Lockheed Martin Corp. has completed the acquisition of UK-based STASYS Ltd. The firm, which specializes in network communications and defense interoperability, will bring to Lockheed Martin its experience in tactical data link integration, modeling and simulation, and air traffic management consulting. Visit www.lockheedmartin.com.
Botswana ATC Com
Botswana's Kasane Airport will install a new voice communications system provided by Drake Electronics, Welwyn Garden City, UK. Kasane serves the Chobe National Park, an African game preserve. Visit www.drake-UK.com.
Airbus has awarded CAE a $25.8-million contract to provide two full-flight simulators. The A330/A340 simulators will be installed at Airbus' training center in Toulouse, France, in late 2006. Visit www.cae.com.
China Cargo Satcom
CMC Electronics Inc. has won a contract to supply its CMA-2102 high-gain satellite communications antenna system to Air China Cargo for its new B747-400 freighter aircraft. This is the second set of orders that CMC has received from the Chinese freight carrier. Visit www.cmcelectronics.ca.
Boeing has selected Chelton to supply communications and data link antennas for the C-130 avionics modernization program (AMP). The value of the work will be around $18 million over a 10-year period. Visit www.chelton.com
Falcon 7X Unveiled
Applying 30 years of experience with fly-by-wire (FBW) technology in fighter aircraft, Dassault Falcon unveiled its new Falcon 7X business jet on Feb. 15, before 800 guests at Charles Lindbergh Hall at Dassault Aviation's Bordeaux-Merignac facility. The Falcon 7X is the first dedicated business jet built to incorporate FBW controls. Its system is made up of three main flight computers, each of which is dual-channel; three secondary flight computers, each with one channel; and an independent electrical backup. With such system redundancy the aircraft would have to lose five flight computers in order to lose FBW functionality.
The 7X cockpit is fitted with the Dassault EASy flight deck system, originally developed for the Falcon 900EX and Falcon 2000EX. Honeywell's Primus Epic avionics suite is the platform for the EASy system, which features four 14.1-inch diagonal flat-panel display screens. The displays provide the flight crew with features ranging from flight planning to the plane's position in flight. EASy also employs a mouse-like cursor control device (CCD) and touch-reactive input screens. This allows pilots to make head-up data entries and avoid reaching across the cabin for various knobs and buttons or punching numbers into a flight management system. The EASy system was designed to be intuitive, relying on graphics and icons for flight planning.
All Falcon 7Xs come with the Rockwell Collins' Flight Dynamics head-up guidance system (HGS) as an option. The 7X's guidance system is based on the HGS 4000, but is smaller and lighter than previous systems. The HGS also can accommodate enhanced vision and synthetic vision through onboard software and a configurable imaging sensor interface.
Ground testing of the Falcon 7X already has begun, and static and fatigue trials are to commence soon. The first flight is expected in the second quarter of 2005, with certifications and customer deliveries to begin at the end of 2006. Visit www.falconjet.com.
Japan Airlines has selected Teledyne Controls' integrated data management unit (iDMU) for retrofit installation on its fleet of 16 Boeing 767-200/300 aircraft. The units will replace legacy data management units. Teledyne's iDMU will provide enhanced aircraft condition monitoring and recording capabilities. It also was designed to reduce the circuit card count, compared with Teledyne's legacy system, which is used by more than 25 operators. Visit www.teledyne-controls.com.
Airbus Surface Guidance
Airbus has selected Thales to provide its onboard airport navigation system (OANS) for initial equipage on the A380. The system--designed for installation on the A330/340 and A320 families, as well as the A380--is to provide aircrews with greater situational awareness during surface operations at airports and reduce the likelihood of runway incursions. For the A380 the OANS will be able to generate two independent map images (depending on range and display mode) for the plane's captain and first officer. Thales plans to deliver the first prototype in early 2006 and receive OANS certification by the third quarter of 2006. Visit www.thales-group.com.
