Honeywell Aerospace marks its 100th anniversary on June 18, with the avionics and engines group’s founding moment being defined by Lawrence Sperry’s introduction of the first autopilot system in 1914. For the remainder of the 20th century, the process of corporate realignment that resulted in today’s Honeywell gathered pace as industry leaders Garrett, Bendix, King, Allied-Signal, Sperry, Sundstrand and Lycoming all ended up in one technology powerhouse.
UK carrier EasyJet said it will apply new technologies, including operating small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), to maintain its Airbus fleet. The airline is also developing 3D virtual reality and augmented reality technology, customized engineering applications and early fault prognosis. It is installing Panasonic Toughpad tablets in cockpits fleetwide.
TrueNorth Avionics is on track to receive the first FAA technical standard order (TSO) certification for its new FANS 1/A-capable Simphone data link unit (DLU), which enables FANS-over-Iridium communication over oceanic routes. The new DLU has already achieved RTCA DO-178B level-D software certification, and the TSO is expected shortly.
More than 100 Air China pilots have signed an open letter to management complaining of unequal treatment between homegrown flight crew and their expatriate counterparts, according to Chinese state-controlled media. The letter, now circulating on the Internet, alleges that foreign pilots enjoy more desirable schedules and routes as well as higher pay, a circumstance attributed to the desperation of airlines in rapidly expanding air transport markets to fill their cockpits with experienced crewmembers.
The FAA’s recent rule prohibiting the personal use of electronic devices in the cockpit applies only to Part 121 carriers, although the NTSB would like to see the rule extended to cover Part 135 and Part 91K operators. AIN recently surveyed readers for their insights about the distractions that challenge them–and the answers were surprising. We received 112 responses to our four questions. While the informal survey yielded a relatively small number of responses, the answers pilots gave about their experiences with distractions are illuminating.
In January, Honeywell opened the doors of its advanced-technology facility in Deer Valley, Ariz., and shared details of what its engineers and scientists are exploring for possible use in future aircraft programs. These included tests on touchscreen controls, gesture-based avionics manipulation, haptic feedback devices, voice controls and even transcranial neural sensing.
Few of these human-machine interfaces will appear in any cockpits soon, but Honeywell’s experts are exploring new avenues toward making aircraft safer and more efficient.
If it isn’t blindingly obvious already that Cessna has made a huge shift to Garmin avionics in its lineup of business jets, then the addition of the G3000 flight deck to the Citation CJ2+ is yet another indicator of where the company is headed. The G3000 upgrade for the CJ2+ is part of a new package, called the Alpine edition, that is not an option for new jets coming off the assembly line in Wichita but is available only as a retrofit. Cessna has also switched the CJ3 to the G3000 system in the new CJ3+, but this is for new jets, not retrofits.
Avionics manufacturer Dynon has developed “The New SkyView,” a touchscreen-controlled integrated avionics system with touch-control primary and multifunction displays. “We’ve been keeping it a secret for quite a while,” said Dynon marketing manager Michael Schofield. The new SkyView Touch displays begin delivering in April, he said, and by the end of July when EAA AirVenture Oshkosh opens, he expects a number of experimental aircraft to be equipped with New SkyView systems, which also includes two new knob control panels and a major software upgrade for all SkyView systems.
DAC International has received FAA parts manufacturer approval (PMA) for its electronic flight bag system, comprising the receiver processor unit, display and tray assemblies.