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.
Economy of the United States
For the second time in less than a month, a major Internet-related company has acquired a firm developing a high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS), which could serve as a node to provide Internet connectivity from the stratosphere.
Textron closed its $1.4 billion acquisition of Beechcraft on March 14, bringing together Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft to form Textron Aviation. Scott Ernest, Cessna’s president and CEO since 2011, was tapped to lead Textron Aviation as CEO. Meanwhile, Bill Boisture, Beechcraft’s chairman and CEO since 2009, was excluded from the Textron Aviation senior leadership team and “is moving on to new opportunities,” a Textron spokesman told AIN.
Bell Helicopter revealed at the end of March that it has sold three Bell 505 Jet Ranger Xs to China Star Aero Investment. The sale was made at Heli-Expo, held in Anaheim, California, in February, but not announced at the time. The agreement includes an option to purchase an additional seven aircraft.
Bell said that China Star Aero will use the new helicopter as part of the so-called “Beautiful China” tourism campaign. This will involve an aerial sightseeing initiative, which is supported by China’s central government.
Eclipse Aerospace of Albuquerque, N.M., delivered its sixth Eclipse 550 light twinjet this week at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. Purchased by an undisclosed customer in Chicago, the aircraft is on display throughout the show, which closes on Sunday evening. The Eclipse 550 was certified on February 28 and the first copy was delivered on March 12. “We think we can produce, sell and deliver 16 to 20 [550s] this year, and we’d like to do more than that in the future,” said Eclipse CEO Mason Holland.
Part parent company ARC Aerospace Industries recently acquired a majority interest in Maxair Ventures of Tucson, Ariz. Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Maxair Ventures will be providing Part with logistical support, along with the remarketing of ARC’s surplus parts inventories. Currently ARC owns parts inventories from Boeing 767s, 757s, 747s and 737s already torn down. This month ARC purchased a Boeing 737-400 and a 767-200 for teardown and parts distribution.
Textron closed its $1.4 billion acquisition of Beechcraft on March 14, bringing together Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft to form Textron Aviation. Scott Ernest, Cessna’s president and CEO since 2011, was tapped to lead Textron Aviation as CEO. Meanwhile, Bill Boisture, chairman and CEO of Beechcraft since 2009, was omitted from the Textron Aviation senior leadership team and “is moving on to new opportunities,” a Textron spokesman told AIN.
The NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP) and International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 284 executive boards launched the NetJets Unions Coalition last week, citing “minimal progress and unjustifiable demands” during ongoing contract talks. NJASAP represents the more than 3,000 NetJets pilots, while Local 284 represents some 500 NetJets dispatchers, flight attendants, maintenance controllers, mechanics and stock clerks.
Textron closed its $1.4 billion acquisition of Beechcraft on Friday, bringing together Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft to form Textron Aviation. While the two aircraft manufacturers are now combined within a single segment, “Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker will each remain distinct brands to preserve their rich histories and respective strengths in the marketplace,” the company said.
Phillips 66 Aviation has launched a rewards program that promises to help pilots save money while flying or even driving to the airport. Customers using Fly Savvy Rewards with their Phillips 66 Aviation personal card will receive per-gallon discounts at nearly 900 company-branded FBOs and thousands of Phillips 66, Conoco and 76 gas stations nationwide. Pilots will receive their savings as a fuel statement credit for up to 110 gallons every qualifying billing cycle.
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