Agility Prime Completes First eVTOL Operational Exercise

June 22nd, 2021   •   Comments Off on Agility Prime Completes First eVTOL Operational Exercise   
Agility Prime Completes First eVTOL Operational Exercise

An Air Force pararescue jump (PJ) expert evaluates how to load a simulated injured survivor or “Rescue Randy” into Kitty Hawk’s Heaviside vehicle as part of a personnel rescue scenario. The event demonstrated dual-use capability for civil and government applications. (Kitty Hawk)

The AFWERX Agility Prime program has been investing in electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft with the hope of bringing advancements to the industry and providing possible new forms of transport for the military. During an exercise in May, Agility Prime demonstrated one of these use cases during a medical evacuation exercise with eVTOL maker and new partner Kitty Hawk, according to a June 7 press release.

The demonstration marked Agility Prime’s first operational exercise, according to the release.

“We are pleased to welcome a new partner and happy about the progress in this first Agility Prime exercise,” Col. Nathan Diller, AFWERX Director, said in a statement. “This is just the beginning of many examples that the team will be exploring in the coming months to partner with commercial companies in a way that accelerates maturity for commercialization, while providing the Department of the Air Force with decision-quality data for future force design.”

Agility Prime used Kitty Hawk’s Heaviside eVTOL during the demonstration, according to the release. Heaviside can fly at up to 180 mph and has a range of 100 miles on a single charge. The eVTOL is quieter than a helicopter and uses less energy per mile than an electric car.

Kitty Hawk’s flight team and testers from the Air Force and Marine Corps all attended the demonstration exercises. (Kitty Hawk)

“This exercise produced important data that will bolster the program going forward,” said Lt. Col. Martin Salinas, the mission design team lead in the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTEC), said in a statement.

The demonstrations included medical evacuation, personnel recovery, and logistics, according to the release.

“The Agility Prime and Kitty Hawk teams facilitated the convergence of Air Force and Marine Corps testers and operators to engage with Heaviside, all while experimenting within the context of Personnel Recovery and logistics use-case scenarios,” Salinas said in a statement.

Kitty Hawk demonstrated Heaviside’s autonomous capabilities during the exercise. (Kitty Hawk)

Heaviside also has autonomous flying capabilities which were demonstrated during the exercise.

“This collaborative commercial/DoD use-case exploration revealed common attributes that serve both urban air mobility and search and rescue operations: High-reliability, responsive launch & recovery, minimal logistical footprint, accessibility for mobility-challenged, low acoustic signature, and high levels of autonomy,” Col. Don Haley, Commander of Air Education and Training Command Detachment 62, who leads a team in developing training syllabi for these new electric aircraft, said in a statement.

The post Agility Prime Completes First eVTOL Operational Exercise appeared first on Aviation Today.

Check FastApn access for commercial satcoms at Fastapn

Flytlink – Avionics, Satcom’s and IFE Consultants

What’s Trending in Aerospace – June 20, 2021

June 21st, 2021   •   Comments Off on What’s Trending in Aerospace – June 20, 2021   
What’s Trending in Aerospace – June 20, 2021

Check out the June 20 edition of What’s Trending in Aerospace, where editors and contributors for Avionics International bring you some of the latest headlines and updates happening across the global aerospace industry.

Commercial 

Boeing 737 MAX 10 Completes First Flight

The 737 MAX-10 completed its first flight in Renton, Washington on Friday. (Boeing)

Boeing’s 737-10, the largest airplane in the 737 MAX family, on Friday completed a successful first flight. The airplane took off from Renton Field at 10:07 a.m. and landed at 12:38 p.m. at Boeing Field in Seattle.

“The airplane performed beautifully,” 737 Chief Pilot Capt. Jennifer Henderson said in a June 18 press release. “The profile we flew allowed us to test the airplane’s systems, flight controls and handling qualities, all of which checked out exactly as we expected.”

The MAX-10 lands at Boeing Field Seattle. (Boeing)

The 737-10 can carry up to 230 passengers. It also incorporates environmental improvements, cutting carbon emissions by 14 percent and reducing noise by 50 percent compared to today’s Next-Generation 737s, according to Boeing.

Boeing expects the 737-10 to enter into service in 2023.

 

 

Airbus-Boeing Resolution Commits to Transparency on Government Funding for Aircraft R&D

Under a new agreement between European Union (EU) and United States (U.S.) officials announced on June 15, tariffs on large aircraft parts and components have been suspended by both sides for a period of five years that resolves a 17-year trade dispute involving Airbus and Boeing.

According to the cooperative framework published by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), a key provision within the new agreement is that both sides will be subjected to a more open and transparent process in the way that they provide government funding in support of research and development of new aircraft programs and technologies developed by Airbus and Boeing.

 

 

Airbus Establishes Zero-Emission Development Centers in Germany and France

Airbus has decided to concentrate its efforts for metallic hydrogen tanks in a complementary setup by creating Zero-Emission Development Centers (ZEDC) at its sites in Bremen, Germany and Nantes, France, according to a June 14 press release. The goal of the ZEDC is to achieve cost-competitive cryogenic tank manufacturing to support the successful future market launch of ZEROe and to accelerate the development of hydrogen-propulsion technologies.

The ZEDCs will focus on technology developments that cover the full product and industrial capabilities from elementary parts, assembly, systems integration and the cryogenic testing of the final liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank system, according to Airbus.

“The tank is a safety-critical component, for which specific systems engineering is needed. LH2 is more challenging than kerosene because it needs to be stored at -250 °C to liquefy. Liquidity is needed for increased density. For commercial aviation, the challenge is to develop a component which can withstand repeated thermal and pressure cycling which an aircraft application demands,” Airbus said in the release.

 

 

 

 

GE Aviation, Safran Launch Advanced Technology Demonstration Program for Sustainable Engines

Technologies matured as part of the RISE Program will serve as the foundation for the next-generation CFM engine that could be available by the mid-2030s, according to GE Aviation.

GE Aviation has established a partnership with Safran to launch a new technology development program targeting more than 20 percent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to today’s in-service commercial aircraft engines, according to a June 14 press release.

The CFM RISE (Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines) program will demonstrate and mature a range of new, disruptive technologies for future engines that could enter service by the mid-2030s, the two companies said in the release.

Additionally, the two companies are extending their CFM International 50/50 partnership to the year 2050.

“Our industry is in the midst of the most challenging times we have ever faced,” Olivier Andriès, CEO of Safran, said in the release.  “We have to act now to accelerate our efforts to reduce our impact on the environment. Since the early 1970s, breakthrough engine efficiency and reliability have been the hallmark of our historic partnership and our LEAP engine already reduces emissions by 15 percent compared to previous generation engines. Through the extension of our CFM partnership to 2050, we are today reaffirming our commitment to work together as technology leaders to help our industry meet the urgent climate challenges.”

