Brits Tough On Security
In November the UK’s aviation authorities began monitoring UK and non-UK airlines’ compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirement to provide a means of checking the area behind the cockpit door from within the cockpit. ICAO’s related requirement for strengthening cockpit doors has been applied to UK airlines since April 2003. "The UK looks to non-UK airlines to be in compliance with both of these ICAO requirements," says Peter Kirk, assistant director-aviation with the UK’s Department for Transport. UK aviation authorities are monitoring the position of non-UK airlines serving UK airports and are finding a good standard of compliance, he says. Where aircraft aren’t yet fully compliant, Kirk adds, UK authorities are talking with the airlines in question, and with their national regulators, about when the carriers will be brought into compliance and about interim protection measures. "Decisions on enforcement will reflect the outcome of these various discussions now taking place." As yet, there is no mandate from either the U.S. Transportation Security Administration or the Federal Aviation Administration for U.S. carriers to monitor the area behind the flight deck door. One provider of cockpit door video monitoring equipment in Europe is UK-based AD Aerospace, teamed with Aircraft Engineering & Installation Services Inc. (AEI), Orlando, Fla. Customers for AD Aerospace’s FlightVu system include MyTravel, easyJet, Britannia, Astraeus and Flyjet. Visit www.aei.aero.
Chart Delivery Via Internet
United Airlines has signed an agreement with Jeppesen to convert the carrier’s navigational publications produced by Jeppesen to electronic format and provide them via a private, secure Internet Web site. As a first step, United will use the electronic charts in ground-based operations–in applications such as training, simulation and flight dispatch. Northwest Airlines was Jeppesen’s launch customer. Jeppesen envisions the eventual deployment of electronic nav charts throughout United’s operations, including airborne applications. The go-at-your-own-pace approach that has been adopted enables the carrier to test the concept before deploying it fully. United says it anticipates substantial long-term cost savings from the move. Visit www.jeppesen.com and www.united.com.
ARINC Inc. will provide GLOBALink VHF and satcom communications for Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) aircraft operated for Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance. The Annapolis, Md.-based company will do so under a contract from National Air Services, a privately owned Saudi corporate jet operator. ARINC will supply in-flight voice communications in the BBJ cabins and voice and data communications in the cockpits. NAS also plans to use ARINC’s Web-based airline message management system, OpCenter. The largest private aviation services provider in the Middle East, NAS intends to launch a new Saudi domestic airline next year, and ARINC expects to supply GLOBALink services for the new fleet. Visit www.arinc.com.
Russian A320 Training
CAE has signed an eight-year pact with Aeroflot-Russian Airlines for Airbus 320 training. The Canadian specialist will deliver an A320 full-flight simulator–with the Tropos visual system–by year-end and install the equipment in Aeroflot’s Moscow training center. Excess capacity will be marketed to third-party customers, according to CAE, and the simulator will be part of the growing Airbus-CAE training cooperation network. There is also an option for a CAE Simfinity-based integrated procedures trainer. Visit www.cae.com
Chelton Flight Systems has achieved Federal Aviation Administration certification of its new AIU-1 analog interface unit, which means that the FlightLogic EFIS is now certified to display dual RMI/VOR (TSO-C40c), localizer (TSO-C36e) and glideslope (TSO-C34e), as well as marker beacon (TSO-C35d), ADF (TSO-C-41d), radar altimeter (TSO-C87) and conventional flight director (TSO-C52b). The AIU also provides advanced GPS roll steering to autopilots that support a heading bug, enabling equipped aircraft to fly DME arcs, procedure turns and holding patterns with no pilot action required, the company says. FlightLogic’s certified highway in the sky (HITS) functions as a predictive 3-D flight director, giving pilots "two miles of turn anticipation" of the autopilot’s next move, so the pilot is always in the know. The system will be particularly beneficial for single-pilot IFR, the company predicts. Visit www.cheltonflightsystems.com.
FedEx’s Enhanced Vision HUD
Honeywell will develop a new head-up display (HUD) that uses liquid crystal display (LCD) projection technologies and provides enhanced vision system (EVS) imagery for cargo carrier, FedEx Express. The HUD, planned for all of FedEx’s wide-body aircraft, will display EVS flight guidance information conformal with the real-world scene in the pilot’s forward field of view during all phases of flight. Kollsman will supply its All Weather EVS to FedEx. It is intended to reduce weather-related delays, improve takeoff and landing minimums, and serve as a taxi aid to reduce runway incursion risk. Adapted from a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor, the Honeywell/Kollsman HUD/EVS displays images of the airport and runway environment in reduced-visibility conditions, allowing pilots heads-up monitoring during the critical phases of flight. The system will be certified and installed on FedEx’s Boeing MD-10, MD-11 and Airbus 300 and 310 aircraft. The first aircraft certification, on an MD-11, is expected in the fourth qarter of 2006. Visit www.honeywell.com and www.kollsman.com.
