The recent commencement of low-altitude Customs and Immigration patrols by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) along the Arizona/Mexico border and the earlier nonstop, totally automated, transpacific and transatlantic flights above FL600 by the USAF’s Global Hawk (AIN, December, page 54) are strong signals that one day the altitude gap between these two will close, and we’ll have unmanned aircraft sharing our airspace. When will that day arrive?
Traffic Collision Avoidance System
A Safety Alert for Operators released this week by the FAA gives new insight into what might have been a contributing factor in the collision between an Embraer Legacy operated by ExcelAire and a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 over the Amazon jungle last September.
A recent Eurocontrol-sponsored VLJ workshop gave the agency and potential operators the opportunity to discuss the impact of the coming class of very light jets (VLJs) on the ATC system. While Eurocontrol suggests that the small jets will tax the system, representatives from the business aviation sector maintain that they will not have a dramatic impact on the system.
U.S. and European aviation authorities agree that air traffic will double, possibly even triple, by 2025, and air traffic managements worldwide are busy devising solutions to meet this challenge, with new technologies and new procedures expected to be introduced gradually in the next several years.
The scene was straight out of a science fiction movie. Thick coils of wire wound like serpents along the pale green walls. More wire slithered up from the floor in bundles as thick as rope. Part of an overhead instrument panel hung from the ceiling, suspended by yet more wires.
Cessna delivered the first Cessna Citation Encore+ last month, nearly five months after receiving FAA type certification. The company expects to deliver another 24 by year-end. The $8.1 million business jet seats between seven and 11 passengers and is equipped with fadec Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) PW535B engines, the newest member of P&WC’s PW500 line. The newest Encore also has more payload and new interior features.
The investigation into why an Embraer Legacy and Gol Airlines Boeing 737 collided over the Amazon jungle last September 29 isn’t expected to conclude for several months, but that hasn’t stopped Brazil’s Federal Police from recommending criminal prosecutions for ExcelAire pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino.
Phoenix-based Honeywell announced last month it had received TSO approval for phase IV, the latest version of the Primus Epic control display system/retrofit (CDS/R). The phase IV upgrade will allow the CDS/R to display electronic charts and maps, as well as satellite weather. In addition to the electronic charts and weather, Honeywell said the CDS/R offers an 8- by 10-inch full-color screen, GPS, satcom capability, TCAS and EGPWS.
Honeywell has gone on the record as saying that the transponders aboard the Embraer Legacy involved in September’s fatal midair with a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 were working properly at the time of the accident.
The first Cessna Citation Encore+ was delivered last week, nearly five months after receiving FAA type certification. The company expects to deliver another 24 by year-end, although it won’t divulge the number of airplanes ordered thus far. The $8.1 million business jet seats between seven and 11 passengers and is equipped with FADEC Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) PW535B engines, the newest member of P&WC’s PW500 line.