With the increasing use of BlackBerrys, iPhones and other personal electronic devices, business aircraft operators now have several options for full-time air-to-ground communication using smartphones in the cabin. But geting the FAA to sign off on a Wi-Fi installation can be a major undertaking, equipment makers complain.
Part and subassembly specialist Figeac Aero is a first-time exhibitor here at the Farnborough airshow (Hall 1 Stand A15), with the news that it is expanding its activities to include hard metal machining. After having been badly hit by the economy last year, the French company hopes revenues are back on an ascending curve.
Snecma and GE Aviation are developing new materials to make future engines lighter and improve their efficiency. In the works are alloys using exotic metals such as niobium, and composites using organic, ceramic or metal matrices. The two companies will employ these technologies for the Leap-X engine they are developing under their CFM joint venture (Hall 4 Stand B13) and possibly for other projects.
Satellite communications service provider Satcom Direct has expanded its portfolio of exclusive add-ons and upgrades to the point where some customers might have a hard time keeping up with all the changes. Fortunately for them, the company hosts an annual customer conference aimed at bringing users up to speed.
The American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and National Air Transportation Association (NATA) both recently submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on proposed new rules for limiting de-icing fluid runoff at commercial airports. The EPA proposal would establish standards for the amount of aircraft de-icing fluid that airports must recapture and prevent from entering wastewater runoff.
International Water-Guard has marked some highlight events recently, among them delivery of its 2,000th water treatment unit (for installation in a Dassault 2000LX) and delivery of the first of the new IWG-A6 unit to Gulfstream Aerospace for the new G650.
The Department of Transportation released a safety advisory in the Federal Register last month warning of potential dangers posed by carrying lithium batteries on board commercial passenger and cargo aircraft.
Bombardier Challenger 300 operators now have a choice of replacing the jet’s original nickel-cadmium main ship battery with a new Concorde RG-441 lead-acid battery. The FAA has awarded Concorde (Booth No. 2039) a supplemental type certificate (STC No. ST01488WI) for installation of the RG-441 lead-acid battery.
Charter broker Mercury Jet Charter is offering one-way charter rates under its new Mercury Express program. Mercury will sell the entire aircraft or empty legs for rates starting at $4,500. Typical one-way rates include a coast-to-coast Citation X for $21,000, and a light jet from New York to South Florida starting at $7,000.
Satellite communications capabilities on board commercial aircraft have advanced rapidly in recent years with airline passengers using broadband Internet, WiFi, text messaging and mobile phones in flight and now business aircraft users are starting to reap the rewards.