Satellite communications provider Satcom Direct, well known in the business aviation market, is expanding rapidly, investing in its capability and in a production ramp-up, and introducing service innovations as it prepares to open an office in Hong Kong to cover the Asian market.
Avionics and ATC
New developments and products in avionics, specifically about aircraft electronics in the cockpit; and news, issues, personnel, equipment and developments about air traffic management.
Flying to the Bahamas from the U.S. should not be daunting, if you ask Dennis Dames, assistant superintendent of police for the Royal Bahamas Police Force and officer-in-charge of air support service for the force. Dames was on hand to answer attendee questions at the Bahamas Booth in the Federal Pavilion, located in the Florida Air Museum at Sun ’n Fun 2013.
The message from New Mexico-based Aspen Avionics (Booth B-078) delivered by v-p of marketing Brad Hayden was loud and clear: there is no longer a reason for closed architecture in the interconnection and data sync of avionics in certified aircraft cockpits. “Aspen’s Connected Panel technology is certified, and it allows our panel-mounted equipment to exchange data with non-TSO’d equipment such as iPads and tablets.
The Stratus ADS-B receiver is finally capable of providing traffic information, and the new Stratus 2 receiver adds an attitude and heading reference system (AHRS).
Developed in a partnership among ForeFlight, Appareo Systems and Sporty’s Pilot Shop, the original $799 Stratus receiver, now dubbed Stratus 1, will now display ADS-R and TIS-B traffic on the ForeFlight Mobile iPad app (with the late April release of ForeFlight version 5.1).
Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) plan to introduce a bill Wednesday morning intended to prohibit the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from closing 149 federal contract tower facilities under budget sequestration, an industry source confirmed to AIN. A companion measure is also expected to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Pilatus Business Aircraft has received an STC from the FAA for installation of Garmin G600 avionics in all pre-NG PC-12 turboprop singles, built between 1994 and 2008. The retrofit brings the modern flat-panel New Perspective system to the older aircraft in the form of a single 10-inch LCD screen that incorporates both the primary flight display and the multifunction display.
A change in FAA policy that allows the use of GPS approaches at alternate airports should be welcome news for pilots. “Operators are now permitted to file a flight plan for a GPS approach at either the destination or an alternate, but not both,” according to NBAA. The new policy took effect on April 4. Previously pilots could fly GPS approaches only at the destination airport.
Why all the growing interest in low-cost flight simulators?
Some announcements at this week’s Sun ‘n Fun show in Lakeland, Fla., for example, underscore wannabe and regular pilots’ fascination with these devices. Redbird Flight Simulations introduced its new low-cost Jay device, which, while it can’t be used to log time, promises to help pilots stay proficient. And Pilot Mall today unveiled the Advanced Panel, which is a modular instrument panel with flight and other controls that works with Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX) software.
Just before Sun ’n Fun Garmin (Booth No. D-034) unveiled a major update to its Garmin Pilot iPad app, dynamic maps drawn from a vector-based mapping database. The new dynamic maps allow for many improvements to Garmin Pilot, chief of which is labels always remaining upright in the new track-up mode as the airplane turns and the maps adjusts to the new direction.