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Brazilian Private Jet Operator Signs LOI for 100 Eve eVTOL Aircraft

The largest Embraer private jet operator in Latin America, Avantto, has signed a letter of intent to purchase 100 eVTOL aircraft from Eve Urban Air Mobility. (Eve)

Aviation Management Services – Serviços Aeronáuticos Ltda. (Avantto), the largest operator of Embraer executive jets in Latin America, has signed a letter of intention (LOI) under a partnership with Eve Urban Air Mobility, LLC to order 100 of its electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

The LOI is part of a broader partnership between Avantto and Embraer’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) subsidiary Eve to develop a UAM ecosystem in Latin America, according to an Oct. 4 announcement.

“For more than a decade, Avantto has uniquely developed software, systems, and procedures enabling the company to offer 24/7 on-call flight services for short-haul intra-city helicopter transportation to its hundreds of active members. This exclusive know-how will be one of the principal pillars of the urban air mobility ecosystem developed by the EVE/Avantto partnership,” Rogério Andrade, CEO and Founder of Avantto said in a statement.

Eve describes the eVTOL that it is developing as featuring an all-electric low-noise design that is continuing to meet their program milestones including “the first flight of the engineering simulator in July 2020, and a proof of concept in October 2020.” The company has not released many details about the design of the eVTOL it is developing other than real and computer-generated images of the aircraft showing an eight-rotor design and noting that it will feature a fifth generation fly-by-wire system as well.

The eVTOL that Eve is developing achieved its first engineering simulator flight in July 2020, and a proof of concept in October 2020, according to the company.

Avantto has become the latest private aviation operator to partner or sign an intent-to-purchase offer with Eve after a series of other companies signed similar agreements with the company in recent months. In June for example, Halo, a helicopter provider in the U.S. and U.K., formed a partnership with Eve to develop UAM products and services in the U.S. and U.K. Helisul, one of the largest helicopter operators in Latin America, formed a partnership with Eve in June that includes an order for up to 50 eVTOLs.

Fahari Aviation, a subsidiary of Kenya Airways, also became an Eve partner in August, in an effort to develop operational models for the wide-accessibility of UAM to support some of Fahari Aviation’s key markets in the region.

“Avantto has been a great partner for Embraer Executive Jets, and we are reinforcing this bond with a shared focus on sustainability in this next generation of transportation,” Andre Stein, President & CEO of Eve, said in a statement. “The strength of Avantto’s experience in operations, coupled with their growth strategy, make an ideal partner for the future expansion of Eve’s eVTOL deployment in Brazil and across Latin America. We will work together to make sure we continue our mission to democratize aviation through increasing accessibility and affordability.”

The post Brazilian Private Jet Operator Signs LOI for 100 Eve eVTOL Aircraft appeared first on Aviation Today.

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FAA Uses NextGen Software Update to Reduce Taxi Time at Busy Airports

A software update to the FAA’s Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) system has the ability to significantly improve the pre-departure process for airlines at busy hub airports throughout the U.S. (Charlotte Douglas International Airport)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are ready for the initial roll out of an air traffic system software update designed to significantly improve the pre-departure process for aircraft at busy hub airports.

According to a Sept. 28 announcement, the software update is being added to the FAA’s Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) system as a way to enhance its ability to calculate gate pushbacks at busy hub airports so that each plane can roll directly to the runway and to take off. FAA and NASA are ready to to introduce the software update out at 27 hub airports across the country after testing it for nearly four years at its NextGen group, airlines’ airport operations and FAA radar facilities in Charlotte and Dallas/Fort Worth and the Atlanta and Washington, D.C., centers handling high-altitude en route flights.

The goal of the program is to eliminate the need for airlines to wait or make intermittent stops along the ramp.

“When you are ready to go, you want to go. Waiting in line on a taxiway is not part of the flight plan,” FAA Assistant Administrator for NextGen Pamela Whitley said in a statement. “Through a productive partnership between the FAA, NASA and the airlines, we now have technology that brings better predictability of aircraft movements on and above our busiest airports. This will yield benefits for air travelers and for the environment.”

