While the FAA mandate to install ADS-B out equipment for aircraft flying in U.S. airspace by Jan. 1, 2020 is more than six years away, aircraft operating in some countries’ airspace must be compliant starting this December. Avionics manufacturers are ready with equipment to meet the mandates and avionics shops and aircraft manufacturers are working on supplemental type certificates (STCs) to smooth the path for upgrades in many business jet types.
Wilbur Wright was the first pilot to record a bird strike (in 1905), and the first fatal crash attributable to a bird strike came seven years later. But to most members of the non-flying public, the first time aircraft bird strikes became newsworthy was probably in 2009, when a flock of Canada geese sent Chesley Sullenberger’s A320 into the Hudson River.
Londonderry, N.H.-based Pro Star Aviation has been awarded an FAA STC for the installation of a universal antenna mount (UAM) and lower-fuselage radome on the Beechcraft King Air B300 and B300C. The STC allows five operational configurations of mechanical provisions, UAMs, UAM fairings and lower-fuselage radomes. It also allows mounting up to 50 pounds of equipment to the UAM itself. The STC also provides for the optional use of lightning diverter strips on the lower-fuselage radome.
At MAKS 2013 the Russian air force exhibited Red 33, its second upgraded Beriev A-50U Awacs aircraft. Built in 1984, it was modernized from the A-50M standard last year and redelivered in February this year. Work on the A-50U began in 2008. Aerial trials followed in 2009 on the industry-owned prototype Side 37.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has delivered new precision departure release capability (PDRC) software to the FAA; it is designed to improve the flow of air traffic from the moment an aircraft leaves the ground until it reaches cruise altitude.
The U.S. Navy is rethinking prime contractor Northrop Grumman’s selection of an Exelis-built collision avoidance radar for the unmanned MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance aircraft. The plan was to fit the Global Hawk derivative with the first Department of Defense (DOD) program of record “sense-and-avoid” radar, to comply with international airspace requirements and prevent midair collisions. However, “we’ve made a decision to pause on the development of that capability,” Capt. James Hoke, the Navy’s Triton program manager, said at the Unmanned Systems 2013 conference in Washington, D.C.
Xsight Systems, the same company that developed a system for detecting foreign object debris, recently introduced BirdWize, a software product for reducing bird strikes by more effective tracking of ground-level bird threats.
Aircraft spares specialist Global Parts is expanding its manufacturing capability in order to be able to make a variety of machined items under contract from manufacturers. Equipped with five-axis machining facilities, the U.S. company’s capability in this area now includes items such as wing assemblies and landing gear braces.
Lockheed Martin selected the Northrop Grumman scalable agile beam radar (SABR) for planned radar upgrades of approximately 445 U.S. and Taiwanese air force F-16s. Northrop Grumman announced the selection on July 31.
American defense contractors are set to enjoy revenues of nearly $4.7 billion from Iraq, according to a series of arms sales notifications by the Pentagon to Congress in the past two weeks. The potential sales include an integrated air defense system worth $2.4 billion and 30 Bell 412EP helicopters worth $300 million. The deals include training and support.