It seems as though every few months Internet message boards erupt with complaints about Jeppesen’s JeppView electronic chart and navigation database service. Now-familiar stories about servers going down, NavData downloads locking up and hardware incompatibility issues clearly are making some users yearn for the good old days–when electronic nav database updates came in the mail on CD-ROM.
The 19th annual Women in Aviation International (WAI) conference drew a record number of civilian and military attendees to San Diego last month, prompting WAI president Dr. Peggy Chabrian to call the event “one of the most exhilarating and successful conferences we’ve had.” More than 250 of the 3,320 participants were military members, which broke all previous records for military participation as well as total conference attendance.
Boeing announced today it has agreed to acquire Vought Aircraft Industries’ interest in Global Aeronautica, the South Carolina fuselage subassembly facility for the 787 Dreamliner. Upon completion of the transaction, Global Aeronautica will become a 50-50 joint venture between Boeing and Alenia North America, a subsidiary of Italy’s Alenia Aeronautica–a Finmeccanica company.
Rockwell Collins and Connexion by Boeing are teaming to create a broadband satellite data service for business jets that will fly first aboard Bombardier’s Global 5000 and Global Express XRS.
Boeing is formally protesting the U.S. Air Force’s “surprise decision” in favor of the Northrop Grumman/EADS Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) for the KC-X tanker requirement. According to the Air Force, the keenly fought award is worth $35 billion for up to 179 KC-45As–the new, officially approved designation.
The FAA today said it planned to levy a $10.2 million civil penalty against Southwest Airlines for operating 46 airplanes that hadn’t undergone mandatory inspections for fuselage fatigue cracking. Subsequently, the airline found that six of the 46 airplanes had developed fatigue cracks.
Boeing has named Ralph Boyce president of Boeing Southeast Asia. Boyce succeeds Douglas Miller, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems vice president and leader of the Boeing Singapore office, and Paul Walters, who led Boeing’s business activities in Southeast Asia. Miller and Walters are retiring. Boyce previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Thailand as a member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service.
With a new generation of light single-engine helicopters on the horizon, continued strong demand for twins and aggressive fleet replacement plans worldwide, the rarefied rotorcraft market is “approaching capacity,” according to the annual new helicopter delivery forecasts being released here today by Honeywell (Booth No. 2137) and Rolls-Royce (Booth No. 1917).
Two U.S. Air Force C-130Hs are now being flight-tested at Edwards AFB with the Boeing avionics modernization program (AMP) upgrade. This program has been much delayed by procurement policy changes and cost overruns. But Boeing told AIN that test flights are going well, with no changes needed to the first software release. A third and last flight-test aircraft will join the program next year.
The F-15 structural fatigue problem is much less serious than had been supposed. Only nine F-15C/D models need to have their longerons replaced, a Boeing official said in mid-February. These were apparently manufactured to reduced, incorrect tolerances. Only two weeks earlier, the U.S. Air Force was saying that 161 of the combat jets might need modification.