Accidents in recent years have brought glass panel training and operational excellence under the spotlight, and the industry continues to develop training and safe practices to keep up with the new technology.
PPG Aerospace won a contract to supply cockpit windows for the new Eclipse 550, as well as improved-design windshield spares and side-cockpit window spares to Eclipse Aerospace for the existing Eclipse 500 fleet. The lighter-weight glass-faced acrylic windshields for both aircraft will be heated, meet requirements to resist strike by a two-pound bird at 200 knots and have an anti-static coating. The side-cockpit windows will be acrylic. PPG will start cockpit window deliveries to Eclipse in the middle of next year to coincide with deliveries of the first Eclipse 550s.
Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) is introducing a new, integrated multifunction standby unit (IMSU) for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft that measures, processes and displays altitude, airspeed, slip/skid and navigation data in a single display. The unit features a high-resolution LCD with LED backlighting that automatically adjusts for cockpit lighting.
EADS Sogerma (Booth No. 5431) is exhibiting at the NBAA convention for the first time and is showcasing a full-size mockup of a cockpit seat that could fit into a super-midsize to large-cabin business jet.
The new MD 302 standby attitude module (SAM) developed by Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics offers avionics installers another option for standby instruments, especially in panels with little extra space. The MD302 is entirely self-contained and provides attitude, altitude, airspeed and slip information in a small package measuring just two inches by five inches and weighing 1.6 pounds.
Charter provider Amira Air of Vienna, Austria, became the first operator of Bombardier’s new Global Vision flight deck. The cockpit is installed on a Global 5000 owned by Nikki Lauda, three-time Formula One world champion, airline owner and pilot. The legendary racing driver has been using the airplane to travel among F1 races and to other destinations, since receiving the airplane in April.
No one can accuse Kestrel Aircraft of lacking ambition. The company unveiled a revised cabin mock-up of its in-development, all-composite single-engine turboprop over the summer. It features an executive interior nearly as opulent as what would be found in a new $40 million corporate jet, resplendent with high-gloss wood veneers, upscale leathers, a wide aisle and oversized oval cabin windows reminiscent of a Gulfstream. Basically, everything a traditional turboprop is not. All this in an airplane that is expected to hit the market with a price tag around $3 million.
In the upcoming movie Flight, starring Denzel Washington, the only way the captain can save everyone aboard his crippled airliner is to complete an aileron roll just before bellying it in. Sure the story is pure Hollywood hokum, but there have been a number of accidents where pilots, faced with unusual attitude or control situations, reacted either incorrectly or too slowly to save their aircraft. And, unfortunately, life didn’t imitate art.
Arinc Direct is stepping up the development of its iPad flight-planning application in support of business aircraft operators eager to eliminate paper in the cockpit. One recent enhancement that has eased approval for the app as an alternative to more costly electronic flight bags has been allowing synchronization of data between two or more iPads in the cockpit using a Bluetooth connection. Coming soon is a feature that will allow pilots to rework flight plans in the cockpit on their iPads, for instance by making last-minute changes to weight-and-balance calculations.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Clear 4 Take Off is offering cockpit and cabin window restoration on location. “We can do it at our facility in Fort Lauderdale, but we have a road crew that will go on location anywhere in the U.S.,” Thomas Esposito, president, told AIN. The company can completely refurbish windows provided they are within manufacturer-specified tolerance.