TFDM is an airport surface management platform that the FAA developed as part of its NextGen air traffic modernization program to establish a data exchange and processing architecture for air traffic tower operations. The system includes a taxi route generator and a suite of tools for sequencing and scheduling, route-assignment, departure route viability and airport configuration among other capabilities.

Now, the FAA is claiming that the new software update will give TFDM the ability to predict the timing at which an aircraft preparing for departure should pushback and takeoff without stopping to allow for other departures or inbound aircraft along the way. Data published by the agency based on testing of the software at Charlotte Douglas International Airport demonstrated its ability to reduce taxi times that helped save “more than 275,000 gallons of fuel annually, equivalent to the fuel burn of 185 flights between New York and Chicago by a Boeing 737.”

The software was also able to reduce delays by 916 hours, or the equivalence of “shaving 15 minutes of waiting time on a taxiway for more than 3,600 departing flights,” according to the agency.

“The proof is in the pudding. This air traffic scheduling technology enhances aircraft efficiency and improves dependability for passengers every day. I’m excited that the software NASA developed for air traffic controllers and airlines will be soon rolled out at airports across the country and know the results will continue to be extraordinary,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement.

The airports currently expected to be part of the rollout include:

 

  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Charlotte
  • Chicago Midway
  • Chicago O’Hare
  • Dallas-Ft. Worth
  • Denver
  • Detroit
  • Fort Lauderdale Houston Bush
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul
  • Newark
  • New York JFK
  • New York La Guardia
  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Washington Dulles
  • Washington Reagan National

The post FAA Uses NextGen Software Update to Reduce Taxi Time at Busy Airports appeared first on Aviation Today.

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Japan Airlines to Upgrade Boeing 767 Flight Displays

Japan Airlines (JAL) is upgrading its fleet of Boeing 767-300s with drop-in liquid crystal displays supplied by Thomas Global Systems. (Thomas Global Systems)

Japan Airlines (JAL) is upgrading its Boeing 767-300 fleet with drop-in liquid crystal displays (LCD) supplied by Thomas Global Systems, according to a new announcement from the Sydney, Australia-based avionics maker.

The display series being supplied for the fleet upgrade, the TFD-7000, recently received approval for supplemental type certification (STC) from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB).

“We are honored that Japan Airlines has chosen our TFD-7000 Series to upgrade their 767 flight decks,” Angus Hutchinson, CEO of Thomas Global, said in an Oct. 5 press release. “We look forward to providing JAL with the dependable and high-integrity technology, service and support our customers and partners have come to expect from Thomas Global.”

The TFD-7000 series, pictured here, will replace the existing flight displays on the JAL Boeing 767-300 fleet. (Thomas Global Systems)

According to Thomas Global, among their TFD-7000 series, the “TFD-7076/7066 LCD displays are both interchangeable and intermixable with the existing legacy EDU-776/766 CRT displays, are installable on overnights or at the gate, and are fully compatible with the EFIP-701 and EAP-701/3 Boeing symbol generators.”

The company has also received type certification on the TFD-7000 display series for the Boeing 757, 767, and 737 Classic flight decks from the FAA, EASA, Transport Canada, JCAB, ANAC and CAAC.

The display upgrade for JAL comes amid a recent expansion of its international network plans to include additional 767-300 flights.

The post Japan Airlines to Upgrade Boeing 767 Flight Displays appeared first on Aviation Today.

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Meet Anthem: Honeywell’s First Cloud-Native Cockpit System

Honeywell Aerospace’s next generation flight deck, Anthem, is their first ever cloud native cockpit suite, that already has two electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) launch customers in Lilium and Vertical Aerospace. The company unveiled the new smart-display driven cockpit system during a launch event in New York City today. (Honeywell Aerospace)

Anthem is the first clean-sheet next generation core avionics cockpit systems computing architecture introduced by Honeywell Aerospace in more than two decades, and the first to feature cloud-native communications, navigation and surveillance systems.

