Minneapolis-based Aerosim Technologies has started production of an Airbus A319/A320 flight management system trainer (FMST), virtual flight deck (VFD) and virtual procedure trainer (VPT) for an undisclosed U.S. airline. The carrier will use the FMST and VFD, desktop training devices that employ Aerosim's lesson plan editor, at various locations in the United States. The VPT (right) is an eight-display touchscreen system that allows pilots to interact with all simulated panels, controls, indicators and displays for a selected aircraft. According to Aerosim, the U.S. customer also is interested in using the FMST and VFD as distance learning platforms, where pilots can download customized lessons from remote locations using the Internet. The simulators are scheduled to become operational later this year. Aerosim provides training devices for several major carriers, including Air Canada, America West, American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, United and US Airways. Visit www.aerosim.com.
Avionics Expo '06
Sponsored by Airbus, the recent Avionics '06 conference and exhibition in Amsterdam attracted more than 1,000 avionics and airline professionals from 28 countries. The conference, chaired by Avionics Magazine, featured presenters from top manufacturers, airframers, airlines and air traffic control specialists who discussed emerging technologies and their impact on users and the operating environment. Bernard Miaillier, head of the European ATM Strategy and Convergence Business division for Eurocontrol, kicked off the two-day event with an address on the future aircraft operating environment. Other highlights included previews of the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787; perspectives on synthetic vision; an update on the U.S. airliner missile defense program; and presentations covering automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), required navigation performance (RNP), data link, augmented cognition, information management, value in the avionics supply chain, and the integration of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) into civil airspace. The event was supported by more than 60 exhibitors. These companies provided additional seminars on topics such as electronic flight bags and software issues. Next year's event is planned at the same Expo XXI venue, according to event organizer, the UK-based Simply Group Ltd. For more information on Avionics '07, visit www.avionics-event.com.
Airbus has chosen Rockwell Collins' SAT-2100 high-speed data satellite communications system as an option for A318, A319, A320 and A321 single-aisle aircraft. SAT-2100 supplies multichannel voice, facsimile and data capability. Using Inmarsat services, the system enables three Aero H and Aero H+ channels. It also allows two simultaneous Swift64 or Swift Broadband channels, using a companion product, Collins' HST-2110 data transceiver. Certification of the SAT-2100 on Airbus aircraft is expected in January 2007. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
L-3 Communications has acquired three companies--SSG Precision Optronics, TCS Design and Management Services, and Advanced System Architectures (ASA).
With locations in Wilmington, Mass., and Richmond, Calif., SSG manufactures optics equipment for the government, military and commercial markets, including tactical military aircraft. Following regulatory approvals, L-3 plans to include SSG within its Sensors and Simulation group. TCS, Warner Robbins, Ga., has been added to L-3's Integrated Systems group. The company provides software services for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft and specializes in avionics system engineering for U.S. Air Force Special Operations programs. Based in Alton, England, ASA also has been added to L-3's Integrated Systems group. The company produces software, communication systems, and multisensor fusion and tracking systems for military aircraft. L-3 anticipates annual revenues of $60 million from SSG, $45 million from TCS and $10 million from ASA. Visit www.L-3com.com.
CMC Electronics has obtained a contract to supply its CMA-2082F avionics management system for a fleet of 85 German Air Force Tornados. The contract is part of a midlife improvement program, with deliveries scheduled to begin in November 2006, going through 2008. A multifunction control and display unit with onboard mission processing, the CMA-2082F integrates navigation sensors, communications radios, displays and other avionics equipment into one location, where it can be managed and controlled. CMC Electronics says the display reduces pilot workload and increases situational awareness. Visit www.cmcelectronics.ca.
Swiss-based Jet Aviation Group has finalized its acquisition of Midcoast Aviation of St. Louis from Sabreliner Corp., Midcoast's former parent company. According to Jet Aviation Chief Executive Officer Heinz K?, the acquisition is part of a global expansion plan the company has undertaken since being purchased by Permira Funds in October 2005. Both parties say the deal is a good fit, as both offer complementary avionics, completion, modification and maintenance services. Visit www.jetaviation.com and www.midcoastaviation.com.
