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04/28/16 05:09PM
04/27/16 07:42AM
Arlington TX
04/18/16 01:26PM
2009 CESSNA 172 SP
Arlington TX
04/18/16 01:01PM
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AEA: Alpha Systems Upgrades AoA Displays

Alpha Systems has a new heads-up display adaptable for its Eagle and Falcon angle-of-attack systems. The company also has added new features to its product line and more are on the way, Alpha Systems' Mark Korin told AVweb at this week's Aircraft Electronics Association show in Orlando.

AEA: Companies Look For Diversity In Avionics Market

Avionics sales might have had a slow start to the year with a drop in first-quarter numbers reported, but companies attending this week's Aircraft Electronics Association show in Orlando have been optimistic about diversifying their offerings of cockpit systems and improvements on existing products. While last year's wave of new ADS-B products seems to have tapered off, a walk through AEA's exhibit hall shows that manufacturers have been ramping up the competition.

Delta Inks Deal For Bombardier CSeries

Delta Air Lines decreed there is a viable competitor to the duopoly of Airbus and Boeing in the single-aisle airliner market with a major deal with Canada's Bombardier. The airline ordered 75 of Bombardier's 110-seat CS100 airliners and took options on 50 more with a further option to upgrade those orders to 737-esque CS300s with 160 seats.

AEA: Aspen Offers STC For Evolution Backup Display

Aspen Avionics' Evolution Backup Display now has an STC for installation in certified aircraft, the company announced at this week's Aircraft Electronics Association show. The system is an independent primary flight display designed to replace traditional vacuum-driven backup instruments. The unit can provide two hours of continuous operation as an emergency backup.

AEA: Avionics Sales Drop In First Quarter

Avionics sales worldwide had a slower start to 2016, the Aircraft Electronics Association reported Wednesday during the opening of its 59th annual convention in Orlando. In the first three months of the year, total avionics sales for business and general aviation totaled just over $566 million, a 3.6 percent drop from the first quarter of 2015.

Hot-Air Balloon Damaged By Drone

Last week, a drone reportedly hit an Airbus A320 on approach to London's Heathrow Airport, but so far, there have been no officially confirmed drone strikes involving U.S. aircraft. However, witnesses have told AVweb that a drone did hit a hot-air balloon in flight, during a festival in Vermont in July 2014, causing damage to the fabric envelope. The pilot had just launched, and was about 150 feet off the ground. He landed immediately, and nobody was hurt.

AEA: L-3 Avionics' New Features In Transponder, Standby Unit

At this week's Aircraft Electronics Association show in Orlando, L-3 Avionics showcased its recent advancements in certified products that pack multiple functions into lighter, smaller boxes. The ESI-500 standby instrument, designed for piston and turboprop aircraft along with rotorcraft, offers what amounts to a primary flight display backup with primary instrument data as well as navigation and synthetic vision.

Japan Test-Flies Stealth Fighter

A stealth fighter jet called the X-2, which has been in development in Japan since 2009, flew for the first time on Friday, CNN has reported. The jet, built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, is not a production design or prototype, but a technology demonstrator, which is meant as a test bed for future designs. The Japanese will fly the jet for a couple of years before deciding if they want to continue into production, according to the Japan Times.

NTSB Completes Midair Investigation

NTSB investigators have completed their fact-finding into the October 2014 midair crash at the Frederick, Maryland, airport, in which three people in a Robinson R44 helicopter died after a Cirrus SR22 "flew through [its] rotor system" in the traffic pattern. The safety board has not yet determined the accident's probable cause.

NASA Tests Drone Traffic System

In the first and largest demonstration of its kind, staffers from NASA and the FAA last week flew 22 drones simultaneously from six test sites across the country to assess NASA's drone traffic management system. Operators outside NASA entered flight plans and planned operations from several locations, using various kinds of aircraft and software. The traffic-management system checked for conflicts, approved or rejected the flight plans and notified users of constraints. The research platform "performed well," said Parimal Kopardekar, NASA's manager for the project.

Three Survive As Plane Hits House

Three people survived the crash of a Beechcraft Duchess in the back yard of a home in Pompano Beach, Florida, Tuesday.

Helicopter Team Sets Safety Goal

The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team, an industry-government partnership, has set a goal to reduce fatal civil helicopter accidents by 20 percent by 2019. The team said recently its efforts will focus on improving personal protection, aircraft equipage, pilot judgment and pilot decision-making. The team said total helicopter accidents have decreased by 52 percent compared to 10 years ago. In addition, fatal accidents are down 41 percent and the fatal accident rate is down 60 percent over the same time frame.

Solar Impulse II Makes California

Solar Impulse II completed a 56-hour leg from Hawaii to Mountain View, California, just before midnight local time on Saturday.

Aero: Diamond Says Strong Demand For DA62

Even at a price north of a million dollars, Diamond's new DA62 twin is finding strong demand in a new aircraft market most describe as tepid. Diamond CEO Christian Dries told AVweb this week at Aero that production will rise to more than one airplane per week and that he believes a volume of 60 to 62 airplanes a year is sustainable. (For reference, GAMA reports that 110 piston twins were sold worldwide in 2015, including 46 from Diamond, which currently dominates the piston-twin market.)

Aero: FAA Reauthorization Has Good News For 100LL Replacement

Engine manufacturers and airframers have long worried that the FAA would like the authority to declare the replacement fuel for 100LL as applicable for fleetwide use. But at Aero in Friedrichshafen, Germany, this week, Lycoming's Michael Kraft told Avweb that the FAA reauthorization bill currently snaking through congress has specific language giving the FAA administrator power to declare a fuel suitable for the entire GA fleet.

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