FltPlan is now offering up-to-date fuel price information for more than 3,300 FBOs on its website and mobile apps. The fuel price listing is designed to offer pilots a single source to ascertain fuel prices. The fuel prices appear on FltPlan’s “airport/FBO” or the “area fuel prices” pages. Pilots can also view pricing on the free FltPlan iPad and Android apps online or offline.
The FAA said Thursday that passengers will soon be able to use their personal electronic devices during all phases of aircraft operation, including takeoff and landing. Each airline will decide how best to implement the agency’s approval. Use of cellphones for communication will remain banned, however, as will all use of devices during certain airport low-visibility conditions.
With Magnastar system service set to be discontinued next month, Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport-based Banyan Air Service is urging operators to plan their upgrades soon, warning that the number of qualified shops and available equipment is nearing capacity. There are approximately 1,100 Magnastar operators.
Two faculty members from Penn State’s vertical-lift research center of excellence were honored recently at the fourth annual International Basic Research Conference on Rotorcraft Technology in Tianjin, China. Professor Edward Smith and research associate Jianhua Zhang were honored for their paper, “Influence of Aeroelasticity Tailored Wing Extensions and Winglets on Whirl Flutter Stability.” The research was underwritten by the National Rotorcraft Technology Center and the NASA Ames Research Center.
Canadian avionics installation company Maxcraft Avionics has received supplemental type certificates for installation of a variety of Garmin products in the Beechcraft King Air 200 and B200. The STCs cover Garmin’s new digital GWX 70 weather radar, GTS 850 Tcas I and GTX 330 mode-S transponder as well as Bendix/King’s KR87 ADF and PS Engineering’s PMA-7000 audio system. Maxcraft, which is based in Vancouver, also holds approvals for installation of Garmin primary and multifunction displays, and the new STC’d products can be installed along with the displays.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) awarded Rockwell Collins a three-year contract worth up to $3.1 million to develop a new transmitter that will reduce the size, weight, power and cost of software-defined radios. The Rockwell Collins method uses “diverse accessible heterogeneous integration foundry technology” to “prevent unwanted harmonics from occurring in the first place.” This would eliminate the need for heavier and larger transmitters with filtering to prevent the unwanted signals, thus making it possible to shrink the devices.
Dynon’s portable backup attitude indicator product line has added the D2, a unit with built-in Wi-Fi that can deliver data to compatible iPad apps and other devices. Dynon’s first portable backup D1 now costs $1,195, while the D2 retails for $1,425. The D2, with an integral attitude-heading reference system and GPS receiver, displays attitude, turn rate, slip/skid and GPS groundspeed, altitude, vertical speed and ground track. A second page on the D2 displays a G-meter.
EmptyLegMarket has added two new capabilities to its online clearinghouse for charter flights with empty seats that are available to generate revenue. The first, an Apple iOS app that allows users to bid on a price for potential empty legs, went live in early August. The newest EmptyLegMarket feature is integration of its scheduling software with other charter scheduling systems.
One of the air traffic management systems least well known to pilots is multilateration, sometimes called MLat, or multilat, or WAM (for wide-area multilateration).
Blue Sky Network’s portable HawkEyeLink Bluetooth interface is now able to transmit electronic forms such as a flight plan, a passenger manifest or a maintenance request. HawkEyeLink enables Blue Sky Network’s D1000 Iridium/GSM transceiver (originally designed for the operator to track its helicopters) to connect to iOS devices (iPhone and iPad). The new capability allows users to download forms to the iOS device at the operator’s base via Wi-Fi, and then complete and transmit them in flight.