Mango Aviation Partners Ltd. has chosen the AD Aerospace CabinVu-123 cockpit door monitoring system for Sama, a new low-fare airline based in Saudi Arabia. As the launch customer of the system, Sama will use CabinVu for surveillance on board its fleet of Boeing 737s. The system provides pilots an unrestricted view of the area outside the cockpit door. AGM Aviation Services, Tucson, Ariz., has selected AD Aerospace's FlightVu as a retrofit option for B737 customers. FlightVu uses two or three closed circuit television cameras linked to a liquid crystal display (LCD) mounted in the cockpit pedestal. Manchester, UK-based AD Aerospace will provide the units and Aircraft Engineering & Installation, Orlando, Fla., will install them. Visit www.ad-aero.com, www.agmaviation.com and www.aei.aero.
Boeing has chosen Optimization Technologies of Beaverton, Ore., to develop network communications for its Class III electronic flight bag (EFB) and airborne network file server (NFS). The technology will allow the EFB and NFS to provide connections between aircraft and ground stations. Optimization Technologies has supplied software applications to the Boeing Class III EFB program since 2004. Visit www.optechnologies.com.
Honeywell is upgrading a series of its display products to include light-emitting diode (LED) and liquid crystal display (LCD) screens. The improved displays will be included in Honeywell's Bendix/King avionics radios, GPS units and other navigation systems. The technology is designed to match the existing line of Bendix/King Silver Crown avionics products. Visit www.honeywell.com and www.bendixking.com.
Traffic Advisory System
Two general aviation manufacturers have chosen Avidyne's TAS600 traffic advisory system as a factory option for their aircraft, and the unit also is available on aircraft equipped with Garmin G1000 avionics. Diamond Aircraft Industries of London, Canada, will offer the TAS600 series on its DA20, DA40 and DA42 aircraft. The system will show traffic information on all Diamond multifunction displays, including Honeywell's Bendix/King KLN 94 GPS navigator/moving map, Garmin GNS 430 and GNS 530, and the G1000 avionics system. Symphony Aircraft Industries in Three Rivers, Canada, also has selected the TAS600 for its Symphony 160 two-seater, which is equipped with Avidyne's Entegra flight deck.
In addition, the TAS600 series, consisting of the 7-nm-range TAS600, the 12-nm TAS610 and the 21-nm TAS620, can be installed as a retrofit option on aircraft with the G1000. This series of instruments uses Ryan International's Active Surveillance technology, which provides alerts about approaching aircraft, and Avidyne's Heads-Up Audible Position Alerting system, intended to call out the bearing, range and relative altitude of nearby traffic. Visit www.avidyne.com, www.diamondair.com, www.garmin.com and www.symphonyaircraft.com.
Under an agreement with the Chinese government, Thales will supply several air navigation systems for use in 13 airports around the country and at the Civil Aviation Administration of China's training center. Thales will deliver 11 Doppler-VOR (DVOR) systems, 20 DME instruments and three ILS units. Visit www.thalesgroup.com.
The European Defence Agency has selected a consortium headed by Sagem Dé¦¥nse Sé£µrité ´o perform a study focusing on sense-and-avoid technology on long-range unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). The study intends to find solutions for increasing the UAV presence in civil airspace while maintaining airspace security and regulations. Sagem is the prime contractor for the study, and the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), the National Aeronautics Study and Research Office (ONERA) of France, and Especialidades Electricas SA (ELSPESA) of Spain are co-contractors.
TNO will focus on electromagnetics and operational analysis, ONERA will contribute to navigation, regulations and electro-optic elements, and ESPELSA will study deconflicting aircraft trajectories. Scheduled to last 18 months, the study will utilize the Busard, a motor-glider UAV testbed owned by ONERA and Sagem. Designed to fly up to 25,000 feet for 20 hours at 124.6 mph (200 kph), Busard is also capable of being pilot-flown. Visit www.sagem-ds.com.
Universal Avionics Systems and the Kansas City Aviation Center (KCAC) have begun a joint program to retrofit an EFI-890R display suite into Pilatus PC-12s. The suite uses two primary flight displays (PFDs) at the pilot and copilot seats and a navigation display at the center-right of the panel. It comes with features such as synthetic vision, aeronautical charts, weather, terrain awareness warning system (TAWS) and other display applications. System interface engineering for the program has begun, and flight tests will start in the second quarter of 2006. KCAC is applying for a supplemental type certificate (STC) for the upgrade. Visit www.uasc.com.
Athena Technologies, Warrenton, Va., has secured separate agreements to implement its GuideStar navigation and flight control system into two unmanned air vehicle (UAV) projects. The contracts are with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.
