With the continuing strains on the U.S. national budget and the possibility that the Administration’s sequestration program could last for several more years, Pentagon planners are said to be worrying that the costs of the future GPS III system could become out of reach, despite its major advances and the need to have modernized replacement satellites ready to be deployed as the orbital lives of current satellites end.
When former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced formation of the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee (FAAC) in 2010, he promised that efforts of the 19-member group would not languish on a shelf and be forgotten like the work of several other aviation panels over the past two decades. So how’d he do?
Avionics maker Avidyne updated the status of new programs, including its integrated flight display (IFD) “hybrid touch” 540/440 system, here at EAA AirVenture Monday. CEO Dan Schwinn said the company anticipates certification for the system by year-end.
The July 24 report by the United Arab Emirates’ General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) on the Sept. 3, 2010, crash of a UPS Boeing 747 in Dubai urges operators of the Boeing freighter to consider the role aircraft vibrations and the acoustical energy they generate might play in onboard lithium-ion battery fires. While GCAA investigators suspect an onboard battery fire brought down the aircraft, they did not pinpoint the cause in their conclusions.
Thousands of flight department employees, such as aircraft maintenance technicians, will be required by December 1 to take U.S. government-mandated hazardous material (hazmat) training to help them identify and protect themselves against potentially hazardous materials and situations.
The U.S. Court of Appeals has unanimously upheld the FAA’s right to impose the mandatory overwater North Shore Route on helicopter traffic over New York’s Long Island. Writing for the Court, U.S. circuit judge Richard Roberts rejected a legal challenge (petition for review) to the route filed by the Helicopter Association International to overturn the mandate.
As part of a growing suite of noise- and pollution-control measures, France’s Nice Cote D’ Azur Airport will invest in the installation of a new underground power system that will reduce business jets’ dependency on auxiliary power units on the ramp. The system, the first of its kind in Europe, provides hatches under each aircraft engine start-up stand for access to a centralized power and heating/cooling system, greatly reducing the number of APU operation hours, as well as reducing exhaust emissions. The $2.7 million project is expected to begin this summer.
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) announced a two-year collaborative research agreement with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on June 19 to carry out widespread fatigue damage assessment for the JAXA curved fuselage panel tests. The partnership is considered a cost-effective way to study widespread fatigue issues on an aircraft’s main pressure vessel. The tests are ultimately designed to improve air safety by creating evaluation technology capable of maintaining the structural integrity of new and aging civilian aircraft.
Offshore oil helicopter operator Bristow Group is retrofitting all 44 of its helicopters with Rockwell Collins Tcas II systems. Working with the avionics manufacturer, Bristow has already retrofitted the Collins TTR-4000 Tcas II system on 24 of its helicopters. Within the next year Rockwell Collins is to install its next-generation TTR-4100, which adds traffic computer capability and enables ADS-B IN applications, on 20 of Bristow’s helicopters.
On its third test flight, the Airbus A350XWB flew past President Francois Hollande this afternoon on the final business day of the 2013 Paris Air Show. After two hours of cruise flight tests, the new aircraft made a curving descent toward Runway 27 for a single flyby.