Paris Air Show 2003: Meeting on some precarious common ground

 - July 28, 2008, 12:17 PM

The 2003 Paris Air Show, held June 15 to 22, opened against a backdrop of bitter transatlantic political disputes over France’s opposition to the U.S.-led Iraq War and the future of the Middle East. It ended with carriers from that region providing the whole aerospace industry with a welcome financial shot in the arm by placing multi-billion-dollar orders for new airliners.

In the build-up to this year’s salon there was much talk of a U.S. boycott. There can be no doubt that the U.S. presence was markedly reduced, with 183 exhibitors this year versus 350 in 2001 (and many of those who did attend were thinly staffed compared with previous years). Furthermore, there were no serving U.S. military officers above Grade O-6 and a dearth of the usual congressional and government delegations.

However, what was a lot less clear was the extent to which any of this represented an orchestrated effort to snub the French show, as opposed to being a less conspiratorial indication of shrinking marketing budgets. To some observers, the situation was something of a self-fulfilling prophecy: because there were no Pentagon or Bush Administration top brass to solicit at the show, it was hard for U.S. firms to justify maintaining the usual levels of Paris show expenditure.

Aerospace Industries Association president John Douglass indicated that if there had been a call for an official boycott, this would have come from defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, rather than from President Bush. On balance, he concluded that the reduced U.S. presence was motivated by economics more than politics, but this didn’t dampen chalet-line rumors about U.S. firms being leaned on by Pentagon officials with threats of commercial retaliation against those who didn’t fall in line.

Whatever the truth of the matter may have been, there were no U.S. aircraft in the daily Le Bourget flying display. Worse still for organizers was the news that no Russian aircraft would be able to appear due to the threat that Swiss trading group Noga would once again seek to repossess property deemed to be government-owned against a claimed $800 million debt dating back to the Yeltsin Administration.

This left the stage wide open to performers such as Dassault’s Rafale and
Mirage warplanes, as well as to the Eurofighter and the Airbus A340-600 and A318. While there were some notable debut appearances from outside Europe– such as Embraer’s 170 regional jet and India’s long-awaited Dhruv helicopter– this year’s Paris event was visibly rendered somewhat parochial by the U.S. and Russian no-shows.

During the Paris show, Airbus announced just under $20 billion worth of orders and commitments for 81 aircraft from three different customers. The lion’s share of this business was accounted for by Dubai-based Emirates, which placed its largest ever single order–a $12.5 billion deal for 21 super-large A380s, 18 A340-600s and two A340-500s. Additionally, the carrier is to lease a pair of A340-600s and two A380s from International Lease Finance Corp (ILFC). Rolls-Royce was selected as the powerplant provider for this batch of Airbuses for the United Arab Emirates carrier.

In the same breath, Emirates also signed for 26 long-range Boeing 777-300ERs, powered by General Electric GE90-115 engines. The Boeing aircraft are to be leased from ILFC and General Electric Capital Aviation Services, which already have them on order.

Airbus also profited from a $5.1 billion deal with Qatar Airways, which ordered two A321s, eight A330-200s, six A330-300s and two A340-600s. The Middle Eastern carrier also took options on six more A330-300s and eight more Airbus A340-600s.

Before the show closed, the European airframer had secured its 11th customer for the A380 when Korean Air signed a $2.2 billion memorandum of understanding for eight A380-800s (three of which are on option). The A380 program is now supported by orders and options for 129 aircraft. Airbus has said that firm orders for 250 will be required for the program to break even.

Boeing does not publicly acknowledge memoranda of understanding, on the grounds that these can all too easily evaporate. However, the U.S. manufacturer has confirmed a Reuters wire service report that Korean Airlines did in fact sign a $1.5 billion MoU for seven 777s and two 747-400F freighters.

For Boeing, the highlight of this year’s Le Bourget event was the official naming of its proposed 7E7 as the Dreamliner. The designation was chosen via a worldwide Web poll, beating out eLiner, Global Cruiser and Stratoclimber.

Alan Mulally, president of Boeing Commercial Airplane, said the company wants to begin deliveries of the Dreamliner in 2008, and that to achieve this it will need to secure the approval of the Boeing group board by next summer. “It is very important to remember we’re in no hurry,” Mulally told AIN. “We think that 2008 is the right time to deliver the first airplane. So we have plenty of time.”

