Commercial, Military

The Top 10 Avionics Stories of 2018

Lion Air JT610 flight data. Photo, courtesy of Flightradar24.

As 2018 comes to a close, here is a look back at the top 10 most viewed stories published by Avionics International this year.

10. Southwest 1380: Fatal Flight Under Investigation After Engine Loss

A Boeing 737-800 operating Southwest Airlines flight 1380 between New York and Dallas suffered a major malfunction to its left engine, one of two CFM56-7Bs supplied by CFM International. The pilot made an emergency landing in Philadelphia after the malfunction. Of the 149 people on board, 148 survived.

9. Boeing AvionX to Develop Flight Controls, Navigation Technology Under New President

Boeing officially unveiled the name and leadership of its new avionics manufacturing division, AvionX. Brendan Curran, former president of Crane Co., has been appointed the president of Boeing AvionX.

8. Lion Air Boeing 737 Investigation Places MAX Flight Controls in Focus

A deeper understanding of the Boeing 737 MAX and how its flight control systems should be operated under certain conditions became the early focus of the ongoing Lion Air flight JT610 crash investigation.

7. Boeing CFO Talks Services Industry, NMA, Acquisitions

Speaking at the 2018 Jeffries Global Industrials Conference, Boeing’s chief financial officer (CFO) Greg Smith emphasized that the company sees a lot of opportunity in the services market. Boeing’s latest market outlook estimates the commercial aircraft services industry is worth $8.8 trillion over the next 20 years.

6. GE-Owned Avitas Granted First Large Commercial BVLOS Waiver

Avitas Systems, a GE venture, received the first FAA approval to fly a 55-plus-pound UAS beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) with no spotter for commercial purposes. Operating on Shell oil facilities in the Permian Basin in part of Loving County, Texas, the company uses ground-based radar as its primary enabling technology.

5. Four Commercial Trends Hitting Aviation in 2018

Mark Martin, director of the commercial aviation product line for IFS research analyzes four major technological developments that can help airlines reduce their maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) costs.

4. F-35: Under the Helmet of the World’s Most Advanced Fighter

One of the F-35 Lightning II’s most impressive and controversial components is the $400,000 helmet produced by a joint venture between Rockwell Collins and Elbit Systems of America.

3. UTC Expects to Close Rockwell Collins Acquisition by October

United Technologies Corporation (UTC) CEO Greg Hayes spoke about progress in clearing regulatory hurdles to acquire Rockwell Collins. That acquisition was completed in November, creating Collins Aerospace.

2. Satellite 2018: We Can Prevent Another MH370, But We Might Make It Difficult

A Satellite 2018 panel featuring executives from FlightAware, Inmarsat and Iridium discussed how the aviation industry can prevent accidents like MH370 from occurring again.

1. FAA Issues Boeing 737 AOA Directive After Lion Air Crash

The FAA issued an airworthiness directive (AD) on the Boeing 737 MAX after Lion Air flight JT610 crash investigators found the aircraft’s angle of attack (AOA) sensors are capable of generating erroneous inputs, potentially making the aircraft difficult for pilots to control. The JT610 crash investigation is ongoing.

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