Editor's Note


By | June 1, 2003
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Garmin-Equipped Twin Star

Diamond Aircraft recently selected the Garmin G1000 integrated avionics suite for its new, diesel-powered DA42 Twin Star. The avionics system includes two 10-inch color TFT (thin-film transistor) displays–a primary flight display and a multifunction display–in landscape format. The new light twin, with a composite structure, also includes a full-authority digital engine control (FADEC), digital audio control system, dual integrated radio modules, Mode S transponder, solid state attitude and heading reference system (AHRS) and digital air data computer. The radio modules include wide area augmentation system- (WAAS) capable GPS, VHF navigation with ILS, and VHF communication with 16-watt transceivers and 8.33-KHz channel spacing. Rolled out in May 2002, the DA42 is scheduled to receive Joint Airworthiness Authority approval in 2004 and Federal Aviation Administration certification in 2005. Visit www.garmin.com and www.diamondair.com.


Windshear Protection–Aussie Style

An Australian firm, Swan International Services, is developing an airborne predictive windshear system that uses fiber optic components. The Sydney-based company, founded in 1999, claims a patent is pending for the system, aimed at high-end business and general aviation aircraft.

Along with fiber optic components, Swan International says the device will include a laser pulse system and a backscatter detector, which detects and calculates the air velocity in front of the aircraft. Company officials claim the system will display to the pilot a dangerous windshear, with continuous updates, and that it is lightweight, has a small cross-section, and can be powered by most existing aircraft power supplies.

Swan International says it has entered stage two of its development program, which involves "designing, manufacturing and testing a number of prototypes." The program is being funded by the Australian R&D AusIndustry START program. Visit www.swaninter.com.


Contracts in Egypt and China

Rockwell Collins recently announced two significant contracts, from Egypt and China. Egypt Air selected Collins to provide both avionics and in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems for five new Airbus A320-200 aircraft on order. The avionics package includes the GLU-920 multimode receiver, WXR-2100 multiscan weather radar, and a communications system that supports the aircraft communications addressing and reporting system (ACARS), future air navigation system (FANS), VHF data link (VDL) Mode 2, and Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN).

Egypt Air’s IFE package for the A320s will include Collins’ Programmable Audio Video System (PAVES) with 8.4-inch, retractable, wide-viewing angle monitors and 24 channels of digital in-seat audio. A320 deliveries to Egypt Air are to begin this year.

Meanwhile, AVIC I Commercial Aircraft Co. (ACAC) Ltd. of China, has selected Collins’ Pro Line 21 avionics for its new ARJ21 regional jet. ACAC is developing a 79-passenger version and a 99-passenger version of the GE-powered aircraft, which is scheduled to enter service in 2007. The ARJ21 flight deck will include five Collins 10-by-8-inch liquid crystal adaptive flight displays. The aircraft also will have integrated processing and Ethernet network communications. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.


Updating Sikorsky H-60s

New equipment for both the naval and army versions of the Sikorsky H-60 helicopter recently has been selected and tested. Sikorsky Aircraft tapped CMC Electronics Inc. to supply its CMA2082M flight management system (shown here) and CMA-2088 emergency control panel for the U.S. Army’s UH-60M Black Hawk. CMC expects to supply systems for up to 1,200 aircraft. The Canadian manufacturer already supplies items for the Army’s UH-60Q and HH-60L medical evacuation helicopters.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy recently tested radar, acoustics and electronic surveillance measures (ESM) systems on the MH-60R at the Atlantic Underseas Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) in the Caribbean. Lockheed Martin Systems Integration is the prime integrator for the MH-60R multimission helicopter. During the tests, the aircraft’s multimode radar–with inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) imaging, acoustic detection, and periscope and small target detection–achieved its first detection of a submarine. The test aircraft also made its first radar, ISAR, ESM and acoustics data link transfer to a Navy ship. The MH-60R is to replace the service’s SH-60B and SH-60F helicopters. Visit www.cmcelectronics.com and www.lockheedmartin.com.


Digitizing Legacy Radar

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved Sensis Corp.’s Target Data Extractor (TDX) 2000 for use in the National Airspace System (NAS) and has 14 systems in operation for a transition program, from analog to digital, involving terminal radar approach control (TRACON) facilities. The TDX 2000 will be used to transform analog ASR-7 and ASR-8 radar data into target reports or track messages compatible with the TRACONs’ new digital automation systems. A TRACON will maintain a TDX 2000 radar processor until it receives new ASR-11 digital airport surveillance radars, at which point the processor will be redeployed to another facility. Sensis has delivered a total of 75 TDX 2000s, which can work with both secondary and primary analog radars. Formerly approved by several FAA regional offices, the system now has national-level approval. Visit www.sensis.com.


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