Honeywell is taking a disruptive approach to the development of Anthem, embedding the processing—traditionally provided computers and cabinets of processing modules arranged in an aircraft’s electrical equipment bay—inside smart displays for a complete makeover of the concept of an avionics human-to-machine interface.

The cloud that Anthem is native to is Honeywell Forge, the software as a service edge to cloud computing platform first introduced by Honeywell in 2019. Since then, Honeywell Forge has continued to expand to effectively become Honeywell’s version of a Microsoft Azure-like cloud computing service that gives airlines and business aviation fleet operators the ability to automate their aircraft data acquisition and analysis process for quality assurance, maintenance and health trend monitoring.

Anthem has already been selected by Lilium, the Munich-based electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) developer, as the cockpit system for its 7-Seater Lilium Jet. Separately, Bristol, U.K.-based Vertical Aerospace will also use Anthem as the cockpit system for their VA-1X all-electric air taxi. Lilium expects to achieve type certification for the 7-Seater by 2023, while Vertical Aerospace is right behind them projecting a 2024 timeline for certification.

During an interview with Avionics International ahead of the unveiling of Anthem, Vipul Gupta, vice president and general manager of Honeywell’s avionics division said that the company expects to meet those certification targets. Gupta describes Anthem as a “truly game-changing system.”

“Our plan is to connect at Honeywell Forge and make that system very integrated and available for OEMs, for our customers to use. We would also be open to OEMs that may want to choose to connect Anthem to their own cloud system. That will also be feasible with Anthem’s [Application Programmable Interfaces] APIs,” Gupta said. “The aircraft becomes accessible via the cloud computing infrastructure, and things like maintenance data, flight plans and overall aircraft status are stored automatically by the avionics in the cloud and accessible by any authorized user from anywhere.”

What does cloud-native actually mean? In January, Microsoft published an article entitled “Defining Cloud Native,” offering a definition of the term as provided by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. According to the organization, cloud-native technologies can “empower organizations to build and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments such as public, private, and hybrid clouds. Containers, service meshes, microservices, immutable infrastructure, and declarative APIs exemplify this approach.”

Another key highlight of the article is its mention of how cloud-native applications are developed with an API-first approach.

“Make everything a service. Assume your code will be consumed by a front-end client, gateway, or another service,” Microsoft notes, depicting exactly the type of digital transformation Anthem will bring to next generation aircraft.

Outside of Honeywell Forge cloud itself, a key enabler of the built-in edge-to-cloud architecture of Anthem is its integrated network server unit (INSU) or aircraft data gateway that is embedded into its design. The INSU acts as a connectivity bridge for data flows into and out of the aircraft.

Historically, systems off-board an aircraft has not been integrated with onboard avionics and required wired connections for data transfers, according to Gupta.

“The INSU is our portal or gateway to providing connectivity directly to the flight deck. We’re designing it to meet all existing cybersecurity regulatory requirements to Security Assurance Level 3 (SAL 3). INSU provides a connection when you are in air to high-speed SATCOM right or you’re in air low speed SATCOM on the ground, potentially through Wi-Fi or on the ground through cellular connectivity. It’s just like have a regular cellular chip into this box,” Gupta said.

Similar to Forge cloud platform, Honeywell had established the aircraft data gateway as a key cockpit connectivity enabler in recent years. The technology made its debut on the E2 family of Embraer regional jets in the form of the ADG-400. There is also the ADG-300, that Honeywell developed as a drop-in replacement to legacy airborne and portable data loaders such as the Airbus Multi-purpose Disc Drive Unit (MDDU), Boeing’s Airborne Data Loader (ADL) and Teledyne’s ePDL. It can enable wireless distribution of navigation databases and other field loadable software for on-board loading into avionics systems while also wirelessly capturing and transmitting Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) data.

This next generation flight deck avionics architecture effectively combines the connectivity and wireless data transfer bridge provided by the aircraft data gateway and the existing cloud infrastructure of Forge to deliver Anthem.

