July 27, 2011

Avidyne joins Aspen, Honeywell, Boeing-Jeppesen and several other key companies that have all committed to building products and applications that will be enabled with the newly-announced Connected Panel™ open architecture.
EAA AirVenture – OSHKOSH – July 27, 2011– Avidyne Corporation, a leading provider of integrated avionics and safety systems for general aviation aircraft, today announced they are collaborating with Aspen Avionics of Albuquerque and a growing to develop new products that are enabled to take advantage of Aspen’s new Connected™ Panel technology. The two companies previously announced and are currently developing an interface between Avidyne’s DFC90 digital autopilot and Aspen’s EFD1000 flight display system.
“Avidyne is pleased to join Aspen and the growing list of Connected Panel™ partner companies who are developing innovative and exciting new products for general aviation pilots,” said Dan Schwinn, Avidyne President and CEO.
“Avidyne joins the growing list of certified avionics companies that recognize the value and have committed to building products that will leverage this new, innovative architecture,” says John Uczekaj, President and CEO of Aspen Avionics. “We are excited to have them on board.”

About Connected Panel™
Connected™ Panel is a new open-platform architecture and technology that is designed to create new and exciting cockpit products that seamlessly integrate aviation application data from personal handheld devices with certified avionics installed in an aircraft’s panel.. Avidyne joins other partner companies as announced by Aspen earlier today, including AvConnect, ForeFlight; Honeywell, Jeppesen, JP Instruments, Parrot, Pinnacle Aerospace, PS Engineering, Seattle Avionics, and Sporty’s Pilot Shop, as companies that have all committed to collaborate on building products and applications that will be Connected Panel Enabled™.

PiperJet Altaire Manufacturing Starts; Mockup on US Tour

July 25, 2011

OSHKOSH, Wis., July 25, 2011 – Piper Aircraft has started fabrication and assembly will begin in August of the first conforming flight test article of the company’s new and efficient single engine Altaire business jet. Inaugural flight of the conforming PiperJet Altaire will be in 2013 with certification and deliveries in 2014.

“The Altaire is pioneering the single-engine business jet, just like the Piper Meridian and other single-engine turboprops have proven in rigorous worldwide use that the fundamental efficiencies and safety of centerline thrust aircraft deliver the greatest value to owners and operators,” said Piper President and CEO Geoffrey Berger.

Underlying Commitment
“The advantage that Piper has over other manufacturers with an interest in a single-engine jet is a solid underlying commitment by Imprimis, the owner of the company, to appropriately fund the program and see it through to successful completion,” Berger says. Currently Piper has assigned nearly 200 engineers and production staff to deliver on the promise of an entry-level business jet with the economics of a turboprop and the cabin size and capabilities of a much larger business jet.

In addition to starting assembly of the first conforming flight test article, later this year Piper will begin fabrication and assembly of a structural test article, which will eventually be joined by three additional flying conforming test aircraft to become part of the certification program. Also part of the FAA certification program will be a bird strike canopy and a fuel cell/vibration test wing. Construction of all of these articles will be underway during 2012.

The company is in the midst of a $5.6 million program in building improvements to ready facilities at its Vero Beach, Fla. manufacturing and headquarters campus for necessary production, final assembly, completion and deliveries. Recently it named Altaire Chief of Production Michael Dow to oversee the manufacturing of the business jet.

The Piper Altaire maximum range is targeted at 1,300 nautical miles with a maximum cruise speed planned at 360 knots. The airplane’s range is 1,200 nautical miles with a payload of 800 pounds. Price point for a typically equipped aircraft is $2.6 million. The Piper Altaire costs an average of 25 percent less to operate per hour than comparable production very light jets.

PiperJet Altaire Tour Stops
A mockup of the PiperJet Altaire is on display at the Piper EAA AirVenture 2011 Exhibit, #140. The Wisconsin stop is part of a continuing North American tour of the Altaire mockup at various aviation venues and presentations by Piper dealers so that customers and prospective customers can experience for themselves the spacious cabin and cockpit. For detailed information regarding times and locations, please contact Piper or visit: www.piper.com

PiperJet Altaire Mockup Exhibit Schedule

August 5-9, Englewood, Colo.

