The U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned maritime surveillance aircraft is progressing through its flight-test program, but still without a “sense-and-avoid” system that would protect against collisions with other aircraft. The program office said it is taking a “layered approach” to meeting the requirement until it finds a technology solution.
Dr. David Byers, developer of the Synthetic Air Traffic Advisory System (Satas), which uses off-the-shelf technology to create a virtual control tower, demonstrated the system at last week’s Sun ’n’ Fun show in Lakeland, Fla. Satas combines a SharpEye radar unit, developed by DeTect of Panama City, Fla., for marine applications, with the airfield radar system from SRI of Rockledge, Fla., which makes ground security radars. Together, the systems identify and track aircraft flying in the area, all without the need for any transponders on board the aircraft.
The Jan. 1, 2020, mandate for installation of ADS-B Out equipment in U.S.-registered aircraft was a hot topic last week at the Aircraft Electronics Association show in Nashville, Tenn. FAA officials noted that of the estimated 157,000 aircraft that need the upgrade, fewer than 3,500 had undergone the work as of March 11.
Now 10 days after the transponder from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 stopped transmitting over the South China Sea, the search for the missing Boeing 777 has expanded to involve 25 countries and cover an area spanning a million square miles. The expansion of the search came in reaction to evidence that the airplane’s satcom system continued to transmit for several hours after Malaysian military radar lost contact with the airplane some 200 miles northwest of the island of Panang off the Western coast of the Malay peninsula.
FreeFlight Systems announced today that it has received FAA STC approval for an ADS-B OUT solution for the Sikorsky S-76A/B/C models. FreeFlight worked with Peregrine Avionics and DAC International to develop the STC. The ADS-B OUT solution is a 10090ES system, with high-integrity Waas GPS position source and an ADS-B rule-compliant Mode S transponder.
Large flocks of birds around many Indian airports continue to threaten aircraft that are constantly under threat of strikes particularly during takeoff and landing. Data compiled by Airports Authority of India for Chennai International Airport, for example, shows bird strikes increased from 38 in 2012 to 50 in 2013.
The FAA published an update last week to the 13-year-old JO 7110.113D order governing procedures for issuing departure clearance using the pre-departure clearance (PDC) system available through the electronic control tower datalink system (TDLS). The change resulted from the agency and user community jointly identifying several inconsistencies in the process, as well as misunderstandings about how the process is understood by those receiving clearances.
NBAA joined a coalition of aviation groups this week in calling for the Senate to pass legislation that would require the FAA to get industry input before implementing mandatory testing of pilots and air traffic controllers for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) before receiving a medical certificate. The U.S. House of Representatives passed an identical bill on February 11 by voice vote.
Rockwell Collins (Booth No. 8040) opened Heli-Expo 2014 with announcements that its new MFD-268P2B multifunction displays are now standard equipment on Sikorsky S-92 medium-lift helicopters.
Available on new S-92s delivered this year, the MFD-268P2B offers improved color stability and readability for high-angle, cross-cockpit viewing. The displays may also be upgraded, with provisions for installation of synthetic vision, H-TAWS terrain awareness and the company’s MultiScan weather radar systems.
The latest example of the stealthy Chengdu J-20 fighter has recently undergone high-speed taxi testing at the company airfield, suggesting that a first flight is imminent, possibly scheduled for this weekend. Thought to be the third flying example of the J-20, the new aircraft is being considered as a true developmental airframe for an operational fighter, and has introduced a number of significant improvements over the two technology demonstrators that preceded it. Many of the changes are measures taken to reduce the type’s radar cross section.