“The cloud connectivity piece, which we are building on with Forge allows us to stage all those databases onto the INSU. That aircraft data gateway can load all those databases from the cloud, such as navigation database, terrain database, and other pieces straight onto the INSU. With Anthem, let’s say, when you want to just update the software on the airplane, you can do it from the INSU straight onto the airplane,” Gupta said.

In their Oct. 5 announcement unveiling the new Anthem system, Honeywell also claims that their new “always-on cloud-connected avionics” will dramatically reduce pre-flight preparation time for pilots “by ~45 minutes per flight.” For most pilots on modern air transport aircraft, pre-flight preparation can consume several hours and usually involves changes that the pilot must make as they get increasingly closer to takeoff and flight environment changes occur.

According to Honeywell, Anthem will enable remote flight planning, meaning, a pilot could be in their hotel room or an airport terminal making flight plan changes that are directly being updated inside the cloud-native Anthem flight management system onboard their aircraft. That direct integration of tablet electronic flight bag applications into the integrated avionics systems is further leveraged once the pilot gets onboard the aircraft and starts flying through the aircraft data gateway.

However, Gupta said with Anthem the flight deck itself has become like an iPad. The system features what Honeywell calls a “secure cockpit browser” that gives pilots the ability to interact with and move between applications similar to the way iPhones and Androids are operated.

“The goal is to actually provide the secure cockpit browser directly onto your front displays. Our goal is to work with our OEM partners to see what kind of applications they want to allow. But overall, the displays have become the secure cockpit browser, allowing Anthem’s applications to be running on the ground, while being accessed right there on your displays in the cockpit. You can use that kind of a capability right there on the front displays rather than on your iPad or in combination with your iPad. That’s the goal,” Gupta said.

Aside from the embedded connection to Honeywell Forge, or the cloud service of a future aircraft OEM’s choice, Gupta said that Anthem is also being developed based on the assumption that most of the aircraft it will be implemented on will feature satellite, air-to-ground or cellular connectivity that is separate from the cloud connectivity of Anthem.

“If you look at most of the larger business aviation airplanes today almost 90 percent of them actually come equipped with high-speed satcom. I can see a time where five years from now, I expect that connectivity is going to become just a standard piece of equipment on the airplane rather than the novelty that it remains today,” Gupta said.

Similar to the way that Honeywell was able to adjust and scale Primus Epic to a wide range of air transport aircraft, Anthem is to become scalable as well, but in a different way. Due to its cloud-native status, the same customizable screens and applications available to the most advanced Airbus or Boeing jets is also scalable to smaller Part 23 and general aviation aircraft.

A key element of this scalability is Anthem’s smart display screens, where, because of advancements in embedded processing, the screens manage the communication, navigation and surveillance system functionality previously relegated to an aircraft’s electric equipment bay.

“We have embedded this processing capability directly into the displays,” Gupta said.

There is also a major effort by Honeywell to match the human-machine interface and intuitiveness of manipulating Anthem’s screens to match the way most people interact with smartphones. Pilots can customize the layout of the displays remotely from their tablet, and there are also visualization and modern graphical and gesture-based methods, making the aircraft much easier to use.

Anthem will also feature voice activation for some applications. According to Gupta, it’s a complete redesign of the human-to-machine interface traditionally featured in avionics systems.

“Our last generation cockpit, Primus Epic, its core architecture was primarily designed more than 20 years ago. The iPad and other tablets or smartphones were not a thing at that time. As you can imagine, right now, our expectation on how we use electronic devices is driven essentially by how we use our tablets, how we use our computers, right. And we have taken some of that experience and brought it into the cockpit,” Gupta said.

 

 

The post Meet Anthem: Honeywell’s First Cloud-Native Cockpit System appeared first on Aviation Today.

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Gulfstream’s New G400, G800 Jets Keep Symmetry Flight Deck

Computer-generated images of Gulfstream’s new G400 and G800 business aircraft revealed during a launch ceremony in Savannah, Georgia. (Gulfstream Aerospace)

Gulfstream revealed its two all-new aircraft types, the large cabin G400 and what will become the longest-range aircraft in the company’s history, the G800.

