Rockwell Collins has received the industry’s first TSO approval for a multi-mode receiver (MMR) with local-area augmentation system (LAAS) functionality, the avionics maker announced last month. The Collins GLU-925 MMR is the first to include LAAS and GPS landing system (GLS) capability in addition to ILS mode.
Although, sadly, the man most responsible for the accomplishment would not be around to see this day, Universal Avionics last month received FAA approval for the company’s EFI-890R retrofit cockpit in a Challenger. A week before the FAA awarded an STC for the Challenger series, on September 12, company founder Hubert Naimer died in Vienna, Austria, of natural causes at age 82.
Satellite TV for less than $100,000? That’s the deal being offered by in-flight entertainment specialist Flight Display Systems (FDS), an Alpharetta, Ga.-based cabin electronics manufacturer, which last month unveiled an all-new satellite TV system for business airplanes called Ellipse Direct.
The days following the unprecedented shutdown of the National Airspace System caused massive grumping and anguish in the corporate and general aviation community, exacerbated when the federal government allowed only “commercial” aircraft to resume flying.
In the aftermath of the U.S. terrorist attacks, general and business aviation is facing severe flight restrictions. For example, flights below 3,000 ft agl within a three-nautical-mile radius of any major professional or college sporting event or “any other major open-air assembly” are now prohibited throughout the U.S. VFR flying below, through or above enhanced Class B airspace was not allowed.
Gulfstream was able to make the first two flights of its GV-SP prototype for a total of five hours before all aircraft operations in the U.S. were brought to a sudden stop for several days, following last month’s terrorist atrocities. The ultra-long-range GV-SP prototype made its first flight August 31, several weeks ahead of its originally announced schedule. Certification of the GV-SP is scheduled for the fourth quarter next year.
Some charter companies are reporting new interest and bookings as a result of last month’s terrorist attacks. Demand is reportedly up in response to more time-consuming airline check-in security requirements, as well as the perception that charter will provide better security. One wire story said a charter service in Southern California reported a 110-percent increase in customer calls.
Boeing Business Jet officials in Seattle were uncertain at press time how the BBJ program would be affected by the planned layoffs of between 20,000 and 30,000 Boeing employees by the end of next year. The decision comes amid an actual and expected drop in orders for Boeing airliners as a result of last month’s terrorist attacks. Deliveries of airliners this year, which Boeing had expected to be 538 aircraft, could be as low as 500.
Thomas McSweeny is delaying his planned departure from the FAA at the request of the agency. McSweeny agreed to continue serving as associate administrator for regulation and certification through at least this month. He is preparing to join Boeing as director of international safety and regulatory affairs (see page 24).
NBAA will not host social events, including the safety awards banquet at the association’s rescheduled convention. New security procedures will be in place for attendees and exhibitors. Aviation, business and government leaders will present a plenary session to address the current state of business aviation.