The Cessna Citation 501 has served nobly in a variety of roles over the course of the last three decades. A smooth-flying machine with decent range and single-pilot simplicity, the 501 (also known as the Citation I/SP) already holds a hallowed place in business aviation history as one of the original entry-level jets.
Engineers from Rockwell Collins are immersed in the task of redesigning a satellite direct TV antenna to bring Boeing’s broadband Connexion service to super-midsize and larger business jets. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa avionics manufacturer anticipates initial flight tests of a prototype of the new antenna in the coming months and commercial introduction of Connexion hardware late next year.
Ibis Aerospace has selected Honeywell’s Apex glass cockpit for the Ae270 turboprop single, but it is still unclear whether the avionics will be standard or optional. At EBACE in Geneva in late May, Honeywell and Ibis put out a joint press release saying Apex would be the standard cockpit in the airplane.
Engineers from Lufthansa Technik and Thrane & Thrane have jointly developed a new mobile access router as a key component of Lufthansa Technik’s networked integrated cabin equipment, nicknamed Nice. The router will be the main interface to all devices on the Nice network, providing wireless laptop connectivity and other data access through Inmarsat’s Swift64 service and Gatelink (802.11b and -g).
Montreal-based CMC Electronics has agreed to sell its Cincinnati Electronics business unit to L-3 Communications for $172 million in cash, while simultaneously signing a long-term supplier agreement with Cincinnati Electronics for infrared enhanced vision system (EVS) sensors. CMC Electronics is currently developing an EVS with Bombardier and Thales for the Global Express.
Just as passengers were getting used to surfing the Web in flight over the Swift64 satellite datalink, Inmarsat spelled out plans for the next generation of high-speed datalink services for aircraft, to be known as SwiftBroadband. Inmarsat is now building the I4 satellites to support SwiftBroadband services in Toulouse, France, and plans to launch the first two next year.
Some requirements of certification flight testing are impossible to complete from the home airfield, no matter where that may be. In late March/early April, Raytheon Aircraft sent the second flight-test Hawker Horizon (RC-2) to Iqaluit, in Canada’s Nunavut Territory, for four days of cold-weather tests.
Two-place, side-facing divans for Jetstream operators are now available from seating specialist Aviation Fabricators. The Clinton, Mo.-based company received both supplemental type certification and parts manufacturing approval from the FAA in March. The package, available in a right- or left-side version, includes sidewall-mounted harness kits, seatbelt track-mounted hold-down fittings and seatbelts.
Working on reducing high-frequency cabin noise produced by air passing over the fuselage skin, UK-based Ultra Electronics and QinetiQ found what a spokesman described as “a fantastic solution to the wrong problem.” After flight tests of new-generation hybrid active/passive cabin shell mounts, researchers concluded that the system works extremely well, reducing noise transmitted through the mounts by as much as 30 dBA.
Dassault plans to introduce an exceptionally quiet cabin in its new Falcon 7X business jet. The company announced at EBACE in May that it expects to create a cabin with noise levels in the 52-dB range, about four decibels less than in the Falcon 900EX. Normal cabin conversation is typically conducted in the 55- to 70-dB range.