Satellite communications provider Satcom Direct, well known in the business aviation market, is expanding rapidly, investing in its capability and in a production ramp-up, and introducing service innovations as it prepares to open an office in Hong Kong to cover the Asian market.
Pilatus Business Aircraft has received an STC from the FAA for installation of Garmin G600 avionics in all pre-NG PC-12 turboprop singles, built between 1994 and 2008. The retrofit brings the modern flat-panel New Perspective system to the older aircraft in the form of a single 10-inch LCD screen that incorporates both the primary flight display and the multifunction display.
UK-based CAE Oxford Aviation Academy placed an order for 35 Piper airplanes today at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla. The agreement includes firm orders for 22 Archer TX piston singles and 13 piston twins, as well as parts and service.
Just before Sun ’n Fun Garmin (Booth No. D-034) unveiled a major update to its Garmin Pilot iPad app, dynamic maps drawn from a vector-based mapping database. The new dynamic maps allow for many improvements to Garmin Pilot, chief of which is labels always remaining upright in the new track-up mode as the airplane turns and the maps adjusts to the new direction.
Quest Aircraft is displaying one of its Kodiak turboprop singles with its newly certified Timberline interior this week at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla. The new interior features Kydex panels with composites, which will contribute to a weight reduction and thus improve the aircraft’s useful load.
Garmin’s release of a new version of its experimental G3X avionics system not only marks a major move into a big market but also the expansion of its Team X, a group of engineers and designers paving the way to new lower-cost products for experimental aircraft. The G3X system can be seen this week at Garmin’s booth (No. D-034) at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla.
Standards organization RTCA will establish a new group in the next several weeks to expedite the development of standards that will enable unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to fly in unrestricted airspace in the U.S. The new group—Special Committee 228—will further the work of an earlier group that is being discontinued because of concern over its slow progress.
Universal Avionics has completed helicopter vibration testing and approval for its UniLink UL-800/801 communications management unit (CMU), expanding the company’s line of products designed for the helicopter market. The UniLink UL-800/801 is an ACARS-compatible CMU that includes digital ATIS, pre-departure clearance, aircraft tracking, messaging, weather information and graphics. The system is also provisioned for the Aeronautical Telecommunications Network, providing a platform for future compliance with emerging datalink requirements.
The FAA’s new final rule allowing pilots to update navigation and avionics databases took effect on January 28. The rule covers “updating of databases used in self-contained, front-panel or pedestal-mounted navigation equipment.”
Satcom Direct held its 9th annual conference in early February, bringing together not only its own customers but also a variety of hardware manufacturers and other companies that benefit from and provide services via satcom. The conference grows every year and is evidence that the steady pace of satellite communications development has led to a greater variety of airborne telecom services–and even some reductions in pricing–for aircraft operators.