Business & GA

NBAA 2011

By Jonathan Ray | November 1, 2011
Send Feedback

Honeywell Sees Slow Growth

Honeywell expressed cautious optimism in the recovery of the business aviation industry, hopeful that 2011 will be the “trough year” and 2012 will see modest growth buoyed by international demand.

In its annual Business Aviation Forecast, the unofficial kick-off of the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) annual conference, Honeywell forecasted $230 billion in new business jets from 2011 through 2021, a slight 2 percent increase compared to last year’s forecast.

For 2011, Honeywell Aerospace estimates deliveries of 600-650 new business jets, down about 15 percent from 732 in 2010 due to continued slow global economic recovery. Strength in Asia, particularly China, India and Russia, boosted the relatively soft North American and European markets, the company announced on Oct. 8.

“Sustainability is a concern due to the global economic slowdown,” said Rob Wilson, president of Honeywell’s Business and General Aviation business unit. “We noted over the last two years that the timing of planned purchases in the five-year window was heavily shifted in most regions to the post-2010 timeframe. That still remains the case, with roughly 80 percent of planned purchases timed for 2013 or after.”

Wilson admitted he had expected that 2010 would be stronger, but said “we’re still significantly better than we were a year ago. … We’ve got a good strong to tell in light of a difficult environment.”

Expanding Fusion

Rockwell Collins is expanding the market for its Pro Line Fusion integrated avionics suite, adding new capabilities and new potential airframes for the system.

Rockwell Collins announced the availability of Pro Line Fusion for the turboprop and light jet end of the business aviation market. The system includes touch-control primary flight displays, integrated head-up synthetic vision and autonomous backup flight control modes. Additional features include MultiScan weather radar threat detection and integration with the company’s Ascend flight information systems.

“We’ve been very successful at Fusion,” Colin Mahoney, vice president, sales and marketing for Commercial Systems at Rockwell Collins, told Avionics Magazine. “All that work is somewhat a shame to pigeon-hole to super-mid, or mid-size, so why can’t [light jets and turboprops] airplanes get access to these privileges and functions … For us to be able to technologically package it in a different way is a pretty exciting concept.”

The economic downturn of 2008 provided Rockwell Collins with an opportunity to re-evaluate the potential functionalities of Pro Line Fusion on the smaller end of the business jet market, including the addition of the touch-screen capabilities. “So as bad as all that time felt for us, it was actually good news in terms of coming out with a finished product,” he said.

The company announced an aftermarket customer for the new light business jet Pro Line Fusion configuration — as a retrofit display option from Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support for Pro Line 21-equipped King Air aircraft.

This first application of Pro Line Fusion in the light business aircraft market is expected to be certified by the end of 2013. Mahoney said for forward fits the company is “working diligently” with OEMs.

Despite the emphasis on Pro Line Fusion, Mahoney said Pro Line 21 is still a robust product. “We’re continuing to invest in [Pro Line 21]. This Fusion work helps with it. Where appropriate, we take things meant for Fusion and put it into Pro Line 21.”

Other Rockwell Collins announcements:

➤ The company unveiled new mobile and online applications for its Ascend flight information solutions — including the Ascend Flight Manager app for the iPad and Ascend Dashboard integrated desktop system.

➤ Rockwell Collins added new features to its Venue cabin management system, including a family of touch-screen HD monitors and cabin controls, a touch-enabled version of its Airshow Moving Map and simultaneous audio/video on demand capability.

New Products, STCs

TrueNorth Avionics President and CEO 
Mark van Berkel, left, signs a distribution agreement with Wolfram Ewert, director of supply chain management completions, Jet Aviation. 

➤ TrueNorth Avionics, based in Ottawa, Canada, introduced of the Stylus multilingual handset. It includes a one-button interface; HD voice quality; wired and wireless configuration options; and personalization options that include custom materials to match the décor of the cabin. The company also entered into a distribution agreement with Jet Aviation Basel, under which TrueNorth will provide its cabin telecommunications systems for Jet Aviation’s completions and maintenance facility for VIP aircraft.

➤ Luma Technologies, of Bellevue, Wash., received a supplemental type certification (STC) for its LT-4500 suite of integrated LED Caution Lighting panels for King Air model aircraft.

➤ ABC Completions of Montreal, Quebec, received FAA STC to install Esterline CMC Electronic’s 10.4-inch Class 2 PilotView Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) on the B737-700 BBJ aircraft. Additionally, Carlisle Interconnect Technologies, of St. Augustine, Fla., received FAA STC to install PilotView on the Boeing B737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900 and -900ER series. Also, the PilotView was certified by EASA for installation by RUAG on the Embraer EMB-135BJ.

➤ Flight Display Systems, of Alpharetta, Ga., introduced an iPad Arm Mount system, designed to replace out-dated LCD monitors on any aircraft. The company said the launch customer for the iPad Arm Mount Upgrade is MJETS in Bangkok, Thailand.

➤ Honeywell’s Ovation cabin management system has been certified by FAA. Ovation Select enables high-speed satellite communications, allowing passengers to carry on their personal devices and plug them in for in-flight use. It provides component command and control, surround sound audio, high-definition (1080p) video and digital distribution throughout the cabin.

EFB Introduction

Astronautics Corporation of America and L-3 Avionics Systems introduced an electronic flight bag (EFB) with charting and moving map applications that display own-ship position. Using Astronautics’ Class 3 NEXIS Flight-Intelligence System and L-3-developed software technology, the EFB provides increased situational awareness through support of own-ship position in relationship to air traffic, terrain, weather and airport features, according to the companies.

“Built using an open software architecture, the charting application can utilize any database, including Jeppesen, Lido/RouteManual and Navtech. Pilots accustomed to paper charts now have the flexibility to choose their preferred mapping provider, easing the transition to electronic charting,” said Sean Reilly, Astronautics’ business development manager. Astronautics and L-3 Avionics Systems expect that this application will be fully certified and available in the first quarter of 2012.

Astronics Power Contracts

Astronics announced a series of contracts and partnerships at this year’s NBAA convention for its lighting and power systems. Astronics wholly owned subsidiary, Luminescent Systems, teamed with Hawker Beechcraft to provide LED exterior lighting for Hawker’s family of piston aircraft. Luminescent Systems will also supply illuminated instrument panels and exterior lighting for the recently announced Citation M2 aircraft.

Additionally, Astronics was selected by Honda Aircraft to supply the 28VDC to 115VAC EMPOWER System as a standard installation on the HondaJet aircraft. The EMPOWER Inverter is TSO-C73 certified, DO-160E compliant and is in full compliance with FAA Policy Statement ANM-01-111-165 for certification of power supply systems for Portable Electronic Devices. Nextant Aerospace will install its 28VDC to 115VAC EMPOWER System as standard equipment on the Nextant 400XT aircraft and on Piper Aircraft’s Meridian, Mirage and Matrix aircraft.

Receive the latest avionics news right to your inbox