Helicopter manufacturers aren’t immune to the pressure to update their machines with modern avionics, and last year MD Helicopters and Universal Avionics Systems unveiled a new NextGen flight deck mockup for the MD 902 Explorer. The new avionics replace aging Bendix/King EFIS 40 cathode-ray-tube displays with high-resolution 10.4-inch Universal LCDs in landscape orientation.
Avionics and ATC » Avionics
New developments and products in avionics, specifically about aircraft electronics in the cockpit.
One of a number of maritime patrol aircraft being promoted at the Singapore Airshow is the Saab 340 MSA, which is undertaking a demonstration tour to several countries in Asia. As part of its mission suite the aircraft is fitted with Cobham Satcom’s Aviator 350 SwiftBroadband solution, which utilizes an HGA-7000 high-gain antenna.
L-3 Mission Integration has selected Rockwell Collins’ Flight2 avionics for the Republic of Korea Navy P-3C upgrade. L-3 is a subcontractor to Korean Air, which is performing the upgrade.
Esterline CMC (Booth T87) is celebrating a couple of milestone contract awards here at the Singapore Airshow this week, as well as showcasing its main avionics products–including its popular Cockpit 9000 CNS/ATM update solution for legacy Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft. This is aimed at extending the service life of 20-40 year-old aircraft by up to 30 years, future-proofing them against advances in ATC technology.
Rockwell Collins is introducing its new MultiScan ThreatTrack weather radar at this year’s Singapore Airshow. The avionics group claims the radar provides air transport aircraft with “unprecedented” atmospheric threat-assessment capabilities.
Crane Aerospace and Electronics has announced that its SmartStem wireless tire pressure system has been certified for use with Boeing 737NG aircraft. It is already approved for use with the Boeing 747-400, 777 and 787, and with numerous business jet types. The system comprises high-accuracy sensors that replace standard wheel fill stems, and a handheld reader that takes quick and accurate tire pressure readouts without gas loss. The ease and speed of use of the system promotes daily checks, with improved safety as a result, and an increase in tire life.
F-35 test pilots will begin flying this year with a third-generation helmet-mounted display system (HMDS) that incorporates modifications to the earlier-generation display system, which pilots deemed insufficient for missions the Joint Strike Fighter will perform. Last October, after testing the fixes over the course of two years, the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) gained enough confidence in the new “Gen 3” system to stop the development of an alternate helmet-mounted display.
The Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) has partnered with the NextGen GA Fund to provide loans to general aviation aircraft owners and operators to help finance installation of NextGen equipment. The fund is managed by Nexa General Partnership, and the agreement will allow AEA member companies to offer access to loans when selling NextGen installations to customers.
Radenna is taking orders for its newest dual-band ADS-B receiver, which also contains attitude and heading reference system (AHRS) sensors. The new SkyRadar DX retails for $899, but Radenna is selling the first 50 for $649. Deliveries begin on March 20. The SkyRadar-DX works on both ADS-B in frequencies, 1090 and 978 MHz, so it can receive traffic information from both bands and free weather information on 978 MHz.
Duncan Aviation finished its second Falcon 900B cockpit with Universal Avionics displays in December, installing Universal’s EFI-890R system in the cockpit and Honeywell’s Venue cabin management and entertainment system in the cabin. Duncan also installed a newly designed interior and exterior paint. The flight deck upgrade replaced 25 old instruments with five 8.9-inch Universal EFI-890R displays, which also show engine indications via Universal’s engine interface units.