Rockwell Collins is behind Honeywell and EMS Technologies in the race to bring high-speed data to the cockpit, but the company is still vying to make it a three-horse race. Collins announced it has successfully demonstrated its high-speed satcom datalink using the Inmarsat Swift64 service. Scheduled for availability in September, the HST-900 will allow passengers to surf the Web and send and receive e-mail at speeds of close to 64 kbps.
Aviation International News » June 2002
The woes experienced by builders of the wide-area augmentation system (WAAS) are nothing new to those who have followed the development of the satellite-navigation project over the last decade. In fact, it has become almost cliché to use woe and WAAS in the same sentence. So it’s not surprising to learn that a program one senator once referred to as a “$4 billion boondoggle” has lost luster over time.
In the wake of September 11 the FAA has decided to shelve earlier plans to decommission the U.S.-wide network of ATC primary radar installations. Some officials, however, have expressed concern about the increasing–and currently unbudgeted–maintenance needs of radar stations in future years. The fear is that escalating costs to keep primary radars in operation could have a damaging effect on the agency’s NAS modernization plan.
AT&T Wireless has sent letters to customers of Claircom air-to-ground telephony services, telling owners of the Claircom telephones it will no longer offer services to the business aviation market after September 1.
The AvVantage electronic flight bag (EFB) from Spirent Systems recently completed a series of flight evaluations by Embraer in an ERJ-145 regional jet. Flown from São José dos Campos Airport in Brazil, the compact handheld computer was used to view approach charts, operations manuals, MEL, flight plans and notams. Embraer pilot Heliano Cabral said the Spirent EFB performed “exceptionally well” during the flights.
The FAA has approved the enhanced vision system (EVS) recently installed in a Gulfstream V flight simulator at FlightSafety’s Savannah, Ga. training center. The first pilots have completed EVS training in the level-D simulator and at press time were preparing to fly the real thing.
Gulfstream has ordered $900,000 worth of avionics from Exton, Pa.-based Innovative Solutions & Support, a maker of low-cost RVSM avionics for the retrofit market. Gulfstream service centers will install the equipment in Gulfstream IIs and IIBs later this year.
The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) has demanded a “balanced approach” to environmental controls in the European Union transport industry following the publication of its new study on the noise performance of the continent’s regional airline fleet. The “Growing Quieter” report concluded that the noise generated by the average regional aircraft is about half what it was in the early 1970s.
Following production of the final Avro RJ, effectively the last new-build British airliner ever, BAE Systems Regional Aircraft has been restructured as a support company within its Aviation Services Group. Last November the company canceled the planned Avro RJX variant of the BAe 146 regional jet. “The removal of manufacturing means that we can concentrate on building a service business,” said new managing director Alan Fraser.
The operations and maintenance forum on the second day of the RAA convention crossed a broad range of subjects, from a discussion of the FAA’s operational evolution plan (OEP) and line operational safety audits (LOSA) to an overview of the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) and an update on retrofit requirements for reinforced cockpit doors.