Rockwell Collins is introducing its new MultiScan ThreatTrack weather radar at this year’s Singapore Airshow. The avionics group claims the radar provides air transport aircraft with “unprecedented” atmospheric threat-assessment capabilities.
Avionics and ATC » Avionics
New developments and products in avionics, specifically about aircraft electronics in the cockpit.
Crane Aerospace and Electronics has announced that its SmartStem wireless tire pressure system has been certified for use with Boeing 737NG aircraft. It is already approved for use with the Boeing 747-400, 777 and 787, and with numerous business jet types. The system comprises high-accuracy sensors that replace standard wheel fill stems, and a handheld reader that takes quick and accurate tire pressure readouts without gas loss. The ease and speed of use of the system promotes daily checks, with improved safety as a result, and an increase in tire life.
F-35 test pilots will begin flying this year with a third-generation helmet-mounted display system (HMDS) that incorporates modifications to the earlier-generation display system, which pilots deemed insufficient for missions the Joint Strike Fighter will perform. Last October, after testing the fixes over the course of two years, the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) gained enough confidence in the new “Gen 3” system to stop the development of an alternate helmet-mounted display.
The Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) has partnered with the NextGen GA Fund to provide loans to general aviation aircraft owners and operators to help finance installation of NextGen equipment. The fund is managed by Nexa General Partnership, and the agreement will allow AEA member companies to offer access to loans when selling NextGen installations to customers.
Radenna is taking orders for its newest dual-band ADS-B receiver, which also contains attitude and heading reference system (AHRS) sensors. The new SkyRadar DX retails for $899, but Radenna is selling the first 50 for $649. Deliveries begin on March 20. The SkyRadar-DX works on both ADS-B in frequencies, 1090 and 978 MHz, so it can receive traffic information from both bands and free weather information on 978 MHz.
Duncan Aviation finished its second Falcon 900B cockpit with Universal Avionics displays in December, installing Universal’s EFI-890R system in the cockpit and Honeywell’s Venue cabin management and entertainment system in the cabin. Duncan also installed a newly designed interior and exterior paint. The flight deck upgrade replaced 25 old instruments with five 8.9-inch Universal EFI-890R displays, which also show engine indications via Universal’s engine interface units.
Despite some distressing recent accidents, the level of safety in the ranks of professionally flown aircraft has never been better, and it is likely that modern avionics have a lot to do with that. Although discussions about too much cockpit automation inevitably crop up in relation to these accidents, the pace of technological change in cockpit avionics has accelerated, and avionics manufacturers continue to focus their engineers toward new designs and ways for pilots to interact with the increasingly complex aircraft that they fly.
Pilots all over the world are probably sick of hearing that “ADS-B is coming,” but the fact is that some countries already require ADS-B capability, and other countries’ deadlines are rapidly approaching. ADS-B equipage needs to remain prominent in pilots’ consciousness because avionics shops need time to certify ADS-B out installations and time to complete the installations. A rough estimate by Cessna’s product support organization, just for the U.S.
Avionics & Systems Integration Group (ASIG) has flown its flyTab Dual Class 2 iPad EFB system on a Nav Canada flight inspection Bombardier CRJ200. The flight-testing, which lasted about eight hours, is part of an approved model list supplemental type certification program that will cover a variety of fixed-wing and rotorcraft models under FAA, Transport Canada and EASA regulations.
F-35 test pilots will begin flying this year with a third-generation helmet mounted display system (HMDS) that incorporates modifications to the earlier-generation display system, which the Pentagon has identified as an F-35 program risk.