 

 

General Motors and Liebherr Partner to Develop Hydrogen Fuel Cell System for Commercial Aircraft 

General Motors and Liebherr-Aerospace will join forces to develop a hydrogen fuel cell-based demonstrator system for aircraft. The collaboration is based on GM’s HYDROTEC technology, like this hydrogen fuel cell stack. (Liebherr)

General Motors and Liebherr-Aerospace have agreed to collaborate on development of a HYDTROTEC hydrogen fuel cell technology-based electrical power generation system for aircraft applications.

The two companies will explore possibilities to leverage Liebherr’s strong position as an on-board aircraft system supplier, together with GM’s leadership in hydrogen fuel cell technology, to develop an “integrated system, customized to the performance and economic requirements of commercial aircraft,” Liebherr said in the release.

Moving forward, the two companies will focus on developing an electrical power generation system to demonstrate how hydrogen fuel cell-based power systems could be used in aircraft applications. The construction and testing of this demonstrator will take place in a specialized laboratory multi-system integration testing at Liebherr-Aerospace in Toulouse, France.

“The change from the conventional to a hydrogen technology-based electrical power generation system means major systems modifications on board the aircraft that could result in better, more efficient performance of the plane,” Francis Carla, Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer, Liebherr-Aerospace & Transportation SAS said in the release. “This we want to prove and test thoroughly. The advantage of GM’s HYDROTEC fuel cell technology is that it has shown promise in extensive automotive and military programs, where it has shown to be reliable from the engineering and manufacturing perspectives.”

 

Leonardo Breaks Ground on New Helicopters Logistics Hub in UK

A computer rendering of Leonardo’s new U.K.-based advanced helicopter logistics hub. (Leonardo)

Leonardo is adding a new £30 million single-site logistics facility to its helicopter site in Yeovil, U.K. The new facility is scheduled to be completed in Q4 2022. The project sees the consolidation of eight existing warehouses into one all-encompassing logistics hub.

“The main aim of the Single-Site Logistics facility at Leonardo’s site in Yeovil is to consolidate all Yeovil-based warehousing. This state-of-the-art facility will streamline the site’s operational capability and customer service by having all logistical support in one place,” Nick Whitney, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters (UK), said in a June 16 press release.

The new facility will service the Yeovil production facilities and provide spares support for the global fleet of rotary aircraft built at Leonardo’s site in Yeovil and support the management of production tooling.

 

 

 

 

Military 

General Atomics Acquires Swiss Opto-Electronics Company Synopta 

A beam pointing system developed and manufactured by Synopta, the Switzerland-based company recently acquired by General Atomics.

General Atomics (GA) on June 14 said it has acquired Synopta GmbH, a developer and supplier of opto-electronics instrumentation used in space and terrestrial applications, in a deal that complements GA’s existing technologies and improves its ability to provide complete subsystems to customers.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Based in Switzerland, Synopta’s customers include European organization, national agencies and international companies in the defense, space and capital goods sectors. The company provided the beam pointing system for laser communications on satellites launched by the European Space Agency for the European Union’s Copernicus Earth program, GA said. Synopta also provides strategic and technical consultancy services.

GA already has extensive experience in adaptive optics for lasers and telescopes.

“Synopta’s pioneering expertise and innovative developments in communication, beam control, pointing assemblies, and stationary and transportable optical ground systems will supplement the diverse portfolio of laser communications, sensors, and ground systems which enable delivery of dependable solutions to government and other customers,” Scott Forney, president of GA’s Electromagnetic Systems Group, said in a statement. “Synopta will continue to serve its European customer base but will expand now also to customers in the United States and other countries, while contributing to GA’s systems and strategic objectives. Under its new name General Atomics GmbH, the company will form a technical center of excellence within the General Atomics group of companies.”

 

 

 

 

U.S. Army Taps L3Harris, Raytheon To Develop Multi-Domain Sensing System For Future HADES ISR Aircraft

The Army announced Monday it has selected L3Harris Technologies and Raytheon Technologies for a prototype program to develop a Multi-Domain Sensing System (MDSS) for the service’s High Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System (HADES) intelligence-gathering aircraft program.

The two companies received Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreements to demonstrate their sensor offerings in the eight-month first phase of MDSS, valued at nearly $4.7 million, before the Army selects one or both vendors to move onto prototype fabrication.

The Airborne Reconnaissance Targeting & Exploitation Multi-Mission Intelligence System (ARTEMIS) aircraft. (U.S. Army)

“The initial award is for Phase 1 of a Multi-Domain Sensing System program to demonstrate, develop, build, and integrate prototype electronic intelligence (ELINT) and communications intelligence (COMINT) sensors onto [HADES], the Army’s next generation airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance system,” the Army wrote in a statement. “This competitive first phase of a multi-phased OTA prototype project will demonstrate the vendors’ sensors under controlled conditions, leading to Phase 2 in which one or more vendors will further develop and build their sensors specifically for the HADES platform.”

A third phase will then focus on providing “a holistic COMINT/ELINT system” that will be flight tested to inform potential production requirements, with the entire MDSS prototype effort valued at $49 million. 

 

 

SpaceX Launches GPS III Satellite on Reused Booster in a US Military Milestone

SpaceX launches the fifth GPS III satellite on June 17, 2021. (SpaceX)

SpaceX’s latest GPS III launch was its fourth time launching this type of satellite for the U.S. military, but Thursday’s mission marked a brand-new milestone: It was the first time a National Security Space Launch (NSSL) mission was conducted on a reused booster.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket took off from Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on June 17 at 12:09 EST, carrying the Lockheed Martin-built fifth GPS III (SV05). The booster successfully landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean nine minutes later, and the payload separated just under 1 hour and 30 minutes after liftoff.

The booster used in this mission previously supported the prior GPS III launch in November 2020. The U.S. Space Force previously announced its deal to reuse flight-proven SpaceX boosters in September 2020. At the time, the Space Force agreed to re-fly a booster for SV06 as well. The SV05 launch that took place on Thursday was originally set for January 2021, but pushed to the summer to allow time to validate reuse activities.

 

 

 

 

Business & GA

Global Business Jet Traffic Surges Above Pre-Pandemic Levels in June

“Business jet demand in Texas and latterly, New York, has stormed ahead of 2019 trends in recent weeks. Within Texas, flight activity is still shy of 2020 let alone 2019, but connections between Texas and Colorado, Florida, and California are higher than ever,” according to WINGX.

According to the latest global business jet traffic activity tracker published weekly by WINGX, during the first half of June, global business jet activity rebounded “well beyond the recovery threshold with relation to flight trends in 2019,” according to a June 17 press release.

With just over 100,000 business jet sectors flown this month, the sector represents 15 percent of all fixed wing movements, with activity going 12 percent higher than in the first half of June 2019. This is the first time business aviation growth is outstripping air cargo growth, according to the release.

In contrast, scheduled commercial airline activity globally is still “languishing more than 40 percent below pre-pandemic normal for this time of year,” according to WINGX.

“During the pandemic, lifestyle and occasionally necessity sustained business jet demand, in the last few months we have seen leisure boost the recovery, and this will accelerate through the summer, with the return of at least some business travel taking utilization to new highs in 2021 compared to 2019,” Richard Koe, managing director of WINGX Advance GmbH, said in the release. “The surge should reliably follow the lifting of restrictions, with international trips waiting longer but almost certainly at the planning stage.”

