“There are definite signs the market is improving. We’re starting to see aircraft sales pick up at the broker level and we’re holding our own in the market, at least in the first quarter of this year, and we’re hoping it will continue in the second quarter,” James Donlan told AIN.
Carlsbad, Calif.-based Spectrum Aeronautical yesterday announced that it selected the Honeywell Primus Apex integrated avionics suite for the all-composite S-40 Freedom midsize business jet it is developing.
The first fully synchronized triplex FMS for business aviation made its maiden flight on the prototype Gulfstream V-SP late last month, said Honeywell. According to the avionics maker, the triplex FMS provides increased reliability and safety and reduces pilot workload. The system is part of the GV-SP PlaneView cockpit, featuring Honeywell’s Primus Epic integrated avionics.
Pilots can now receive free up-to-date weather information in the cockpit following FAA approval for VHF datalink Mode 2 (VDL-2) avionics and datalink flight information services (FISDL). Crews can receive text messages, including routine and special weather reports, TAFs and Pireps using VDL-2 at no cost. Graphics such as Nexrad maps will also be available through subscriptions.
The FAA has awarded contracts to Rockwell Collins, Honeywell and Avidyne for development of technology that will integrate digital voice and data into air-to-ground communications as part of the next-generation air/ground communications (Nexcom) program.
Installation centers anticipating extra demand nearer the start of the March 29, 2005, mandate for terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) in the existing turbine fleet are advising operators to purchase and install the equipment sooner rather than holding off until shop schedules start filling up.
Rockwell Collins received certification for a retrofit of its Pro Line 21 avionics suite in the Challenger 601. The installation features four 8- by 10-in. displays, an integrated flight control system, triple FMS, attitude heading reference system, TCAS, turbulence-detection weather radar and radio sensors. According to Collins, the retrofit reduces aircraft empty weight by 325 lb.
Baker Electronics has introduced a miniature multi-region DVD player that measures 2.5 in. high, 7.25 in. wide and 8 in. deep. Multi-region means that the unit can play DVDs from all parts of the world, as well as audio CDs, video CDs, so-called super video CDs and MP3 CDs. Dubbed the Mini-MRDVD-DB, the unit has been “ruggedized” for durability in aircraft cabins, according to Baker.
For operators clamoring to take full advantage of Inmarsat’s new Swift64 airborne data service, Honeywell and Thales announced that the new MCS-7000 satcom system has received FAA approval. The first MCS-7000 has been shipped to Gulfstream’s Appleton, Wis. completion center for installation on a Gulfstream IV-SP owned and operated by Phillips Petroleum.
Inmarsat announced that its long-awaited high-speed airborne data services will be available by the end of the year. The service, called Swift64, will allow passengers flying aboard satcom-equipped corporate aircraft to access the Internet and e-mail at 64 kbps, faster than most computer telephone modem connections. Swift64 is based on Inmarsat’s global-area network platform, said a spokesman.