The Federal Communications Commission has said it won’t continue exploring the feasibility of allowing passengers to use their personal cellphones to make calls in flight, basing its decision on concerns raised by cellular providers over possible airborne interference with ground networks.
Landmark Aviation last month said it has received an STC to install the Rockwell Collins Integrated Flight Information System (IFIS) in the Hawker 800XP/850XP. The IFIS file server gives pilots access to charts, airport diagrams, notams and other electronic information. The system can be installed as a single or dual server with an optional XM weather receiver.
Rockwell Collins has introduced cabin management controls that will let passengers connect their iPods to the airplane’s in-flight entertainment system. The iPod Solo and Quad stations provide access to iPod music and video libraries through the cabin audiovisual system. As their names imply, the Solo station provides a dock for one iPod or iPhone and the Quad unit slots for as many as four.
The National Weather Service has awarded a team led by L-3 Enterprise IT Solutions a $43 million contract to upgrade Nexrad radar sites. Consisting of 171 weather radars positioned across the U.S. and a handful overseas, the sites collect data on local weather phenomena, which are then used to predict convective activity.
The FAA last month said it is expanding GPS WAAS coverage into Canada and Mexico by adding nine new wide-area augmentation system ground stations in places such as Goose Bay and San Jose del Cabo. The FAA has published about 900 LPV (localizer performance with vertical guidance) approaches in the U.S.
When Rockwell Collins introduced the Pro Line 21 integrated avionics system in 1996, the company proclaimed voice recognition would play a significant role in the avionics’ so-called man-machine interface. More than 10 years later the use of voice recognition in civil aviation has yet to emerge as a viable technology, but that could be about to change with the introduction of Pro Line Fusion.
Rockwell Collins is applying years of flight-test research to its new Pro Line Fusion integrated avionics system by combining computer-generated synthetic scenes with infrared enhanced-vision views on the primary flight displays and HUD. The goal, the company proclaims, is to give business jet crews the ability to “go anywhere, anytime.”
Although avgas is expensive, there is no shortage in the U.S., and oil companies continue to support its production and distribution. Nonetheless, Cessna Aircraft has decided to outfit its best-selling 172 Skyhawk with a diesel engine. Starting in the middle of next year, Cessna dealers will sell the Skyhawk TD powered by a 155-hp Thielert turbocharged diesel engine installed under an FAA supplemental type certificate (STC).
In separate efforts, Jet Aviation and Kollsman are the latest companies to explore possible anti-surface-to-air-missile (SAM) systems. Jet Aviation, a subsidiary of a Swiss-based company with U.S. headquarters in West Palm Beach, Fla., is reportedly in talks with possible system vendors Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.
Gulfstream has penned a letter of intent with Safe Flight Instrument for the supply of the latter company’s Enhanced AutoPower automatic throttle system as an option for new Gulfstream 200s, as well as for retrofit for G200s and Galaxies already in service. An STC for the system is expected by early next summer, upon the completion of 10 to 25 flight test hours.