Business & GA, Commercial, Embedded Avionics, Military

What’s Trending in Aerospace – August 2, 2020

By Staff Writer | August 2, 2020
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Check out the August 2 edition of What’s Trending in Aerospace, where editors and contributors for Avionics International bring you some of the top headlines and stories across various segments of the global aerospace industry that you should be aware of for the week ahead.

Commercial Aviation

Boom Supersonic, Rolls Royce to Explore Overture Propulsion Development

Boom Supersonic and Rolls-Royce publicly confirmed an agreement to explore the pairing of a Rolls-Royce propulsion system with the future supersonic passenger aircraft, Overture that is under development for entry into service in the mid 2020s.

The goal of the new agreement is to work together to identify the propulsion system that would complement Boom’s Overture airframe, the two companies said in a July 30 press release. The teams will investigate whether an existing Rolls Royce engine architecture can be adapted for supersonic flight, while Boom’s internal team continues to develop the airframe configuration.

JetBlue to Start Using Honeywell’s UV Light Cabin System

JetBlue has received the first set of Honeywell’s new UV cabin light system. (Honeywell Aerospace)

JetBlue has become the first U.S. airline to start using Honeywell’s new UV Cabin System, which the company describes as a UV light system capable of transversing an aircraft cabin in less than 10 minutes.

Under a pilot project, JetBlue will evaluate the effectiveness of the new system, and has received eight devices from Honeywell.

“With the safety of our crew members and customers our first priority, JetBlue’s Safety from the Ground Up initiative is maintaining a layered approach to safety by ensuring healthy crew members, providing flexibility, adding space, reducing touchpoints, and keeping surfaces clean and sanitized,” said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s president and COO. “As we look to add additional layers of protection by utilizing cutting-edge technology, we have identified the Honeywell UV Cabin System as a potential game changer when it comes to efficiently assisting in our efforts to sanitize surfaces onboard.”

The Honeywell UV Cabin System is roughly the size of an aircraft beverage cart and has UV-C light arms that extend over the top of seats and sweep the cabin to treat aircraft surfaces.

Military Aviation

U.S. Air Force KC-10 Aerial Refueling Fleet ADS-B Upgrades Complete

A U.S. Air Force KC-10 Extender pilot performs preflight checks aboard an Extender last July in Australia during a U.S.-Australian exercise. The KC-10s are to receive ADS-B (Out) upgrades. (U.S. Air Force Photo)

L2 Aviation, a subcontractor to Collins Aerospace, in a July 29 press release announced that Mode-5 Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) upgrades for the U.S. Air Force KC-10 “Extender” Aerial Refueling Tanker Fleet have been completed.

The Texas-based avionics engineering and modifications company was awarded the contract by Collins Aerospace on Nov. 12, and “completed each installation in just 4.5 days per aircraft on average which was quicker than the time originally set even during the outbreak,” the company said. Upgrades were completed for a total of 58 aircraft, with the Mode 5 installation and software upgrade featuring APX119-0531 hardware, interfaces, ancillary equipment, and upgraded software along with removal of legacy hardware and wire harnesses, according to the Air Force.

“The project was delayed for eight days at the start and then we faced another delay of eight additional days while under quarantine for suspected COVID-19 exposure of a team member”, said Adam Tsakonas, Program Manager for L2 Aviation. “Even with the loss of 16 days the program pulled ahead of the original schedule and we were able to scale back to a single mod-line as we worked through the final aircraft.”

Boeing Receives $265 Million Chinook Helicopter Order from U.S. Army Special Operations

Boeing recently signed a $265 million contract for nine more MH-47G Block II Chinook helicopters that employees in its Philadelphia plant will assemble for the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command (USASOAC).

That brings Boeing to a total of 24 next-generation Chinooks on contract, which offer increased performance, commonality and capability for challenging missions.

“The G-Model is a critical asset for the Army, our nation, and the defense industrial base,” said Andy Builta, Boeing vice president and H-47 program manager. “We’re honored that the Army’s special operators trust us to deliver it.”

Business Aviation

Gulfstream G700 Surpasses 100 Flight Tests

Gulfstream’s G700 flight testing program is advancing toward its 2022 entry-into-service goal. (Gulfstream)

Gulfstream’s new G700 long-range business jet has surpassed 100 test flights and finished company flutter testing, according to a July 28 press release.

The aircraft’s flight testing program is also expanding the flight envelope being evaluated, as it also flew beyond its maximum operating speed and cruise altitude, reaching Mach 0.99 and an altitude of 54,000 feet. In typical operations, the G700 has a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925 and a maximum cruise altitude of 51,000 feet.

Five fully outfitted production aircraft are being used for testing, and Gulfstream has already completed ground vibration testing, engine runs, loads calibration and structural testing for the G700’s first flight. Gulfstream expects to make the first G700 customer deliveries in 2022.

Textron Aviation Navigates COVID-19 Losses, Lower Deliveries in Second Quarter

Textron Aviation posted a $66 million loss in the second quarter and saw deliveries drop due to a decline in demand related to the pandemic and to a lesser extent, delays in the acceptance of aircraft related to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Textron Aviation delivered 23 jets, down from 46 last year, and 15 commercial turboprops, down from 34 last year.

Embedded Avionics

Wind River Linux Becomes First GPP to Achieve FACE 3.0

Wind River Linux has become the first General Purpose Profile (GPP) Operating System Segment (OSS) of any kind to conform to the FACE Technical Standard Edition 3.0.

FACE 3.0, published in November 2017, has, among other things, added system model metadata definition and introduced improvements to the data architecture area of the standard as well. The third version of the FACE standard technical standard now requires any operating system segment with support for multicore partitions to meet the requirements of ARINC-653 Part 1 Supplement 4.

The standard is published by the Open Group’s FACE Consortium, a partnership between industry suppliers, government experts and operators to provide avionics that use an open system architecture. The consortium has continually updated their standard, which integrates and builds off proven standards like OpenGL, ARINC 729 and POSIX.

The company describes Wind River Linux as an “advanced embedded Linux development platform” that feature tools and lifecycle services to “build and support intelligent edge devices.”

Urban Air Mobility

EHang Receives Special Flight Ops Cert from Transport Canada, Expands Production Facility to Build 600 Vehicles Per Year

EHang’s two-seat 216 autonomous aircraft obtained a special flight operations certificate (SFOC) from Transport Canada, allowing trial flights of the aircraft to be conducted in Quebec Province.

“We are pleased to see EHang 216 receiving such an important certificate from TCCA, following consecutive flight approvals received from aviation authorities in different countries, including the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the Civil Aviation Authority of Norway and the Civil Aviation Administration of China,” said EHang Chairman and CEO Huazhi Hu. “It conveys a positive signal from global regulators to establish a supportive and sustainable regulatory environment for the UAM industry. As a leader in the industry, EHang will continue to work with our customers and partners to provide safe, autonomous and eco-friendly air mobility solutions to the world.”

EHang also announced it will build a new production facility in Yunfu City, Guangdong, China, with a planned initial annual capacity of 600 autonomous aerial vehicles.

“The increasing market demands and commercialization of AAVs in China are driving us to expand our production and upgrade our manufacturing capabilities,” said Hu. “The EHang Yunfu facility serves as an expansion of our existing facility and will support the growth of our air mobility business in China.”

EHang, listed on the Nasdaq as [EH], is currently trading down almost fifty percent from its price at the beginning of July.

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