Is the honeymoon over for Airbus Helicopters and big innovation? Despite the news that the company will build a successor to the X3 compound demonstrator by 2019 (see AIN, August, page 57), Guillaume Faury (who was appointed CEO 16 months ago) seems to have a more cautious approach than his predecessor, Lutz Bertling, and some signs suggest the OEM will scale back its forays into brave new territory.
An EASA rule that takes effect next month opens the door to offshore oil-and-gas helicopter passengers’ using personal electronic devices (PED), and rotorcraft manufacturers say their designs are compatible with the use of PEDs in flight. However, European operators seem unenthusiastic about implementing the change despite its appeal to passengers.
Grob Aircraft revealed another military customer for the G 120TP turboprop trainer. The Mexican air force has ordered 25 and optioned another 15 in a deal worth about $110 million including ground-based training aids. Indonesia, Argentina and Kenya previously selected the German-built aircraft.
BendixKing announced a new integrated cockpit retrofit for turboprops and light jets, as well as a new series of ADS-B avionics and FAA certification of its KSN 770 navigator, today on the opening day of EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis.
An Australian company has created a cockpit lighting system that might also solve the persistent issue of pilot spatial disorientation.
With current technology a pilot must first recognize disorientation using the attitude indicator and other supporting flight instruments. The Go Light, which has received provisional patent approval, is a system of cockpit lights that gives pilots a constant reference point of the horizon in their peripheral vision.
Boeing’s new 777X features an advanced fly-by-wire flight control system that will be powered by BAE Systems electronics. The system is called the Integrated Flight Control Electronics and Air Data Reference Function, and not only controls the 777X’s flight surfaces, but also adds further functionality, such as load alleviation, high lift and folding wingtips.
Barco’s Defense & Aerospace division signed a memorandum of agreement with GE Aviation to collaborate on a new family of cockpit displays for helicopters. The new family will feature an open system design, which facilitates development of third-party applications for display system functionality.
“We are a tier 3 supplier,” said Steven Luys, v-p of strategic marketing, defense and aerospace for the Kortrijk, Belgium-based technology company, “and we offer our products to systems integrators. We offer the best display to fit the application.”
The push is on for meeting airborne equipment mandates and requirements for new air traffic control environments, and Esterline CMC Electronics is here displaying avionics that do just that.
“It comes down to the whole CNS/ATM and NextGen upgrading,” said Greg Yeldon, president of Canada-based Esterline CMC. “As all that infrastructure and requirements and mandates continue to approach, there is more momentum in terms of upgrading aircraft and providing the avionics to meet those mandates.”
An NBAA safety committee podcast reminds pilots that anything less than a through understanding of new cockpit technologies before flight can easily turn the pilot-in-command into a “pilot simply along for the ride.” Extremely long user manuals make learning more difficult, but pilots still need to spend the time to understand their cockpit automation to prevent major distractions in flight, and such distractions can lead to runway incursions.
- Page 1