Athena's GuideStar GS-111m will be used for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's (DARPA's) Morphing Aircraft Structures (MAS) program. Lockheed's Skunk Works is the prime contractor for that project. The MAS program aims to develop aircraft that can change the shape of their wings during flight in order to adjust to new missions.
The GuideStar GS-211 HG, a GPS navigation system and air data sensor suite, will provide backup navigation for General Atomics' Warrior UAV, which is operated by the U.S. Army. Athena's role in the project is part of a $214-million contract awarded to General Atomics for the Army's Extended-Range/Multipurpose UAV program. Visit www.athenati.com.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has granted approval for ARINC to implement its Cockpit Access Security System (CAAS) as a permanent program. The company, in partnership with 29 aircraft operators, is deploying an industry-wide system that identifies pilots and authorized airline personnel. The system also allows gate attendants to determine whether other airline employees are permitted to ride in the cockpit jumpseat. Visit www.arinc.com.
ITT Electronic Systems, Clifton, N.J., has secured an $82-million contract for the production of its AN/ALQ-214 countermeasures systems for U.S. Navy F/A-18E/Fs. The multiyear contract calls for 264 systems to be delivered as part of the Navy's Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures System and adds to other recent contracts for the ALQ-214. Visit www.itt.com.
Boeing has contracted ViaSat of Carlsbad, Calif., to develop the programmable infosec module (PIM) software for the U.S. Air Force family of advanced beyond line-of-sight terminals (FAB-T) program. ViaSat also will supply system and security engineering services to Boeing under the $13.8-million subcontract. FAB-T aims to provide a multimission-capable line of terminals based on a common design and open system architecture, allowing information to be exchanged between ground, airborne and space platforms. Visit www.viasat.com.
Avionics and airframe maintenance provider Jet Source will install a law enforcement equipment package on four Eurocopter AS350B-3s operated by the San Diego Police Department. The Carlsbad, Calif.-based company will equip the AStars with a thermal imaging system, a moving map made by AeroComputers, a custom radio suite and instrument panel, an audio system, a microwave downlink system, a digital recording unit and tracking systems. Visit www.jetsource.com.
Air Mauritius has picked a Rockwell Collins avionics package for three A340s it has on order. Included in the deal is Collins' WXR-2100 multiscan weather radar and GLU-920 multimode receiver. Air Mauritius also chose Collins' ADF-900 automatic direction finder, DME-900, HFS-900 high frequency system, CPL-920D coupling unit, GNA-910 global navigation antenna and VOR-900 VHF radio. Deliveries of the A340s are set to begin this October. Air Mauritius also has options for two additional A340s. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
Michigan Aerospace Corp. (MAC) has received a $1-million contract from the University of New Hampshire to continue developing its light detection and ranging (lidar) atmospheric wind measurement instrument. Part of a larger grant from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the follow-on contract covers testing of lidar on a high-altitude U.S. Air Force balloon. Four test flights are planned, starting in May 2006. Lidar is intended for eventual installation on a satellite, aircraft or other high-altitude platform. MAC, Ann Arbor, Mich., says the instrument will provide improved weather forecasting and hurricane prediction. Visit www.michiganaerospace.com.
Vienna, Austria-based TTTech Computertechnik AG has joined the Airline Avionics Institute (AAI), an organization supporting the commercial avionics and flight simulation industry. Visit www.tttech.com and www.airlineavionics.org.
GE Fanuc Embedded Systems completed its acquisition of the technology assets of Condor Engineering, Santa Barbara, Calif. Visit www.gefanuc.com and www.condorengineering.
Jeppesen's Airport Mapping Database (AMDB) is being added to the Thales On-Board Airport Navigation System (OANS) developed for Airbus aircraft. Visit www.jeppesen.com.
CAE has agreed to a five-year contract to maintain four Airbus A320 full flight simulators, two Embraer 190 simulators and six flight training devices for JetBlue Airways. The simulators are at JetBlue's training center in Orlando, Fla. Visit www.cae.com and www.jetblue.com.
Retlif Testing Laboratories of Ronkonkoma, N.Y., has acquired Radiation Sciences Inc. (RSI), Harleysville, Pa. Visit www.retlif.com and www.rsitest.com.
Under a five-year contract, Johannesburg-based South African Technical, a subsidiary of South African Airways, will receive component support from Air France Industries for the carrier's six Airbus A340-200s. Visit www.airfrance.industries.com.