August 11-14, Colorado Springs, Colo.

August 18-20, Salt Lake City, Utah

August 26, Seattle, Wash

August 30, Portland, Ore.

September 7, San Carlos, Calif.

October 10-12, NBAA, Las Vegas, Nev.

October 19, Van Nuys, Calif.

October 21, Santa Ana, Calif.

October 23, Carlsbad, Calif.

The quiet revolution: the new S1 Digital pilot’s headset from Sennheiser combines intelligent noise cancellation technology with maximum comfort

July 25, 2011

Oshkosh, WI – July 25, 2011 – At EAA Air Venture Oshkosh, audio specialist Sennheiser is presenting the S1 Digital, an innovative aviation headset with fully adaptive digital noise cancellation. NoiseGard™ / digital noise canceling technology accurately analyzes the surrounding situation at the push of a button to achieve uniquely superior results in noise cancellation. The premium headset features high wearing comfort – with adjustable contact pressure for the ear cups and a special comfort zone for glasses – as well as a Bluetooth interface and clear voice transmission with a user customizable treble boost function. The headset is rounded off by a stylish design by BMW Group DesignworksUSA.

NoiseGard™ / digital adaptive noise canceling technology
“The new Sennheiser S1 Digital is in the truest sense a quiet revolution in the General Aviation Headsets product segment. It is a pilot’s headset with fully adaptive digital noise cancellation and many user customizable features,” explained David Dunlap, Director Sennheiser Aviation. For the pilots, this means that the headset no longer uses fixed filters and assumed values like conventional ANR systems but can continuously be optimized for changing noise conditions, for example during take-off and when cruising altitude has been reached. In this way, the S1 Digital offers optimum protection for the pilot’s hearing.

By pressing the Smart Update button integrated into the ear cup, the adaptive NoiseGard™ / digital circuitry measures the spectrum and intensity of surrounding noises and applies individual filters that are perfectly adapted to the situation. “At the core of the new noise canceling technology is a particularly powerful digital signal processor,” explained Jörg Buchberger, Business Segment Manager Aviation. “This processor generates a filter algorithm that specifically reduces the dominant noise proportions.” Fully adaptive noise cancellation is additionally supported by excellent passive noise attenuation.

Safe and reliable communication
The new S1 Digital was specially developed for use in single-engine and twin-engine propeller planes and helicopters. Its high speech intelligibility optimizes communication in the cockpit and with air traffic control (ATC). As a person’s perception of higher frequencies begins to diminish in their mid-thirties, the S1 Digital has a three-stage treble boost that is separately adjustable for each side and which focuses on speech. In addition, pilots can adapt the sound pressure level individually to their own hearing ability. As in all Sennheiser headsets, the Peak Level Protection feature reliably protects the pilot’s hearing against volume peaks above 110 dB. The boom microphone also helps to ensure clear intelligibility. It compensates for surrounding noise and guarantees clear speech transmission with a frequency response of 100 to 10,000 Hz.

The S1 Digital from Sennheiser is a comfortable pilot’s headset with fully adaptive digital noise canceling technology and a Bluetooth interface (click on image for hi-res)
Audio quality and operating comfort
The name Sennheiser has been synonymous with top-quality audio for more than 65 years. And the S1 Digital is no exception. It not only offers the best sound quality for cockpit communication, it also offers superior sound when used for listening to music. The headphones have a frequency response of 20 to 16,000 Hz. Using a Bluetooth interface on the control unit, the headset can be connected for example to an MP3 player, a computer or a mobile phone. “To bring out the best from the different audio sources, the headset has two separate audio mixers for communication and music,” said Jörg Buchberger. “The ATC signal and mobile phone are reproduced with a narrower band for high speech intelligibility, whereas music is played with a broader bandwidth to provide an excellent sound experience during the flight.”

