Speaking to the foreign affairs and defense committee of Japan’s upper house, defense minister Itsunori Onodera has confirmed that the Mitsubishi ATD-X (advanced technology demonstrator - experimental) future fighter demonstrator is on course to fly later this year, albeit with a slight delay. Originally to have been unveiled to the media in May, the ATD-X is now a few months behind schedule, but should be revealed later in 2014 with a first flight to follow soon afterwards.
Satcom1 announced the recent activation of its AvioIP advanced router software on an Emteq eConnect airborne router installed on a Global Express.
Banyan Air Service, based at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport in Florida, recently completed installing a dual Garmin 600 glass cockpit upgrade on a Pilatus PC-12. The project included a Garmin GTN-750, GTN-650, GMA-350 and dual GTX-330 transponders. The installations were performed using both Garmin and Pilatus STCs.
Honeywell (Booth P310) announced yesterday at ABACE 2014 that it has expanded its Asia-Pacific aftermarket support efforts, thanks to an agreement with Bombardier’s Singapore service center, which will offer retrofit, modification and upgrade (RMU) services for Honeywell products.
Associated Air Center (AAC) has received STC approval for Boeing 737 (-300 through -900ER) Wi-Fi solutions for the Satcom Direct Router (SDR). The dual-band unit can manage multiple systems such as Swift64, SwiftBroadband, Ku band, Ka band and X band both airborne and on the ground. The SDR also has a 3G cellular service feature for use on the ground. The system can be integrated with existing platforms and systems manufactured by Cobham, Thrane & Thrane, Honeywell and Rockwell Collins.
Satcom1, a satellite communications service provider, announced the recent activation of its AvioIP advanced router software on an Emteq eConnect airborne router installed on a Bombardier Global Express. This upgrade, installed by Ruag Aerospace Services, was certified by EASA and validated by the FAA and Transport Canada, according to Satcom1, “the first-ever installation of such advanced features on [the] Global Express.”
As in many parts of the world, the helicopter industry in China continues growing steadily and is not as subject to economic ups and downs that frequently hamper the fixed-wing segment of aviation. According to Chris Jaran, managing director of Bell Helicopter China, who spoke at yesterday’s Helicopter Operations seminar at ABACE 2014, it’s a well-kept secret that the helicopter fleet in China has averaged a 20-percent increase from 2009 through 2014, from 227 to 465 aircraft (of which 35 percent are piston-powered and 65 percent turbine).
The next major step in satellite communication services will be the deployment of Inmarsat’s new Ka-band GX (Global Xpress) satellite constellation. Satellite service provider Satcom Direct (Booth P212) has ordered 10 shipsets of the new satcom system for its business aviation clients. The three Inmarsat-5 satellites are scheduled to be in orbit by the end of this year, and GX Aviation services should start in the first half of 2015.
Carey Matthews (left), general manager Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Centre (SHPBASC, Booth H128) receives a plaque from Brad Thress, senior v-p Customer Service, Textron Aviation (Chalet 13), identifying SHPBASC as an authorized Cessna Service Center.
“We’re privileged to service Cessnas around China,” Matthews said.
Textron Aviation, which includes Cessna, Beechcraft, and support services for Hawker jets, no longer in production, has some 325 of its products in China, encompassing about 200 piston, 70 turboprop and 50 jet aircraft.
Last year Avion Pacific celebrated its 20th anniversary at the ABACE show in Shanghai, and since then the company has performed even better than company founder Wu Zhengdong expected. “Last year was the best ever for us,” he said.
Avion Pacific, headquartered in Shenzhen, sold seven Sikorsky S-92 and nine S-76D helicopters and half a dozen Beechcraft King Airs last year. Deliveries of the helicopters will take place this year.
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