Flight Data Monitoring

Chinese carrier Shenzhen Airlines has selected two flight data monitoring products made by Los Angeles-based Teledyne Controls for its existing flight operations quality assurance (FOQA) program. Used together, the two systems–AirFASE and Vision–will increase the airline’s ability to monitor the safety and efficiency of its aircraft. Shenzhen will use AirFASE, a software program for flight data processing, analysis and reporting developed by Teledyne and Airbus, to monitor its fleet of A320s, Boeing 737-300s and B737-NGs. Compatible with all major commercial aircraft, AirFASE is designed to evaluate trends in flight operations, identify risks and suggest preventive and corrective actions. It also features a flight analysis program, visualization tools and a reporting editor. Shenzhen will use Vision as its primary tool for representing flight data as 3D animations. Vision will complement other traditional data display methods used by the airline. The PC-based Windows software application uses flight path algorithms, aircraft instruments, satellite images, and navigation and data plots to generate a clear picture of a flight situation. Visit www.teledyne.com.

Instrument Modernization

As part of an $80-million (CDN) project to modernize Canada’s fleet of CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft, CMC Electronics has received prototype acceptance from the Department of National Defence for its updated avionics suite.

Through February, the Montreal-based company has installed and tested its avionics package on three CP-140s through the Navigation and Flight Instruments Modernization Project (NFIMP). As the prime contractor and integrator for the project, CMC supplies the flight management control display units.

Others involved in the upgrades are: Halifax, U.K.-based IMP Aerospace, which is responsible for installation and testing, as well as support and service work; Honeywell, supplier of the embedded GPS and inertial systems, the traffic alert collision avoidance system (TCAS) and radar altimeter displays; BAE Systems for the autopilot and radar altimeter transmitter; Astronautics Corp. of Milwaukee for the electronic flight displays; and Ottawa, Ontario-based Targa Systems for the CP-140’s data loader. Visit www.cmcelectronics.com.


Sikorsky, Stratford, Conn., has added two companies to its team competing to replace the U.S. Air Force combat search and rescue fleet of HH-60G Pave Hawks: Aerospace Integration Corp. (AIC) and Rockwell Collins Simulation & Training Solutions. For the Combat Search and Rescue Replacement (CSAR-X) program, the helicopter manufacturer is offering the HH-92, a military variant of its S-92. Under a teaming agreement, Collins Simulation & Training would integrate the avionics and training systems in the HH-92. Separately, AIC would provide systems engineering and flight test support during the program’s evaluation phase. The company also would perform mission systems modifications at its headquarters in Crestview, Fla. Visit www.sikorsky.com.

Global Hawk Certification

The RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned air vehicle (UAV) has achieved military airworthiness certification. Coming a few weeks after the U.S. Air Force received two production Global Hawks, the certificate authorizes the aircraft to operate within the National Airspace System. A Jan. 25, 2006, ceremony capped a three-phase certification process that included examination of technical systems, safety risks and compliance issues. In early January, two Global Hawks arrived at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. Named AF-4 and AF-5, the aircraft are managed by the Aeronautical Systems Center’s Global Hawk Systems group and assigned to the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing’s 12th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron. About 36 hours after AF-5 arrived, the UAV flew a reconnaissance mission over an undisclosed desert location. The 24-hour combat sortie made use of the UAV’s integrated sensor suite. Visit www.wpafb.af.mil.

Fleet Support

Air France Industries (AFI) and KLM Engineering & Maintenance (E&M) have finalized a contract with LAN Airlines, Santiago, Chile, to provide component support for the carrier’s fleet of 24 Boeing 767-300ERs. The 10-year deal is backed by AFI and KLM E&M’s component pool, which will be based at the AFI Aero Maintenance Group facility in Miami.

LAN Airlines also plans to install Thales’ TopSeries i-4000 in-flight entertainment (IFE) system on 18 B767s. The airline has additional options for three more B767s and four Airbus A340s. Thales says that deliveries of B767s equipped with the i-4000 system will begin in March 2006. The IFE agreement, which involves new and retrofit installations, includes several Thales offerings, such as its turnkey maintenance program and digital media services. Visit www.thalesgroup.com.

AESA Radar

Three aerospace companies–Northrop Grumman, L-3 Communications and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics–have demonstrated a new technology, using active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars for high-bandwidth communications. In tests late last year, Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems unit in Baltimore used an AN/APG-77 radar aperture being produced for the F-22 and a common data link modem emulator to send and receive high-data rate communications signals.

