Bell Helicopters is pressing ahead with the secondary design phase for the development of the new 525 Relentless helicopter that it launched in February. Here at the Farnborough International Airshow, the U.S. airframer is displaying a mockup of the super-medium twin, which is on track to make a first flight around the turn of 2013/14 and then enter service in 2015.
Esterline CMC Electronics has something new to show Farnborough International Airshow visitors, a touchscreen display that is part of CMC’s new Cockpit 4000 Next Gen, a technology demonstrator for future military training and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance attack aircraft.
The last Bombardier Global Express XRS was delivered in the first quarter, and so was the first of the Canadian manufacturer’s latest-generation long-range large-cabin jets, the Global 6000. The 6000 replaces the XRS, and the 5000 is a shorter version of the original Global Express with many improvements that were also incorporated on the Global 6000.
Arinc Direct has released Version 2.3 of its iPad flight-planning app, a major upgrade designed to help users eliminate paper from their cockpits and including a new note-taking annotation feature on flight plans. With the annotation feature, users can add notes on flight plans by clicking on the action arrow at the bottom of the screen, then click anywhere on the flight plan and add text. The notes can be emailed along with the flight plan. Two pilots using the app on their own iPads can see each other’s notes via Bluetooth communication between the iPads.
What makes the T-6 series a better trainer than the old airplanes is that it is designed to help new pilots make a faster transition into jets. The PT6 engine has a power management unit (PMU) that makes it respond more like a jet engine than a turboprop; hopefully the only difference is that T-6 pilots still need to step on the right rudder during takeoff, although rudder trim is available and easily accessible on the Hotas. Naturally the HUD helps with the transition to jets, too, as does the modern avionics suite.
The HondaJet fuselage displayed this week at EBACE was a production article with the production interior and cockpit. Some changes are evident in the fuselage, notably the removal of flip-down displays above each passenger seat.
When asked, “Why an app, and why now?” James Hardie, Arinc Direct’s director for the EMEA and Asia Pacific regions, responded, “Once we realized that more than 50 percent of our subscriber base was already using the [Apple] iPad as an electronic flight bag in the cockpit, we knew that we could provide more up-to-date information, automatically, through our own app, whenever it is connected via the Internet to our servers.”
Nextant Aerospace is delivering the tenth example of its Nextant 400XT here at EBACE 2012. The re-engined and cockpit-upgraded reworkings of Hawker Beechcraft’s Beechjet 400A are in demand on this of the Atlantic, according to the company.
Embraer’s quest for a complete business jet portfolio took a major step forward in March with the start of taxi tests of Legacy 500 serial number 001 at the Brazilian OEM’s São Jose dos Campos plant.
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has delivered the first of 55 Turkish Air Force (TAF) upgraded T-38M jet trainers to the service. TAI completed two prototypes and is upgrading three more aircraft. The other 50 will be modified at a TAF depot over the next three years, with TAI’s assistance.
The avionics modernization program was designed by TAI and includes 14 new features, including equipment supplied by Turkish defense companies Aselsan and Havelsan. The front cockpit has a head-up display, and both cockpits have upfront controllers and two large head-down displays.