This statement confounded earlier reports from the U.S. airframer that suggested the launch decision would be made by the end of this year–an expectation shared by many prospective systems suppliers interviewed by AIN, who said that they are expecting to receive requests for proposals (RFPs) by the end of this month.

One possible explanation for the apparently mixed view on the timetable for program launch could be discussions over the partnership terms between Boeing and its suppliers. Mulally suggested that the OEM will want to see other companies make a more direct financial commitment to the new aircraft: “We think the time is now to figure out a different business model.”

That said, Boeing did appoint an advisory panel of 20 systems suppliers to help develop technologies and design concepts for the Dreamliner. The team consists of ECE Zodiac, Messier-Bugatti and Thales from France; Diehl and Liebherr-Aerospace from Germany; Teijin Seiki from Japan; FR-HiTemp, Smiths Aerospace and BAE Systems from the UK; and U.S. firms Connexion by Boeing, Crane Aerospace, Fairchild Controls, Goodrich, General Dynamics, Hamilton Sundstrand, Honeywell, Matsushita Avionics Systems, Moog, Parker Hannifin, Rockwell Collins and Triumph Group.

Eleven months after Boeing chairman and CEO Phil Condit declared at the Farnborough Air Show that there was no “value” to be had from bringing his firm’s aircraft to such events, the Paris static display was graced with the presence of the new 777-300ER. Missing was Condit himself, who chose to stay at home this year. The new 777 variant, which can carry 365 passengers on routes of up to 7,420 nm, was taking time out from its flight-test program and was reported to be on track for airframe certification during the fourth quarter of this year and initial deliveries next April.

Airbus’ contribution to the Paris flying display consisted of the largest and smallest models from its current family, respectively the A340-600 and A318. The next generation A380 could be viewed only as a 1:20-scale model in the exhibit hall. Airbus chief executive Noel Forgeard predicted that the ground-breaking A380 will fly before the next Paris Air Show (June 12 to 19, 2005).

In addition to its blockbuster airliner order, Emirates also signed up three new customers for its new flight-training joint venture with CAE, and announced it will add a Raytheon Hawker 800/800XP simulator to the Dubai facility. Multi-year training deals were closed with Middle East Airlines (for its A330/A340 crews) and both Royal Jet and Arabasco (Boeing 737NG/Boeing Business Jets). The Royal Jet crews will also train on the center’s Gulfstream IV simulator, which like all the other units uses the CAE Simfinity system.

Far and away the most poignant moment at Paris 2003 came when one of Air France’s just-retired Concordes (F-BTSD) made a final landing at Le Bourget and taxied to its new home outside the airport’s renowned aviation museum (the Musée de l’Air et l’Espace). Air France chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta was responsible for the handover and on the same day Aero-Club de France president Gerard Feldzer, himself an Air France pilot, launched a campaign to keep at least one example of Concorde in flying condition.

Russia’s Ilyushin and Volga-Dnepr Airlines announced plans for a version of the Il-76-90 jetliner, to be re-engined with quieter Perm PS90A engines to meet ICAO Stage 3 noise limits. The Il-76 has been barred from European Union airspace since April last year on noise grounds.

In response to the threat to the airline industry posed by terrorists armed with shoulder-launched missiles, Israel’s Elta Systems and IMI displayed their new Flight Guard system, which detects and repels incoming missiles, on board a modified 737. Other such equipment could also be viewed at Paris in the shape of Rafael’s Britening unit, which uses lasers as a directional jammer against missiles; the Thales Optronics’ Flash self-protection system; and El-Op’s multi-spectral infrared countermeasures unit. Northrop Grumman also plans to offer a civilian version of its Nemesis system.

Military Presence

As this year’s Paris show opened, AIN learned that Airbus had quietly introduced an important technical change to its A400M military transport with a view to reducing program risk, weight and cost. Instead of all four of the 17-foot propellers rotating in the same direction, one of each wing pair will rotate in the opposite direction. This should significantly reduce torque and eliminate the asymmetric airflow over the wing, allowing the manufacturer to reduce the horizontal and vertical tail surfaces by just over 100 sq ft each–avoiding corrective provisions in the wing design and allowing for a simplified flight-control system.

