Canadair 604 Avionics Updated
Rockwell Collins recently received a Technical Standard Order (TSO) for a mid-life avionics upgrade package for the Bombardier Canadair Challenger 604 bizjet. Integration of the upgrade into production aircraft begins this summer.
Updating the Canadair 604's Pro Line 4 avionics suite involves adding V speeds to the FMS-6000 flight management system (FMS). Also added are engine thrust management and increased functionality to the engine indication and crew alert system (EICAS). Optional new features for the 604 include a 3-dimensional map and expanded flight data recorder (FDR) parameters to meet FAR Part 135 requirements.
Adding the integrated V speeds gives 604 pilots the automatic look-up and display of takeoff, approach, landing and missed-approach speeds using the FMS. The pilots can transfer the V speeds to a primary flight display with a single button push, allowing "eyes up" during their takeoffs. Visit www.collins.rockwell.com.
Two Silvers for Ball
Two groups within Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. received a Silver Preferred Supplier award from The Boeing Co. A Boeing preferred supplier provides equipment, materials and support for products delivered directly to Boeing's customers. Suppliers who meet or exceed the standards in statistical process control implementation, business processes, and performance are entitled to additional benefits, including selection preference, reduced inspections, industry recognition and additional business opportunities. Ball Aerospace's Commercial Products & Technologies (CPT) and Advanced Antenna and Video Systems (AAVS) groups participated in the assessment, which began in May 2000. Visit www.ballaerospace.com.
AirportFam for Continental
SimAuthor Inc. has concluded an agreement with Continental Express, the regional airline subsidiary of Continental Airlines, to provide AirportFam, a multidimensional, airport familiarization system that gives pilots instant access to 3-dimensional, interactive depictions of specific airports and their surrounding terrain. Continental Express will use the AirportFam system to improve its pilots' proficiency when they fly into airports with unusual operating requirements.
AirportFam uses SimAuthor's FlightViz flight data visualization technology to give pilots an interactive, detailed overview of flight operations into and out of virtually any airport in the world. Continental Airlines and Continental Express both use FlightViz to communicate the findings of their flight operations quality assurance (FOQA) programs. Continental Express' AirportFam system will use visualizations of aircraft flying approaches and departures that are based on data collected by the airline during its FOQA activities. The data files are visualized with the appropriate aircraft model, using imagery from satellites or high-altitude photography of each airport, which is then overlaid on a terrain elevation database. Pilots will be able to view and interact with 3-D visualizations of transitions and approaches, departures, and single-engine departures. They can choose between an inside- or outside-the-cockpit perspective and can vary environmental factors, such as visibility or time of day. Visit www.simauthor.com and www.continental.com.
AIM-USA Up and Running
AIM-USA, an employee-owned company recently established in Valley, Neb., just west of Omaha, has its manufacturing process up and running. The company's first lot of avionics cards were shipped in May. AIM-USA produces avionics test and simulation products for Mil-Std-1553 and ARINC429 products under a licensing agreement with AIM GmbH in Germany. Its products include PCI, compactPCI, VME, PMC and VXI 1553 and 429 modules. According to Bill Fleissner, AIM-USA's general manager, the U.S. company now builds cards in large quanities, even for the European market as a second source to AIM GmbH. Visit www.aim-online.com
Universal's TAWS on Astra
Universal Avionics Systems Corp. (UASC) announced that its terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) recently received Supplemental Type Certification (STC) on an Astra aircraft. The STC was completed by Garrett Aviation-Augusta (Ga.) and includes approval for TAWS in the Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Astra 1125 and 1125SPX aircraft types. The installation interfaced TAWS with previously installed dual UNS-1C flight management systems, which accommodate both control and display of the TAWS images. The TAWS computer is housed in a 2 MCU-sized line replaceable unit (LRU) weighing 9.6 pounds. The terrain database is stored in flash memory and contains a data point every 0.5 mile worldwide and up to 0.1 mile at mountainous airports. Visit www.uasc.com.
