Navstar, the official U.S. Air Force program moniker for the constellation of satellites most of us refer to simply as GPS, has undergone a multitude of technical changes and upgrades in the nearly 30 years since a group of military and civil engineers first sat down in the Pentagon to talk about the far-reaching precision navigation concept.
Aviation International News » October 2002
Broomfield, Colo.-based AirCell has introduced two new airborne telecommunications products based on Iridium satcom technology. The first, the AST 3500, combines an air-to-ground cellphone with an Iridium satellite receiver and antenna, while the second, the ST 3100, relies exclusively on the Iridium link. Deliveries of the new products, said AirCell, are scheduled to begin next month.
French avionics maker Thales last month signed a memorandum of understanding with Little Rock, Ark.-based Audio International in a deal that will see the companies develop a complete cabin-management system for business aviation, including in-flight entertainment, cabin communications and environmental controls.
Kollsman, the Merrimack, N.H. company that developed civil aviation’s first certified enhanced vision system (EVS), last month unveiled its latest IR-based EVS product, called Night Window. Targeted at operators seeking a lower-cost way to improve situational awareness, Night Window uses an uncooled IR camera to provide images on a raster HUD or MFD in VFR night or day operations.
At last month’s NBAA Convention Honeywell unveiled a new service called ePaxx, which it said has been developed to provide business jet passengers with quick access to e-mail, news, stock quotes and moving maps, even in aircraft that do not have high-speed data connections to the Internet. The new service, said the company, is available for any aircraft that has an airborne telephone and 115-volt, 60-Hz power.
Jeppesen and Honeywell have announced an alliance whereby Jeppesen’s integrated navigation data service will be offered to buyers of Honeywell INAV (interactive navigation) avionics, under development for Gulfstream’s PlaneView and Dassault’s EASy cockpits.
Bombardier and Rockwell Collins are developing a new integrated cabin for the Canadian manufacturer’s Global 5000. Leveraging technology acquired by Collins when it bought cabin product specialist Airshow over the summer, the new Airshow 21 cabin, said spokespeople for both companies, will include an Ethernet-based local area network (LAN), providing users with Internet connections and access to printers, fax and a file server.
In a major vote of confidence for Arinc’s new SkyLink airborne broadband data service, Gulfstream announced it is buying 40 complete systems for installation in customer airplanes. This is the launch order for the system, which Arinc claims offers Internet connections that are five times faster and a third the price of Inmarsat’s rival Swift64 service.
First shown as a model at a 1990 Moscow exhibition, the single-turboprop M-101T Gzhel is nearing Russian certification, expected by the end of the year, following a major airframe refinement program that was launched two years ago after tests on the first prototype. A product of the Myasishchev Experimental Design Bureau, the program was delayed for a year by the crash of one aircraft after a loss of lateral control.
All major milestones with the Sovereign have been completed on or ahead of schedule, according to Brad Thress, Sovereign senior product director, who added that Cessna displayed the super-midsize jet, with completed interior, for the first time at the NBAA Convention last month. So far two test airplanes (a prototype and S/N 001) have logged 220 hr on some 120 flights.