External devices are conveniently controlled via an intuitive interface. If the mobile phone rings, the music is interrupted, an LED on the control unit flashes and the pilot is given an additional audio signal in the headphones. Calls are taken simply by pushing a button. The ATC signal is always given priority. If Bluetooth and NoiseGard™ / digital are used simultaneously, the headset has an operating period of more than 25 hours.

The design of the headset was developed by Sennheiser in cooperation with BMW Group DesignworksUSA. Special emphasis was placed on functional details that positively influence the flying experience. A completely new feature is the headset’s individually adjustable contact pressure. “Pilots can now adjust the contact pressure of the ear cups in three stages between five and seven newtons. This enables them to find the perfect balance between a comfortable fit and optimum passive noise attenuation,” explained Jörg Buchberger. Also new are the ear cushions with a soft, flexible zone for the temple arms of glasses to provide extra comfort when wearing (sun) glasses. The design is rounded off by the attractive shape of the headband and ear cups that is reminiscent of the sweep of a wing.

The S1 Digital headset comes complete with a carrying case, a belt clip, a windshield, a cable clip, a user’s manual and a quick-reference guide, and will be delivered to Sennheiser’s worldwide sales partners beginning this month.

Donaldson Certifies Engine Inlet Filter System for AgustaWestland AW109E/S/SP

July 21, 2011

St. Louis, Mo., July 20, 2011 – Donaldson Aerospace & Defense, a division of Donaldson Company, Inc. (NYSE: DCI), has received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for an Inlet Barrier Filter (IBF) system for the AgustaWestland AW109 Power, Grand, Grand New (E/S/SP) helicopters. This new IBF prevents engine damage in adverse and ramp environments alike. AW109 Power and Grand operators will also benefit from reduced operating costs, without experiencing performance or drag penalties.

Developed with the assistance of AgustaWestland, the new IBF is a drop-in system with minimal installation impact. Features include streamlined conformal filter assemblies on each side, mounted into the existing engine cowl. As with all certified Donaldson IBFs, the system includes an alternate inlet air bypass system, mounted and hidden within the AW109 upper aft fairing. This emergency bypass capability is an important IBF feature, not included with particle separator alternatives. The IBF does not interfere with the sliding door on either configuration, and the filter design allows for quick removal and service.

A simple compact cockpit switch, common with existing Donaldson certified systems, allows indication and activation of the bypass system. And, as with all Donaldson IBFs, an integral Filter Maintenance Aid allows for on-condition inspections pre- and post-flight. A new access panel has been added for easy access to the bypass system and maintenance aid so both pilots and ground crew can perform quick and simple pre-flight assessments.

Providing the most comprehensive line of IBF solutions, Donaldson Aerospace & Defense is the industry leader in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance engine IBF systems for commercial and military propulsion systems. Through its St. Louis, Missouri location, Donaldson provides certified IBF solutions for the AgustaWestland AW119 Koala, AW119Ke and AW139; Bell 205A1, 206B, 407, 206L-3/4, 206L-1(C30), 429 and 430; Eurocopter EC130, AS350 B/BA/B1/B2/B3, AS350s with Soloy or Heli-Lynx Honeywell engine conversions; and MD Helicopters MD 369H Series, MD 500D/E/F and MD 900/902.

Sikorsky Aerospace Services Advances State-of-the-Art BLACK HAWK Training Center in Colombia

July 6, 2011

July 6, 2011

RIO NEGRO, Colombia – Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS) announced today that construction of a new UH-60 BLACK HAWK Helicopter Flight Simulator Training Center at the Colombian Air Force Base in Melgar is well under way and on schedule for completion this year. A premier training center for rotary wing aircraft, the facility will further improve the operational readiness of the Colombian Armed Services whose BLACK HAWK fleet ranks among the world’s largest. Sikorsky Aerospace Services is the aftermarket business of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

Based on the agreement reached last year with the Colombian Ministry of Defense, the facility will offer a full motion, high fidelity BLACK HAWK helicopter simulator to support pilot and flight crew training for the Colombian Armed Services and Sikorsky military customers throughout Latin America. The simulator is FAA Level D rated – the highest qualification currently available. Equipped with industry leading electric motion and control loading technology, it will offer a highly detailed cockpit replication of all controls and aircraft systems including wide-field outside-world visual systems. All components are mounted on six degree-of-freedom motion platforms that respond to pilot control movements and external aerodynamic factors.

