1. Preventing Turbulence and Runway Incidents
Specifications: More than 95% of all commercial aircraft have some type of Honeywell Aerospace technology installed, much of which includes the company’s suite of avionics products. Earlier this year, Honeywell announced that it will supply cockpit technologies to United Airlines’ new fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. These include the IntuVue RDR-4000 3D Weather Radar System, which Honeywell says has reduced costly turbulence-related incidents by more than 45%. The system provides weather information up to 320 nm in front of an aircraft so pilots can decide whether to fly through or around bad weather. As part of the United deal, Honeywell’s SmartRunway and SmartLanding technologies will also be installed on a 737 MAX for the first time. These systems help ensure accurate navigation and landing on the correct runways and taxiways, minimizing runway accidents.
2. Avionics Solutions for 737 MAX and Airbus Fleets
Company: Rockwell Collins
Specifications: Rockwell Collins is providing avionics products and support for the Boeing 737 MAX, including large-format displays, flight controls and communications navigation systems as well as a host of optional features such as the Head-Up Guidance System (HGS), MultiScan ThreatTrack weather radar and Iridium ICS-300 SATCOM units. Rockwell is also providing avionics solutions for Airbus, including a new onboard aircraft-tracking system to detect abnormal flight situations and a flight operations and maintenance exchanger (FOMAX) program on A320-family aircraft, which deploys infrastructure for secure wireless connectivity and sends maintenance and performance data to ground-based operators and mobile applications.
3. Insights Through Flight Data
Company: Teledyne Controls
Specifications: Teledyne’s GroundLink Comm+ wireless quick-access recorder (WQAR) system is currently installed on more than 10,000 aircraft worldwide, and its software enhancement for wirelessly connecting crew devices to electronic flight bags (EFB), GroundLink AID+, was recently certified and implemented across Austrian Airlines’ entire fleet. Teledyne launched a new cloud-based system, called FDA Services, for collecting, analyzing and reporting flight data and insights late last year. The system features a series of dashboards with customizable views of an airline’s operations, which allows for faster and more effective risk identification using a wide range of data. The company also recently signed a strategic partnership with GE Aviation to use GE’s Predix platform to apply data and analytics to flight data collected through Teledyne’s avionics technologies.
4. New Avionics Certifications and Integration
Company: Universal Avionics Systems Corp.
Specifications: Universal Avionics Systems Corp. (UASC) provides a wide portfolio of avionics products for many aircraft, including electronic flight instruments and systems for flight management, situational awareness and communications. The company’s InSight Display System is an integrated flight deck that recently received FAA Technical Standard Order (TSO) authorization. InSight, which can support multiple interfaces through its open architecture, features radio control, broadcast weather, embedded charts and embedded next-generation synthetic vision with advanced mapping capability. In October 2017, the company announced an agreement to incorporate Jeppesen’s Airport Mapping Database into InSight, which will allow 3D display of essential airport information and en route flight data. UASC also recently announced an FAA-approved software upgrade for its UniLink UL-800/801 Communications Management Unit (CMU) that provides an optional configuration complying with the mandate requiring all aircraft operating in European airspace to be equipped for ATN B1 CPDLC by February 2020.
5. Supporting Legacy Avionics Products
Specifications: Ontic, which provides extended-life solutions for OEM legacy products, supports a wide variety of avionics ranging from display panels and electronic engine controllers to weather radars and fuel-quantity processing computers. The company completed an acquisition of GE Aviation’s avionics business at the end of 2016, which incorporates a portfolio of avionics parts including electromechanical, barometric, gyroscopic and electronic products. Ontic says the transition program, which involves a facility upgrade and new capabilities for instrument assembly and testing, is on schedule for completion before the end of 2018. The company also recently entered into agreement with Esterline’s subsidiary Racal Acoustics to license manufacturing and aftermarket support for various avionics products, including cockpit communication control systems.
6. Repairing and Supporting Legacy Avionics Systems
Company: InAir Legacy Avionics Solutions
Specifications: As an independent MRO provider focused on support and repair of legacy avionics systems, InAir Legacy Avionics Solutions says its goal is to keep legacy aircraft and their systems flying as cost-effectively as possible. InAir specializes in CRT-based displays, air data computers and flight control systems with customers ranging from a variety of regional airlines, including Allegiant, Piedmont and Jazz, to MRO suppliers such as AAR. The company recently renewed its commitment to support the DU-870 CRT unit, which InAir says is still installed on an estimated 5,000 flight decks on various business and regional aircraft today. As a long-term supplier with Toshiba, InAir has easy access to the parts needed to repair the units, which reduces repair cost and downtime.