Eclipse Aviation Chooses Avidyne, BAE Systems
Eclipse Aviation has chosen Avidyne and BAE Systems Aircraft Controls Inc. to supply the standard avionics in its new Eclipse 500. The suite includes integrated GPS-based flight management systems, digital flight control systems (DFCS), dual air-data and attitude heading reference systems (AHRS), dual full authority digital engine control system (FADEC) and aircraft utility system, as well as dual VHF nav/coms, dual localizer/glideslope receivers, dual Mode S transponders, and weather radar. The plane is listed at $837,500 and deliveries are scheduled to start in August 2003. Visit www.eclipseaviation.com.
BFGoodrich and Collins Ally
Rockwell Collins and BFGoodrich announced at the National Business Aircraft Association (NBAA) that they have formed an alliance. The purpose, according to BFGoodrich officials is to "provide more opportunities for the complete integration of aircraft systems." Target markets are business and regional aircraft, military programs and the aftermarket.
BFGoodrich’s display and safety systems technology will complement Rockwell Collins’ avionics and systems integration business. So far, the alliance largely represents a marketing partnership, but BFGoodrich officials don’t rule out the future joint development of products with Rockwell Collins. See www.bfgoodrich.com and www.collins.rockwell.com.
Airbus FANS Certification
Airbus Industrie has won European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) airworthiness certification for the A340’s FANS-A equipment and new flight management system (FMS). The installation includes additional air traffic control-related navigation functionality on the FMS, additional communication and surveillance functionality on the Aerospatiale-Matra air traffic services unit (ATSU), and installation of data link control and display units (DCDUs) from Smiths Industries. The ATSU hosts message router software from Rockwell Collins and airline operational communications (AOC) software from Honeywell. The Sextant flight management, guidance and envelope computer (FMGEC), hosts the Honeywell Pegasus FMS.
Deliveries of this equipment began in September for both new-build and retrofit applications. New FMSs from Sextant and Smiths Industries are available as options. This approval clears the way for FAA certification on the A330 and Rockwell Collins’ AOC software for these installations.
The new FMS and Airbus Interoperable Modular FANS (AIMFANS) are part of Airbus’s product development program for the A330, A340 and A320 families, offering commonality. To date, orders for new FMS and AIMFANS installations exceed 1,700 aircraft, with 250 AIMFANS currently in service. Deliveries continue at a rate of one aircraft per day. See www.airbus.com.
Retinal Scanning Display
Microvision Inc., developer of retinal scanning display (RSD) technology, recently announced a cooperative agreement with R RAMJET Inc., an aviation consulting group, to jointly pursue and develop a head-worn display for flight crews during emergency smoke-in-cockpit situations aboard transport aircraft.
The device, referred to as a Smoke Evasion Vision Instrument (SEVI), utilizes Microvision’s RSD technology to scan flight-control information directly onto the retina allowing flight crews to see in smoke-filled cockpits. See www.rramjet.com and www.mvis.com.
Mobile Phones Blamed
Journalists using mobile phones were recently blamed for an aircraft’s emergency landing. The aircraft, returning to Germany from the United States, was carrying German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer along with some 40 office staff and journalists.
Reportedly trying to "scoop" their rivals, some of the journalists began using their mobile phones. Key cockpit instruments went blank, and the aircraft’s pilots circled Berlin, then made the emergency landing, with instruments still out.
Engineers say the mobile phones provide the only possible explanation for the instrument failure. Authorities note that, despite repeated requests from the crew, journalists on board still tried to use their mobile phones.
Baker Electronics Inc. moved its aviation manufacturing to a new business park at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. The new address is 8323 Lindbergh Court, Sarasota, Fla. 34243. Baker will be the air park’s anchor tenant, with a new 50,000-square-foot building.
Founded in 1972, Baker employs more than 200 people and produces liquid crystal displays (LCDs), speakers, amplifiers, audio panels, cabin management systems, and in-flight entertainment equipment. See www.be-inc.com.
STCs for Gulfstreams
Daimler Chrysler Aviation claims several firsts in new Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) for avionics installations in Gulfstream business jets.