Embraer, VisionSafe Introduce New Safety System for Praetor Business Jets

Embraer and VisionSafe Corporation today announced that VisionSafe’s EVAS (Emergency Vision Assurance System) is now available for the Praetor 500 and the Praetor 600 business jets. The new feature will be available through a Supplement Type Certificate (STC) issued by VisionSafe Corporation, according to a June 16 press release.

The EVAS system provides a clear space of air through which a pilot can see flight instruments and out the front windshield for landing the plane in the event of cockpit smoke, according to Embraer. In addition to the Praetor aircraft, VisionSafe has also achieved certification for the technology through STCs for the Legacy 600, 650 and Lineage 1000 jets.

“This feature will enhance safety on Embraer’s Praetor business jets,” Marsha Woelber, Head of Worldwide Executive Jets Customer Support & Aftermarket Sales, Embraer Service & Support said in the release. “This reflects the continuous improvement Embraer brings to its successful business jet portfolio.”

 

 

 

Connectivity 

Flexjet is Bringing Viasat In-flight Connectivity to Bombardier, Embraer and Gulfstream Jets

Viasat’s in-flight connectivity is being added to a mix of business jets operated by Flexjet LLC, including the Embraer Praetor 600 pictured here. (Flexjet)

Flexjet LLC is bringing Viasat in-flight connectivity (IFC) to its fleet of Bombardier Globals, Embraer Praetor 600s, and Gulfstream G450/G650 aircraft, through a new partnership between the two companies, according to a June 17 press release.

The new partnership will install Viasat’s Ka-band IFC service on the Flexjet Praetor 600 fleet while adding the Ku-band version of the service to the Globals, G450s, and G650s owned and operated by Flexjet. According to Viasat, Flexjet has already begun receiving Praetor 600s equipped with its Ka-band system, which can enable in-flight connection speeds greater than 20 Mbps.

“When we began evaluating IFC partners to improve our existing connectivity, it became clear that Viasat’s products and services would enhance it on more devices across more of our fleet—which will boost the value of our Owners’ flight experiences,” Flexjet Chief Operating Officer Megan Wolf said in the release. “We also appreciated their satellite roadmap—which would ensure the IFC investments we’re making today will meet the increasing data demands of tomorrow.”

 

 

Iridium Names New CTO, Greg Pelton 

Iridium Communications has tapped Greg Pelton from Pyron as the company’s new CTO. The company announced Monday that Pelton will take over for retiring CTO Hermon Pon. As CTO, Pelton will oversee the technical aspects of Iridium’s products and services and manage technology development and engineering. 

Pelton served as chief product officer at Pyron, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) company focused on augmented intelligence for enterprise. There, he was responsible for all aspects of the company’s augmented intelligence product portfolio. Pelton also previously led Cisco‘s corporate Technology Center where he worked on the Internet Routing in Space (IRIS) program, consisting of developing a router for use in satellites and transitioning of satellite ground networks to multi-service IP networks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unmanned

New uAvionix Autopilot and C2 Infrastructure Demonstrated at Northern Plains UAS Test Site

During a 40-mile demonstration flight at the Northern Plains Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Test Site in North Dakota, uAvionix displayed its new George autopilot and SkyLine C2 infrastructure using three terrestrial skyStation Ground Radio Systems (GRS).

During a 40-mile demonstration flight at the Northern Plains Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Test Site in North Dakota, uAvionix displayed its new George autopilot and SkyLine C2 infrastructure using three terrestrial skyStation Ground Radio Systems (GRS), according to a June 14 release from the company.

The George Autopilot was announced in April and is compliant with the National Defense Authorization Act, according to the release. It uses DAL C hardware and safety and sensor monitoring for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations.

uAvionix’s command and control network, Skyline, powered the autonomous 40-mile BVLOS flight, according to the release. This demonstration was the first time three SkyStation terrestrial ground radio locations were managed by the system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

eVTOLs 

Lilium Appoints Former Airbus CEO as Chairman, Aligns Business with Qell

Former Airbus CEO Tom Enders will assume the role of chairman of Munich, Germany-based Lilium.

Former Airbus CEO Tom Enders will assume the role of chairman of Munich, Germany-based electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) 7-seater jet developer Lilium, according to a June 16 press release.

Enders, who previously served as a Lilium Advisory Board member, assumes the new role as Lilium simultaneously completes a business combination with Qell Acquisition Corp., an announcement made as part of the company’s inaugural “Analyst Day,” held June 15.

In a video message, Dr. Enders discussed the importance of these commercial relationships to the future success of Lilium. The video also highlights the new relationships the company has established with long-running aviation organizations and companies such as Honeywell Aerospace and Lufthansa Aviation Training among others to enable the eventual entry into service of its aircraft within the next few years.

“Tom Enders is an aviation industry giant, and we are all delighted to see him reaffirm his commitment to Lilium by accepting the future role of Chairman of the Board when Lilium becomes a Nasdaq-listed company,” Daniel Wiegand, Co-Founder and CEO of Lilium, said in a statement. “We will continue to leverage Tom’s incredible network across aerospace, both in the delivery of aircraft and in commercial development, and together with Barry Engle and the directors who will serve on the Board of Directors of Lilium N.V., Tom will provide important counsel and stewardship as we prepare for a planned commercial launch in 2024.”

 

 

 

EHang eVTOLs Used for COVID-19 Response in China

Guangzhou-based EHang is using AI for intelligent navigation. (EHang)

EHang, the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft manufacturer, deployed its aircraft in Guangzhou City, China for COVID-19 relief and control efforts, the company announced in a June 14 press release.

The eVTOL operations began on June 4 and included EHang’s passenger-grade autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) EHang 216 and its logistics model EHang 216L, according to the release. The AAV’s were able to complete contactless relief and support takes in quarantine and relief zones like aerial logistics, emergency transportation, and aerial inspections.

The post What’s Trending in Aerospace – June 20, 2021 appeared first on Aviation Today.

Check FastApn access for commercial satcoms at Fastapn

Flytlink – Avionics, Satcom’s and IFE Consultants

PODCAST: Air France KLM’s Sam Krouwer Talks In-flight Connectivity Strategy

June 18th, 2021   •   Comments Off on PODCAST: Air France KLM’s Sam Krouwer Talks In-flight Connectivity Strategy   
PODCAST: Air France KLM’s Sam Krouwer Talks In-flight Connectivity Strategy

Air France KLM Senior Product Owner of In-flight Connectivity’s Q&A during last week’s Connected Aviation Intelligence webcast is featured on this episode of the Connected Aircraft Podcast.

On this episode of the Connected Aircraft Podcast, Sam Krouwer, product owner of in-flight connectivity at Air France KLM, is the guest. This episode features his question and answer session with Mark Holmes, Via Satellite’s editorial director, during the recent Connected Aviation Intelligence virtual summit.

