Offshore oil-and-gas helicopter operator PHI recently conducted the first operational flights of a Sikorsky S-92 equipped with the new “rig approach” automated system, the U.S.-based rotorcraft manufacturer has announced. Earlier this year, Sikorsky and PHI pilots flew two FAA demonstration operations to oil rigs off the coast of Louisiana.
Avionics and ATC » Avionics
New developments and products in avionics, specifically about aircraft electronics in the cockpit.
Worldwide avionics sales in the third quarter totaled more than $1.72 billion, according to the Aircraft Electronics Association’s latest quarterly avionics market report. In the first nine months, the industry recorded more than $5.1 billion in total worldwide avionics sales. Last year, nearly $6.3 billion in avionics were sold. The amounts include all aircraft electronic products (both certified and noncertified), hardware, batteries and chargeable product upgrades from the 20 participating avionics manufacturers.
Garmin released software updates yesterday for GLO, a remote GPS/Glonass sensor for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, that adds new capabilities. Originally, GLO could provide accurate GPS data to one device via Bluetooth. With the latest software update, GLO can connect via Bluetooth with up to four devices simultaneously. A few changes have also been made to the functionality of the power button, which will now reduce the likelihood of GLO inadvertently turning on when stored in a flight bag.
Esterline CMC Electronics (CMC) is displaying its Cockpit 9000 upgrade solution for C-130 and other transport aircraft at this year’s Dubai Airshow (Stand 1451). The integrated avionics system can extend the service life of a 20- to 40-year-old aircraft by another 30 years at a fraction of the cost of a new aircraft, the company contends.
Delta Air Lines plans to begin distributing Microsoft Surface 2 tablet computers to its Boeing 757 and 767 pilots beginning in January. Pilots will use the computing device as an electronic flight bag (EFB) to store electronic charts and documents, reducing weight and improving workflow on the flight deck, the airline said. Delta joins other U.S. carriers that have incorporated tablet computers in their flight decks. Delta is the first major airline to select Microsoft’s Surface 2; other carriers, including United, Alaska and American, have selected the Apple iPad.
Rockwell Collins (Stand 2659) announced at the Dubai Airshow several contracts with Middle Eastern airlines and business aircraft operators for avionics, in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems and flight support services. Other agreements, with air forces and aircraft manufacturers, have been disclosed, too.
The adoption of Honeywell’s SmartPath precision landing system by Middle East airports is expected to gain momentum over the next few years, in response to the “phenomenal growth” of aviation in the area, according to SmartPath senior product manager Pat Reines–although the company is still waiting its first order from the region.
Lockheed Martin continues to upgrade its modernized target acquisition designation sight/pilot night-vision sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) for the AH-64 Apache, an electro-optical fire-control system that this year surpassed one million flight hours on the attack helicopter.
Pilots will be able to use their tablet devices as fully functional Class II electronic flight bags (EFBs) thanks to the new Tablet Interface Module (TIM) being introduced by UTC Aerospace Systems. The low-cost solution has been developed by the group’s Sensors & Integrated Solutions division.
France-based cabin equipment manufacturer PGA Electronic is being taken over by Astronics, a U.S. firm that specializes in lighting, electric power and automated test systems, the two companies announced earlier this month. While PGA’s annual revenues are close to $44 million, Astronics is acquiring the company for $28.5 million. The deal is expected to be closed by year-end. PGA, which employs 190, offers products such as reading lights, cabin management systems and screens for in-flight entertainment.