The next steps toward wider introduction of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the U.S. airspace system were within line of sight as the industry gathered for its largest conference last month in Washington, D.C. Federal government officials said that a long-delayed proposed rulemaking for operations of small UAS weighing up to 55 pounds will be released by the end of the year. Also by year-end, the FAA will designate six UAS test ranges in a program sought by 24 states.
Garmin launched a G5000 avionics modernization program for the Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XP, targeted for FAA STC approval in 2015, that will be available at certain Garmin dealers. The company estimates that the glass cockpit retrofit for the light twinjet will cost between $450,000 and $500,000 installed. In addition to modernizing the flight deck, the new avionics package is lighter and thus raises the jet’s useful load by 200 pounds.
The first production copy of the Cessna Citation M2, an updated CJ1+ with Garmin G3000 avionics, logged its maiden flight from Cessna Aircraft’s Independence, Kan. facility on Friday. It reached altitudes up to 17,500 feet during the two-hour sortie. The M2, which was announced in September 2011, is expected to receive FAA certification in the fourth quarter.
Chromalloy has entered into a repair license and supplier agreement with Honeywell. The 10-year agreement covers aircraft engine components and engineering services for parts, and special coating processes.
Chromalloy will repair and manufacture gas path components and provide thermal barrier coatings and other materials for aircraft engines.Under the repair license agreement the company will perform repairs and provide material support for Honeywell and the engines and mechanical systems currently operated by its customers around the world.
Rockwell Collins’s planned acquisition of airborne communications provider Arinc positions it to benefit both on the ground and in the air from the increasing “digitization” of airline communications. The future paradigm for ATC calls for replacing voice communications between pilots and controllers with digital data messaging, and Arinc’s ground infrastructure provides one of two major pipes for routing those messages.
The U.S. Navy is rethinking prime contractor Northrop Grumman’s selection of an Exelis-built collision avoidance radar for the unmanned MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance aircraft. The plan was to fit the Global Hawk derivative with the first Department of Defense (DOD) program of record “sense-and-avoid” radar, to comply with international airspace requirements and prevent midair collisions. However, “we’ve made a decision to pause on the development of that capability,” Capt. James Hoke, the Navy’s Triton program manager, said at the Unmanned Systems 2013 conference in Washington, D.C.
Piper is demonstrating two aircraft from its range here at the LABACE show: a Seneca V and a Meridian. The display is being undertaken in conjunction with J.P. Martins Aviacão, the authorized local Piper dealer.
Columbus, Ohio-based Spirit Avionics has topped $10 million in global aircraft parts sales in less than a year, a 60-percent increase over last year’s sales. The company’s global parts support division distributes, sells and brokers new, overhauled and exchange parts and components through a network of OEMs and vendors. The global parts support division also manages component repairs, rentals, spares acquisition and surplus inventory consignment, and offers Rockwell Collins Casp and Honeywell Happ avionics warranty programs.
Rockwell Collins has agreed to buy Arinc Inc. from The Carlyle Group for $1.39 billion. The purchase is subject to “regulatory approvals and other customary conditions,” according to Rockwell Collins, which announced the deal late on Sunday.
Bristow Academy, a division of Bristow Group, has introduced into service its first four Robinson R44 training helicopters with Garmin 500H glass cockpits with dual 6.5-inch LCDs.