For operators flying with cathode-ray tube RM-850 radio management units with screens that are getting hard to read, Honeywell is offering an upgrade to the RM-855 with a liquid-crystal display (LCD). While Honeywell bought a quantity of the RM-850 displays, “[that] stock has now become depleted,” according to the company. “Honeywell is no longer able to repair units with CRT failures.” The RM-855 is a form, fit and function replacement unit; however, it requires a new mating connector. The existing wires need to be re-pinned into the new connector.
Avionics and ATC » Avionics
New developments and products in avionics, specifically about aircraft electronics in the cockpit.
China Satellite Communications and Row 44 owner Global Eagle Entertainment have signed a memorandum of understanding to help Chinese airlines that want to add in-flight connectivity services. The agreement will also allow Row 44 customer airlines to continue delivering in-flight connectivity services while flying into and over China. The agreement calls for Row 44 to provide hardware and software to support satellite-based in-flight connectivity.
Aircell, which currently owns and operates the Airfone air-to-ground telephone network, is on track to shut down the system at the end of this year. While some operators may hope that Aircell will keep Airfone running a bit longer so they can avoid having to replace their systems, Aircell has made it clear that Airfone is going away. According to John Wade, Aircell executive v-p and general manager, “The December 31, 2013, shutdown date is firm.
Android-based devices are the least secure platforms for pilot electronic flight bags and onboard entertainment systems, according to EFB and cabin avionics solutions provider Allegient Systems. The company cited a recent DHS/FBI study showing that 79 percent of mobile device malware/viruses are for the Google Android operating system, due to its market share and open-source architecture.
Pentastar Aviation’s new Class 1 iPad mount is a simple and effective way to secure an iPad for cockpit use. The new mount is made of a thick piece of injection-molded plastic, topped by simple one-turn locking cams that hold the iPad firmly and safely. The mount attaches to a smooth, flat surface such as a window with a large suction cup.
Harbinger Capital Partners and other entities associated with the LightSquared high-speed wireless Internet access system have filed a lawsuit against Deere & Company, Garmin International, Trimble Navigation, The U.S. GPS Industry Council and The Coalition to Save Our GPS.
While the FAA mandate to install ADS-B OUT equipment for aircraft flying in U.S. airspace by Jan. 1, 2020 (above 10,000 feet or in Class B or C airspace) is more than six years away, aircraft operating in some countries’ airspace must be compliant starting in December.
Garmin launched a G5000 avionics modernization program for the Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XP, targeted for FAA STC approval in 2015, that will be available at certain Garmin dealers. The company estimates that the glass cockpit retrofit for the light twinjet will cost between $450,000 and $500,000 installed. In addition to modernizing the flight deck, the new avionics package is lighter and thus raises the jet’s useful load by 200 pounds.
Aircell said its Gogo Biz service–launched in 2009 as an Internet-only service for the business aviation market–is expanding to include voice capabilities that will allow crewmembers and passengers to text and call in flight from their own smartphones, using their existing mobile numbers, starting October 1.
Russian airlines Aeroflot and UTair, along with leasing group Aviation Capital Services (ACS), have ordered 126 of Honeywell Aerospace’s avionics suites for various new aircraft that they have on order.