At the 57th annual Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) convention, held in Nashville, Tenn., from March 12 to 15, the AEA announced that 2013 worldwide general aviation avionics sales exceeded $2.4 billion, 6.9 percent higher than the comparable 2012 number. Of the $2.4 billion in sales generated last year, 54 percent were for forward-fit (new aircraft) and 46 percent for retrofit (aftermarket). “There are many signs for our market recovery,” said Paul Derks, AEA president.
Avionics manufacturer Avidyne of Lincoln, Mass. is showcasing its soon-to-be-certified touch screen IFD 540 and IFD 440 FMS/GPS navcoms this week at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. Featuring plug and play design, the units are aimed at the retrofit market, specifically as replacements for Garmin GNS 530 and GNS 430 GPS navcoms, providing an upgrade alternative to Garmin’s own GTN 750/650.
The FAA’s recent rule prohibiting the personal use of electronic devices in the cockpit applies only to Part 121 carriers, although the NTSB would like to see the rule extended to cover Part 135 and Part 91K operators. AIN recently surveyed readers for their insights about the distractions that challenge them–and the answers were surprising. We received 112 responses to our four questions. While the informal survey yielded a relatively small number of responses, the answers pilots gave about their experiences with distractions are illuminating.
MyGoFlight and the IMC Club have jointly launched the EFB Challenge, a knowledge contest intended to study and advance the use of low-cost tablets, such as the iPad, as electronic flight bag s(EFB). Interested pilot contestants can enter local contests and winners will advance to regional events. Regional finalists will compete nationally during EAA AirVenture 2015 in Oshkosh, Wis., in late July.
Boeing received the launch order for the Boeing Business Jet Max yesterday. The order, from an undisclosed existing BBJ operator, is for a BBJ Max 8, a derivative based on the 737 Max 8.
“We are honored that an existing BBJ customer has become the first to select the BBJ Max,” said Boeing Business Jets president Steve Taylor. “The BBJ Max provides more room, longer range and produces fewer emissions than its nearest competition, making it an ideal choice for today’s BBJ customers.”
Professional audio company AKG broke into the aviation market on Tuesday with the introduction of an active noise-reduction aircraft headset, the AV100, at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In. Its $1,099 headset uses hybrid active noise-cancelling technology and signal processing to attenuate the specific frequencies inside an airplane. Features include built-in LED map lights, as well Bluetooth connectivity and an auxiliary input for interfacing with navigation devices, tablet PCs, phones or other devices, allowing such things as Hi-Fi music streaming.
Garmin has added European terminal charts–including instrument approach charts, SIDs, Stars and airport diagrams–to its FliteCharts database, which is compatible with select Garmin avionics and portables. When used with these Garmin products, the European FliteCharts provide geo-referenced aircraft position overlays on the approach charts, enhancing pilot situational awareness. European FliteCharts currently includes charts for Austria; Belgium; France; Germany; Italy; Luxembourg; the Netherlands; Switzerland; and the UK.
Quest Aircraft (Booth MD-032B) of Sandpoint, Idaho, is displaying one of its Kodiak turboprop singles outfitted with the new “Summit Executive” interior this week at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. The new interior, which is expected to receive STC approval in the second quarter, features reclining club-four seating, along with folding tables, forward cabinets, better soundproofing and other amenities. It builds on the Timberline and Tundra interiors announced in 2012 that included composite panels, storage pockets, cupholders, improved headrests and center pedestal closeouts.
GE Aviation and Evergreen Aviation Technologies have formed a joint-venture company, GE Evergreen Engine Services, to specialize in the overhaul of the GEnx engine.
A spokesman for GE Aviation told AIN the two parties are investing approximately $130 million over the next five years.
The new venture will be located at the GE Aviation and Evergreen Aviation Technologies facility in Taipei. The facility currently provides airframe and engine work. “There is also ample real estate available, so we’re looking at all the options,” said the spokesman.