DirecTV On Challengers
Innotech Aviation, Montreal, Canada, has received a proprietary supplemental type certificate (STC) for Bombardier Challenger 601 business jets to provide DirecTV service in the cabin through a Honeywell AIS-1000 OneView TV system. The first application, which includes a North American transmission uplink, is for an American customer. The system provides four independent input signals, as well as one DVD and one Airshow channel. Signals can be routed both to locations in the passenger cabin and to the cockpit. Innotech has developed and certified its own vertical stabilizer-mounted radome in the Honeywell antenna. The firm obtained a similar STC last year for the Challenger 604. Innotech also has installed a Honeywell HS-700 high-speed data link (64 kilobits/sec) in a Global Express long-range bizjet for a U.S. customer. Visit www.innotechaviation.com.
Northrop Grumman will provide 25 AN/APN-241 navigation and weather radars for U.S. Air National Guard C-130H tactical airlift aircraft under an award from the Army Communications Electronics Command (CECOM). The award was made through a CECOM Rapid Response contract vehicle, available to all federal agencies and managed by Northop’s Information Technology sector. Visit www.northropgrumman.com.
Digital Surveillance Radar
The Federal Aviation Administration has declared Raytheon’s ASR-11 digital airport surveillance radar (DASR) ready for national deployment. This in-service decision allows FAA to move into full production of the equipment. Visit www.raytheon.com.
F-35 Helmet-Mounted Display
Rockwell Collins’ Kaiser Electronics unit will develop and deliver helmet-mounted display (HMD) assets for F-35 development and integration labs, simulators and flight test platforms under a contract from Vision Systems International. The awardcovers the system development and demonstration phase and planning for the low-rate initial production and full-production phases. Collins also will equip British Midland Airways Airbus 319s with communications, navigation and surveillance (CNS) gear. Visit www.rockwellcolllins.com.
AH-1Z, UH-1Y LRIP Approved
The Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) gave the nod for the H-1 Upgrades program to begin low-rate initial production (LRIP), allowing Bell Helicopter Textron to remanufacture six UH-1N Huey and three AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters to the UH-1Y and AH-1Z configurations during FY2004. The go-ahead was not guaranteed, because the program had been scrutinized following rebaselining and certification as "affordable and executable" under the Nunn-McCurdy Act in May 2002. A second LRIP lot, involving the same mix and number of aircraft, is slated to enter production in FY2005. The remanufactured aircraft will have updated avionics systems, sensors and weapons, as well as improved rotor and drive train design (Nov. 2003). One challenging task has been the transition from an initial helmet system selection to the TopOwl helmet-mounted sight/display developed by Thales Avionics.
LCDs for the E-2C Panel
L-3 Communications Display Systems has delivered the initial 17-inch (43.2-cm) color active matrix liquid crystal displays (LCDs) for the E-2C Group II enhanced main display unit (EMDU) upgrade program. The units will replace cathode ray tube (CRT) displays. L-3 expects to deliver more than 150 EMDUs during the life of the program. Visit www.L-3com.
C-130J Spiral Development
Lockheed Martin has signed a $20-million contract with the U.S. Defense Department, the British Royal Air Force, the Italian Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force to collaboratively define an avionics and hardware block upgrade program for the C-130J aircraft. The three-year Cooperative Systems and Software Upgrade Requirements Management (COSSURM) program ensures that improvements in areas such as radio communications, aircraft diagnostics displays and collision avoidance systems will be shared. Visit www.lockheedmartin.com.
