Thales Aerospace hopes a proactive approach to customer services will help it both win repeat business for its avionics and in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems and sustain the investment needed to develop new products.
When Rockwell Collins introduced the Pro Line 21 integrated avionics system in 1996, the company proclaimed voice recognition would play a significant role in the avionics’ so-called man-machine interface. More than 10 years later the use of voice recognition in civil aviation has yet to emerge as a viable technology, but that could be about to change with the introduction of Pro Line Fusion.
Rockwell Collins is applying years of flight-test research to its new Pro Line Fusion integrated avionics system by combining computer-generated synthetic scenes with infrared enhanced-vision views on the primary flight displays and HUD. The goal, the company proclaims, is to give business jet crews the ability to “go anywhere, anytime.”
Rockwell Collins, known primarily for its avionics products, will enter the simulator market by acquiring NLX Holding from Arlington Capital Partners, a Washington, D.C. private-equity firm. NLX, based in Sterling, Va., builds civil and military simulators and has provided business aircraft simulators to SimuFlite and Pan Am International Flight Academy.
Rockwell Collins is behind Honeywell and EMS Technologies in the race to bring high-speed data to the cockpit, but the company is still vying to make it a three-horse race. Collins announced it has successfully demonstrated its high-speed satcom datalink using the Inmarsat Swift64 service. Scheduled for availability in September, the HST-900 will allow passengers to surf the Web and send and receive e-mail at speeds of close to 64 kbps.
NetJets Services has chosen Rockwell Collins to provide avionics maintenance repair and technical support on its fleets of Gulfstream G200s and Raytheon Hawker 400XPs. Under two separate 10-year agreements, Collins Aviation Services will provide NetJets with forward exchange avionics support.
Rockwell Collins has demonstrated its VHF-920A data transceiver and CMU-900 communication management unit, the key pieces of the Cedar Rapids, Iowa avionics manufacturer’s Nexcom VDL Mode 3 radio package. The demonstration occurred at the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, N.J., where pilots broadcast messages using simultaneous VDL Mode 3 digital voice and data, as well as enhanced voice features of Mode 3.
Rockwell Collins has upgraded the operating software for the Airshow Network news and information service. The new network protocol, Version P4, improves Airshow Network’s overall connectivity and works over the AirCell onboard telephone network.
Rockwell Collins has received the industry’s first TSO approval for a multi-mode receiver (MMR) with local-area augmentation system (LAAS) functionality, the avionics maker announced last month. The Collins GLU-925 MMR is the first to include LAAS and GPS landing system (GLS) capability in addition to ILS mode.
Garrett Aviation has selected Rockwell Collins to provide elements of its Pro Line 21 avionics as part of a retrofit program aimed at upgrading Cessna Citation 501s. System deliveries are scheduled to begin in January.