B787 Goes Wireless
Securaplane Technologies, Tucson, Ariz., has signed a contract with Boeing to provide a wireless emergency lighting system (WELS) for the Boeing 787. Securaplane, which has developed and produced wireless smoke detection and suppression systems for cargo aircraft, has developed WELS jointly with Luminator, a cabin lighting manufacturer. Luminator is a pioneer in light-emitting diode (LED) cabin lighting, having certified a complete LED system for aircraft operated by Qantas Airlines. The wireless LED system was chosen for the B787 to reduce weight, assembly time and operating costs. Visit www.securaplane.com and www.luminatorusa.com.
JSF Radar Delivered
Northrop Grumman Corp. has delivered the first fire control radar for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) to the aircraft's prime contractor, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. The AN/APG-81 radar will be used for radome integration testing at Lockheed's Palmdale, Calif., facility. In operation, it will support air-to-air, air-to-surface and electronic warfare missions. Visit www.northropgrumman.com.
FAA has proposed upgrades to standards for aircraft voice and flight data recorders, which would increase the amount, quality and durability of recorded cockpit data. Under the proposed new rules, voice recorders would be required to record the last two hours of cockpit audio instead of 15 to 30 minutes. The recorders also would be required to have a 10-minute independent backup power source to allow for continued recording in case of a loss of all aircraft power. Voice recorders would no longer use magnetic tape, which is considered to be vulnerable and unreliable. The recorders would be required to run constantly, from the opening checklist before takeoff to the final checklist after landing.
The flight data recorders would be required to measure the primary flight control movements and the control movement pressures more frequently (once every 0.0625 seconds) than is currently required. FAA's proposed rules also would formalize the current policy that both types of recorders be housed in separate units. Airplanes currently in service would be required to retrofit to these standards four years from the effective date. All new aircraft (including helicopters) must meet the mandates within two years of the effective date. FAA estimates the operator and manufacturer costs for meeting the new standards at around $256 million. Visit www.faa.gov.
Air Sahara Avionics
Air Sahara, a private Indian airline, has selected Rockwell Collins to provide avionics for three of its Boeing 737NG aircraft. The Collins package includes multimode receiver, Mode S transponder and traffic alert collision avoidance system (TCAS). Deliveries are to begin this year. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
The launch in February of the Civil Aviation Bureau of Japan's (JCAB's) multifunctional transport satellite (MTSAT) introduced a new communications service that links pilots, air traffic controllers, and airline operations centers. JCAB selected SITA Information Network Computing to be the sole provider of the service. The satellite launch also strengthens SITA's Aircom connectivity service. Visit www.sita.aero.
Smiths Aerospace will be welcoming an engineering team from the Turkish company, Aydin Yazilim Ve Elektronik San A.S. (AYESAS), to its Grand Rapids, Mich., facility to begin work on the first Turkish F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. The team will be co-located at the facility for two years to work on the aircraft's missile remote interface unit. Visit www.smiths-aerospace.com.
The U.S. Marine Corps has placed an order valued at $615,000 with Carmanah Technologies Inc., Victoria, British Columbia, for its solar-powered light-emitting diode (LED) aviation lights. The Marines will use the lights at an air base in the Middle East. Visit www.carmanah.com.
Satcom for G200
Gulfstream now offers high-speed e-mail and Internet connectivity on its G200 business jet. The airframer will offer the Thrane & Thrane high-speed data system with Chelton's HGA-7000 antenna. The satellite communications system incorporates two voice and fax channels, one cockpit data channel and two Swift64 channels. Visit www.tt.dk and www.chelton.com.
E-8C Avionics Upgrade
Northrop Grumman has selected Rockwell Collins to provide an avionics upgrade package that will allow 18 E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) aircraft to meet communication, navigation, surveillance/air traffic management (CNS/ATM) requirements. In a program valued at about $50 million, Collins will provide an open system architecture, including 6-by-8-inch active matrix liquid crystal displays, V/UHF radios, data link and satellite communications, a multimode receiver, and secure GPS receivers. It also will supply a new flight information management system that provides pilots with maintenance data recording and the ability to include electronic flight bag technologies, such as moving maps, real-time graphical weather, and live video feeds. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
Lufthansa CityLine recently performed its first low-visibility takeoff using a Rockwell Collins Flight Dynamics head-up guidance system. The Bombardier CRJ200 took off from Milan's Malpensa airport under foggy conditions. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
Formation Inc., Moorestown, N.J., has announced that its advanced integrated recorder (AIR) has completed site acceptance testing (SAT) at the Copenhagen air traffic control center in Kastrup, Denmark. The country's air navigation service provider, Navair, signed the SAT certificate in November 2004. Since then, the company has installed and commissioned AIR at the Greenland flight information center and is preparing to install it at Rosklide airport near Copenhagen. The recorders are used to record, store and replay workstation screen activity, radar, video and voice data in a time-tagged, synchronized system. Visit www.formation.com.