Integrated Autopilot for Chieftains
Honeywell has obtained Federal Aviation Administration supplemental type certificate (STC) approval of its KFC 225 flight control system and KCS 55A compass system for the PA-31-350 Piper Chieftain aircraft. Available in four system configurations, the KFC package includes a new compass sensor, horizontal situation indicator, and flight director. The product provides an upgrade path from the Bendix King KFC 200, which is out of production. Visit www.honeywell.com
Domestic RVSM Rule
The Federal Aviation Administration in late October issued a rule that reduces the minimum vertical separation between aircraft from the current 2,000 feet to 1,000 feet for all aircraft flying between 29,000 and 41,000 feet. The implementation of domestic reduced vertical separation minimum (DRVSM) in the upper airspace over the 48 contiguous states, Alaska and part of the Gulf of Mexico will take effect on Jan. 20, 2005. The change will increase capacity and high-altitude operating efficiency, while offering air traffic controllers more options for rerouting flights and separating aircraft on intersecting routes.
With RVSM in place, the U.S. will catch up with much of the rest of the world. RVSM rules already are in effect over Europe, Australia and northern Canada, as well as most of the North Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Canada plans to implement RVSM in its southern airspace at the same time as the United States. Caribbean and South American countries also plan to adopt RVSM in 2005. The U.S. agency expects fuel savings of $5.3 billion through 2016, compared with the estimated $800 million required in aircraft modifications. Visit www.faa.gov.
Tests on Canada’s CP-140
CMC Electronics and IMP Aerospace have completed ground-based installed system tests of a navigation and flight instruments (NFI) suite supplied by CMC for the CP-140, the Canadian military’s version of the P-3 aircraft. Functional/physical configuration audits and full flight testing of the avionics developed for the NFI modernization program are expected to commence early in 2004. CMC is prime contractor, systems integrator, and avionics management systems supplier for the project. Visit www.cmcelectronics.ca.
Integrated Cabin Management
Lufthansa Technik and Thales both recently announced integrated systems for the bizjet market to control both cabin and in-flight entertainment (IFE) functions. Lufthansa Technik has launched "nice"–its networked integrated cabin equipment product. Developed jointly with Cisco Systems and Videon, nice allows the management of all cabin functions and the distribution of audio and video data over a 1000BaseTX uplink and a high-speed backbone. Features include voice-over-IP with interfaces to existing off-aircraft communications and a wireless command and control structure over an IEEE 802.11b network. nice comes in two flavors: a 115-volt AC, 400-Hz version for bizjets based on commercial airliners and a 28-volt DC version for general business aviation aircraft. Visit www.lufthansa-technik.com.
... And Thales TopSeries
Thales has announced an Ethernet-based TopSeries eXecutive cabin management system for business and VIP aircraft, integrating IFE, lounge, office-in-the-sky, and cabin control subsystems. The eXecutive system can manage audio/visual on demand, three-dimensional interactive moving map, e-mail, Web sites, high-speed data (HSD) satcom and satellite TV. The architecture is compatible with IFE and audio equipment provided by Audio International, including amplifiers, DVD players, multistandard video cassette players and compact disk players. www.thales-avionics.com
The U.S. Navy tapped BAE Systems Integrated Solutions to build replacement attitude heading reference system (R-AHRS) units for HH-60 and SH-60 helicopters. The R-AHRS will provide attitude and heading angle information in instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions. The system also provides the autopilot with signals necessary for helicopter stabilization.
Also, BAE’s distributed aperture semi-active laser seeker guided a 70-mm rocket to a small target during flight tests supporting the U.S. Army’s Advanced Precision Kill Weapons Systems. Visit www.baesystems.com
Flight Options has chosen L-3 Avionics Systems to supply its LandMark Class B terrain awareness warning system (TAWS) for the fractional jet ownership company’s Beechjet 400As. Installations are to be complete by March 2005.
Dubai’s Department of Civil Aviation has tapped Thales ATM to provide a STAR 2000 S-band solid state, primary approach control radar to be co-mounted with an MSSR RSM 970 S monopulse secondary surveillance radar with full Mode S capability. The installation will be part of the second phase of Dubai International Airport’s modernization program. The MSSR and STAR 2000 radars are to be commissioned in December 2003 and early 2004, respectively. Visit www.thalesatm.com.
Center for Aging Aircraft
The Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), part of the Texas A&M University system, has received $4 million to help the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to develop, test and deploy technologies for maintaining aging aircraft, including work on wiring and avionics. Visit http://tees.tamu.edu.
Air France Industries (AFI) maintenance facility at Le Bourget has received International Standards Organization (ISO) 14001 certification. AFI plans to extend that achievement to 70 percent of its sites by 2005. The standard is applicable to any organization that implements, sustains and develops an environmental management system as part of a continuous improvement program. Visit www.airfranceindustries.com.