These are the first new aircraft types introduced by Gulfstream in two years, since the unveiling of the G700 during the 2019 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) conference and exhibition. During an Oct. 4 live-streamed unveiling event from their Savannah, Ga. headquarters, Gulfstream showed the first G800 test aircraft while giving a virtual tour of the G400.

According to an Oct. 4 press release, both aircraft will keep the Symmetry flight deck in place that was fist launched on the G500/600, with electronically linked active control side sticks and 10 touch-screen displays.

“As the capstone, of our next generation of fleet, the G800 of course features the safety and reliability of the Symmetry flight deck, with its active control side sticks, extensive use of touch screen technology and our own data concentration network,” Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream, said during the unveiling Monday night. “We have taken these advancements even further with an all new combined vision system that brings enhanced flight vision systems (EFVS), and synthetic vision together in a dual head up display in our cockpit. These advanced avionics increase situational awareness and airport access.”

The first Gulfstream G800 was on display during the livestreamed launch event. (Gulfstream Aerospace)

On the G800, Gulfstream is including seating for up to 19 passengers, and configurations separated into four living areas or three living areas with a crew compartment. The aircraft is powered by the same Roll-Royce Pearl 700 engines featured on the G700—which is on track for entry into service late next year, according to Gulfstream.

According to Burns, Gulfstream has started manufacturing the first G800 test fleet of aircraft, “and the team has already began instrumentation and calibration of this first test airplane, clearing the way to begin flying,” he said.

The G400 will feature three different floorpans, with options for seating up to nine, 11 or 12 passengers and will fly 4,200 nm/7,778 km at its long-range cruise speed of Mach 0.85. Powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PW812GA engines, the G400 is Gulfstream’s first new large-cabin aircraft program in more than a decade.

“The vision of all of these airplanes has been in the works for quite some time. G700 was our initial announcement, we were working on G800 simultaneously making sure we took all advantages of the design efficiency and the manufacturing efficiency to bring this airplane to market, 8,000 nautical miles kind of says it all,” Burns said.

Gulfstream’s G800 and G400 introduction follows Dassault’s May launch of the Falcon 10X, with a range of 7,500 nautical miles, also to be powered by Rolls Royce engines. The company is anticipating customer deliveries of the G800 to begin by 2023, followed by the G400 in 2025.

The post Gulfstream’s New G400, G800 Jets Keep Symmetry Flight Deck appeared first on Aviation Today.

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Honda is Developing a Hybrid-Electric eVTOL

Honda released images of a prototype hybrid electric eVTOL aircraft in a Sept. 30 announcement. (Honda Motor Co.)

Honda Motor Co. has reveled new plans to develop a new electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, as part of a series of next generation technologies being researched and developed at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo.

Details released by Honda in a Sept. 30 announcement are scarce, calling the aircraft the “Honda eVTOL” that is to be powered by a “gas turbine hybrid power unit,” according to the company. Other new “outside-the-box” technologies being researched by Honda include an avatar robot, small reusable rockets and a partnership with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to build a “circulative renewable energy system on the lunar surface,” according to the company.

The decision by Honda to develop a hybrid rather than full-electric eVTOL aircraft is driven by the company’s desire to increase the range featured in its design, which Honda claims would be limited to “intra-city (inside city) transportation” due to the limitations of all-electric aircraft.

“However, all-electric eVTOL aircraft face a range issue due to limited battery capacity, therefore the realistic use area is limited to intra-city (inside city) transportation,” Honda notes in their Sept. 30 announcement. “To address this issue and realize user-friendly inter-city transportation with longer range, Honda will leverage its electrification technologies and develop Honda eVTOL equipped with a gas turbine hybrid power unit.”

Honda’s prototype eVTOL undergoing wind tunnel testing. (Honda)

Beyond the aircraft itself, Honda wants to develop an associated reservation service system, as well as maintenance and air traffic control services as part of a broader mobility ecosystem.

