“‘What do they know about the helicopter business? They’ll be begging to be bought out in six months.’ That’s what the rest of the industry was saying about us when we bought the civil division of what had been Boeing Helicopters back in 1998,” recalled Mesa, Ariz.-based MD Helicopters Inc. (MDHI) president and CEO Henk Schaeken.
With the Primus Epic integrated avionics system poised to make its debut in a variety of business airplanes and the Bell/Agusta AB139 helicopter, Honeywell is introducing a desktop PC version of the glass cockpit that pilots can use before they ever strap in for training in a full-flight simulator.
Mark Van Tine, who was with Lockheed Data Plan when Jeppesen bought that company in 1989, is the new chairman and CEO of the Denver-based company that pioneered the instrument navigation chart. The 45-year-old Tine replaces Horst Bergmann, 65, who retired after more than 40 years with the company, and who was named Jeppesen’s CEO in 1988.
European information technology giant SITA predicts that by 2005 airline passengers will be able to make calls in flight using their personal cellphones.
Cordless cabin telephony with global connectivity at an affordable price is the promise of Belgium’s Orb’Phone, a division of Euro GSM.
The U.S. ATC central nervous system–known as the traffic-flow management system–has nearly outgrown its capacity, prompting the FAA to call for modernization of this critical infrastructure. The complex computer system is the heart of the National Airspace System Command Center in Herndon, Va., which continuously feeds traffic-flow information to ARTCCs, Tracons, towers, civil operators, military bases and other U.S.
Perched at the top of Gulfstream’s lineup of luxury business jets sits the G550, a longer-legged and heavier version of the G500 for which the original GV and GV-SP lend their names. The $45 million G550’s list of improvements over the G500 includes true New York-to-Tokyo nonstop range, increased payload-carrying capability, higher cruise speed and shorter takeoff distances.
The annual avionics trade show hosted by the Aircraft Electronics Association is a good place to get the lowdown on emerging industry trends and try out the latest cockpit and cabin gear from an array of manufacturers and suppliers.
Pentar’s newest airborne file server, the JetLAN AS200, combines PC hardware with avionics interface technology that provides what its developer calls as good a combination of performance, small size and low price as is available on the market. The $30,000 AS200 houses a pair of 50-gigabyte removable hard drives that are shock-mounted for use in turbulence.
Honeywell and Thales Avionics have taken the wraps off a new high-speed-data hardware package that enables the companies’ satcom systems to handle data at rates as high as 128 kbps. First installations of the HS-700/702 will enter service this summer, according to Ken Snodgrass, director of radio frequency communications systems for Honeywell’s business, regional and general aviation avionics division.