Erickson Air-Crane and Stilwell Baker Inc. (SBI) have jointly developed and certified a modernized automatic flight control system (AFCS) for the Sikorsky S-64F heavy-lift helicopter, using an unusual reversal of the all-digital approach to avionics. Erickson has contracted with SBI for the latter to supply production AFCS hardware to equp the 16 S-64s in the Erickson fleet.
Stories about organic light-emitting diode (Oled) monitors began to sprout about five years ago. Since then, the technology has advanced, albeit slowly, as the screens began appearing on smartphones and tablets and cabin control devices. Now, LG Electronics has launched a 55-inch Oled television panel, and it won’t be long before someone will have it certified for installation on business jets.
Flight Display Systems president David Gray and director of international sales Nick Gray were at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week in Las Vegas scouting new technologies that could be brought into the aircraft cabin, including 3-D flat-screen TVs, organic LED displays and holographic displays. The pair produced a video highlighting the new products they found interesting on the show floor at CES 2012.
Phoenix Heliparts and Aspen Avionics, manufacturer of the Evolution flight display system, are preparing to receive an FAA supplemental type certificate for the installation of Aspen’s H-series primary flight displays (PFD) and multifunction flight displays (MFD) in the MD500. Aspen’s H-series PFD and MFD systems are designed and manufactured specifically for the helicopter operational environment.
Following developmental issues with the Joint Strike Fighter’s helmet display that were raised earlier this year, the F-35 Joint Program Office is faced with making a decision this summer on whether to procure an interim helmet/display to use with standard night-vision goggles.
PS Engineering has found a big market for the small package that is its PAV80 audio/video entertainment system.
Cessna Citation engine retrofit specialist Sierra Industries of Uvalde, Texas, has taken a step into the avionics realm with a new program to engineer an integrated digital Garmin glass cockpit upgrade for legacy Cessna Citation 501s.
Sure, it’s fun to think about how far aviation–and in particular the avionics field–has come in the last 100 years. But the technology innovations of the last century will pale in comparison with what we’re likely to witness in the next 20 years, researchers predict.
Thales Aerospace is busy developing the flight decks for the Sukhoi Superjet 100, ATR 600 series, Sikorsky S-76D and Airbus A350 at its Toulouse facility. At the same time, the company is working to visualize what the cockpit of a next-generation widebody might look like 20 years from now. The biggest potential breakthrough from this could be single pilot operations for commercial aircraft.
Pilots now have many choices for viewing approach plates, arrival and departure charts and airport diagrams in the cockpit, from traditional paper to electronic flight bags (EFBs), built-in avionics and a plethora of devices from Apple’s new iPad to handheld computers, Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader and other devices adapted to the task.