Air France KLM is one of Europe’s biggest airlines and wants to use connectivity to enhance the passenger experience as we head into a new era. As passengers start to gain more confidence about flying again, will their expectations in terms of the ‘Connected’ experience change?

Have suggestions or topics we should focus on in the next episode? Email the host, Woodrow Bellamy at wbellamy@accessintel.com, or drop him a line on Twitter @WbellamyIIIAC.

Listen to this episode below, or check it out on iTunes or Google Play If you like the show, subscribe on your favorite podcast app to get new episodes as soon as they’re released.

The post PODCAST: Air France KLM’s Sam Krouwer Talks In-flight Connectivity Strategy appeared first on Aviation Today.

Check FastApn access for commercial satcoms at Fastapn

Flytlink – Avionics, Satcom’s and IFE Consultants

Flexjet is Bringing Viasat In-flight Connectivity to Bombardier, Embraer and Gulfstream Jets

June 18th, 2021   •   Comments Off on Flexjet is Bringing Viasat In-flight Connectivity to Bombardier, Embraer and Gulfstream Jets   
Flexjet is Bringing Viasat In-flight Connectivity to Bombardier, Embraer and Gulfstream Jets

Viasat’s in-flight connectivity is being added to a mix of business jets operated by Flexjet LLC, including the Embraer Praetor 600 pictured here. (Flexjet)

Flexjet LLC is bringing Viasat in-flight connectivity (IFC) to its fleet of Bombardier Globals, Embraer Praetor 600s, and Gulfstream G450/G650 aircraft, through a new partnership between the two companies, according to a June 17 press release.

The new partnership will install Viasat’s Ka-band IFC service on the Flexjet Praetor 600 fleet while adding the Ku-band version of the service to the Globals, G450s, and G650s owned and operated by Flexjet. According to Viasat, Flexjet has already begun receiving Praetor 600s equipped with its Ka-band system, which can enable in-flight connection speeds greater than 20 Mbps.

“When we began evaluating IFC partners to improve our existing connectivity, it became clear that Viasat’s products and services would enhance it on more devices across more of our fleet—which will boost the value of our Owners’ flight experiences,” Flexjet Chief Operating Officer Megan Wolf said in the release. “We also appreciated their satellite roadmap—which would ensure the IFC investments we’re making today will meet the increasing data demands of tomorrow.”

Flexjet’s Viasat selection for the mix of Bombardier, Embraer, and Gulfstream jets comes a year after the satellite communications provider removed all internet speed caps from its entire Ka-band coverage area and added a new 200 GB data tier for business jet operators. The removal makes unlimited connectivity available to business jets equipped with Viasat’s Global Aero Terminal 5510 on the ViaSat-1, ViaSat-2, and European Ka-band satellite service.

Ohio-based Constant Aviation, aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) partner to Flexjet, will provide installation of the Ku-band system across the Bombardier and Gulfstream jets that are receiving the upgrade. Viasat is also offering “an easy upgrade path from Ku-band to Ka-band,” for those jets that are receiving the Ku-band version.

“By working in close partnership with Flexjet, we tailored our solution so they could gain advantages from both our Ku- and Ka-band solutions,” Claudio D’Amico, Viasat’s business area director, business aviation. “We felt it was critical to work closely with Flexjet to create an IFC solution that was both economically sustainable and technically strong for their long-term commitment needs. We have confidence this deal will lead to a long-standing relationship that will continue to grow as we bring on more global capacity to serve more of Flexjet’s aircraft—in both Europe and the U.S.”

The post Flexjet is Bringing Viasat In-flight Connectivity to Bombardier, Embraer and Gulfstream Jets appeared first on Aviation Today.

Check FastApn access for commercial satcoms at Fastapn

Flytlink – Avionics, Satcom’s and IFE Consultants

FAA Still Faces Challenges with Commercial Space Flight Regulations Despite Recent Rule Changes, GAO Says

June 18th, 2021   •   Comments Off on FAA Still Faces Challenges with Commercial Space Flight Regulations Despite Recent Rule Changes, GAO Says   
FAA Still Faces Challenges with Commercial Space Flight Regulations Despite Recent Rule Changes, GAO Says

Blue Origin launch

Blue Origin launch

A launch of Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket. (Blue Origin)

As of December 2020, the number of commercial space launches has increased by 41 percent year-over-year as the commercial space industry has experienced substantial growth in the last decade. According to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released June 16, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is still facing several regulatory challenges despite having recently updated rules related to launch and re-entry licensing.

“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently updated and streamlined its launch and reentry licensing regulations but has made less progress on other key commercial space transportation regulations,” the report states.

The updated licensing and reentry rules released by the FAA in December 2020 streamlined regulations by consolidating multiple regulatory parts to create a single licensing regime and replacing prescriptive requirements with a performance-based regulatory framework, according to the report.

However, these are not the only areas the GAO has cited for improvements.

The FAA has not made updates to financial responsibility regulations like calculating potential third-party losses and re-entry accidents, according to the report.

“The federal government’s shared liability risk for licensed operations is an important element to promote the commercial space launch industry as the government bears a portion of the risk for third-party damages and losses to government property and government personnel resulting from potential space launch accidents,” the report states.

The weaknesses cited by the GAO were first identified in 2015 in the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (CSLCA). The CSLCA required the FAA to evaluate its maximum possible loss methodology, which had not been updated since 1988. In 2018, the GAO again reported that these weaknesses had not been addressed, according to the report.

“As of June 2021, FAA has not yet addressed our recommendations,” the report states. “By not resolving these issues, FAA lacks assurance that launch companies are purchasing the appropriate amount of insurance and that the federal government is not exposed to greater liability than expected.”

According to the report the FAA also still needs to update regulations for launch site operator licensing and orbital debris mitigation.

The GAO has also found challenges caused by the nature of the industry’s recent evolution. The report says the FAA will need to review how it approaches compliance oversight and enforcement approaches. The FAA will also need to address regulating human spaceflight passengers.

“As we previously reported, FAA continues to face the challenge of whether and when to regulate the safety of crew and spaceflight participants, such as space tourists,” the report states. “While several companies have announced plans to take tourists to space within the next several years, FAA is prohibited by law from regulating crew and passenger safety before 2023, except in response to events that either caused a serious or fatal injury or contributed to an unplanned event during a commercial human space flight that posed a high risk of causing a serious or fatal injury.”

On June 7, Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, announced that he would be a passenger on a July 20th space flight on Blue Origin. Bezos also said his brother would be a passenger on the flight.

“Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space,” Bezos wrote in a June 7 Instagram post. “On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother.”

In February of 2019, the FAA reported to Congress that commercial human spaceflight activities were not advanced enough to warrant a new safety framework. According to the GAO, the FAA is set to submit a final report on this by March 2022. The FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) published a report in September 2020 stating that standards for commercial human spaceflight safety were minimal and new standards development was slow.

“COMSTAC recommended FAA evaluate several of the standards as potential inputs to future regulations and guidance,” the report states. “COMSTAC also recommended that FAA form an industry rulemaking committee to help focus industry efforts on voluntary standards development, apply relevant lessons learned, and to inform future spaceflight safety regulations. In June 2021, FAA officials told us that they plan to implement COMSTAC’s recommendations when they begin their rulemaking effort assuming the moratorium expires.”

