Concerned about attempts by adversaries to jam global positioning satellite system signals–as occurred with only limited success during the recent Iraq conflict–the U.S. Air Force is moving ahead with plans to field a new-generation constellation of satellites, called GPS III. After a months-long logjam, the Air Force next month will begin accepting requests for proposals to develop and deploy the satellites sometime between 2010 and 2013.
In a continuing realignment of its Beechcraft and Hawker product lines, Raytheon Aircraft announced at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition last month in Geneva that it is dropping the venerable Beechjet 400A name and replacing it with Hawker 400XP.
Galileo, Europe’s $4.2 billion rival to GPS, is in jeopardy of cancellation following clashes between EU nations over project budgeting, officials said. Several EU nations have voiced concern about Galileo’s high cost, complaining they have been left out of commercial bidding negotiations. The first Galileo satellites need to be launched by 2005 or Europe may have to forfeit frequencies allotted by the International Telecommunications Union.
Flight Options, the second-largest fractional operator behind NetJets, and Raytheon Aircraft Services (RAS) reached an agreement in which RAS will provide all maintenance for the operator’s entire fleet. RAS will dedicate additional facilities for Flight Options maintenance, and all Flight Options mechanics will become RAS employees.
An investigation into problems with the quality of flight-data recorder information has led the NTSB to recommend modifications to FDR processing systems on several regional jet models and to ask the FAA to survey all aircraft models with FDRs to ensure that all required information is being processed.
Duncan Aviation expects by the first quarter of next year to receive group STC for RVSM in the Gulfstream II. The avionics package will consist of dual IS&S air-data computers, dual IS&S altimeters and interface units. Duncan’s goal is to keep the installed price below $200,000. Installations would be available from Duncan facilities in Battle Creek, Mich.; Lincoln, Neb.; Van Nuys, Calif.; and Teterboro, N.J.
In 1997 the President’s Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection, which was charged with examining threats to our national security, recommended an assessment be made of the vulnerability of the U.S. transportation infrastructure if it had to rely on GPS.
Warranty claims by Boeing aircraft operators are now available online through the MyBoeingFleet.com Web site, cutting as much as two days off the typical six days for processing warranty claims, according to the company. “It reduces errors and eliminates the need at our end to collect, distribute and manually re-key the data into our system,” Boeing added.
Starting next year, Raytheon will offer the Goodrich Sky Watch HP collision avoidance system as a standard option on the King Air B200 and 350. No price was immediately available, but the Sky Watch HP as a traffic advisory system carries a list price of about $28,915 uninstalled. The unit can also be installed as a TCAS I. Installed in the King Air, the system will be displayed on the airplane’s Goodrich Stormscope CRT.
Valley Oil Company, which distributes fuel to more than 400 FBOs, and Multi Service, an FBO credit-card company, have launched their free online interactive scheduling service.