Spending a week at the annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh show never fails to exhilarate and inspire, but at the same time it can frustrate. The good news is that we U.S. citizens are extraordinarily lucky to live in a country where the federal authorities have decided that it's OK to allow us the freedom to design, build and fly an aeronautical device of our own creation, with few restrictions.
When the French BEA released a partial cockpit voice recorder (CVR) transcript of the Air France Flight 447 accident in late May, pundits wasted no time unleashing pointed analysis implicating the A330’s crew. The Airbus crashed into the South Atlantic, killing all 228 people aboard. Indeed, the edited details of the BEA seemed to offer few other possibilities.
Whether for safety, economy or to meet ICAO Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) standards, helicopter operators are showing increased interest in capturing and analyzing flight data. Spidertracks (Booth No. 4854), based in Palmerstown North, New Zealand, offers a global satellite-based system for fleet operators that tracks equipped aircraft in real time and records movements and flight data for later analysis.
Toronto-based Star Navigation Systems offers business jets something better than the airline black box: the Star In-flight Safety Monitoring System (Star-ism). “Our original system, introduced in 2005, provided current information to pilots and ground controllers, giving them the ability to note anomalies and nip problems in the bud,” said Viraf Kapadia, CEO of Star Navigation Systems Group.
Thales uses its iDeck simulation environment for validation and de-risking in the early stages of development. Configured here to resemble the A350 flight deck, it is used to help Airbus pilots and engineers evaluate cockpit concepts.
Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services has received an FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) for an integrated cockpit display system (ICDS) in the Bell 407. EASA and Transport Canada certification are pending. Vector developed the 407 STC in partnership with Safran Group’s Sagem Avionics.
L-3 Avionics Systems said last month that its new Trilogy ESI-1000 electronic standby instrument has received TSO approval and an approved model list STC allowing installations of the product in most light general aviation aircraft. Designed to serve as an all-in-one backup instrument for glass cockpits, Trilogy is touted as the first solid-state electronic standby product for smaller Part 23 airplanes.
Airbus engineers are never satisfied, and customers of the European airframe builder should have only one response... thank goodness. Despite myriad technological and manufacturing obstacles, the European consortium of Germany, France and Spain successfully built, flew and put into production the largest commercial aircraft in the world, the A380, and the airframer currently has orders for 200 of the double-decker jetliners.
Airbus engineers are never satisfied, and customers of the European airframe builder should have only one response: thank goodness.
Atlantic Inertial Systems (AIS) has introduced a new generation of ruggedized solid-state inertial MEMS (micro electromechanical systems). The system improves noise performance and halves the bias of a current inertial measurement unit or single-axis rate sensor. This makes them compatible with long-endurance missions, the company claims.