The post FAA Still Faces Challenges with Commercial Space Flight Regulations Despite Recent Rule Changes, GAO Says appeared first on Aviation Today.

Check FastApn access for commercial satcoms at Fastapn

Flytlink – Avionics, Satcom’s and IFE Consultants

Airbus-Boeing Resolution Commits to Transparency on Government Funding for Aircraft R&D

June 16th, 2021   •   Comments Off on Airbus-Boeing Resolution Commits to Transparency on Government Funding for Aircraft R&D   
Airbus-Boeing Resolution Commits to Transparency on Government Funding for Aircraft R&D

The new agreement established between the European Union and U.S. will suspend tariffs enacted by both sides as part of a 17-year dispute over government subsidies on aircraft production, including the Airbus A220 facility located in Mobile, Alabama, pictured here. (Airbus)

Under a new agreement between European Union (EU) and United States (U.S.) officials announced on June 15, tariffs on large aircraft parts and components have been suspended by both sides for a period of five years that resolves a 17-year trade dispute involving Airbus and Boeing. 

According to the cooperative framework published by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), a key provision within the new agreement is that both sides will be subjected to a more open and transparent process in the way that they government funding supports research and development of new aircraft programs and technologies developed by Airbus and Boeing. 

“Each side intends to provide any funding for research and development (R&D) for large civil aircraft to its [Large Civil Aircraft] LCA producer through an open and transparent process and intends to make the results of fully government-funded R&D widely available, to the extent permitted by law,” the framework reads. “Each side intends not to provide R&D funding or other support that is specific to its LCA producer in a way that would cause negative effects to the other side.”

A working group established by the new agreement will meet “upon request” twice a year, according to the agreement, and will serve as a bilateral resolution board when disputes arise between the two sides. There will also be an effort by the working group to analyze the “non-market practice of third parties that may harm their respective large civil aircraft industries.”

A statement on the agreement published by the European Commission valued the total of the suspended tariffs at $11.5 billion. 

“With this agreement, we are grounding the Airbus-Boeing dispute. It proves that the transatlantic relationship is now moving to the next level and that we can work with the US on tackling long-running disputes,” European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said in a statement. “We now have time and space to find a lasting solution through our new Working Group on Aircraft, while saving billions of euros in duties for importers on both sides of the Atlantic.”

The dispute originally began in 2004, after a World Trade Organization (WTO) case filed by the U.S. against the EU claiming that Airbus was being illegally subsidized by the EU. A follow-up WTO complaint against the U.S. was filed by the EU the next year, kicking off the tariff battle between the two sides.

In 2019, the feud was reignited by WTO Large Civil Aircraft litigation which involved EU subsidies equaling $7.5 billion annually, according to the USTR. The U.S. determined they were denied rights under the WTO Agreement and placed additional duties on products from certain EU member states in Oct. 2019.

The tariff battle escalated in January when new tariffs were enacted by USTR on fuselages and fuselage sections, wings and wing assemblies, and horizontal and vertical stabilizers in response to tariffs enacted by the EU in November 2020.

“After years of bitter litigation and weeks of intense diplomacy, we have reached a deal on a set of high-level principles that resets U.S.-EU engagement in the large civil aircraft industry,” U.S. Ambassador Katherine Tai said in a statement. 

Boeing released a statement welcoming the new agreement, describing it as a path toward ensuring that all future government support for commercial aircraft production is “provided on market terms.”

“The understanding reached today commits the EU to addressing launch aid, and leaves in place the necessary rules to ensure that the EU and United States live up to that commitment, without requiring further WTO action. Boeing will fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected,” Boeing said in the statement.

The post Airbus-Boeing Resolution Commits to Transparency on Government Funding for Aircraft R&D appeared first on Aviation Today.

Check FastApn access for commercial satcoms at Fastapn

Flytlink – Avionics, Satcom’s and IFE Consultants

Lilium Details Certification Path for 7-Seater Jet

June 16th, 2021   •   Comments Off on Lilium Details Certification Path for 7-Seater Jet   
Lilium Details Certification Path for 7-Seater Jet

Lilium is testing components for its eVTOL aircraft which it hopes to certify with EASA and the FAA by 2024. (Lilium)

While many electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft makers have predicted a launch in 2024, few have detailed exactly how they plan to get there. In a recent blog post from Lilium, Yves Yemsi, Lilium’s chief program officer, and Bhavesh Mandalia, Lilium’s head of airworthiness, detail how the company’s 7-Seater Jet is expected to reach certification in just three years.

Lilium is seeking concurrent certification for its 7-Seater Jet from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This will be completed under the Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA), Yemsi and Mandalia said.

“Our choice to concurrently certify our aircraft with both EASA and the FAA demonstrates our commitment that Lilium’s service meets the most rigorous safety standards and is acceptable globally in markets that follow these certification standards,” Yemsi and Mandalia write in the blog post.

Lilium’s 7-Seater Jet design was announced in April and features an architecture based on efficient cruise flight for regional air mobility. The aircraft will have forward canards, main wings, and a distributed propulsion system with 36 individually controlled flaps each containing an embedded ducted fan.

While acknowledging the ambitions of its certification timeline, Lilium says it is on track to launch its eVTOL in 2024. (Lilium)

The type certification process follows seven steps which must be completed in the following order: define and agree to working methods for development and certification of the aircraft, technical familiarization of the aircraft and the establishment of initial certification basis, agreement on the certification program and level of involvement from regulators, detailed design, production and assembly, testing and compliance demonstration, technical closure and issue of a type certificate.

“Within these frameworks, our role in the development of the 7-Seater Jet is to collaborate with regulators to champion the design and demonstrate a robust process for the verification of applicable requirements,” Yemsi and Mandalia write in the blog post. “Lilium first applied for a Type-Certificate in 2017 through EASA and requested FAA validation as early as 2018 – and we’ve been working hand in hand with both authorities ever since.”

Yemsi and Mandalia acknowledge the ambitions of a 2024 entry into service goal in the post but say that they are confident in the program timeline. They detail the regulatory framework, aircraft complexity and novelty, aircraft size, and mission profile all as drivers of complexity and risk within a certification program.

“Our goal, therefore, has been to leverage existing aircraft design and certification principles, the inherent advantages of our aircraft architecture where possible, while at the same time actively working to mitigate downstream risks in areas that are novel or unproven in this new sector,” Yemsi and Mandalia write in the blog post.

Yemsi and Mandalia said Lilium is using about 30 times fewer parts than an average commercial airliner on its 7-Seater Jet. This will result in shorter timelines and fewer components to validate and verify.

The Lilium team has also followed a validation and verification (V and V) process where requirements are validated and cascaded down to the component level of the aircraft and then the aircraft is verified with a program of analysis, followed by ground and flight testing with regulators.

“This rigorous process is designed so that every single requirement can be demonstrated to the potential satisfaction of our regulators and allows us to leverage decades of well-established safety standards for aircraft development,” Yemsi and Mandalia write in the blog post.