A video accompanying the Honda eVTOL announcement gives an overview of a multimodal smartphone app-based service that connects passengers to a car-to-eVTOL port service.

The post Honda is Developing a Hybrid-Electric eVTOL appeared first on Aviation Today.

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Air France to Operate Intelsat 2Ku In-Flight Connectivity on New Airbus A220s

Air France revealed images of its first new Airbus A220-300, including its 3-2 seat configuration pictured here. (Air France)

Air France will install Intelsat‘s 2Ku high-speed satellite In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) service on 60 of its new A220-300 aircraft. Intelsat is equipping the aircraft now and will be ready to offer the full commercial service when Air France begins using the new aircraft for its short and medium-haul destinations starting in the fall.

“We are honored to partner with Air France and delight their passengers with a superior In-Flight Connectivity experience on Airbus’ state-of-the-art A220 aircraft,” Intelsat’s President of Commercial Aviation John Wade said in a statement. “This award expands the total Intelsat fleet at Air France to 143 aircraft, including widebody B777s and A330s. Air France is the third airline partner to select Intelsat on the A220 airframe and our first 2Ku line-fit European airline partner.”

Financial details of the contract order were not disclosed. Air France is rolling out the 2Ku service on its A220 fleet in three tiers, including a free messaging-only option.

Intelsat became an IFC solutions provider after it acquired Gogo’s Commercial Aviation division in the second quarter of 2021. The operator inserted the business into it’s Network Services division, and has been benefiting from increased IFC service revenues now that they no longer have to pay Gogo as a distributor.

The operator has also benefited from the ability to build off of Gogo’s previous business relationships. This new contract with Air France follows a 2018 contract the airline signed to equip 83 aircraft with the Intelsat-powered Ku service. 

The first Air France A220-300 was unveiled by the airline last week. (Air France)

Air France also utilizes IFC systems and services from Anuvum, formerly Global Eagle Entertainment and Orange Business Services under a contract the airline signed with the providers in 2018 to equip 113 Airbus A320 family aircraft. The airline expects that by 2025 it will have integrated the 60 A220-300s ordered in 2019 to gradually replace its Airbus A318s and A319s as well as several Airbus A320s, according to a Sept. 29 press release.

“The cabin is more spacious, brighter, and offers full Wi-Fi-connectivity, further contributing to the upmarket positioning of our offer,” Anne Rigail, CEO of Air France said in a statement.

The first A220-operated Air France flights are scheduled to begin Oct. 31, to Berlin, Barcelona, Madrid and Venice, with plans to gradually extend the network to Copenhagen and other locations.

 

This article was first published by Via Satellite, a sister publication to Avionics. It has been edited. To view the original version, click here.

The post Air France to Operate Intelsat 2Ku In-Flight Connectivity on New Airbus A220s appeared first on Aviation Today.

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PODCAST: Euroconsult Talks In-flight Connectivity Outlook for Business and Commercial Aviation

Xavier Lansel, senior consultant with Euroconsult, is the guest on this episode of the Connected Aviation Intelligence Podcast.

On this episode of the Connected Aviation Intelligence Podcast, we feature a discussion with Xavier Lansel, senior consultant for Euroconsult.

Xavier joins the episode to discuss some of the details featured in their recently published ninth edition of their annual in-flight connectivity market report, that provides a comprehensive analysis of the market’s global trends and forecasts for the next decade, in terms of connectivity provided to onboard passengers.

In the report, Euroconsult predicts that the number of connected aircraft could double by the end of this decade, and there will be  between 16,000 and 20,000 connected aircraft by 2030. The 2021 edition shows that around 9,000 aircraft across 115 airlines are currently equipped with In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) terminals — a reduction of 2.5 percent compared to the previous year. Over 80 percent of these aircraft were connected through satellite connectivity, with the remainder connected through Air-to-Ground. The rate of new installations was much lower this year as a result of regional lockdowns, leading to difficulty in accessing aircraft.

