There have been a lot of winners in the historic cycle of mergers and acquisitions in the aviation industry. Unfortunately, customers haven’t always been among them.
Having secured solid footing in GA markets, Garmin announced it is introducing a new 16-watt com version of its GNC 420, GNS 430 and GNS 530 moving-map navcoms, now designated as “A” models. The new configuration will allow the units to transmit and receive at higher altitudes, a feature Garmin expects to entice more buyers from the corporate ranks.
Phoenix-based Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems (ACSS) has been named the standard TCAS supplier for Dassault’s in-development Falcon 7X, a 5,700-nm trijet, which the French firm plans to fly for the first time in 2005. Owned jointly by L-3 Communications of New York and Thales of Paris, ACSS builds a number of surveillance products that Honeywell was forced to divest after its merger with AlliedSignal.
The FAA is preparing publication of the first LPV (lateral precision with vertical guidance) approaches, a new type of precision approach procedure designed specifically for WAAS. The hallmarks of LPV are lower landing minimums than Lnav/Vnav (250 ft and three-quarters of a mile visibility) and signals that are compatible only with IFR-approved WAAS receivers.
The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) successfully passed a critical 60-day test that prime contractor Raytheon said proves the reliability of the signals for ILS-like approach procedures to thousands of airports not served by precision instrument approaches.
Houston-based Frost Navratil Technical Solutions, maker of the ApproachView family of class-2 EFBs, has introduced a remote touchscreen display for use with the company’s P600 computer or a laptop. The new 8.4-in.-diagonal TD-840 display, said the company, is more compact than other EFBs that combine their displays with internal computer hardware.
Based on feedback it has received from pilots and operators, the FAA is said to be preparing a number of amendments to an earlier Advisory Circular (AC 120-76) stipulating how so-called electronic flight bags (EFBs) may be used in the cockpit. According to those who attended a meeting hosted by FAA officials in Alexandria, Va., last month, the agency plans to introduce the amendments to the AC in January.
The acquisition costs of the three diagnostic systems assessed above vary markedly, but what is the annual cost of ownership to operators? To calculate this, AIN assumed a three-year amortization of the purchase price for the VitalLink and Tempus systems (EMS-Link is leased).
Turbine-engine technology development is going in two directions. One is the development of new technology to push the envelope of performance, operational safety, maintainability and reliability. The other is to refine and update existing engines for long-term use, especially in light of more stringent Stage 4 requirements and existing Stage 3 rules.
Orbit Communications, the third-largest provider of satellite TV, bought at auction the software and other assets of defunct FlightTime.com and its AirCharter.com online charter brokerage. Orbit said it hasn’t decided what it will do with the software.