“Colombia is a very important BLACK HAWK customer, and we are dedicated to furthering in-country aftermarket services. Earlier this year, we expanded our service platform to include a maintenance support team. And currently, we are advancing depot capabilities for crash and battle damaged aircraft. This training facility represents another major milestone toward our overall commitment to Sikorsky customers in Latin America,” said David Adler, SAS President.

The BLACK HAWK simulator will be housed in a special purpose facility currently under construction. Overseeing the project is Corporacion de la Industria Aeronautica de Colombia (CIAC), the acquisition arm of the Colombian Ministry of Defense. Scheduled to be fully operational by the last quarter of this year, the training center will be staffed with two experienced BLACK HAWK pilots serving as simulator operators and three maintenance personnel to maintain the simulator in optimum operational state.

Donaldson Receives Transport Canada Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for Engine Inlet Filter System for AgustaWestland AW139 Helicopters

July 6, 2011

St. Louis, Mo., July 5, 2011 – Donaldson Aerospace & Defense, a division of Donaldson Company, Inc. (NYSE: DCI), has received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from Transport Canada (TC) for an Inlet Barrier Filter (IBF) system for the AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter. The IBF prevents engine damage in adverse and ramp environments alike, and is also compatible with the AW139 Full Ice Protection System (FIPS).

With this IBF solution, Canadian AW139 operators will experience reduced operating costs by eliminating engine damage and, at the same time, maintain operating performance equivalent to basic inlet charts.

The new AW139 IBF system features low profile conformal fore and aft fairings with dual filter assemblies mounted on the existing engine doors, creating a sealed intake plenum. As with all certified Donaldson IBFs, the AW139 system includes an alternate inlet air bypass system. This emergency bypass capability is an important IBF feature and is not included in most traditional sand filters and particle separators. A simple compact cockpit switch allows indication and activation of the bypass system. An integral Filter Maintenance Aid also allows for on-condition inspections, pre- and post-flight, to assist in mission planning and visual inspection of filter condition.

Providing the most comprehensive line of IBF solutions, Donaldson Aerospace & Defense is the industry leader in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance engine IBF systems for commercial and military propulsion systems. Through its St. Louis, Missouri location, Donaldson provides certified IBF solutions for the AgustaWestland AW119 Koala, AW119Ke and AW139, Bell 205A1, 206B, 407, 206L-3/4, 206L-1(C30), 429 and 430; Eurocopter EC130, AS350 B/BA/B1/B2/B3, AS350s with Soloy or Heli-Lynx Honeywell engine conversions and MD Helicopters MD 369H Series, MD 500D/E/F and MD 900/902. Donaldson is developing the world’s only IBF for the AgustaWestland AW109E/S/SP series helicopters.

Mexican State of Jalisco to Purchase S-70i™ BLACK HAWK Helicopter

June 21, 2011

June 21, 2011

PARIS – Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. today announced the contract to sell one S-70i BLACK HAWK helicopter to the state of Jalisco in Mexico. With the sale, Jalisco will become the first state in Mexico to acquire its own BLACK HAWK helicopter. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).

Jalisco is one of 31 states in Mexico, and borders the state of Michoacan, a high-risk area in President Calderon’s war on drugs and organized crime. With the Pan American Games to be hosted in Jalisco’s capital of Guadalajara later this year, the BLACK HAWK helicopter acquisition is part of a state initiative to increase safety and security in advance of this world event.

Jalisco’s interest in the BLACK HAWK helicopter was spurred by the effective deployment of BLACK HAWK aircraft by the Mexico Federal Police over the last few years. The Mexico Federal Police have been flying BLACK HAWK helicopters since 2008, using them as a tool for drug interdiction and to help fight organized crime and corruption.

“An aircraft of this quality and value is a big investment for a state,” said Luis Carlos Najera Guittierrez de Velasco, Secretario de Seguridad Publica of Jalisco. “The functionality and performance of this S-70i helicopter means that Jalisco now has a new and valuable tool to support our policing in the region.”