Garmin Equips EC-130 B4
Garmin International Inc.'s GNS 430 integrated avionics system will now be standard equipment on Eurocopter's 2001 EC- 130 B4 helicopter. The Garmin GNS 430 is an integrated GPS/nav/com with color moving map on a 4-inch (diagonal) display. The EC-130 B4 is a seven-place, single-turbine helicopter. Visit www.garmin.com.
Global Express by Garrett
Garrett Aviation has delivered the first outsourced Global Express completion to Bombardier. The bizjet was then delivered by Bombardier to its customer. The work was performed at The Jet Center, Garrett's Van Nuys, Calif., completion center. This is the first time that a Global Express has been completed by a company other than Bombardier. Visit www.garrettaviation.com.
Air 2000 Equips B757s
Air 2000, a UK-based charter airline, has ordered Rockwell Collins avionics suites for Boeing 757s scheduled for delivery in 2003 and 2004. Collins has a firm order to outfit four aircraft and options for four additional B757s. The charter airline, which transports leisure travelers largely to the Caribbean, Mexico and Florida, also flies Airbus 320s, A321s and B767s.
The Collins equipment for the B757s will include the ADF900 automatic direction finder, DME900 distance measuring equipment, HFS900D high frequency system, CPL920D coupling unit, GLU920 Global Positioning System (GPS) landing unit, PAU700 passenger address unit, LRA900 low-range radio altimeter, TPR900 transponder, VHF900B VHF transceiver, VOR900 VHF omnidirectional radio, TTR921 traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS-II), and a communications management unit. In outfitting the B757s, Air 2000 will be one of the first carriers to receive Collins' Multiscan radar with multiple-tilt capabilities.
Air 2000 currently operates 16 B757s. The eight new Rolls-Royce-powered aircraft will both replace and add to the airline's B757 fleet. Visit www.collins.rockwell.com and www.air2000.com.
Satellite Radio in the U.S.
Heads Up Technologies Inc. has penned an agreement with XM Satellite Radio to make satellite radio available to aircraft passengers within the continental United States. As part of the 10-year agreement, Heads Up will design, obtain FAA certification for, and market XM-capable radios for use in aircraft from both the after-market and original equipment manufacturers. With XM technology, users can create and package up to 100 channels of digital-quality sound and provide coast-to-coast coverage of music, news, sports, talk, comedy and children's programming. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. Visit www.heads-up.com.
Satcom Antenna on Gulfstreams
The Thales MCA 6010 satellite communications (satcom) antenna has been installed on some 450 Gulfstream business jets to customer specification at completion centers. Now the antenna will be standard on production G-IVSPs and G-Vs equipped with satcom systems. This is the result of a mandate agreement between Thales Avionics and Gulfstream. The MCA6010 is capable of multichannel telephony data services and Inmarsat high-speed data (64 Kbits) transfer, when the service becomes available.
In other news, Thales Avionics' revenue from satcom systems, produced with Honeywell, has exceeded $154 million. Since satcom was introduced to civil aviation in 1993, Honeywell and Thales (formerly Racal) have received orders for more than 2,200 systems and delivered some 2,000 systems to 40 airlines. Visit www.thalesgroup.com and www.honeywell.com.
Executive Jet Buys EGPWS
Executive Jet Aviation has selected Honeywell's Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) for retrofit on its Raytheon Hawker and Cessna Citation business jets.
The retrofit program, valued at some $5.7 million, will be performed on 111 Executive Jet aircraft over a four-year period. The operator will install ground proximity systems on its Hawker 1000s and Citation Ultras for the first time and replace previous-generation GPWSs on its Citation VIIs and Citation Xs. Visit www.honeywell.com.
Inertial Nav for New A320s
Boullioun Aviation Services, Bellevue, Wash., will install Northrop Grumman's LTN-101 inertial reference system in up to 30 new Airbus A320 aircraft plus options, to be delivered through 2008. Boullioun is an aircraft operating lessor. Visit www.northgrum.com and www.boullioun.com.