The technology supports nontraditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (NT-ISR) missions for F-22s and F-35s by permitting the transmission of large, uncompressed data at fast speeds. Visit www.northropgrumman.com.

Avionics Upgrade

Under a $34-million Boeing contract awarded early this year, L-3 Communications’ Canadian MAS subsidiary will install an upgraded avionics package on

78 CF-18 Hornets for Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND). L-3 MAS, which is involved in the second phase of the modernization project, will install new cockpit display, data link, flare-dispensing electronic warfare and helmet-mounted sight systems, primarily at its facility at Mirabel Airport, Qu颥c.

The project began in April 2001, and the first phase involved improvements to the CF-18’s communication and navigation systems. With all the upgrades in place, DND hopes to extend fleet life through 2017. Visit www.l-3com.com.

Weather Service

Korean Air has selected ARINC’s Graphic/Text Weather Service (G/TWS) for its pilots and flight crews. The Seoul, Korea-based airline and cargo operation began using the service, based on ARINC’s GLOBALink offering, on Nov. 11, 2005. ARINC, Annapolis, Md., says it plans several G/TWS improvements over the next year, such as the ability to display color radar images and turbulence plots, and additional text data features. Visit www.arinc.com.


Italian aircraft maker Aermacchi SpA has contracted BVR Systems, a training aircraft manufacturer based in Israel, to upgrade two MB-339A flight simulators. Valued at $4.5 million, the agreement calls for BVR to develop and build all components for the simulators except for the cockpits of existing simulators in service with the Italian Air Force, which will be improved and reused.

The units will include BVR’s simulation software, a visual system that displays a 170-degree horizontal field of vision, and a high-resolution visual database. BVR anticipates delivering the modified simulators to the Italian Air Force in 2007. Visit www.bvr.co.il.

IRU Contract

Lufthansa has chosen Northrop Grumman’s LTN-101E inertial reference unit (IRU) for 10 Airbus A380s. An upgrade from earlier LTN-101s, the LTN-101E uses fiber optic gyros and micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) silicon accelerometers instead of ring laser gyros. Lufthansa plans to begin operating four of the IRU-equipped A380s in mid-2008. Visit www.northropgrumman.com.

In-Flight Calling

Israeli carrier El Al Airlines plans to launch an in-flight calling service for its passengers through Iridium’s worldwide satellite network. The service will use prepaid calling cards that will be valid for up to 12 months. Broadband satellite provider Gilat Satcom, through its subsidiary, GayaCom, is supplying the Iridium terminals and phone cards. El Al intends to finish installing the equipment on its fleet of Boeing 767s early this year. Visit www.iridium.com.

Flight Testing

Certification tests have begun on the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 suite aboard the Bombardier Challenger 605. A prototype version of the aircraft landed on Jan. 28, 2006, at Bombardier’s test center at the Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kan. A 200-hour series of flight tests will focus on the avionics package, which includes four 10-by-12-inch liquid crystal display screens. Visit www.bombardier.com.


Airways New Zealand plans to deploy Rannoch Corp.’s AirScene wide area multilateration and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) surveillance systems, covering 25 nautical miles around Christchurch International Airport in New Zealand. Visit www.rannoch.com.

Night Vision

Under a U.S. Army contract, Goodrich will develop an indium gallium arsenide detector for high-definition, shortwave infrared (SWIR) cameras. According to Goodrich, the project will advance the development of high-sensitivity, small-pixel pitch, dual-wavelength cameras that can produce images in visible and SWIR wavelength regions. The company’s Optical and Space Systems team in Princeton, N.J., will conduct the project. Visit www.oss.goodrich.com.

Terrain Avoidance

Sandel Avionics, Vista, Calif., has obtained European technical standard order (ETSO) authorizations for its ST3400 terrain awareness warning system (TAWS) and SN3500 electronic horizontal situational indicator (EHSI). The approval, which comes from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), allows Sandel’s avionics dealers, installation centers and aircraft operators in the European Union to use the TAWS and EHSI products. Visit www.sandel.com.

Electronic Flight Manual

Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier and Berlin-based Pace Engineering and Information Technology have partnered to develop a computerized airplane flight manual (CAFM) for customers of Bombardier’s CRJ705 regional jet. CAFM will combine airplane flight manual performance readouts for all flight phases, including master minimum equipment list items, into one tool. Visit www.pace.de.