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: Euroconsult Talks In-flight Connectivity Outlook for Business and Commercial Aviation appeared first on Aviation Today.

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ALBATROSS to Demonstrate How 4DT Can Reduce CO2 Emissions on Air France Flights

 

Airbus is looking to create the most energy efficient flights in a new project called “ALBATROSS.” (Airbus)

A new large-scale demonstration project involving Airbus, Air France and DSNA, the French Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) called “ALBATROSS,” will demonstrate how the use of four-dimensional trajectory (4DT)-based operations can reduce fuel and CO2 emission savings on flights operated by Air France and other airlines throughout European airspace.

First launched in February under the framework of a series of Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) flight trials, ALBATROSS will involve around 1,000 gate-to-gate live demonstration flights occurring combining the use of 4DT and several other airborne and ground-based procedures designed to reduce aircraft fuel burn and CO2 emissions. Many solutions will be put into practice during the flight demonstrations, from new precision approach procedures to continuous climb and descent, a more dynamic management of necessary airspace constraints, sustainable taxiing and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) usage, according to a Sept. 21 press release published by Airbus.

To mark the beginning of its Pioneering Sustainable Aerospace Summit and the project, Airbus and its partners collaborated on a demonstration flight from Paris to Toulouse Blagnac that featured the use of 4DT, continuous descent operations and single-engine taxiing among other concepts and technologies designed to make the flight more energy efficient.

“In a post-COVID world, we all realize that coming back to the normal situation will only be possible with more sustainable aviation,” Thierry Harquin, engineering senior manager in charge of ATM international cooperation at Airbus, said during the Airbus Summit on Sept. 21. “Air traffic management, ATM, is one of the four pillars identified by all aviation stakeholders in the destination 2050 roadmap to decarbonize aviation. That’s why ATM shall resolve to reduce our environmental footprint, respond to the air traffic growth, and obviously continuing to keep and improve the safety of our operations. In spite of the efforts made in the past on ATM, we can still optimize the ATM system. ATM optimization could contribute to a nation to six to 10 percent of CO2 emissions generated by aviation in Europe today.”

Airbus and its partners collaborated on a demonstration flight from Paris to Toulouse Blagnac that used the framework of the Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) ALBATROSS project. (Airbus)

Airbus first started delivering A320s capable of flying 4D initial trajectory operations equipped with “FANS-C” avionics—the combination of automatic dependent surveillance contract (ADS-C) and controller to pilot data link communication (CPDLC) capabilities—to EasyJet in 2019.

4D adds the fourth element of time, progressively showing the change in an aircraft’s flight path in real time to controllers. The concept will enable airlines to optimize their aircraft’s trajectories and make traffic flows more fluid and aircraft speed easier to manage, according to Airbus. Onboard avionics necessary to enable 4D trajectory operations include new data link routers, upgraded flight management systems and data link compatible cockpit displays.

Mattia Nurisso, engineering program management for ATM at Airbus, said that the ALBATROSS project also marks a significant milestone for SESAR JU, a project criticized by airline executives in recent years for failing to make Europe’s air traffic system more efficient in the way that it manages cross-border flying.

“We will be looking at the famous 4D trajectory based operation a concept that has been maturing in SESAR we have reduced drastically the uncertainty around aircraft trajectory prediction and therefor allow our ANSPs to better control the aircraft in a more efficient way. When we talk about ground we will be showcasing hybrid towing vehicle that will allow aircraft to taxi in and taxi out without engine running which is drastically reducing the consumption of our aircraft,” Nurisso said. “We’re not talking about R&D anymore, we’re not just studying the solution anymore, we’re targeting to deploy right now so it’s really a next step with the SESAR program, we’ve been passing a lot of years studying different solutions, now it’s time to deploy.”

According to Nurisso, the goal of the ALBATROSS project isn’t necessarily to revolutionize the concept of air traffic management, instead the stakeholders involved want to take advantage of as many small incremental steps they can take to reduce CO2 emissions. That would mean using things like 4DT in the air, while also taking advantage of the a new hybrid towing vehicle for taxi assistance, “taxibot,” that will allow aircraft to use a single engine to taxi in and out of their airport slots.

