Today pilots who have an inertial navigation system coupled with an advanced GPS aboard their airplanes are considered to be at the upper end of the profession, while the rest of us bumble along with just a plain vanilla GPS–maybe with a WAAS upgrade–and a couple of VORs plus one, maybe two, DMEs. But tomorrow might be different.
Two of the computer industry’s biggest names appear to be taking a keen interest in aviation, betting that airlines and business aircraft operators will continue to rely on off-the-shelf computer technology to serve their electronic flight bag (EFB) hardware needs well into the predictable future.
Eclipse Aviation last month announced that its next two FAA-conforming Model 500 very light jets, N502EA and N504EA, have completed wing mate and are standing on their own gear. These two aircraft will join N503EA, which has been flying since December 31, later this month, rounding out the Eclipse 500 FAA certification flight-test fleet.
Bombardier Aerospace director of Learjet products Brad Nolen told AIN that the company has extended indefinitely the Learjet 60 “complete package offer,” which it announced at the NBAA Convention in October. As such, the Canadian manufacturer will continue to include the package–valued at $288,000–at no extra charge to those buying a new Learjet 60.
Jet-Care International has added new features to its engine condition health online (Echo) program to allow operators to identify problems and store data more easily. The majority of customers for the company’s engine condition trend monitoring (ECTM) through gas-path analysis are now using the reporting software. The program is also available for the company’s Spectro oil analysis services.
Does a recovering economy and the rising stock market offer any assurance that your flight department will survive in 2004? Don’t count on it. While expanding corporate earnings bode well for business aviation, job security for flight department personnel is much more dependent upon delivering real value than absorbing excess profits.
Mention Wichita, and most people in the business aviation industry immediately think of Cessna, Raytheon/ Beech, Learjet or Boeing. Aviation history buffs and old-timers are likely to add Laird Airplane, Culver Aircraft, Travel Air or Stearman
to the list. But it’s a good bet that very few, if any, would even mention the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR).
For more than 10 years, Minneapolis-based Aerosim Technologies (www.flyaerosim.com) has been providing low-cost, high-fidelity software simulation training products.
While the FAA’s current WAAS network offers equipped users with improved GPS performance across the continental U.S. and Alaska, it still does not provide the redundancy and reliability required from an aviation navigation service. So the FAA has now contracted to obtain additional geostationary satellites (GEOs) to rectify this shortcoming.
After taking a close look at all of the glass flight decks available on the market, Piper has selected Avidyne’s FlightMax Entegra integrated cockpit for its single-engine Saratoga HP and TC and the new Piper 6X and XT.