Flir Systems is introducing its new Star Safire family of high-definition cameras that it says will mean operators no longer having to compromise on performance because their aircraft cannot carry larger, heavier equipment. The new range of camera gimbals use common mounting hardware and cabling and, according to the U.S. manufacturer, weigh barely half of other systems (less than 50 pounds versus around 100 pounds).
Garmin’s new GTS 825 TAS (traffic advisory system) and GTS 855 Tcas I (traffic alert and collision avoidance system) had already received FAA technical standard order approval when they were introduced in March. Garmin is now working on approved model list supplemental type certificates for the GTS 825 and 855.
Three business aircraft manufacturers have selected Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems EmPower dual-use AC/USB outlets for passengers and crew. The dual-use 1295-8-XX outlet provides both a 115-VAC, 60-Hz and a 5-VDC, 2.1-amp USB socket, which can be used simultaneously. The 115 VAC socket accepts plugs from more than 155 countries and features a third ground to the aircraft structure. Internal LEDs make the plugs easy to find in a dark cabin or cockpit, and status lights indicate whether power is available for each socket.
Duncan Aviation is authorized to modify the Universal Avionics UNS-1C flight management system to include an extended-life battery. A Duncan Aviation tech rep told AIN, “The original battery voltage was 3.6 volts and the new one is 3.93 volts. While the voltage increase in this lithium watch-type battery seems small, it makes a big difference. Previously a battery warning meant a day or two at most until you had a databus failure locking up the entire system. The new battery gives you about three months [after a warning],” he said.
Newly issued airworthiness directive AD 2013-03-07 for the Hawker 400A was prompted by a report that the cockpit wiring for the 5-volt direct current (DC) system on the aircraft is undersized and does not have adequate circuit protection for the smaller gauge wire. The directive, which is effective as of March 19, requires installation of an in-line fuse in the 5-volt DC system for each of the five instrument lighting control power supplies.
Slowly, the old rules of navigation are changing, and one of the oldest, which dates back before the days of sailing ships, is the rule about magnetic variation and compasses: “Variation East, Magnetic Least; Variation West, Magnetic Best.” That means, for example, that if you’re flying out of Presque Isle, Maine, and want to fly due west, you need to turn onto a compass heading of 290 degrees, because up there, the local variation is 20 degrees West and the variation rule says “West is best.” That is, adding magnetic to true makes it a bigger number, or “best.” But to fly due west o
Cleveland, Ohio-based Constant Aviation has named Lance Lajara to the position of large fleet account manager. Lajara has more than 15 years’ experience in the aviation industry and most recently was customer care manager with Honeywell. During his tenure at Honeywell he held numerous roles covering quality, operations, logistics and customer service. “Adding a dedicated account manager who understands the large fleet operator’s expectations and processes will provide the best level of service,” said Stephen Maiden, the MRO’s president.
The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive for the AgustaWestland A109S requiring the modification of the electrical power distribution system to carry a higher electrical load. It was prompted by an electrical failure that resulted from inadequate functioning of the 35 amperes “Batt Bus” circuit breaker.
The FAA plans to issue Airworthiness Directive FAA-2012-1111 to address wiring issues on the Beechjet 400A. The AD was prompted by a report that the wiring for the five-volt direct-current system is undersized and does not have adequate circuit protection for the smaller-gauge wire. This proposed AD would require installing an in-line fuse in the five-volt DC system for each of the five instrument lighting control power supplies.
Fractional provider Avantair of Clearwater, Fla., has installed LED lighting in its maintenance hangar. “We currently have metal halide lights throughout our hangar,” said Kevin McKamey, executive vice president. “They are costly to run and don’t react quickly when there’s a power outage. The new LED lights provide 120 percent more lighting, are 50 percent more efficient to run and react more quickly to power interruptions,” he explained.