Regional fractional aircraft provider Executive AirShare received temporary FAA authorization to use the Apple iPad Mini as a Class 1 electronic flight bag (EFB) in its fleet of Learjet 45XRs, Phenom 100s and 300s and King Airs. This authorization is the first step needed to gain full authority for paperless cockpits, which is expected in the first quarter of next year. With the provisional approval, Executive AirShare pilots can perform basic and advanced functions previously performed using paper documents, but flight crews must still carry printed charts as a backup.
Garmin held on to its first-place position in AIN’s 2014 Avionics Product Support Survey, scoring an 8.3 rating from AIN readers, the same number as last year. L-3 Avionics moved up to second place this year, a half-point jump to 7.8 from last year’s fourth-place rating of 7.3 and tied with Universal Avionics, which also held the second-place spot last year. Rockwell Collins moved up a tenth of a point to 7.7 this year for third place, the same spot it held in last year’s survey.
Internet-age companies are forging ahead with plans to incorporate small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)—better known as drones—in their commercial operations. On August 28, Internet search engine and services company Google revealed that it is developing a drone delivery service and has already tested a prototype aircraft.
When Lincoln, Neb.-based Duncan Aviation broke ground on its new 175,000-sq-ft maintenance hangar facility it did so with the recommendations of the MRO’s Green Team in mind. The original design included recommended elements such as LED lights, radiant floor heating and skylights.
Cessna has named Air Services an authorized independent non-destructive testing (NDT) facility for the second year in a row. “With this certification, Air Services has access to all equipment and materials needed to perform NDT inspections and testing on all Cessna Citation models. Our NDT team can travel anywhere to support customer testing needs,” said Shawn Ehrhart, NDT manager of Air Services.
HungaroControl, the air navigation service provider of Hungary, said it has started a €6.8 million ($9 million) program to implement data communications between controllers and pilots. The company plans to introduce controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) next February as required by Single European Sky regulation.
The deployment of four UK Royal Air Force Tornadoes to perform overwatch of Iraq, and an unconfirmed report last week that more might be deployed for surveillance of northern Nigeria, serves to illustrate the ongoing value of the aging but effective “Tonka.” Although the RAF fleet is scheduled to be retired in 2019 in favor of the F-35, upgrades continue, with another one announced recently. Meanwhile, the German air force intends to keep its Tornado fleet until at least 2025, with its own upgrades.
The engineering team for GE Aviation’s new GE9X turbofan has completed development of the new carbon fiber composite material that will allow the powerplant for Boeing’s new 777X airliner to use fewer, thinner fan blades. Combined with the use of new composite case technology developed for the GEnx program, the engine will be around 1,000 pounds lighter than its predecessor.
An EASA rule that takes effect in October opens the door to offshore oil-and-gas helicopter passengers’ using personal electronic devices (PED), but operators seem unlikely to go ahead with the much-desired change. The Annex 4 of Part-CAT grants exceptions to the general principle–no PED use in flight–and makes it clear that implementation is at the discretion of the operator. A company can thus allow the use of PEDs during all phases of flight, though transmitting PEDs such as cellphones are not allowed to be used during taxi, takeoff and landing.
Jet Aviation St. Louis received an STC to install the Satcom Direct Router (SDR) in the Bombardier Global Express, XRS, 5000 and 6000. The SDR allows users to manage all cabin communications systems with simultaneous use of Inmarsat Swift 64, SwiftBroadband, Ku-Band and Ka-Band satellite connections with intelligent traffic control, according to Satcom Direct. It is compatible with most Wi-Fi access points and supports up to four wireless networks.