Meanwhile, systems and equipment suppliers left Paris still eagerly awaiting RFPs for the A400M. Based on current firm orders for 180 aircraft, about $2.1 billion of subcontracts are up for grabs, most of which will need to be signed by the end of next year if the project is to enter service on time. At the show, Airbus officials insisted that non-European suppliers will stand a perfectly fair chance of being selected for the program, firmly refuting allegations of political interference in the recent selection of Europrop as the engine provider ahead of the favorite bidder, Pratt & Whitney Canada.

Dassault chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne reported that the French government is “finalizing discussions” for a repeat order of 59 Rafales. This second production contract would raise the total number to be built so far to 120.

Also during show week, France’s defense minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, confirmed that her government will provide funding for Dassault to build a demonstrator of its unmanned combat air vehicle. The demonstrator is intended to sustain the technological expertise needed to launch production programs beyond 2020.

The French manufacturer, which also exhibited its stable of Falcon business jets at Le Bourget, announced its intention to offer the French air force a modernization program for the new Alphajet Mk 1 trainer. Dassault has also been selected to provide simulators for a new French military pilot-training program.

By contrast, it emerged that BAE Systems’ Hawk jet trainer faces an increasingly uncertain future unless the UK Ministry of Defence places an order for it soon. The company has warned the British government that it may have to make further layoffs at its Brough factories, which include highly skilled systems and design engineers.

Unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) were a hot topic at this year’s Paris show. European group EADS displayed its new Eagle 1 model just a few days after it had made its inaugural flight. Italy’s Alenia showed off a technology demonstrator for its new UAV.

But the sector’s biggest news was confirmation that Northrop Grumman is to bring its Global Hawk UAV to Europe in October as part of a twice-delayed plan to offer a European version for Germany’s signals intelligence requirement. The new Euro Hawk is to be developed in partnership with EADS.

Regional Aircraft

Paris 2003 was a good news/bad news show for Embraer. The Brazilian airframer announced firm orders for 10 and options for 20 of its 190 twinjet from an unidentified customer. This business came to fruition barely a week after the award of a mega-contract by New York-based low-cost carrier JetBlue Airways for 100 of the 100-seaters, in addition to options for 100 more. To top all this, the 78-seat Embraer 175 made its first flight just as the show was opening.

But just as the airshow press were expecting yet another full-blown Brazilian carnival at the Le Bourget show, Embraer CEO Mauricio Botelho confessed that certification of the flagship 70-seat 170 twinjet has had to be pushed back from July to November of this year. The delay has been caused by technical setbacks with the integration of Honeywell’s Primus Epic avionics software.

Initially, company sources had suggested that launch customer Alitalia (which has taken over delivery positions originally apportioned to cash-strapped Swiss) had in fact agreed to a so-called “two phase” certification for the 170, in which the approval for its Cat II approach capability, autothrottle and windshear guidance would be completed separately, after service entry, in November. Embraer v-p of commercial programs Fred Curado set the record straight when he told AIN, “This is not a matter of Alitalia changing its mind. We dropped the ball.”

Rival Bombardier didn’t drop any balls at Paris, but it didn’t announce any new business either. Nonetheless, Pierre Beaudoin, the Canadian group’s president and COO, said his company’s prospects are still bolstered by existing large contracts with carriers such as US Airways and Flybe, as well as memoranda of understanding with United Airlines and SkyWest and a letter of intent from Regco of Toronto.

Arguably the most optimistic aerospace executive at this year’s Paris show, Sukhoi general director Mikhail Pogosyan predicted that the new Russian Regional Jet (RRJ) will sell at least 800 units–more than half of which will be exported. He also promised that the 60- to 95-seat twinjet family will offer a “15- to 20-percent competitive edge” over rival existing models from Bombardier and Embraer.

The RRJ is being developed in partnership with Russian OEMs Ilyushin and Yakovlev, as well as enjoying the backing of Boeing. France’s Snecma has teamed with Russia’s NPO Saturn to develop the new model’s SMA146 turbofans. Its first flight is scheduled for 2006, with deliveries to start the following year.

Avions de Transport Regional (ATR) received two new contracts during the Paris show. Existing customer Air Tahiti ordered two new ATR 42-500s, which will be delivered in December and January. New Indian operator Air Deccan is to take four ATR 42-320s during July and August and plans to add a further two of the 42-seaters by year-end.

ATR also launched a new customer-support initiative aimed at reducing parts prices and improving spares availability. According to Roberto Bellino, senior v-p of customer services, a review of the French-Italian airframer’s purchasing conditions and a reduction in internal costs is allowing ATR to cut its catalog prices on rotables and breakdown parts by an average of 8 percent.

