Five U.S. airlines have signed on to participate in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Data Comm equipment initiative, bringing the effort to 80 percent of its targeted number of airframes, according to contractor Harris. The company revealed the first airline to commit–United–at the Air Traffic Control Association conference last month. Non-disclosure agreements prevented it from immediately identifying the others.
Avionics and ATC » Avionics
New developments and products in avionics, specifically about aircraft electronics in the cockpit.
Apple’s new iPad Air, which is thinner and weighs 20 percent less than the previous-generation iPad, has passed rapid decompression testing conducted by Jeppesen. The company tested the iPad Air to 51,000 feet, similar to tests conducted on all previous iPad versions. “No anomalies were detected during testing of any of the iPad models,” according to Jeppesen, which makes the Mobile FliteDeck and FliteDeck VFR apps for the iPad.
Universal Avionics promoted Paul DeHerrera to the position of CEO. He takes over the role from Joachim “Ted” Naimer, who remains president and chairman of the board at the avionics manufacturer. DeHerrera began his career with Universal Avionics in 1994 as manager of OEM marketing at the company’s Tucson, Ariz. headquarters. He was later elevated to vice president of marketing and product support before being promoted to COO in January 2008.
Canadian avionics installation company Maxcraft Avionics has received supplemental type certificates for installation of a variety of Garmin products in the Beechcraft King Air 200 and B200. The STCs cover Garmin’s new digital GWX 70 weather radar, GTS 850 Tcas I and GTX 330 mode-S transponder as well as Bendix/King’s KR87 ADF and PS Engineering’s PMA-7000 audio system. Maxcraft, which is based in Vancouver, also holds approvals for installation of Garmin primary and multifunction displays, and the new STC’d products can be installed along with the displays.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) awarded Rockwell Collins a three-year contract worth up to $3.1 million to develop a new transmitter that will reduce the size, weight, power and cost of software-defined radios. The Rockwell Collins method uses “diverse accessible heterogeneous integration foundry technology” to “prevent unwanted harmonics from occurring in the first place.” This would eliminate the need for heavier and larger transmitters with filtering to prevent the unwanted signals, thus making it possible to shrink the devices.
Dynon’s portable backup attitude indicator product line has added the D2, a unit with built-in Wi-Fi that can deliver data to compatible iPad apps and other devices. Dynon’s first portable backup D1 now costs $1,195, while the D2 retails for $1,425. The D2, with an integral attitude-heading reference system and GPS receiver, displays attitude, turn rate, slip/skid and GPS groundspeed, altitude, vertical speed and ground track. A second page on the D2 displays a G-meter.
Frontier Airlines has become the first Part 121 airline approved to use iPad EFBs running the ForeFlight Mobile app for all phases of flight, under FAA OpSpec A061. As is typical with commercial users of iPad EFBs, the FAA will not allow the Frontier pilots to turn on the own-ship position switch in ForeFlight Mobile. They will be able to use ForeFlight’s hazard and weather map overlays, en route charts, approach charts and airport diagrams as well as ForeFlight’s document-storage feature to access safety publications and other materials.
The use of NVGs in civil helicopters is still in its infancy, so obtaining approval for night operations, including those with night-vision goggles (NVGs), remains a lengthy and tricky process, according to European helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) operators. During a conference at Helitech, a number of HEMS operators shared their experiences obtaining such approvals and discussed challenges that regulators should mediate to ease the burden on operators.
Blue Sky Network’s portable HawkEyeLink Bluetooth interface is now able to transmit electronic forms such as a flight plan, a passenger manifest or a maintenance request. HawkEyeLink enables Blue Sky Network’s D1000 Iridium/GSM transceiver (originally designed for the operator to track its helicopters) to connect to iOS devices (iPhone and iPad). The new capability allows users to download forms to the iOS device at the operator’s base via Wi-Fi, and then complete and transmit them in flight.
Cobham Integrated Systems of Mineral Wells, Texas, announced the S-Tec 5000 autopilot for jet and turboprop aircraft, at NBAA 2013. The new three-axis autopilot, which accommodates a full digital or a combination digital and analog interface, will be certified to meet the requirements for use in Part 25 aircraft.