Czech Mode S
Air Navigation Services of the Czech Republic has announced that the Thales-supplied Mode S RSM 970S radar in Pisek, Czech Republic, is now fully operational. The monopulse secondary surveillance radar is connected to the Thales Eurocat air traffic management system in Prague and interrogates aircraft in selective mode, according to Eurocontrol specifications. Visit www.thalesatm.com.
Thunder Aviation and Flight Test Associates plan to jointly upgrade Thunder Aviation's group supplemental type certificate (STC) for reduced vertical separation minimum to include additional autopilots on Dassault Falcon business jets. Working with Honeywell, the companies plan an updated STC to include Falcon aircraft equipped with AP103, AP104, KFC400 and SPZ500 autopilots. The STC already includes Falcon 10s and Falcon 20s equipped with AP105 autopilots. Visit www.thunderaviation.com.
Boeing has contracted TEAC Aerospace to supply mission data recorders and mission data debrief software for the F/A-18E/F solid state recorder program. The recorders will be fitted to 210 U.S. Navy aircraft. Visit www.teac-aerospace.com.
Goodrich Corp.'s Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems team has selected Radstone Embedded Computing's PowerXtreme PPC7D single-board computer (SBC), PMCGA3 graphics accelerator PMC, and PMCF2 CompactFlash PMC for use in Poland's Peace Sky F-16 reconnaissance program. The equipment will be used in Goodrich's DB-110 dual-band, electro-optical/infrared, long-range oblique photography (LOROP) sensor, which is housed in the F-16's reconnaissance pod. Visit www.radstone.com.
Falcon 20 Upgrade
Premier Air Center has received supplemental type certificate (STC) approval of a flight deck upgrade for the Falcon 20. The upgrade includes Universal Avionics Systems Corp.'s EFI-890R flat panel display system, dual UNS-1F flight management systems, terrain awareness warning system, dual Vision-1 synthetic vision systems, and a UniLink communications management unit. The displays are integrated with the Rockwell Collins' FCS-105 flight director/autopilot and J2 Aero air data computers. Visit www.premierair.com and www.uasc.com.
AIMS in CH-46s
Honeywell has received an order from the U.S. Navy for 17 of its aircraft integrated maintenance systems (AIMS) for the CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters. The system will be used to perform vibration monitoring, rotor track and balance, engine performance checks, and engine monitoring functions. The company claims that AIMS can reduce maintenance costs and help pilots avoid component failure. Visit www.honeywell.com.
The UK government has selected AirTanker, an EADS-led team of aviation companies, as the preferred bidder for its future strategic tanker aircraft (FSTA) program. The team will provide the Royal Air Force (RAF) with A330s capable of delivering 65 metric tons of fuel for air-to-air refueling as far from base as 1,000 nm. Refueling will be through wing-mounted pods and a hose-and-drogue system. The tanker has space free for 295 seats and cargo, to serve as a troop transport vehicle. The selection allows AirTanker to begin the final stage of contract negotiations. Visit www.eads.net.
In a recent demonstration, Rockwell Collins showed that its ARC-210 radio system can allow U.S. military units to communicate with local law enforcement agencies and first responders. Members of the Marion, Iowa, police department demonstrated several features of the multiband, multimode radio that are necessary for public service/land mobile service interoperability. These include transmit modulation that complies with Federal Communications Commission bandwidth requirements and transmit and receive operations that use channel spacing of 25 to 12.5 KHz. In production since 1993, the ARC-210 has been installed on U.S. Navy and other military aircraft. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.