Sikorsky has nearly finished building its X2 coaxial compound helicopter demonstrator in Elmira, N.Y. According to Jim Kagdis, Sikorsky’s manager of advanced programs, additional ground tests are needed, but first flight is “within arm’s reach.” He declined to provide a specific time period.
Aviation International News » September 2008
Bell Helicopter in July at the Farnborough 2008 airshow strongly hinted it is about to transfer more work to partner AgustaWestland in the protracted BA609 tiltrotor program. “We are looking for the most efficient way to get the aircraft certified and we’ll possibly find some efficiencies in Italy,” said Mike Blake, Bell’s executive v-p for customer solutions.
The prospect of instituting near-term ATC improvements as industry waits for the arrival of NextGen in the 2020s seems now to have been delayed for at least another year, and probably longer, by the possibility of political change after November’s presidential election.
Everybody in aviation has heard about NextGen, the buzzterm that stands for the ponderous Next Generation Air Transportation System. But what is it, exactly? Ask 10 people and you’ll likely get 10 different answers. And don’t ask the popular media or tv or a politician: all they’ll tell you is that it’s “satellite-based” and coming soon.
When the FAA called in March for public comment on its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on ADS-B equipage, it was with the understanding that there was wide user community acceptance of the system as the vital stepping stone to modernizing the National Airspace System. Everyone appeared to agree that ADS-B would be an essential element in the agency’s NextGen project.
Aspen Avionics announced an expanded roster of airplanes approved for installation of its EFD1000 Evolution PFD, now available for more than 600 makes and models of GA airplanes weighing up to 6,000 pounds. Higher-gross-weight airplanes will be added to the list by year-end, the company said. The Aspen PFD replaces the attitude indicator and directional gyro in typical instrument panels and costs $5,995 to $12,995, depending on the version.
Garmin announced at EAA AirVenture that its G600 combined PFD/MFD six-pack instrument cluster replacement unit received FAA TSO approval and is now available for delivery at a retail price of $29,995. The company also said it received approved model list supplemental type certification for installation of the G600 in 785 aircraft types weighing up to 12,500 pounds.
Although EAA’s AirVenture 2008 wasn’t a big show for avionics manufacturers, Honeywell’s Bendix/King showed that the manufacturer is serious about the general aviation market with the introduction of the new AV8OR Handheld navigator and two AV8OR synthetic-vision system (SVS) handheld/electronic flight bag (EFB) units.
Universal Avionics has landed a deal with Hawker Beechcraft to provide flat-panel glass display and flight management system upgrades in the Hawker 700B. The retrofit package will replace existing flight and engine analog instruments with Universal’s UNS-1Fw FMS units, EFI-890R flat-panel displays and application server units (ASU) linked to UCDT-III electronic-flight-bag displays.
Avidyne last month introduced the Entegra PFD4000, an eight-inch primary flight display system intended to compete with Garmin’s G600 retrofit display product.