The FAA has withdrawn its decade-old proposal to rescind its requirement for Mode-S transponders and, consequently, plans to end the hundreds of Mode-S installation exemptions currently in effect. Beginning March 1, 2007, the FAA has proposed that it will no longer allow exempted Part 121 and 135 operators to fly without a Mode-S transponder.
Bombardier Aerospace yesterday revealed it will build a component manufacturing facility in Querétaro, Mexico, to begin operations next May, initially producing wire harnesses but eventually having the capability for "final aircraft assembly." Later next year the facility is scheduled to start manufacturing "major structural aircraft components" currently being built by Asian suppliers.
Online is where it’s at, and FltPlan. com allows corporate, charter and business aircraft users to create IFR flight plans online free of charge. The Web site provides a navigation log, weather data, IFR filing capability, airport information (including diagrams and a list of fields closest to a given city), passenger flight briefing sheets, low- and high-altitude en route charts and customized aircraft performance numbers.
At the NBAA Convention in October, Flight Explorer announced the launch of version 5.0 of its aircraft tracking software. The upgrade is available from the Alexandria, Va.-based company at no cost to existing subscribers to Flight Explorer Professional. The cost to new subscribers remains at $250 a month for a one-year contract for the basic system.
Important new features of Flight Explorer version 5.0 include:
An international technical consortium has completed trials on a new head-up display (HUD) that allows helicopter pilots to view the display through night-vision goggles (NVGs) and allows “virtually unlimited” head movement.
On February 2, Super King Air B200 N777AJ survived an uncontrolled descent and structural damage after the inner ply of the windshield cracked at 27,000 feet and the pilots depressurized the airplane and disconnected the autopilot. According to the NTSB, the crew was unable to use the oxygen system and evidently lost consciousness.
In a bid to gain a larger share of the market for retrofit cockpit systems, Honeywell is adding electronic charts and uplink weather functions to its Primus Epic CDS/R avionics system.
At the request of the FAA, the RTCA is in the midst of a long-term study of the dangers portable electronic devices (PEDs) pose to aircraft systems. Specifically, a special RTCA group has been tasked with assessing what level of interference is caused by the latest ultra-wideband devices, cellphones and so-called pico-cells to support wireless phone use by passengers.
As most of its customers know by now, AirCell no longer actively markets airborne cellular systems, mainly because new digital cellular technology is rendering much of its existing analog-based ground network obsolete–but that doesn’t mean the AirCell name is a misnomer.
Duncan Aviation has signed an agreement with Securaplane Technologies to provide sales and service on Hawker pure lead SLA batteries. The Hawker mainship battery is a no-maintenance, pure lead battery that can be shipped as non-hazardous/non-spillable. The battery can also be stored fully charged for up to 24 months with no ongoing maintenance or top-charging.