The latest addition to AgustaWestland’s family of helicopters is the AW109 Trekker, which was introduced in February and will be the first of its light twin aircraft to offer skid landing gear.
Business aircraft flying continued its positive trend so far this year, with activity climbing 1.1 percent last month from March 2013, according to the TraqPak data released yesterday by aviation services company Argus. Its analysts also estimate that overall flight activity this month will rise 0.4 percent from last year.
Business aviation continues to grow in China and the rest of the Asia region, and the demand for pilots and technicians is stronger than ever. With a generally accepted ratio of five qualified pilots required for each business jet in service, supplying training for those pilots–and the technicians who will service the aircraft–remains one of the industry’s more profound challenges.
Directional Capital’s Air Services subsidiary now provides hydrostatic services for oxygen bottles, nitrogen bottles and fire extinguishers. The company expanded its composite and accessory facility by 5,000 sq ft to house this new capability. Air Services has locations at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Las Vegas International Airport and Birmingham International Airport.
The FAA issued Jeppesen a letter of operational suitability that allows the Apple iPad mini to be used in cockpits at commercial operators when the device is paired with Jeppesen’s electronic flight bag (EFB) solutions. This letter covers both the iPad mini with and without the Retina display. The FAA process was conducted to provide assurance for pilots and aviation operators that Jeppesen data, when displayed on the 7.9-inch iPad mini screen, is acceptable for use.
Rockwell Collins announced an upgrade path for Fans 1/A capability in Dassault Falcon 50EXs, 2000s and 2000EXs with Collins avionics and flight management system. The enhancements, which will be available from Rockwell Collins next year, include automatic dependent surveillance-contract (ADS-C) and controller pilot datalink communications (CPDLC).
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.
Sandia Aerospace has developed a low-cost standby display, the SAI 340-Quatro, which retails for $3,595. The Quatro provides airspeed, attitude, altitude and slip indications in a lightweight instrument that fits into a standard three-inch instrument hole. The Quatro weighs half a pound and is just 1.4 inches thick. The unit’s lithium-polymer battery provides power for up to two hours. Certification is pending.
As preparations proceed for running a full open-rotor engine demonstrator in 2016 under Europe’s Clean Sky research effort, French engine maker Snecma sees the program’s participants reaching a consensus over whether or not to proceed in the 2017-to-2019 period.
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.