At the same time, ATR announced a new customer loyalty program called I-CARE. This gives ATR operators the chance to save more costs associated with training, maintenance and spare parts. Once an operator reaches a certain level of spending, it receives a credit that can be applied to future services.

On the Paris static-display line, the manufacturer was showing an Air Caraïb ATR 72-500 outfitted with its new “Elegance” cabin and cockpit. The cabin featured ergonomic seats developed by Italy’s Avio Interiors with designer Stefano Gris.

The ATR 72-500 is now being bid as a replacement for Qantas’ fleet of 32 Bombardier Dash 8s, after the Australian carrier issued an RFP in mid-June. Bombardier is also offering the new-generation Dash 8Q series.

Further regional aircraft novelty could be viewed at Le Bourget in the shape of the new An-140 twin turboprop being exhibited by Antonov of the Ukraine. In addition to domestic manufacturing by the Kharkov State Aircraft Plant, the 52-seater is now to be built under license in Iran by HESA, with launch customer Kish Air already signed up for the first of these examples.

BAE Systems announced a deal under which Romanian aerostructures maker Romaero will offer a third alternative freight conversion package for the out-of-production Advanced Turboprop (ATP). Initially, Romaero will manufacture 10 large freight-door kits and may also install some, while others are offered directly to operators. Different freighter conversion packages are already available through Sweden’s West Air and British European Aviation Services, with which BAE is also allied.

Business Aviation

Bombardier debuted a trio of its new business jets at the Paris show: the Global 5000, Challenger 300 and Learjet 40. The Challenger 300 arrived within days of having achieved an unexpected double type certification, with approvals from both Transport Canada and the FAA. Certification by Europe’s JAA is anticipated by the end of this month.

Not content with this achievement, the Challenger 300 also set a new transatlantic speed record by crossing from Boston to Paris in 6 hr 3 min 55 sec. This came just a couple of days after the aircraft had traversed the continental U.S. westbound from Miami to Seattle in 5 hr and 48 min, breaking all previous records for the 2,957-nm route.

Bombardier Business Aircraft president Peter Edwards said the order book for the $17.8 million aircraft now stands at more than 125 firm, resulting in a backlog running through 2006. About two dozen of these are destined to enter service with the Canadian airframer’s Flexjet fractional-ownership program. Certification for the model slipped from the end of last year.

The fact that the Global 5000 is not yet cleared for RVSM operations precluded any attempt to set new speed records as it crossed the pond to Paris. Nonetheless, the flight from White Plains, N.Y., was the new model’s longest to date since it started flying on March 7. The business jet is due to enter corporate service in the fourth quarter of next year (see page 4).

The Learjet 40–a truncated Learjet 45 and replacement for the Learjet 31A–appeared at Le Bourget 11 months after the program was launched at the UK’s Farnborough Air Show. According to v-p of aircraft development David Schenck, the new model will be ready to enter service by year-end with launch customer Eurojet of Italy, which now has two on order. During the show, Bombardier also appointed Paris-based Aviaxess as the official French agent for its Flexjet Europe and Skyjet Europe shared-use programs.

Only Dassault, with its full complement of current-production Falcons, could match Bombardier’s presence in the business aviation contingent at the show. Gulfstream and Cessna did not exhibit at all at Paris 2003, and Raytheon did not bring any of its executive transports–actions that were evidently driven by the close proximity and sharper market focus of May’s EBACE show.

As the Air France Concorde was being respectfully towed to its final resting place at Le Bourget, fractional-ownership giant NetJets was somewhat disrespectfully hailing the demise of the supersonic transport. As the final British Airways Concordes retire in October, NetJets is launching a marketing campaign to woo its former passengers with the slogan, “You flew the Concorde–now it’s time for an upgrade.”

“Our message is that–with Concorde going out of service–passengers have a choice: either fly first class on a commercial airline, or upgrade to NetJets,” said NetJets Europe chief executive Mark Booth. The fractional-ownership pioneer is arguing that the ad hoc availability of its subsonic aircraft from conveniently located airports can match the door-to-door journey times made possible by Concorde.