In 2020, EASA issued a certification basis applicable for Lilium’s 7-Seater Jet, CRI-A01, which will provide a foundation for certification of the propulsion systems, noise requirements, airframe and minimum equipment, and standards for flight crew training. Lilium is working on the next steps to get a G-1 issue paper for certification basis with the FAA.

The 7-Seater Jet’s next milestones will be to complete a preliminary design review, detailed design of all components, critical design review, component and systems build and test phase, assembly of its conforming aircraft, ground testing, and flight-testing campaign.

“We expect that our flight test campaign will rely on six or more prototype aircraft for testing to ensure our ability to efficiently test different configurations of the aircraft, and perform numerous flight tests in parallel,” Yemsi and Mandalia write in the blog post.

While there are many tasks to overcome before Lilium’s 7-Seater Jet is certified, Yemsi and Mandalia said the company is on track for the first flight of its certified aircraft and its launch in 2024.

“We are in ongoing and concurrent engagement with both EASA and FAA to understand the airworthiness requirements and agree on means of compliance for our aircraft as we develop them,” Yemsi and Mandalia write in the blog post. “These efforts help to guide our program development team. We are on track for the first flight of a certified aircraft and welcoming you on board in 2024.”

Lilium recently announced that it was partnering with Honeywell Aerospace for avionics and flight control systems for the 7-Seater Jet. Lilium has also announced Luxaviation Group as a partner to support its eVTOL operations in Europe.

The post Lilium Details Certification Path for 7-Seater Jet appeared first on Aviation Today.

Check FastApn access for commercial satcoms at Fastapn

Flytlink – Avionics, Satcom’s and IFE Consultants

Xeriant Has Joined XTI to Develop the TriFan 600

June 16th, 2021   •   Comments Off on Xeriant Has Joined XTI to Develop the TriFan 600   
Xeriant Has Joined XTI to Develop the TriFan 600

The TriFan 600 will have VTOL range of 750 miles with speeds up to 345 mph.

Xeriant has signed an agreement to develop a hybrid-electric fixed-wing long-range vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft, the TriFan 600, under a new joint venture with XTI Aircraft, according to a June 14 announcement from the company.

“As we look at these majestic aircraft, we see how the industry has evolved as new technologies have enabled new capabilities and missions, dynamic with it continues today,” Keith Duffy, the CEO of Xeriant, the Florida-based aerospace investment firm, said during the June 14 press conference. “We are at an inflection point in the industry, a transitional period of innovation unlike any other in history, which promises greater accessibility to aerial mobility with a reduced environmental footprint, through the development of revolutionary new VTOL aircraft with electric or hybrid-electric propulsion.”

The TriFan 600 will have VTOL range of 750 miles with speeds up to 345 mph, CEO of XTI, Bob LaBelle, said during the press conference. The aircraft will fly at altitudes up to 29,000 feet and will be able to seat nine passengers when used as an air taxi.

Xeriant has signed an agreement to develop a hybrid-electric fixed-wing long-range vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft, the TriFan 600, with XTI Aircraft company.

“We have developed this hybrid-electric propulsion system that allows this airplane to fly very economically long distance, high speed, high altitude, and conduct many missions,” LaBelle said.

XTI is developing the TriFan 600’s propulsion system with GE Aviation, LaBelle said. The propulsion system will consist of a GE catalyst engine which will power generators that power the electric motors. The aircraft will also include three batteries to provide supplemental lift in vertical mode and that can be recharged during flight.

“We’re using batteries in series with the engine to provide a what we call a series hybrid system,” LaBelle said. “The batteries provide extra boost on vertical takeoff and then when you’re cruising, the batteries are off and the airplane flies on a much more efficient engine that burns less fuel, and that powers a generator which then powers these electric motors in each of the two fans because the rear fan is turned off.”

The TriFan 600 will be used for point-to-point passenger transport and could be used for business commuter aviation, emergency medical transport, urban air mobility, or military missions.

The aircraft will use fly-by-wire flight controls to reduce pilot workload and it will have a carbon fiber structure to decrease its weight. It will also include a full airframe parachute.

The TriFan 600 will be used for point-to-point passenger transport and could be used for business commuter aviation, emergency medical transport, urban air mobility, or military missions, LaBelle said.

According to LaBelle, the TriFan 600 will reduce direct operation costs by 50 percent, deliver a 40 percent reduction in CO2 emissions, and reduced noise by 50 percent.

“We’re going to reduce emissions, provide point-to-point travel, and there’s a huge opportunity where there isn’t as much infrastructure as we see here in the United States,” LaBelle said. “So, you know, you don’t have to build new runways, you can still go far and fast. So, this is what we’re delivering to the market.”

LaBelle said the TriFan 600 will be certified under available Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations instead of having to create new regulations as with other air taxi models.

“One of the big things I’d like to emphasize is that we don’t need a whole new set of regulations to fly this,” LaBelle said. “We’re going to certify under currently available FAA regulations, and we also, again, don’t need charging recharging. We don’t need new runways; we can operate perfectly within the current National Airspace System of this country or any other country.”

XTI predicts that the TriFan 600 will take its first test flights in 2022 with certification expected by 2024.

While the current design of the TriFan 600 will not be a zero-emissions aircraft XTI has a plan to make it one in the future, LaBelle said. This could involve solutions like replacing the engine with applicable batteries or using a hydrogen fuel cell system.

“We do have a very clear pathway, we think, to zero emissions,” LaBelle said. “Taking the engine out of the aircraft, it’s a long way down the road, but batteries are a possibility…There’s unknown breakthroughs that will occur over time which will benefit that but if the energy density that’s in batteries versus a gallon of fuel is comparable. The other one that’s promising is hydrogen fuel cells and or other types of hydrogen fuel systems, and my personal belief is that those have a much more logical progression to potentially being installed in an aircraft like this or even larger ones.”

The TriFan 600, which will sell for $6.5 million, already has 202 reservations, and 40 aircraft that are on firm purchase order which will equal $260 million in future sales, LaBelle said. They also have 122 reservations globally which will bring in $793 million in future sales.

The post Xeriant Has Joined XTI to Develop the TriFan 600 appeared first on Aviation Today.

Check FastApn access for commercial satcoms at Fastapn

Flytlink – Avionics, Satcom’s and IFE Consultants

What’s Trending in Aerospace – June 13, 2021

June 15th, 2021   •   Comments Off on What’s Trending in Aerospace – June 13, 2021   
What’s Trending in Aerospace – June 13, 2021

Check out the June 13 edition of What’s Trending in Aerospace, where editors and contributors for Avionics International bring you some of the latest headlines and updates happening across the global aerospace industry.

 

 

 

Commercial 

Lufthansa Responds to Increase in Summer Travel Demand with Airbus A350, Boeing 747-8

Lufthansa is re-positioning two of its wide-body aircraft, the Airbus A350—pictured here—and the Boeing 747-8 on summer vacation routes in response to an increase in demand generated by passengers flying from Munich and Frankfurt to Palma de Mallorca. (Lufthansa)

Lufthansa is responding to an increase in demand from passengers for travel to popular German vacation destinations and routes by re-positioning an Airbus A350 and a Boeing 747-8 for flights to Palma de Mallorca from both Frankfurt and Munich.