It is the first, for example, to approve an interface of the Honeywell enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS) to the Primus 880 radar for a Gulfstream II/IIB and III aircraft. This is an update to an existing STC.
Daimler Chrysler says it also is the first to certify the installation of a radome with Airshow, DirecTV, and satellite communication for the Gulfstream IV. This follows an early certification, of the EGPWS with the 210-210 software on a G-IV.
For more information, contact Julie Stone of Daimler Chrysler at phone 912-898-8673.
Tenzing Wired for High Speed
At the WAEA convention in September, Tenzing Communications Inc., provider of airborne communications, announced several strategic partnerships.
Tenzing and SITA plan to extend their alliance so that they can introduce high-speed e-mail and Internet services to in-flight passengers by using the Inmarsat 64-kilobit-per-second (kbps) Global Area Network (GAN). Tenzing says it has formed a relationship with EMS Technologies Inc. to use the EMS ADT-1000 satcom transceiver, and with Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. to equip aircraft with the Airlink HSD avionics, so that passengers can benefit from these high-speed services.
Tenzing currently is conducting flight trials with Air Canada and will market its service as Tenzing Global. In the first quarter of 2001, Tenzing plans to launch a broadband Internet trial with Air Canada featuring live Internet access. The company says it has signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with at least six major airlines for similar trials and installations.
Singapore Airlines is another of the trial airlines, which currently is carrying out e-mail trials on-board two of its aircraft as part of its plan to introduce the CyberCabin. Singapore Airlines will download hundreds of thousands of Web pages to allow customers to browse through the content using a dedicated on-board server.
Singapore was to begin trialing Tenzing’s in-flight communications services in late November. Trials on-board the second Singapore aircraft will involve Honeywell’s Total Aircraft Information System (TAIS), scheduled for this month (December). The tests reportedly will make Singapore the world’s first airline to offer in-flight e-mail using a satellite-based communications network. Earlier trials conducted by other airlines have been restricted to areas over land, using terrestrial communications systems.
Cathay Pacific Airways will extend its agreement with Tenzing Communications Inc. and Primex Technologies Inc. to include the installation of high-speed, in-flight, e-mail services and in-seat power systems in the existing fleet and all newly acquired aircraft. The systems are expected to be introduced during the first quarter of 2001 and will expand the total number of aircraft to be fitted to 62. The carrier will take delivery of nine new aircraft from December 2000 to September 2001: one Boeing 777-200, seven Airbus 330-300s, and an A340-300.
See www.tenzing.com, www.sita.int, www.BallAerospace.com, www.honeywell.com and www.prmx.com for more on the above companies.
During the first six months of this year, a record 11.68 million passengers passed through Japan’s Narita Airport, an increase of some 660,000 over 1999. The rise is attributed to the economic recovery in Japan.
ATC at Chengdu
The Civil Aviation Administration of China awarded a contract to Airsys ATM for air traffic management systems to be installed at Shuangliu International Airport, Chengdu, in the province of Sichuan.
The contract calls for a STAR 2000 S-band primary radar, a RSM 970S monopulse secondary surveillance radar, and a Eurocat 2000 air traffic control system. The Chengdu program will be managed from Airsys ATM’s regional hub in Australia. See www.airsysatm.thomson-csf.com.
DRS to Provide DFIRS for Hornet
DRS Technologies Inc. says it has received a multiyear contract to provide next-generation deployable flight incident recorder sets (DFIRS) for the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18E/F Maritime Strike Super Hornet aircraft. The Boeing Co.’s Military Aircraft and Missile Systems Group, awarded the contract to DRS. DRS’s Flight Safety and Communications unit at Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada, will produce the systems for this contract and deliveries are expected to begin in mid-2002. Visit www.drs.com.
The British Royal Air Force has placed an order with BAE Systems for 400 active-matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCDs), for its Tornado GR4 ground attack and F3 aircraft. Each display is a "drop-fit replacement" for an original monochrome display. See www.baesystems.com.
EW Upgrade for Turkish F-16s
The Turkish Air Force awarded a $190-million contract for an electronic warfare system for its F-16s. Turkish prime contractor Aselan will work in partnership with Thomson-CSF on the program. See www.thomson-csf.com.