Following developmental issues with the Joint Strike Fighter’s helmet display that were raised earlier this year, the F-35 Joint Program Office is faced with making a decision this summer on whether to procure an interim helmet/display to use with standard night-vision goggles.
The TopOwl helmet-mounted sight and display on show here in the Thales pavilion is in service already on five helicopter models in 16 countries. The company has delivered more than 700 copies, and says more than 1,600 will be in service over the next 10 years.
According to an industry source, Piaggio will announce more improvements for the P.180 Avanti twin turboprop before year-end. While the source wouldn’t discuss more details, one of the most obvious areas that Piaggio has yet to address is the Avanti’s unmistakable whine, which has led to its being the only modern turboprop banned under noise restrictions at Santa Monica (Calif.) Airport.
Switlik Parachute (Booth No. 1828) is aiming for a soft landing at Heli-Expo’09 with a new contract and introduction of a new modular helicopter life vest and a civilian version of the one-man life raft being supplied to the U.S. military.
Louis Martin wants his company, Technical Composites Corp., to “seek its own level in the industry,” as a distinct and growing brand, though still connected in service philosophy and ownership to Lou Martin & Associates, his composite business. Martin is discussing the capabilities of both brands from his booth (No. 4281), as well as marking his 30th year in service.
It started out as a small, Griffin, Ga.-based repair station specializing in fiberglass aircraft such as the Cirrus but quickly expanded into carbon fiber and Kevlar. Atlanta Aerospace Composites continues to expand rapidly, adding comprehensive sheet metal repairs to its list of services.