For operators of commercial aircraft, including airlines and business jet charter or fractional-share operations, gaining regulator approval for use of iPad tablet computers as Class 2 electronic flight bags (EFBs) can take time and effort. There is a simpler way to complete this process and that is working with a company that has figured out what needs to be done to satisfy the regulators and also meet aeronautical quality standards.
Avionics and ATC » Avionics
New developments and products in avionics, specifically about aircraft electronics in the cockpit.
Pilots who want to practice using FltPlan’s new FltPlanGo moving-map and charts app can do so using Laminar Research’s X-Plane flight-simulator program. FltPlanGo running on Apple iPads can show simulated own-ship position, and pilots can fly X-Plane while using FltPlanGo just as they would in a real aircraft. “It’s important for pilots who don’t fly often or those who have been away from flying to practice workflows and procedures,” said Sarah Wilson, principal/director of new technologies at FltPlan.
An unintended consequence of the Department of Transportation’s proposed rule banning cellphone use on aircraft could prevent business aviation passengers from using their mobile devices for in-flight voice calling. The DOT’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking is aimed at calming airline passengers who are concerned that allowing voice calling would make travel even more uncomfortable if they are forced to listen to seatmates’ calls.
Aircell has expanded its terrestrial air-to-ground network into Canada and now Aircell-equipped aircraft can use the service for Internet access and voice service in Canada, Alaska and the continental U.S. for no additional charge. The new Canadian coverage reaches into the country’s southern territories and along its western borders with Alaska. “The debut of Gogo Biz service in Canada culminates a multi-year development program and we’re pleased to see it go live,” said Aircell executive v-p and general manager John Wade.
Satcom1, a satellite communications service provider, announced the recent activation of its AvioIP advanced router software on an Emteq eConnect airborne router installed on a Bombardier Global Express. This upgrade, installed by Ruag Aerospace Services, was certified by EASA and validated by the FAA and Transport Canada, according to Satcom1, “the first-ever installation of such advanced features on [the] Global Express.”
The next major step in satellite communication services will be the deployment of Inmarsat’s new Ka-band GX (Global Xpress) satellite constellation. Satellite service provider Satcom Direct (Booth P212) has ordered 10 shipsets of the new satcom system for its business aviation clients. The three Inmarsat-5 satellites are scheduled to be in orbit by the end of this year, and GX Aviation services should start in the first half of 2015.
Sandia Aerospace has developed a low-cost standby display, the SAI 340-Quatro, which retails for $3,595. The Quatro provides airspeed, attitude, altitude and slip indications in a lightweight instrument that fits into a standard three-inch instrument hole. The Quatro weighs half a pound and is just 1.4 inches thick. The unit’s lithium-polymer battery provides power for up to two hours. Certification is pending.
At last month’s AEA show, Ingenio Aerospace introduced a series of products designed to help aircraft manufacturers and interior refurb and completion centers deal with a thorny problem: the rapid pace of smart-device technological change.
In January, Honeywell opened the doors of its advanced-technology facility in Deer Valley, Ariz., and shared details of what its engineers and scientists are exploring for possible use in future aircraft programs. These included tests on touchscreen controls, gesture-based avionics manipulation, haptic feedback devices, voice controls and even transcranial neural sensing.
Few of these human-machine interfaces will appear in any cockpits soon, but Honeywell’s experts are exploring new avenues toward making aircraft safer and more efficient.
Hilton Software is demonstrating the latest addition to the features of its moving-map app at its Sun ’n’ Fun booth (No. D-081/082), integration of the Pebble smart watch with WingX Pro7. The watch connects to an iPad or iPhone running WingX Pro7 and displays navigation information and battery level indications and provides vibrating notifications. Pebble integration is available with the latest version of WingX Pro7, version 8.0, which also includes the ability to add SIDs, Stars and instrument approach procedures to flights plans and display user documents in a split screen.