Aircell will expand its Gogo Biz service to include voice capabilities beginning October 1. Gogo Biz was launched in 2009 as an Internet-only service in the business aviation market. Because Gogo Biz operates on Aircell’s air-to-ground technology, its voice calls are among the clearest in aviation, on par with mobile phone calls on the ground, the company claims.
Gulfstream Aerospace has appointed William Gibson as director of product support global distribution. In this newly created position, Gibson will manage all processes, procedures and operations related to the movement and warehousing of parts throughout the Gulfstream Product Support global distribution network. For the past 10 years Gibson worked for Honeywell, most recently as senior manager of customer operations for its space and defense segment.
For operators flying with cathode-ray tube RM-850 radio management units with screens that are getting hard to read, Honeywell is offering an upgrade to the RM-855 with a liquid-crystal display (LCD). While Honeywell bought a quantity of the RM-850 displays, “[that] stock has now become depleted,” according to the company. “Honeywell is no longer able to repair units with CRT failures.” The RM-855 is a form, fit and function replacement unit; however, it requires a new mating connector. The existing wires need to be re-pinned into the new connector.
Aircell, which currently owns and operates the Airfone air-to-ground telephone network, is on track to shut down the system at the end of this year. While some operators may hope that Aircell will keep Airfone running a bit longer so they can avoid having to replace their systems, Aircell has made it clear that Airfone is going away. According to John Wade, Aircell executive v-p and general manager, “The December 31, 2013, shutdown date is firm.
FlightSafety International announced a “significant” expansion of the training the company offers for Cessna Citations and Caravans at its learning centers in Orlando, Fla.; San Antonio and Wichita. This includes training for the full Citation Excel/XLS series in Orlando, including a new level-D XLS+ sim outfitted with Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics; addition of the only existing CJ2+ simulator in San Antonio; and a Cessna Caravan simulator equipped with a Garmin G600 avionics suite that just came online in Wichita.
Federal officials, as well as Maine state police officers, are still trying to locate the person or people using a portable transceiver to jam the Unicom frequency at Central Maine Airport of Norridgewock (KOWK), 27 miles north of Augusta. The interference began about two weeks ago. Federal officials believe someone is deliberately holding down the transmit key on the portable transceiver, effectively blocking radio communications for nearby aircraft.
The next steps toward wider introduction of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the U.S. airspace system were within line of sight as the industry gathered for its largest conference last month in Washington, D.C. Federal government officials said that a long-delayed proposed rulemaking for operations of small UAS weighing up to 55 pounds will be released by the end of the year. Also by year-end, the FAA will designate six UAS test ranges in a program sought by 24 states.
Garmin launched a G5000 avionics modernization program for the Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XP, targeted for FAA STC approval in 2015, that will be available at certain Garmin dealers. The company estimates that the glass cockpit retrofit for the light twinjet will cost between $450,000 and $500,000 installed. In addition to modernizing the flight deck, the new avionics package is lighter and thus raises the jet’s useful load by 200 pounds.
The first production copy of the Cessna Citation M2, an updated CJ1+ with Garmin G3000 avionics, logged its maiden flight from Cessna Aircraft’s Independence, Kan. facility on Friday. It reached altitudes up to 17,500 feet during the two-hour sortie. The M2, which was announced in September 2011, is expected to receive FAA certification in the fourth quarter.
Chromalloy has entered into a repair license and supplier agreement with Honeywell. The 10-year agreement covers aircraft engine components and engineering services for parts, and special coating processes.
Chromalloy will repair and manufacture gas path components and provide thermal barrier coatings and other materials for aircraft engines.Under the repair license agreement the company will perform repairs and provide material support for Honeywell and the engines and mechanical systems currently operated by its customers around the world.