The BLACK HAWK helicopter has garnered a solid reputation in Mexico as being a battle-proven, reliable aircraft for a variety of dangerous and important missions. Just three years ago, there were only six BLACK HAWK helicopters in all of Mexico. By the end of 2011, that number is expected to increase to 23, including those to be acquired by Jalisco, the Federal Police, the Air Force, and the Mexican Navy, who will receive three BLACK HAWK helicopters from the U.S. Department of State as part of the Merida Initiative later this year.

“The faith that the country of Mexico has in this product is driven by the success of the BLACK HAWK helicopters used by the Mexico Federal Police and the Mexican Air Force. Ballistic tolerant, rugged, and easy to maintain – these are the qualities of the BLACK HAWK helicopter that our Mexican customers have asked for and received in the aircraft they are flying and continue to order,” said Adam Schierholz, Regional Sales Director, Sikorsky Mexico.

The S-70i helicopter is the newest BLACK HAWK variant, being produced for the international market. The aircraft was built at Sikorsky’s PZL Mielec facility in Poland, the final assembly center and production test flight hub of the S-70i helicopter program.

The S-70i BLACK HAWK helicopter incorporates the latest technology with advanced features such as a fully integrated digital cockpit with a dual digital automatic flight control system and coupled flight director. It also features an active vibration control system that will smooth the overall ride of the aircraft. The dual GPS/INS system with digital map provides accurate and redundant navigation for the most demanding of tactical environments. Customers around the world will benefit from the aircraft’s modern, robust aircraft configuration and ability to leverage existing interoperability with Sikorsky’s worldwide fleet of BLACK HAWK helicopters.

Brazil’s Azul signs contract for 10 additional ATR 72-600s

June 21, 2011

The airline has ordered a total of 30 firm ATRs since the last year

European turboprop manufacturer ATR and Brazil’s Azul Linhas Aéreas today signed a contract for the purchase of 10 additional ATR 72-600 aircraft, valued at some 227 US$ million. The deal is the conversion into firm orders of 10 of the 20 options inked in the contract that both companies announced at Farnborough Airshow last year. This conversion brings to 30 the total fleet of ATR 72-600s to be operated by the carrier. Deliveries of the first ATR -600 series aircraft of Azul Linhas Aéreas are scheduled in October 2011.

These additional aircraft will also be equipped with the newest technological developments that make the ATR -600s the reference in regional aviation: new avionics suite with latest generation glass cockpit, redesigned and stylish cabin interiors and enhanced engine performance and payload. With their 10 additional ATR 72-600, Azul Linhas Aéreas will further develop its vast regional network.

There are currently some 50 ATRs in operation in Brazil, and some 120 in the whole Latin America. This continent represents around 20% of the current ATR’s backlog.

David Neeleman, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Azul Linhas Aéreas, declared: “We are pleased to announce the purchase of 10 new aircraft. This reinforces our confidence in the product and our partnership with ATR”.

Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, said: “The success of Azul Linhas Aereas is also contributing to consolidate our strong presence in Brazil and in the whole region. ATRs are becoming real popular aircraft in Brazil, one of the most dynamic markets around the world. We are convinced there is a potential to double, in the short term, the total ATR aircraft fleet operating in the country.”

Bombardier’s Global Vision Flight Deck Gets Green Light from Transport Canada

June 6, 2011

Global Vision flight deck is industry’s first to feature synthetic vision on HUD

MONTREAL, QUEBEC–(Marketwire – June 3, 2011) -

Editor’s note: A photo is associated with this press release.

Bombardier Aerospace announced that today, its Global Vision flight deck was granted certification from Transport Canada (TC).

“This is an important milestone, as aircraft equipped with the Global Vision flight deck can now be granted a certificate of airworthiness,” said Stephane Leblanc, Vice President and General Manager, Global Aircraft, Bombardier Business Aircraft. “To date, we have completed over 600 hours of flight testing and are progressing full throttle towards certification of specific advanced features, such as the incorporation of enhanced vision and synthetic vision on the head-up display.”

