Thales is targeting the huge potential for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for coastal surveillance in Southeast Asia by offering a compact, lightweight radar system called the Coastmaster. The UK group’s aerospace division developed the 66-pound system from the ground surveillance radar being fitted to the British Army’s Watchkeeper UAVs. (Helicopters and small manned aircraft could also carry the new radar.)
A twin turboprop trainer can’t hope to fully replicate an F-16 fighter, but rookie pilots with the Republic of Singapore Air Force will quickly get a feel for the complex systems and information management tasks they will ultimately face through the advanced visual systems of the Pilatus PC-21s they will soon be using.
Lantal Textiles of Switzerland has acquired Wollspinnerei, a major spinning mill…Word from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month is that Blu-ray is the likely winner in the high-definition DVD player sweepstakes…Just delivered is a Gulfstream V for Abercrombie & Fitch with an Alto Aviation sound system that includes six subwoofers under the seats to replicate the sound of a dance club…Flight Display Systems has introduced a
SkyTheater’s new high-definition audiovisual and surround-sound system has passed DO-160 testing, and the first installation will be in service on a business jet by the second quarter. Previous versions of the system are already flying aboard a variety of Boeings and Gulfstreams. The Hollywood, Fla.-based company has 12 orders for the new package scheduled through 2011.
Banyan Air Service recently completed its first major avionics modification on
A Falcon 50 received Honeywell’s 1,900th TFE731 engine upgrade. It was modified to the -3D configuration. Honeywell offers engine upgrade options for most of its older engine fleet. The engine modification process allows operators of older TFEs to introduce newer engine technology to improve the value and functionality of their aircraft.
Air France has started a six-month trial aboard an Airbus A318 with communications provider OnAir to provide cellphone services to passengers flying in Europe. For now, passengers can use their mobile phones to send and receive text messages,
e-mail and photos. After three months Air France intends to expand the service to allow passengers to make and receive phone calls as well.
Sandel last month said it has started shipping an upgraded version of its SN3500 EHSI (electronic horizontal situation indicator) that features LED (light-emitting diode) backlighting similar to the technology introduced last year in its larger displays. Providing a brighter and sharper display image, the technology replaces Sandel’s previous backlighting technique with a long-life glass panel rated at 10,000 hours MTBF.
Garmin last month notified distributors that it has decided to discontinue production of the GNS 480 GPS/navcom receiver after a significant decline in sales of the WAAS-capable product as more customers migrate toward the Garmin GNS 430W/530W line of WAAS units. Garmin acquired the GNS 480 product when it purchased the assets of UPS Aviation Technologies in 2003.
Mike McGraw, founder and CEO of Data Systems International (DSI) in Overland Park, Kan., is the proud owner of the first King Air C90 to be retrofitted with the Garmin G1000 avionics system.