Repair Service Expanded
Spectra Lux Corp., Kirkland, Wash., recently expanded its repair services to include many Category 2 and 3 accessories. The company now seeks aftermarket repair beyond its current warranty work. Spectra Lux has built and repaired lightplates and data entry keyboards for 27 years. Visit www.spectralux.com.
SITA's Fleetwatch for Hainan
Incheon International Airport Corp. (IIAC) has integrated SITA AIRCOM service into its air traffic control (ATC) communications infrastructure. This gives airline operators access to data link delivery of ATC messages as an alternative to traditional voice communications. The SITA AIRCOM network has been in use by equipped airlines such as Korean Air and Asiana Airlines since the airport became operational March 29.
Automatic terminal information service (ATIS) messages are to be delivered by SITA AIRCOM to inform pilots of current airport conditions and departure clearances. It provides details of assigned departure routes and radio frequencies to outbound flights. Visit www.airport.or.kr and www.sita.com.
NovAtel to Develop L5 Receivers
NovAtel Inc. (Calgary, Canada) has received a contract from Zeta Associates Inc. in Fairfax, Virginia, on behalf of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to develop L5 transmitter and receiver engineering models. Zeta will use these units to verify GPS L5 civil signal performance under realistic RF operating environment conditions. The contract covers development work that is scheduled over the next 12 to 15 months, along with the delivery of two L5 transmitters and three L5 receivers. Initially valued at $560,000, the contract contains options that are expected to bring the program total to over $850,000.
In another announcement, NovAtel says Agsystems Pty Ltd. of Brisbane, Australia again has chosen NovAtel as the supplier of GPS engines for Agsystems' Beeline Navigator precision guidance system. The (U.S.)$1.35-million order consists of NovAtel's OEM4 receivers, featuring PAC technology. Visit www.novatel.ca and www.agsystems.com.au.
Boeing Says 'Olé'
The Boeing Co. is going to Spain to augment its research and development (R&D) activities in environmental and air traffic management (ATM). The manufacturer is investing $10 million in an R&D center in Madrid and establishing a "research relationship" with Polytechnical University of Catalonia, in Barcelona, according to a Boeing release.
Madrid is the first of several such centers planned around the world, part of Boeing's strategy to establish a global presence with both acquisitions and new technology initiatives, says the release. The center will employ 20 to 30 locally recruited scientists and is scheduled to be open this summer. It also will get Boeing's foot in Europe's door to collaborate with companies throughout the continent on projects involving the flying environment and ATM. Visit www.boeing.com.
Europe's Delay Stats 'Not Good'
"Not good news." That's how the Association of European Airlines (AEA) described the delay figures for the first quarter of 2001. February was particularly bad, but as shown in the chart below, all three months were worse than during 2000's first quarter.
The airports contributing most to this dismal record were Madrid, Milan Malpensa, Geneva, Barcelona, and Paris Charles de Gaulle. There were bright spots, however: Dusseldorf, Oslo, Vienna, Frankfurt and London-Gatwick.
The main culprit for this record was in the airport and air traffic control (ATC) category, causing 63% of the delays. The delay figures represent the second worse start of a year, behind 1999, when the Kosovo conflict began and the reorganization of the French/Swiss ATC interface took place. Now facing the peak summer season, ATC agencies are obviously concerned about this situation, though Eurocontrol vows traffic flow "will be no worse than it was in [the summer] 1997." Visit www.aea.be.
Micro Nav Moves
Micro Nav Ltd. recently moved to a larger facility. It's new address is Gild House 64-74, Norwich Ave. West, Bournemouth, Dorset BH2 6AW, UK. And its new phone number is +44 (0) 1202 764 444. Visit www.micronav.co.uk
Radstone Boards NH-90
Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei, a Finmeccanica (Italy) company, has awarded a 14.5-million-euro ($12.3-million) contract to Radstone Technology plc (UK) for technology aboard the NH-90 Naval Helicopter variant. The agreement calls for Radstone to integrate its computer technology into the common acoustic processor (CAP) for the NH-90 variant, currently being developed by Finmeccania Agusta.
