As part of an effort to reduce the number of fatal helicopter crashes, safety experts are promoting widespread use of terrain and traffic alert systems that are commonplace in turbine-powered airplanes. Offshore helicopter operator Bristow Group has developed and certified TCAS II (traffic collision avoidance system), a worldwide first for helicopters.
Aviation International News » February 2009
International Communications Group of Newport News, Va., has received parts manufacturer authority (PMA) for the NxtLink ICS-120A and ICS-220A communication systems. The products offer flight deck voice and datalink services over the Iridium satellite network. ICG’s ICS-120A system incorporates a single Iridium transceiver and a short-burst-data (SBD) modem enabling connections to standard flight-deck voice and data systems.
Inmarsat last month began repositioning its I-4 satellite constellation in an effort aimed at providing full global SwiftBroadband coverage and improving network performance. Moving the three I-4 satellites into new orbital slots 24,000 miles in space is a complicated task, but officials say the result will be worth the effort.
Overhauling the cryogenically cooled enhanced-vision system (EVS) installed in many newer Gulfstreams will set an operator back around $30,000–a cost many operators apparently didn’t realize they would be incurring. What’s worse, the overhaul interval for the delicate Kollsman infrared camera system spans just three years/1,500 hours. But this story, it would seem, has a happy ending.
at a time when everyone seems to be looking for a bargain, regional jets reconfigured for an executive role–available at considerably less than half the price of
a comparable new airplane–are being widely promoted as just what customers are looking for.
Attendees who make their way to Anaheim, Calif., for the Helicopter Association International’s (HAI) Heli-Expo later this month will encounter the usual crowded and noisy convention-center floor occupied by companies unveiling their latest wares. But the event may lack some of the energy and exuberance of recent shows given the dreary economic picture.
French-based turboshaft manufacturer Turbomeca has completed a European Commission-funded research program that opens the door to a massive collection of usage and maintenance data on helicopter engines. The idea is to have engines sending an exhaustive set of data, after each flight, to a centralized server.
Several long-simmering new helicopter development programs are likely to reach either first flights or certification this year and, despite an expected contraction in the medevac and offshore markets, orders and potential orders for these new models are likely to be strong.
It’s been less than two years since startup airborne telecommunications firm TrueNorth Avionics of Canada introduced its first products–the Simphone (pronounced symphony) line of cabin communications systems. Today, with the economy in serious trouble and business jet sales activity slowing down, the company’s growth prospects would seem severely dampened.
Eurocontrol might ask the European Commission to use some of the money expected to be saved by the planned decommissioning of VOR and NDB beacons to sponsor the development of avionics that would enable general aviation aircraft to operate in the sort of controlled airspace envisioned by the single European sky air traffic management (ATM) research (Sesar) program.