Fiber Optic Cables

kSARIA, Wilmington, Mass., has received a $2-million contract from Lockheed Martin to further automate and improve its manufacturing process for fiber optic cables. kSARIA will continue to upgrade its automation techniques and equipment. An extension of a 2003 agreement, the contract is part of a project sponsored by the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command and funded by Pennsylvania State University’s Electro-Optics Center. It builds on the U.S. Office of Naval Research’s ManTech program, which encourages manufacturers to use advanced technologies in production. Visit www.ksaria.com.

In-Flight Entertainment

Kenya Airways has picked Springfield, Utah-based digEcor’s in-flight entertainment device. The digEplayer is a portable video-on-demand unit that is preprogrammed with movies, television shows, videos and music, as well as airline information. Roughly the same size as a portable DVD player, digEplayer features a 40-Gbyte hard drive. Visit www.digecor.com.

SCA Waveform

The Software Defined Radio (SDR) Forum, Denver, Colo., has selected Mercury Computer Systems of Chelmsford, Mass., to develop a reference waveform for the U.S. military’s Software Communications Architecture (SCA). Developed under the U.S. Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS), the SCA specifies the interaction between the software and hardware in an SDR. Mercury expects to complete the reference waveform by Sept. 2006. Visit www.sdrforum.org.

ADS-B Aircraft Purchase

Daytona Beach, Fla.-based Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has bought 16 Cessna 172s that will come equipped with Garmin’s G1000 glass cockpit and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B). Visit www.erau.com.

Airport Surveillance

ITT Industries, White Plains, N.Y., has secured an approximately $10-million contract from the U.S. Air Force Electronic Systems Center to supply a terminal airport surveillance radar (TASR) to the government of Oman. The Royal Oman Air Force will use the device to expand its operations. TASR provides air traffic control services, such as aircraft sequencing and separation, navigation assistance, and airspace control within terminal airspace. ITT’s Gilfillan Division in Van Nuys, Calif., will build the TASR, which is slated for delivery in late 2006. Visit www.itt.com.

P-3 Autopilot Mods

Two Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion operators–the Korean Navy and the Brazilian Air Force–are set to receive digital autopilot upgrades from BAE Systems. Greenville, Texas-based L-3 Communications Integrated Systems (L-3 IS) awarded BAE Systems a $6-million subcontract to perform mission systems modifications and service life extensions on eight Korean Navy P-3s.

BAE Systems has received a separate contract from EADS-CASA of Spain to modernize the autopilot system in the Brazilian Air Force’s eight P-3s. BAE’s digital autopilot system (DAS) will be combined with EADS-CASA’s fully integrated tactical system (FITS).

A dual-redundant system that offers control wheel and navigation steering, several hold modes and automatic approach for Cat 1 landings, DAS features solid state rate gyro assemblies, flight sensors and autopilot control panels. It uses ARINC 429 and Mil-Std-1553 interfaces compatible with Global Air Traffic Management requirements. Visit www.baesystems.com.



As part of a plan to enlarge its Aerospace Systems division, Nortech Systems of Wayzata, Minn., has agreed to purchase a 140,000-square-foot facility in Blue Earth, Minn., from Telex Communications. Visit www.nortechsys.com/aerospace.


Esterline Corp. of Bellevue, Wash., has purchased aerospace components manufacturer, Darchem Holdings Ltd., in a deal valued at $120 million. Visit www.esterline.com.

Light Plates

Seattle-based Korry Electronics has chosen IDD Aerospace of Redmond, Wash., to supply flightdeck light plates for the Boeing 787. Visit www.iddaerospace.com or www.korry.com.

Modem Contract

The French Ministry of Defense (MoD) is awarding Rockwell Collins a $500,000 contract for three Link 22 modem signal processor controller units. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.

WCS Acquisition

Avtech Corp. has purchased the assets of electromechanical control and lighted display supplier, West Coast Specialties, Bellevue, Wash. Visit www.avtcorp.com.

New Location

Swiss aircraft instrument manufacturer, Revue Thommen, is opening its first North American branch near Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in Addison, Texas. Visit www.thommen.aero.

SV Award

NASA has honored Rockwell Collins for its work on the Gulfstream V Synthetic Vision (SV) Systems Integrated Technology Evaluation team. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.

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