The booking figures for Palma de Mallorca have increased 25 times between April and the beginning of June 2021, according to a June 11 press release.

“The airline will be operating a Boeing 747-8 from Frankfurt to Palma de Mallorca four Saturdays in a row during the upcoming summer vacation in Hesse,” Lufthansa said in the release. “Additionally, the airline also plans to operate an Airbus A350 from Munich to the Balearic Island at the start of the summer vacation in Bavaria. Although these routes are normally operated by an Airbus A321, on 31 July, two wide-body Lufthansa aircraft will be arriving on Palma de Mallorca.”

 

French Aerospace OEMs Launch New Study of Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Airbus, Safran, Dassault Aviation, ONERA and Ministry of Transport are jointly launching an in-flight study, at the end of 2021, to analyze the compatibility of unblended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) with single-aisle aircraft and commercial aircraft engine and fuel systems, as well as with helicopter engines, according to a June 10 press release.

Known as VOLCAN (VOL avec Carburants Alternatifs Nouveaux), this project is the first time that in-flight emissions will be measured using 100% SAF in a single-aisle aircraft, according to the release.

“Airbus is responsible for characterizing and analyzing the impact of 100% SAF on-ground and in-flight emissions using an A320neo test aircraft powered by a CFM LEAP-1A engine. Safran will focus on compatibility studies related to the fuel system and engine adaptation for commercial and helicopter aircraft and their optimization for various types of 100% SAF fuels,” Airbus said in the release. “ONERA will support Airbus and Safran in analyzing the compatibility of the fuel with aircraft systems and will be in charge of preparing, analyzing and interpreting test results for the impact of 100% SAF on emissions and contrail formation. In addition, Dassault Aviation will contribute to the material and equipment compatibility studies and verify 100% SAF bio-contamination susceptibility.

 

 

 

 

Military 

First TH-73A Training Helicopter Delivered to the Navy

Leonardo delivered the first of 130 TH-73A training helicopters to the U.S. Navy on June 10. (Leonardo)

Leonardo delivered the first of 130 TH-73A training helicopters to the U.S. Navy on June 10, the company announced in a press release.

The Department of Defense originally awarded Leonardo a contract for 32 TH-73A aircraft in January 2020 and increased the contract by 36 helicopters in November in 2020, according to the release.

“The U.S. Navy expects the highest quality of training for its future aviators,” Gian Piero Cutillo, Leonardo Helicopters Managing Director, said in a statement. “We are honored to start delivery of the product chosen for this critical task. Today is just the beginning of a journey we have undertaken to support the Navy as it shapes the capabilities of future generations of aviation students.”

 

 

MQ-25 Model Conducts First Unmanned Aerial Refueling 

The Boeing MQ-25 T1 test asset transfers fuel to a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet on June 4, marking the first time in history that an unmanned aircraft has refueled another aircraft. The MQ-25 Stingray will assume the carrier-based tanking role currently performed by F/A-18s, allowing for better use of the combat strike fighters and helping extend the range of the carrier air wing. (Photo: Kevin Flynn)

 

The Boeing MQ-25A test asset, called T-1, conducted the first ever unmanned tanker to manned aircraft aerial refueling operation last week, the Navy announced June 7.

This flight demonstration proved the MQ-25A Stingray carrier-based unmanned tanker can fulfill its stated role using the standard probe-and-drogue aerial refueling method, the Navy and Boeing said.

The flight test was based around the MidAmerica Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., where the T-1 is based for testing. During the flight test on June 4, a Navy F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet approached the unmanned T-1 in close formation behind it, conducted a formation evaluation, wake survey, drogue tracking and then plugged into the T-1. The T-1 successfully transferred fuel from its Aerial Refueling Store (ARS) to the Super Hornet.

Boeing said this maneuver required as little as 20 feet of separation between the aircraft and both were flying at “operationally relevant speeds and altitudes.”

 

 

 

Raytheon Lands Possible $3.1 Billion Contract for F-15EX Radar 

The F-15EX first arrived at Eglin Air Force Base in March to begin testing with the U.S. Air Force. (Boeing)

The U.S. Air Force on June 9 awarded Raytheon Technologies a contract worth up to $3.1 billion for the production, modernization, and support of APG-82 Eagle Vision radars for Boeing F-15EXs and possibly other foreign and domestic F-15s.

The contract is valid through 2036 and does not include any immediate delivery orders for Foreign Military Sales (FMS), “but does allow for future FMS orders,” the Air Force said. Raytheon is to build the radars at the company’s El Segundo, Calif. plant.

In 2010, Boeing F-15E Strike Eagles received the the first APG-82s to replace the aircraft’s Raytheon APG-70 radar, first fielded in 1987.

In 2019, under the B-52 bomber’s radar modernization program (RMP), Boeing picked Raytheon to design and build an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, based on AESA technologies in Raytheon’s APG-79/APG-82 family, to replace the bomber’s APQ-166 terrain-following and mapping radars by Northrop Grumman .

David Rockwell, a senior military electronics analyst at the Teal Group, said last year that the “new normal” for military radar programs involves just two companies, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, and “de facto non-competitive pricing for AESA upgrades.”

 

 

Connectivity 

SmartSky Opens Southeast Corridor, Remains on Track for 2021 Launch 

SmartSky Networks announced the completion of all technical milestones and the opening of the first fully operational coverage zone of its next-generation inflight communications network, enabling route-based flight demonstrations and marking an inflection point on its path to certification and commercial launch later this year.

SmartSky has now proven it can provide office-grade, bi-directional, multi-Mbps inflight connectivity with very low latency for business jet and turboprop flights transiting the network’s Southeastern corridor that covers a large contiguous portion of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

“While our primary goal remains lighting up the remainder of the nationwide network in the coming months, today we are showcasing the unparalleled inflight networking capabilities and advanced services that SmartSky is bringing to market for the connected aircraft ecosystem of operators, manufacturers, service providers and passengers,” SmartSky Networks CEO David Helfgott said in a June 10 press release.

 

SpaceX, Telesat Forecast 90% of IFC Service in 10 Years Will Be LEO 

SpaceX, OneWeb, and Telesat executives discuss Low-Earth Orbit options for In-Flight Connectivity at the Connected Aviation Intelligence Summit.

SpaceX, OneWeb, and Telesat executives agree that in 10 years, most aviation connectivity will come through satellites in Low-Earth Orbit — a major shift from the primarily Geostationary (GEO) service of today.

Jonathan Hofeller, vice president of Starlink Commercial Sales for SpaceX was bullish, forecasting that 90 percent or more of In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) service will come from LEO in the next decade

“Passengers and customers want a great experience that GEO systems simply cannot provide. It’s going to be up to the individual airline whether they want to be responsive to that — or if they there are OK with having a system that is not as responsive to their customers’ demands,” Hofeller said Wednesday, speaking virtually at the Connected Aviation Intelligence Summit.