Radstone's integrated system comprises a 1-ATR long chassis with the latest generation display select panel, graphics and PowerPC processors, PMC 1553, DSP gateway and I/O modules. The system will simultaneously acquire, filter, transmit and process data from both sonar and sonobuoy applications. The NH-90's primary roles are autonomous anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface ship warfare missions. The aircraft is being developed jointly by Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Visit www.radstone.co.uk.
AeI to Support Merlin Mk1
Aerosystems International (UK) has won a £3.5-million ($4.9-million) contract from AgustaWestland to support the British Royal Navy's Merlin Mk1. The deal involves the development and support of a computer system that will assist engineers and technicians with maintenance.
The enhanced health and usage diagnostic systems (EHUDS) will provide asset management and recording. EHUDS is supported by the latest version of AeI's Sapphire maintenance management product, designed to provide seamless aircraft and asset maintenance management from the flight line to the workshop. Visit www.aeroint.com.
Care for South African Helos
Thales Avionics and the South African firm AMS (Aerospace, Monitoring and Systems Pty. Ltd.), have united to develop a vehicle management module (VMM) for the Agusta A109-LUH light utility helicopter. It is part of an offset agreement signed by Italian airframe manufacturer Agusta and Armscor, the South African defense ministry, concerning the sale of 30 A109LUHs.
The VMM will perform three functions: engine management, aircraft health and usage monitoring, and integrated maintenance of the avionics. AMS, established in 1984, will provide the hardware and software development, and manage the VMM's validation; Thales will provide initial specifications and development methodology. Ten prototypes are to be produced by late 2002, followed by 60 production models delivered by late 2004. Visit www.thalesgroup.com and www.agusta.it.
Analyzers for the EF2000
Data bus product manufacturer AIM GmbH has delivered its High Level Bus Analyzer (HLBA) for testing on production EF2000 (Eurofighter, or Typhoon) fighter aircraft. Contracted to build five HLBAs, AIM began delivering the units in March 2001, initially to EADS in Manching, Germany, and subsequently to BAE Systems in Warton, UK. Four countries--Germany, the UK, Italy and Spain--are participating in the EF2000 program and will acquire the fighter jet.
Based on the company's PBA-3910 analyzer software, the HLBA was modified for high-level user interface. It can analyze up to 12 busses at once, and it contains two, 6U CompactPCI modules for connection to the EF2000's two dual-redundant STANAG3910 data busses. It also analyzes up to five 6U CompactPCI modules for up to 10x dual-redundant STANAG3838 (Mil-Std-1553B) data busses. Developed to streamline the EF2000 production process, the HLBA has a simulation function, allowing systems analysis even before all avionics are fitted to the aircraft.
The HLBA represents the first of AIM's remote data analyzers for testing Mil-Std-1553B, ARINC 429 and STANAG3910. It allows for a division in the test workload, with different users testing different avionics on the EF2000. All data is connected by a 100-Mbit Ethernet network. Employing a wireless local area network (LAN), the users also can work with laptops in and around the aircraft, even in their offices.
The HLBA isn't the only data bus product AIM has developed for the EF2000 Typhoon. BAE Systems contracted the company to deliver two data bus test equipment units--designated the Aircraft Ground Equipment, or AGE--for in-service support of the multination fighter. This commerical-off-the-shelf (COTS) product has been ruggedized and is compatible with the HLBA. Visit www.aim-online.com.
CAE Acquires Schreiner Training
CAE recently signed an exclusive agreement with Schreiner Luchtvaart Groep BV to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of Schreiner Aviation Training BV, based in the Netherlands.The deal's estimated worth is 193 million euros ($168 million). The transaction is expected to close this month (July). With four additional centers (three in Europe), CAE will gain a greater foothold into Europe's aviation training marketplace. The centers, which have a total of 19 full flight simulators, are in Amsterdam and Maastricht, the Netherlands; Brussels, Belgium; and Dallas, Texas. Visit www.cae.com.