI), Rochester, N.Y., formed a partnership to provide Internet-based maintenance education. ALI specializes in on-line aviation maintenance and inspection training. AviationLearning.com, unveiled in late April, offers "a place to participate in online courses, group discussions, and community services," according to Michael Nagowski, ALI’s president and chief operating officer. Visit www.pama.org and www.aviationlearning.com.
Eclipse Calls Albuquerque ‘Home’
Eclipse Aviation Corp. has chosen Albuquerque, N.M., as the spot for its new corporate headquarters. Company officials estimate a local incentive package issued to Eclipse provides more than $100 million over the next 20 years.
Eclipse Aviation plans to build its headquarters and manufacturing facilities at Double Eagle II Airport, but will initially occupy existing facilities at Albuquerque’s Sunport Airport.
A Quick Connection
Satcom Direct Inc. now offers a service that connects flight departments with their aircraft within 30 seconds, regardless the aircraft’s location in the world. The caller will be connected via Satcom Direct, which also will allow customers to send faxes to their aircraft. The latter feature works the same as sending a fax from one office to another, according to the Cocoa, Fla.-based company. Visit the Website at www.satcomdirect.com.
Air Traffic Control
ILS for U.S. Airports
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded a $22-million contract to Airsys ATM for up to 105 Mark 20A instrument landing systems (ILS). The contract calls for Category I ILSs, which provide guidance down to authorized minimums of 200 feet height above the runway and a visual range down the runway of 2,400 feet. Initial deployment includes Stennis International Airport, in Bay St. Louis, Miss.; Burlington Alamance, N.C.; Las Vegas’ McCarren International (which already has ILS) and North Las Vegas, in Nevada; and Zanesville, Ohio. See www.airsysatm.thomson-csf.com.
Software Education in China
During a recent visit to France, representatives of Sichuan University signed a memorandum of understanding with Thomson-CSF Coopération (TCCOP) to create a master of science (MS) program in real-time software engineering. Thomson-CSF Coopération will work closely with Thomson-CSF Airsys and its subsidiary Airsys ATM on this project.
TCCOP currently is bidding for a Chinese government program aimed at transferring air traffic control to the civilian authorities. For this program, Airsys ATM proposes its Eurocat 2000 air traffic management system and intends to employ real-time software engineers trained on the TCCOP-SCU Chengdu master’s program. See www.airsysatm.thomson-csf.com.
Upgraded Center in Latvia
Latvia’s Latvijas Gaisa Satiksme (LGS) awarded a contract to Systemintegrering, of Sweden, to implement additional functions to its Air Traffic Area Control Center (ATRACC) system in Riga. These functions, to be integrated by late 2001, include monitoring aids, medium-term conflict detection, short-term conflict alert, minimum safe altitude warning, and area penetration warning. The Riga ATRACC became operational in late 1999. See www.systemintegrering.se.
NiceLog for Sweden
The Swedish Defense Material Administration (FMV) selected the latest version of the NiceLog digital voice recording and archiving system, version 8.1, for air traffic control centers in Sweden. The contract is worth more than $500,000.
The system’s DVD archiving media was said to be a major factor in the agency’s decision. Manufactured by Nice Systems Ltd., Nice- Log includes open architecture and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and software modules. See www.nice.com.
Auckland Buys TMS
Auckland International Airport (AKL) acquired the Terminal Management System (TMS), an air traffic software scheduling system, from The Preston Group (TPG). AKL is the largest of the three major New Zealand airports, accommodating 7.5 million passengers in 1999. The airport and domestic and regional carriers will use the TMS to allocate flights to both aero bridge and remote parking positions. The system also will provide air traffic controllers with timely gate allocation information to assist them in managing airplane ground movements.
Eurocontrol chose the team of Aerodata GmbH and ARINC Inc. to collect and analyze aircraft height-keeping performance data. This will support the implementation of reduced vertical separation minima (RVSM) in European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) airspace, between 29,000 (FL290) and 41,000 feet (FL410). ARINC will establish an operations control center for the Eurocontrol RVSM program near Gatwick Airport, UK. Staff members from ARINC headquarters in Annapolis, Md., will support program operations. See www.arinc.com–and our story on RVSM on page 29.
NZ CAA Reorganization
The New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority’s new organizational structure took effect May 1. The restructure, which included appointments to new general manager positions, began in mid-1999. It’s the first major change since the CAA was formed in 1992. The new structure moves away from a functional arrangement, where the likes of operator certification and audit are separate units, to a new structure more closely aligned to industry sectors. CAA staff has not changed.
Cathay Pacific Online
Cathay Pacific Airways will be the first airline to install SITA’s new global Internet network infrastructure. The technology allows Cathay Pacific to use the telecommunication company’s international Internet network.
The global Internet infrastructure has already been installed in Cathay Pacific’s headquarters, in its data processing center in Sydney, Australia, and in some of its 110 other offices. The airline’s cabin crew and pilots now have high-speed access to information and databases across SITA’s Internet network. Staff also have greater access to business applications in areas such as reservations, sales and engineering.
