Sporty’s Pilot Shop introduced a wire-free weather receiver for the iPad. Called Stratus, it combines an ADS-B and GPS receiver into a single unit that wirelessly streams Nexrad radar, text weather, TFRs and aircraft position to the ForeFlight Mobile app for iOS devices. The Wi-Fi connection allows multiple iPads to connect to Stratus, making it possible for two-pilot crews to view weather on separate iPads. There are no monthly subscription fees for the weather information, according to Sporty’s. Stratus costs $799.
The future of air travel in Europe could include small electric, pilotless aircraft transporting individuals or small groups to fill the gaps in the scheduled air transport network. European aerospace research organizations are nearing completion of an original study on personal air transportation concepts for the 2030 to 2050 time frame. The €4.4 million ($5.7 million) program, dubbed PPlane, could rival–or complement–business aviation.
The FAA has received reports from Eurocontrol, Airservices Australia and Nav Canada that the mode-S transponders of some U.S.-registered aircraft transmit a FLT ID that does not correlate to the aircraft identification indicated on the flight plan. This could lead to aircraft being misidentified.
Hilton Software has released a major update to its WingX Pro iPad moving-map software. Some of the improvements to WingX Pro version 6.2 include adding local and national Nexrad weather radar to ADS-B capability (available using the separate SkyRadar ADS-B unit), the ability to switch moving-map GPS information and airspace notifications on and off, adding a favorites function to the moving-map search and an improved timer function on the moving map.
Gross navigation errors (GNEs) continue to occur on North Atlantic crossings, many of them committed by business aircraft, according to Anita Trotter-Cox, president of Assessment Compliance Group. She spoke on the subject at NBAA’s International Operators Conference in San Diego last week.
U.S. Air Force leadership has defended the decision to halt acquisition and current operations of the Global Hawk Block 30 UAV, in favor of retaining the manned Lockheed Martin U-2 reconnaissance aircraft.
Elections have proved to generate peak demand for India’s helicopter operators, but strict enforcement of rules by regulators is making life hard for operators serving candidates in this year’s elections.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) said it has demonstrated an early prototype of its “due regard” radar for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) on a manned surrogate aircraft, joining other efforts to develop airborne “sense-and-avoid” systems that could help introduce UAS into unrestricted airspace.
NATO officials expect to sign the long-awaited contract to provide an Allied Ground Surveillance (AGS) capability within the next three months. Northrop Grumman will provide five Global Hawk Block 40 UAVs, while a consortium of European companies that includes EADS Cassidian and Selex Galileo will provide transportable and mobile ground stations. Initial operating capability (IOC) is slated for 2017-18.
IAI-Elta Systems have stepped up the marketing of a multi-mission airborne reconnaissance and surveillance system (Mars2) based on the Gulfstream G550 business jet. The sensor suite will combine SAR and GMTI radar plus EO/IR, Sigint and C3 capability “in a tight integration thanks to some unique algorithms,” said Gideon Landa, Elta’s general manager, airborne systems and radar division.