When Nick Leontidis, CAE’s executive vice president of civil training and equipment, tossed down the gauntlet, saying, “We’re going after FlightSafety…we believe we have a better product to offer…” (AIN, July, page 64), his competitor wasn’t about to let that claim go unchallenged.
Aircraft maintenance does not exactly move forward technologically at the speed of light. Instead, it appears the industry is in a constant state of making things incrementally better. A small innovation here, some modification to an existing procedure there, a reemphasis on the importance of service, and the result is that operators get better, faster, more cost-effective maintenance.
International Communications Group (ICG) has integrated its Iridium-based satcom systems with the Universal Avionics UniLink UL-70x communications management unit. Operators can use Iridium short-burst data or the standard dial-up data service to receive text and graphical weather anywhere in the world, along with text messaging, position reporting and Acars messaging.
Canada’s CMC Electronics announced it has signed an agreement to acquire head-up display (HUD) maker Flight Visions of Sugar Grove, Ill. Jim Close, CMC Electronics president, said the acquisition will allow the company to expand the scope of its military aviation cockpit modernization programs for trainers and jets.
Kollsman, the company that invented the first sensitive barometric altimeter in 1928 and the first enhanced vision system (EVS) on the Gulfstream V in 2001, received a big gift on its 75th birthday. The company announced last month that it received an order from FedEx for its all-weather window EVS. The order represents the first EVS destined for the commercial air transport market.
FlightSafety International announced that its second full-flight simulator for the Sikorsky S-92 has been qualified to FAA and JAR level-D standards, following a joint evaluation at the company’s Farnborough training center southwest of of London. Training with the device began in December.
BAE Systems has launched a new helmet-mounted display technology that it says will deliver enhanced “head-up, eyes-out” situational awareness for helicopter pilots, but at a fraction of the cost of more advanced head-up displays now on combat aircraft such as the Eurofighter Typhoon.
Singapore concluded bilateral “Open Skies” agreements (OSAs) with Denmark, Sweden and Norway late last month. The new deals will allow Singaporean air carriers to fly between Singapore and any destination in Scandinavia, via and beyond to any third country without any restrictions in terms of passenger capacity, service frequency or aircraft type. In return, Scandinavian airlines now enjoy the same rights into and through Singapore.
Iridium took a big step toward its goal of providing en route aeronautical safety services to airliners operating on transoceanic and polar routes after an ICAO panel accepted a draft standards and practices document the company submitted last year. The endorsement makes Iridium a viable alternative to Inmarsat for aeronautical mobile satellite route services (AMSRS) and Acars messaging.
Thales Avionics Canada has directed its engineering staff to accelerate design work on a fly-by-wire (FBW) flight-control system, enhanced vision system (EVS) and required navigation performance (RNP) avionics for business jets and regional airliners. Most likely to benefit from the bulk of the designers’ early work will be Bombardier, a neighbor of Thales in Montreal and the world’s third-biggest airframe manufacturer.