While SITA offers the air-to-ground link and interface, Tanzing, Redmond, Wash., provides the on-board software. Passengers are included in the new e-comm venture with a new in-seat data system provided by Primex Technologies Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla. Starting next year, the system, with power supply, will be installed in every seat of Cathay Pacific’s 56 passenger aircraft. Then passengers can use their laptop computers to access e-mail and the on-board Intranet.
The new in-seat data system is called Emport and provides a high-speed network cabin distribution system allowing more than 200 passengers to access data at the same time. It communicates with the ground via a satellite connection–in Cathay Pacific’s case, through the Inmarsat satellite constellation, which provides coverage for more than 90% of the globe.
Installation will begin in 2001. See www.sita.int and www.tanzing.com.
DVD for IFE
IEC International has launched the first in-seat, integrated digital video disc (DVD) video entertainment system. It is a direct replacement for traditional video-tape systems. By incorporating encryption on disc, DVD provides enhanced security for films distributed by studios under "Early Windows" agreements–ones between the film companies, distributors and the airlines whereby the latest films can be released on a zonal basis to echo the distribution of films in different countries. This ensures that films shown in the aircraft do not pre-empt their premiers on the ground. See www.iecinternational.com.
More Funding for Virtual Cockpit
Microvision says it has received an additional $7.8 million from the U.S. Army to continue work on the Virtual Cockpit Organization Program (VCOP) and the Aircrew Integrated Helmet System (AIHS), which incorporate Microvision’s retinal scanning display (RSD) technology. The follow-up brings the total contract from the U.S. Army up to $9.3 million and is Microvision’s largest government contract to date.
Microvision says the contract modification will allow it to intensify its Phase III development of helmet-mounted display (HMD) systems and vehicle interface technology for use in military rotocraft. The Army plans to have a virtual cockpit system featuring Microvision’s color HMD at the end of the one-year project. For more on this, visit www.mvis.com on the Web.
4,000th F-16 Delivered
Lockheed Martin recently delivered the 4,000th F-16; it was a C-model that went to the Egyptian Air Force. Meanwhile, Mitusishi Heavy Industries, in Japan, awarded Lockheed Martin Aeronautics a fourth contract, worth some $100 million, to supply major components for Japan’s F-2, a derivative of the F-16C. This will allow production of the 36th aircraft for a program calling for 130 F-2s. See www.thefighterenterprise.com.
The U.S. Air Force awarded a $100,000 contract to ITCN, Miamisburg, Ohio, to develop technology and methods that identify imminent failures in aircraft and system components. Their applications potentially could become part of any Defense Department program, as well as be available for commercial use. The contract is the result of the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982. For more information, phone 937-439-2648.
New Radios for RN
Britain’s Royal Navy acquired VHF radios from Park Air Electronics. They enable the surface fleet to communicate with civil aircraft. Based on the recently introduced T6M Mobile Radio system, the radios will support both 26 KHz and 8.33 KHz channel spacing. They also automatically monitor the international distress frequency on 121.5MHz. See www.parkair.co.uk.
Two Systems Tested
Testing recently was completed on two systems developed by Sanders, a Lockheed Martin company. Sanders completed a preliminary airworthiness analysis of the Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures/Common Missile Warning System (ATIRCM/CMWS) on a U.S. Army EH-60 helicopter. The system–to be installed on AH-64s, E/UH-60s, CH-47s and special operations aircraft–includes passive missile warning and active infrared jamming.
Meanwhile, U.S Navy aviators completed developmental test and operational assessment (DT/OA) for the Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM) Radio Frequency Countermeasures program, developed by Sanders and teammate ITT Industries Avionics. Tests of the IDECM, which includes an on-board receiver, processing system and transmitters, were conducted at the Navy’s China Lake, Calif., facility on a modified F/A-18D. Also tested was the Sanders fiber-optic towed decoy. See www.sanders.com.
Video for Eurofighter Tests
BAE Systems has contracted Primagraphics to provide VME-based hardware and software to capture, record and display video signals received from a Eurofighter Typhoon during its test flights. Video will be received via a microwave link from the new fighter aircraft. Each frame will be time stamped. To synchronize the video with data relayed from on-board systems, Primagraphics developed a processing system that delays the video sequences by five seconds. See www.primag.co.uk.
Displays for the Osprey
Boeing has placed a $6.7-million order with Barco Display Systems for the supply of standby flight displays for the V-22 Osprey. The backup display for engine and fuel systems is a modified version of the SFD 4.3 Avionics Standby Flight Display. See www.barco.com/display.
Software for the Tactical Internet
The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) selected Rockwell Collins’ HF Messenger software to create a high frequency (HF) gateway for the command’s Tactical Internet. The Tactical Internet communicates situational, logistics and command and control data across and between battlefields. An off-the-shelf product, the HF Messengers will grant more than 40 miles (64 km) airborne helicopter-to-ground data communications. See www.collins.rockwell.com.