Mercury Computer Systems introduced two new class II-qualified electronic flight bag (EFB) systems targeting operators of larger aircraft. Mercury’s original VistaNav EFB class-I CIS-1000 is a tablet PC offering a 2-D or 3-D synthetic view of the outside world, including highway-in-the-sky approaches. The tablet receives wireless signals from a separate inertial navigation unit housing a WAAS GPS receiver and solid-state gyros.
Global Positioning System
Jeppesen has assembled a team of engineers to look into complaints by users that the company’s latest electronic charting software, JeppView FlightDeck 3.0, can cause electronic flight bag (EFB) computers to crash without warning. Since April, dozens of business aircraft flight crews have apparently experienced the software glitch, which is said to affect EFB products from a number of suppliers.
Although the decision has not yet been officially announced, AIN has learned the Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security have agreed that loran should continue operating for the foreseeable future. Key influences were the unanimous endorsement by an independent panel of experts convened by the agencies, plus the overwhelming positive response to an earlier public survey regarding the system’s continuance.
Shortly after the FAA published an advisory circular aimed at increasing capacity in busy Florida airspace by making changes to Rnav routes, SIDs and STARS, NBAA queried the agency about the apparent technical shortcomings of certain FMS equipment that might disqualify a number of business jet operators from flying the new procedures.
To help business aircraft operators cope with new Rnav routes and procedures as of September 1, the FAA is developing a Web-based RAIM (receiver autonomous integrity monitor) prediction service that will be made available for general use by flight crews, according to NBAA.
Bell Helicopter selected Chelton Flight Systems to provide a glass cockpit for the company’s light single-engine helicopters. The Chelton cockpit will be available from Bell for the Model 407 beginning in the first quarter of 2007. Until then, Bell 407, 206 and 210 owners can upgrade their existing aircraft to synthetic vision through Bell installation facilities or Chelton’s dealer network.
Sometimes the simplest ideas turn out to be the best ones. After initially targeting the Bendix/King KMD 250 multifunction display to owners of piston singles, Honeywell now believes the unit will turn out to be a popular addition in the cockpits of many turboprops and business jets.
La Jolla, Calif.-based Blue Sky Network announced receipt of an STC and PMA approval for the D1000 flight-tracking and two-way messaging system, which operates over the Iridium satellite network.
Loran advocates believe they are on a roll. A number of events that transpired so far this year, coupled with a government report on loran due soon, have boosted their confidence that this could be the year when their system finally gains its long-due recognition.
Boeing has formed an international industry team to compete for the contract to build and deploy the next generation of GPS satellites.
The Air Force plans to award the contract in early 2006 for the new GPS III satellites that will replace the ones currently in orbit and those scheduled for launch between now and when the GPS III satellites are ready.