Bombardier Aerospace and Rockwell Collins will be the first to certify synthetic vision on a head-up display (HUD) as part of the Pro Line Fusion avionics system on the Global Vision flight deck. In April 2011, Rockwell Collins announced it obtained all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Technical Standard Orders for its Pro Line Fusion avionics suite, the first application of which will be featured in the Global Vision flight deck.

Certification from the FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency are expected to follow later this year. Entry-into-service is on schedule for early 2012.

The Global Vision flight deck will be featured on Global 5000 and Global 6000 jets.

Global Vision flight deck: A breakthrough in business aviation, the Global Vision flight deck is designed to deliver a completely new cockpit experience. By combining the best in technological advancements with superior designer aesthetics, it provides pilots flying Bombardier Global aircraft an unprecedented level of control and comfort. The Global Vision flight deck introduces the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite, providing an integrated flight deck to ensure interoperability between systems.

The Pro Line Fusion features four high-resolution 15-inch diagonal active matrix liquid crystal displays (LCD) arranged in a T-shape working in concert with the Head-up Guidance System (HGS), personalized formats of display information, an electronic checklist, maps with graphical flight planning, an integrated cursor control panel, a Synthetic-Enhanced Vision System, paperless operation enabled by Dual Electronics Charts, a Future Air Navigation System (FANS), Controller-Pilot Datalink Communication (CPDLC), a Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) and a MultiScan Weather Detection system.

The ATR 72-600 receives EASA certification

May 31, 2011

With this certification, ATR can commence delivery of the regional aircraft equipped with the most advanced technologies on the market

The turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR is pleased to announce that the ATR 72-600, the new member of its aircraft family, has obtained certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). A prerequisite for the aircraft’s entry into service, this certification covers the new equipment on the aircraft, and is the successful conclusion to a series of ground and flight tests conducted on the ATR 72-600 prototype. Flight testing on the aircraft began in the summer of 2009.

This series of tests validated the proper functioning of the new systems and equipment installed on the aircraft, such as its new avionics: a new glass cockpit with 5 LCD screens, new communication, navigation, monitoring, flight management (FMS), Automatic Pilot and alert management systems, and a new MPC computer system (including aircraft maintenance and protection functions).

Filippo Bagnato, CEO of ATR, said he is “…very proud to see that the ATR 72-600 is now on the brink of entering into service and allowing airlines to discover its many advantages. Development of the new 600-series ATRs is based on our commitment to continue developing our line of aircraft in order to better meet the needs of regional airlines, in terms of operating costs as well as airworthiness and  passenger comfort. The ATR ‘-600’, now the most advanced regional aircraft on the market, features new avionics, developed in partnership with Thales, which make flight management even simpler thanks to its state-of-the-art technology. It also features a new cabin, designed by Giugiaro, with new, even more comfortable seats which are also lighter-weight, and completely redesigned baggage stows offering more storage space for passengers. The new ATR ‘-600’s’ entry into service will soon open up new commercial prospects for us.”

The test campaign was mainly conducted in Toulouse, although the aircraft also traveled to Tarbes and Agen (France), Lugano (Switzerland) and Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris. While in Tarbes and Agen, ATR was able to test proper functioning of the automatic pilot system, notably in high wind conditions. In Lugano, ATR tested the ATR 72-600 on steep landing strips (slope: 6.65°). At Charles de Gaulle Airport, ATR checked the navigation management systems (radio, SMS, GPS, RNP) in traffic conditions characteristic of a busy major airport.

Since launching the new ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 program in October 2007, ATR has received orders for a total of 141 aircraft in this new series.

Delivery of the first ATR 72-600s will begin this summer. Royal Air Maroc, who ordered a total of 4 ATR 72-600s and 2 ATR 42-600s, will be the first operator to take delivery of an ATR 72-600.

Testing on the ATR 42-600 is currently underway, and this aircraft will benefit from its close similarity to the ATR 72-600 (fuselage, engines, avionics). Its certification is expected at the end of the year.

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