Honeywell has obtained FAA certification of an avionics package that enables Citation 500s to meet the requirements for operating in RVSM airspace, including domestic RVSM scheduled to be implemented next January. Honeywell’s STC covers Citation 500s with serial numbers between 001 and 0274.
Chinese investment company D’Long confirmed that the development program for a 70- to 95-seat family of regional airliners acquired from the defunct Fairchild Dornier GmbH has been resurrected by its new subsidiary, Fairchild Dornier Aero Industries. Two FD 728 prototypes are currently being prepared for first flight later this year. JAA certification and start of production are scheduled for 2006.
Thunder Aviation in Chesterfield, Mo., and Flight Test Associates of Mojave, Calif., are working on an RVSM solution for Falcon 20s equipped with Honeywell Bendix/King KFC 400 autopilots. A group STC is scheduled before the end of the month. Thunder Aviation is also expecting an amendment to its RVSM STC for Falcon 20s equipped with Collins AP105 autopilots that will add similarly equipped Falcon 10s.
One of the technologies that Honeywell says promises to revolutionize aircraft design is something known as “more electric architecture” (MEA). This “breakthrough” technology will replace much of today’s heavy and maintenance-intensive pneumatic and hydraulic fluid and power systems, enabling OEMs to design aircraft with lighter, simpler and more reliable “electric” systems instead of miles of tubing, pumps and valves.
Honeywell has completed initial flight and ground testing of its AIS-2000 multi-regional airborne satellite television system in the Middle East. During testing in a Gulfstream IV-SP, signal performance and video quality were recorded to verify coverage areas. Honeywell assessed system performance by monitoring non-subscription channels available on the Nilesat and Arabsat DBS satellites, according to the company.
Honeywell last month introduced the CabinLAN II, a file server it claims is designed to improve the efficiency of onboard networks based around high-speed data satcom systems.
Premier Air Center of East Alton, Ill., has deep roots in the general aviation community. It began in 1947 as Walston Aviation on St. Louis Regional Airport and became one of the largest Cessna dealers in the world. The business changed hands a few times, eventually becoming Premier Air Center in 1984. In 2002 a group of investors, including Sam Haycraft, Mike Durst and Jim Swehla, acquired the company.
A jury ordered Universal Avionics to pay Honeywell $5.5 million in damages for violating a patent related to Honeywell’s original (pre-“enhanced”) GPWS. The same jury last month ruled in favor of co-defendant Sandel Avionics. All three firms build terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) and have been locked in a lawsuits over TAWS patents since 2002.
LAAS developer Honeywell and FAA LAAS program officials remain tight lipped about how the contract, awarded in April on the understanding that the system’s development was 80-percent complete, had by September reversed itself to becoming only 20-percent complete.
Smiths Aerospace, the supplier of flight management systems on the Boeing Business Jet, is poised to become a subsidiary of General Electric after the Smiths Group agreed last month to sell its aviation unit for $4.8 billion. The deal faces scrutiny from U.S. and European regulators, but it is widely expected to close within a few months.