During a week when news broke of Raytheon’s move to destroy all remaining examples of the rival Beech Starship (see page 1), the Piaggio Avanti was flying the flag for eye-catching twin pusherprops at Le Bourget. During the show, the Polish Air Medical Rescue company ordered an Avanti, taking the sales backlog to 19 aircraft. The Italian manufacturer said it intends to produce 22 units this year, compared with 14 last year, 13 in 2001 and just six in 2000. Piaggio just announced a 7-percent increase in revenues for last year to €136.3 million ($159.5 million) and gross operating margins up by fully 24 percent to €21.3 million ($24.9 million).

Stephane Mayer was introduced as the newly appointed president and CEO of EADS Socata. He has replaced Philippe Debrun and has also taken over responsibility from senior executive v-p Jean-François Trassard at the French manufacturer for the TBM 700.

On the eve of the Paris show, flight-planning group Jeppesen opened a new global support center at its Englewood, Colo. headquarters. The facility is now providing support for some 3,200 daily dispatched flights by scheduled, charter and corporate operators.

Helicopters

Those unable to attend the Aero-India show in Bangalore earlier this year may have long since given up on ever seeing the new Dhruv helicopter from Hindustan Aeronautics. But after many years hidden from Western eyes, and after a tortuous development process under the less exotic name Advanced Light Helicopter, the new multi-role twin finally made its international debut at this year’s Paris show–almost 11 years after its first flight in August 1992.

The 12-passenger Dhruv, as it is now known, has been developed initially with the Indian army and navy in mind–and more particularly the hot-and-high performance requirements for military patrols along the disputed northwestern territory of Kashmir. However, HAL was clearly every bit as eager to prove the helicopter’s civilian applications to the Le Bourget crowd by demonstrating the low noise signature of its Turbomeca TM333-2B engines. The model on display was fitted with landing skids, but it can also be supplied with wheels. Its cockpit featured an Israeli-made avionics suite.

During the show, HAL signed a fresh MoU with Eurocopter to extend their partnership work, which has encompassed the Dhruv program itself and licensed production of the European rotorcraft maker’s aircraft. Eurocopter fielded the largest array of helicopters at the Paris show, featuring all its current-production models and giving an international debut to the new EC 725 twin. President and CEO Patrice Bregier said the French-German manufacturer increased its revenues by 12 percent last year and claimed the number-one slot among world rotorcraft makers, with a 60-percent share of the civil and parapublic market.

AgustaWestland and its Bell/ Agusta Aerospace joint venture were awarded Italian IFR certification for the AB139 half-way through the Le Bourget show. According to the company, subsequent full European and U.S. type certification is now just “a few months” away. Within hours of receiving the appropriate paperwork from Italian officials at the show, the company was announcing the sale of two AB139s to utility and offshore transport operator Evergreen International.

AgustaWestland also announced a new contract from the Japanese National Police Agency for three Agusta A109E Power helicopters. These will be supplied by year-end through local distributor Kanematsu and will be operated by police departments in the cities of Hiroshima, Fukushina and Nigata. Meanwhile, U.S. subsidiary Agusta Aerospace has sold 10 of the smaller A119 Koalas to Gulf of Mexico offshore operator Tex-Air.

AgustaWestland exhibited an EH 101 helicopter in the heliborne early-warning configuration that has just been selected for the Japanese navy. However, it was also touting the potential of the American-built US 101 version that is being offered to the White House as a potential head-of-state rotorcraft.

Separately, Agusta and CAE formed a new training joint venture called Rotorsim, which will operate a new facility at Sesto Calende in Italy. The new center will open in 2005 with the delivery of a CAE-built A109 simulator.

Sikorsky announced a new partnership with General Electric for the engine maker to offer its new CT7-8C turboshafts for the H-92 Superhawk multi-mission military helicopter, which is derived from the S-92 large transport. The -8C engines will offer about 25 percent more power than the -8As that are currently on the S-92 (itself on display in Paris).

The H-92 is a leading contender for the contest to replace the U.S. Marine Corps Sikorsky VH-3D helicopters that currently provide the President with vertical lift. In an agreement signed at the show, GE pledged to have the new engine ready to begin flight testing in 2006, with a view to completing the Superhawk’s certification in 2007.

Bell Helicopter unveiled not a new aircraft but a new CEO in the shape of Michael Redenbaugh. At the same time, Louis Bartolotta was introduced as the new managing director of Bell/Agusta Aerospace. Bell also announced the sale of two 407s to Englewood, Colo.-based emergency medical operator Air Methods.