 

 

 

 

Embedded Avionics 

Curtiss Wright Awarded Contract to Upgrade US Navy Seahawk Helicopter Mission, Flight Management Computers 

U.S. Navy’s MH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter is getting a flight management and mission computer upgrade. (Lockheed Martin)

Curtiss-Wright Corp. was awarded a contract by Lockheed Martin to provide its Modular Open System Approach (MOSA) computers and video processing modules to upgrade the mission computer and flight management computer (MC/FMC) on the U.S. Navy’s fleet of Sikorsky MH-60R/S Seahawk helicopters, according to a June 7 press release.

The initial contract is valued at $24 million, with an estimated lifetime value of $70 million.

Under the contract, Curtiss-Wright is providing Lockheed Martin with rugged single board computers and video processing modules. The modules result from Curtiss-Wright’s Modified COTS program, which enables system integrators to upgrade individual modules in their legacy systems without having to replace the entire system, significantly speeding delivery of advanced technology to the warfighter. Shipments began in December 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

Unmanned 

FAA Forms New Rulemaking Committee to Advance BVLOS Drone Operations 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) created a new aviation rulemaking committee to develop a regulatory path for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone flights, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson announced at the FAA Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Symposium on June 9.

“I’m very pleased to announce that the FAA is forming a new aviation rulemaking committee for ARC [Aviation Rulemaking Committee], to help us develop a regulatory path for routine beyond visual line of sight operations,” Dickson said. “This committee will consider the safety, security and environmental needs as well as societal benefits of these operations.”

BVLOS drone operations will be key to enabling routine package delivery and infrastructure inspections, Dickson said.

Dickson said the committee would be submitting its recommendations to the FAA within six months.

 

 

 

 

eVTOLs 

Archer Unveils Maker eVTOL 

Archer held a live unveiling of its new Maker eVTOL aircraft in California last week. (Archer Aviation)

California-based electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL) aircraft developer Archer, debuted its Maker aircraft during an unveiling event June 10.

Maker is being developed with a range of 60 miles and a cruising speed of 150 mph.

“Maker’s unveil has been years in the making and marks a pivotal juncture for the eVTOL industry and future of transportation,” said Brett Adcock, co-founder and co-CEO of Archer. “Every day at Archer, we’re working to build the future, and we have never felt closer than we did introducing the world to Maker.”

 

 

 

Vertical Aerospace to be Publicly Traded After Merger with Broadstone

Vertical Aerospace’s eVTOL, the VA-X4, has a range of over 100 miles with a top speed of 202 mph and a five-person capacity. (Vertical Aerospace)

The electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft manufacturer Vertical Aerospace is becoming a publicly traded company with a value of $2.2 billion after a merger with Broadstone Acquisition Corp, an acquisition company, according to a June 10 release.

“This is the most exciting time in aviation for almost a century; electrification will transform flying in the 21st century in the same way the jet engine did 70 years ago,” Stephen Fitzpatrick, Vertical CEO and Founder, said in a statement. “Today’s announcement brings together some of the largest and most respected technology and aeronautical businesses in the world and together we can achieve our aim of making the VA-X4 the first zero carbon aircraft that most people will fly on. The United Kingdom is already a global leader in aerospace innovation and we believe Vertical Aerospace will be the British engineering champion to drive the aviation industry forward.”

The company also announced investments from American Airlines, Avolon, Honeywell, and Rolls-Royce.

“Emerging technologies are critical in the race to reduce carbon emissions and we are excited to partner with Vertical to develop the next generation of electric aircraft,” Derek Kerr, Chief Financial Officer of American Airlines said in a statement. “For years, American has led the industry in investing in newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft. Today’s partnership is another example of that commitment, and an investment in the future of air mobility. We are excited about the prospect of what this could mean for our customers, and our company.”

Vertical Aerospace now has pre-orders for up to 1,000 of its VA-X4 aircraft which is set to take its first test flight this year and launching commercially in 2024.

 

 

Honeywell to Provide Avionics and Flight Control Systems for Lilium’s 7-Seater Jet 

Lilium has a new partnership with Honeywell Aerospace to create the avionics and flight control systems for its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, the 7-Seater Jet, the company announced on June 9.

“Honeywell has a decades-long track record of developing and certifying avionics and safety systems for leading aerospace companies and has worked alongside Lilium to develop a bespoke solution for our aircraft,” Yves Yemsi, Chief Program Officer at Lilium, said in a statement. “We are proud that Honeywell is joining our roster of world-class aviation partners and also as one of our investors as we prepare to launch commercial operations in 2024.”

Lilium debuted its 7-Seater Jet design in April which features an architecture based on efficient cruise flight for regional air mobility. The aircraft will have a range of 200 kilometers and speeds up to 300 kph. The aircraft uses forward canards, main wings, and a distributed propulsion system with 36 individually controlled flaps each containing an embedded ducted fan.

The post What’s Trending in Aerospace – June 13, 2021 appeared first on Aviation Today.

Check FastApn access for commercial satcoms at Fastapn

Flytlink – Avionics, Satcom’s and IFE Consultants

PODCAST: OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat Talk Future of LEO Connectivity for Airlines

June 12th, 2021   •   Comments Off on PODCAST: OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat Talk Future of LEO Connectivity for Airlines   
PODCAST: OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat Talk Future of LEO Connectivity for Airlines

 

Aviation connectivity leadership from OneWeb Satellites, SpaceX and Telesat discuss future LEO development for airlines.

On this episode of the Connected Aircraft Podcast, we’re featuring a replay of the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite connectivity panel from our Connected Aviation Intelligence program.

The panel we’re featuring is the “The LEO Revolution is Underway in Satellite: What Does it Mean for Airlines?” with guest speakers, Manik Vinnakota, Director, Commercial and Product Development, Telesat, Ben Griffin, Vice President, Mobility, OneWeb Satellites, and Jonathan Hofeller, Vice President of Starlink Commercial Sales, SpaceX.

We have seen major announcements from SpaceX, Telesat, and OneWeb regarding their LEO constellations. The era of LEO is here and what does this mean for the airlines? Will they be looking at the LEO option much more seriously compared to traditional GEO satellites in the future? With a LEO revolution taking place in satellite, the panel examines how much of an impact these players could have in the IFC arena. 

Have suggestions or topics we should focus on in the next episode? Email the host, Woodrow Bellamy at wbellamy@accessintel.com, or drop him a line on Twitter @WbellamyIIIAC.

Listen to this episode below, or check it out on iTunes or Google Play If you like the show, subscribe on your favorite podcast app to get new episodes as soon as they’re released.

FREE REGISTRATION: Connected Aviation Intelligence on-demand replay – https://www.gcasummit.com/agenda/

 

 

The post PODCAST: OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat Talk Future of LEO Connectivity for Airlines appeared first on Aviation Today.

Check FastApn access for commercial satcoms at Fastapn

Flytlink – Avionics, Satcom’s and IFE Consultants