Other technologies and procedures to be demonstrated in ALBATROSS include the use of “novel data analytics-based tools” that can identify tactical in-flight trajectory change opportunities that will improve their fuel efficiency on a per-flight basis. Continuous climb and descent will also be facilitated, along with new New precision approach procedures such as RNP-to-ILS and RNP-AR.

Laurent Lafontan, fight operations technical development senior vice president at Air France, participated in the launch ALBATROSS demonstration flight from Paris to Toulouse Blagnac that featured continuous descent operations.

“I was in the cockpit, and I can say that at the end of the flight, I think we saved one to five percent of CO2 emissions,” Lafontan said. “So we reduce by five percent of CO2 emissions on this flight. Why? Because it was a beautiful collaboration between airspace and air navigation services providers with dynamic management of the airspace. We were able on the ground to keep doing our single-engine taxiing. We are able, by using big data, to optimize vertical flight paths getting the most efficient flight level doing cruising and through continuous descent. When you make the addition of all these teeny things, we are able to save five percent. I think in the most efficient way, we will have been able to maybe to reduce…around seven or 10 percent of co2 emission.”

The post ALBATROSS to Demonstrate How 4DT Can Reduce CO2 Emissions on Air France Flights appeared first on Aviation Today.

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F-35 Deliveries to Top Out at 156 Per Year in Fiscal 2023, Per Rebaselining Plan

U.S. Air Force Maj. Kristin Wolfe performs a demonstration in the F-35A Lightning II during at the Reno Air Races in Reno, Nevada, September 19, 2021. The F-35 Lightning II Demonstration Team is based out of Hill Air Force Base, Utah. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nicolas Myers)

The F-35 Joint Program Office and the Lockheed Martin-led industry team have agreed on a rebaselined program that will deliver between 133 and 156 planes in the coming years.

The rebaselining “ensures predictability and stability in the production process while recovering the aircraft shortfall realized over the last year during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lockheed Martin said on Sept. 27.

“With this agreement, Lockheed Martin is scheduled to deliver 133-139 aircraft this year, 151-153 aircraft in 2022 and anticipates delivering 156 aircraft beginning in 2023 and for the foreseeable future,” the company said.

Defense analyst Byron Callan of Capital Alpha Partners LLC wrote in a Sept. 27 note to investors that the expected F-35 deliveries this year “are in line with management guidance as of mid-2021.”

“The 156 level is below prior expectations for a steady-state rate of 170, but there are other factors that have to be weighed for the F-35 and more broadly for Lockheed Martin,” he wrote. “We expect the 2023 and out-year delivery level may reflect decisions about the DoD F-35 buys in the FY23-27 budget request and plan that is being finalized and absence of significant congressional add-ons to F-35 unit buys in the FY22 request and beyond. The FY22 request was for a total of 85 F-35s, down from 96 that were funded in FY21. SASC (Senate Armed Services Committee added five F-35Cs in its markup but the two House committees didn’t increase the unit buy. In FY16-21, Congress added 11-20 additional F-35s to the administration’s annual request.”

Last week, the U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $1 billion contract modification for the production and delivery of 16 F-35s in Lot 15. Those 16 include 10 F-35As for the U.S. Air Force and six F-35Bs for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, who spearheaded a two-year production pause for the F-35B as Pentagon acquisition chief during the Obama administration, said that he intends to study sustainment costs for the Air Force’s F-35A and to recommend ways to reduce them.

“We’ve got to work very hard to get improvement for the F-35A,” Kendall said in response to a question at a media roundtable on Sept. 20 at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber conference. “The costs of sustainment have been high for a long time. We were able to drive them down to some extent before I left my old position, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.”

 

This article was first published by Defense Daily, a sister publication to Avionics, it has been edited. Click here to view the original version.

The post F-35 Deliveries to Top Out at 156 Per Year in Fiscal 2023, Per Rebaselining Plan appeared first on Aviation Today.

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