One novelty in the helicopter enclave at Le Bourget was a new European rival for the Robinson R22 light single. The Microcopter is being developed by Blainville, France-based SIMB and has now completed about a third of the 100 hours of ground tests that will precede the start of flight testing, which is said to be about two years away.

The Microcopter’s most distinct design characteristic is its modular design, which means that two people can detach the cockpit from the main body section in as little as 15 minutes. According to program director Philippe Antoine, there are only four body attach points, three control device attach points and a pair of electrical couplings connecting the cockpit with the rest of the airframe, allowing the new model to be changed from a one-seat to a two-seat platform, or even into a UAV.

Engines

Rolls-Royce announced that by the spring of 2005 it is looking to launch a new Trent engine to power Boeing’s Dreamliner. The so-called “Trent 7E7” would offer between 60,000 and 70,000 pounds of thrust and would be based on the three-shaft architecture of its siblings.

Preliminary design-stage talks with Boeing have resulted in goals such as a reduced parts count, with resulting weight savings and easier build requirements. Rolls engineers are also looking to cut noise levels by 25 to 35 decibels “against current regulations.”

During the Paris show, Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries signed as a program associate on the Trent 900 development for the A380. It will supply casings for the intermediate compressor.

Pratt & Whitney Canada announced that the PW980A auxiliary power unit it is developing for the A380 first ran on June 9. The unit, which is being developed jointly with Hamilton Sundstrand, will provide the new airliner with both pneumatic and electrical power.

P&WC president Alain Bellemare insisted that the Canadian firm will not slow development of its PW800 geared fan engine, despite the fact that it has still not secured a launch application. The 15,000-pound-thrust engine recently lost out over selection for the Chinese ARJ21 regional jet, the Russian Regional Jet and, most controversially of all, the Airbus A400M.

Snecma chairman and CEO Jean-Paul Bechat said the French engine and equipment maker now expects revenues to drop slightly this year. He also confirmed that in August it expects to complete certification of the new CFM56-5C turbofan for the A340-300.

Avionics

The new T2CAS traffic collision avoidance systems/terrain awareness and warning system being developed by Thales/L-3 Communications joint venture ACSS is to be offered as optional equipment for all of Airbus current production aircraft from the end of next year. [The June 18 Paris Midshow edition of AIN incorrectly reported that the system will be standard equipment–Ed.].

The agreement to provide T2CAS as buyer-furnished equipment was signed during the Paris show.

During the Paris show, ACSS also received its second FAA certification for T2CAS. The latest technical standard order authorization approves the unit to the newest C151b TAWS standard and also covers its optional navigation-grade GPS to TSO C129a.

Airbus selected Honeywell to provide its MCS-7000 satellite communications system for the A380. The multi-channel, long-range communications device will provide passengers and crew with near-global voice and data services. This is Honeywell’s tenth contract win for the A380.

However, rival Rockwell Collins has just been named as standard supplier of communication and navigation systems for the A380. The company will provide cockpit data radios and navaids such as the VOR-900 VOR/marker beacon receiver, DME-900 distance measuring equipment and ADF-900 automatic direction finder.

Reborn satcom supplier Iridium was back at the Paris show hailing three new U.S. government contracts for its $1.50-per-minute global voice and 2.4-kbps data service. Meanwhile, fractional-ownership operator Flight Options has chosen AirCell’s new ST 3100 Iridium-based satcom systems for its fleet of business jets.

Boeing announced that British Airways has completed a three-month trial of the Connexion by Boeing broadband service and is set to decide this fall whether to permanently install the Internet-in-the-sky equipment. In early June the airframer got German and UK approval to make the installation in BA and Lufthansa 747-400s on a trial basis. The German carrier has already agreed to introduce the service on 80 of its long-haul jets starting next year.

Infrared enhanced vision system manufacturer Max-Viz announced a new pilot survey to determine the 10 most challenging approaches in the U.S. The survey will be conducted this summer, largely among corporate pilots with a view to emphasizing the benefits of being able to see approaches more clearly at night and in poor visibility. Max-Viz demonstrated its newly certified IR sensors at the Paris show.

Belgium’s Barco introduced its new MOSArt modular, open-system architecture for real-time avionics applications. This allows systems integrators to develop their own software on Barco’s hardware platforms.