Airbus has inked a contract with Honeywell to upgrade the wingtip navigation lights on the A320 family with light-emitting diode (LED) technology. Intended to last 40 times longer than standard halogen lighting, the LEDs will be added to the production line starting next March. Honeywell’s LED wingtip bulbs last about 20,000 hours each, compared with 500 hours for a halogen bulb.
Farnborough Air Show » July 18, 2008
Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling issued a prediction here this week that Eurocopter’s market share in 2008 will stay above 50 percent. “The only market that is suffering a bit is the corporate/VIP one in the U.S.,” he said. The company expects turnover to grow by 6 to 8 percent over last year’s e4.17 billion ($6.5 billion). It expects the number of deliveries to approach 550.
Boeing subsidiary Alteon is responding to the global need for training by expanding and refining its service offering. The company estimates the aviation industry will need at least 36,000 new pilots and 480,000 maintenance personnel over the next 20 years to meet forecast fleet growth.
Dwarfed by other aircraft in the static display area, the LH-10 Ellipse is only 17 feet long and has a wingspan of just over 26 feet. But what it lacks in size it makes up for with performance. Powered by a single 100-hp Rotax 921 ULS, the Ellipse can cruise at 200 knots and cover France from coast to coast without refueling. It burns avgas 98 at the rate of 5.28 gph, which is a great deal less than a motor car.
Sikorsky has begun the tooling process for the U.S. Marine Corps’ next-generation CH-53K heavylift helicopter, while General Electric is preparing to run the intended powerplant for the first time next January. Those events keep the program on track for a first flight scheduled for the first quarter of 2012. Around 90 percent of the supplier base has been selected.
Boeing and its partners in industry and government accomplished significant reductions in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions during recent tests of “tailored” arrivals, which enabled aircraft to fully use air-to-ground datalink technology to descend into San Francisco International Airport with minimal direct air traffic control intervention.
The need to protect passengers from terrorism was not uppermost in the mind of the Douglas Aircraft designers when they developed the DC-3, and they could not have guessed that they had designed the world’s first mass-produced airliner. The aircraft first flew in 1935, and during World War II it became the workhorse of Allied air forces all over the world as the C-47 Dakota.
Beginning this October, new-build Boeing 737 jetliners will use GE Aviation Systems flight-management system (FMS) update 10.8 software. The change provides increased navigation database capacity (with room for growth) and accommodates different performance of 737s fitted with winglets. FMSs allow operators to meet required navigation performance standards for separation from the ground or other aircraft.
With the proliferation of UAVs greatly increasing the number of “eyes in the sky,” the flow of video imagery streaming into intelligence centers is turning into a torrent. To help analysts provide timely intelligence, California-based 2d3 Inc. has developed a software suite known as TacitView that turns motion imagery into a more useful product.
Finmeccanica’s Alenia Aermacchi division is launching a competition to find a nickname for its M346. The division’s CEO, Carmelo Cosentino, said the first low-rate initial production (LRIP) example flew on July 7, and that the aircraft is 700 kg lighter than the prototypes, giving it “much better maneuverability.” Aermacchi hopes to attract 35 to 40 percent of a market for around 2,000 advanced jet trainers over the next 25 years.