Aviation

July 2, 2013 - 3:10pm

BAE Systems has won a contract to provide the spoiler control electronics for the new Boeing 737 Max, the UK-based company announced Tuesday. The deal boosts BAE’s comparatively small but resurgent civil business at a time of sagging defense spending.

July 2, 2013 - 5:10am
With Xplore, Arinc Direct offers an Iridium-based Acars and text messaging system.

With the new Xplore system Arinc Direct is jumping into the market for small portable Iridium-powered onboard communications devices that use Apple’s iPad as the control/display unit for cockpit and cabin data services.

Xplore is a small box, two inches thick and no larger than an iPad, that users will carry onto the aircraft, thus no installation of an avionics unit is required. Xplore needs to be attached to power and to an external dual Iridium/GPS antenna to enable communication with Iridium satellites.

July 2, 2013 - 4:55am

Avionics manufacturer Thales is leading a €30 million ($39 million) research project to investigate the possibility of single-pilot airliner operations. Named Across (advanced cockpit for reduction of stress and workload), the project started in January and is slated to last three-and-a-half years. Its primary aim is to help crews deal with peak workload and pilot incapacitation (including automated landing in the latter instance).

July 2, 2013 - 4:55am

Avionics manufacturer Thales is leading a €30 million ($39 million) research project to investigate the possibility of single-pilot airliner operations. Named Across (advanced cockpit for reduction of stress and workload), the project started in January and is slated to last three-and-a-half years. Its primary aim is to help crews deal with peak workload and pilot incapacitation (including automated landing in the latter instance).

July 2, 2013 - 3:10am
Bombardier Dash 8-100s receiving 80,000-flight cycle inspections under an extended-service program require replacement of about 100 components, including the horizontal stabilizer (aircraft up to MSN 342), and various actuators, manifolds, pressure switches, valves and other components.

Five Bombardier Dash 8-100 regional turboprops at Norway’s Widerøe’s Flyveselskap had undergone 80,000-flight cycle (FC) inspections by last month as part of an extended-service program (ESP) approved by Transport Canada and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2009. Of the 299 Dash 8-100s built, some 100 constitute the near-term market for the life-extension modifications, according to the manufacturer. Bombardier expects a further 128 will reach the 80,000-cycle threshold during the coming nine years.

July 2, 2013 - 2:15am

A helicopter air ambulance belonging to Ontario’s provincially funded service, Ornge, crashed shortly after takeoff May 31, killing its four-man crew of two pilots and two flight paramedics. The 1980 Sikorsky S-76A took off from rural Moosonee along St. James Bay at 12:10 a.m. en route to the remote First Nation village of Attawapiskat for a patient pick-up. It crashed almost immediately after takeoff into a densely wooded area less than 3,000 feet off the airport and burned.

July 2, 2013 - 1:55am
Offshore operator PHI worked with Sikorsky to design an automated rig approach for the S-92 to reduce pilot workload by eliminating manual flying in the intermediate stages of the approach.

The FAA has certified a new functionality on the Sikorsky S-92: an automated rig approach for offshore operators intended to decrease workload when the crew is in a critical flight phase. Sikorsky intends eventually to bring the same capability to the smaller S-76D.

The S-92’s autopilot already had a search-and-rescue (SAR) mode that could fly the rotorcraft to a point in space. Sikorsky design engineers, collaborating with operator PHI, built on this mode to create the new functionality. In addition, the weather radar ensures the flight path is free from obstacles.

July 2, 2013 - 1:35am
The Learjet 45s in Flexjet’s fleet will be rotated out in the coming years as the fractional provider takes delivery of its Learjet 70/75s and Challenger 350s.

Bombardier’s Flexjet subsidiary reported a strong first quarter, led by growth in new buyers as well as higher levels of activity by existing fractional-share, jet card and lease customers. In the first quarter, new business was up 83 percent, fractional share sales up 108 percent and jet card sales up 48 percent over the same period last year. “Our flying is not only up with all the new sales,” said Flexjet president Deanna White, “but also our existing customers are ramping up their flying time. People are starting to open their wallets again.”

July 2, 2013 - 12:45am
During a demo flight at Istres air force base, the unmanned EC145 performed a hover to release  a sling load.

Eurocopter performed a demonstration flight of an “optionally piloted vehicle” (OPV) version of the EC145 in late April, with the goal of eventually employing any of its models in unmanned operations such as automated surveillance and cargo hauling. Secret flight-testing began two weeks earlier at Istres air force base in France. The project’s coordination team is based at Eurocopter’s research and development center in Donauwörth, Germany, where the first flights, with a monitoring pilot, took place.

July 2, 2013 - 12:15am
A Merpati Airlines MA-60 lay effectively destroyed following a crash while landing at El Tari Airport in Kupang, Indonesia.

The civil aviation authorities of Indonesia and Myanmar have ordered the grounding of Merpati Nusantara Airlines’ and Myanmar Airways’ Xi’an Aircraft Industries MA-60 fleets for airworthiness checks following a series of accidents.

A Merpati MA-60 crashed at El Tari Airport in Kupang, in east Indonesia, on June 10. On the same day a Myanmar MA-60 skidded and overshot the runway after landing at the Kawthaung Airport.

 
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