Briefing: December 2019


Travel Planning Automated

FlightAware and FlightBridge are teaming up to organize private aircraft travel from doorstep to doorstep with predictability and accuracy. At the recent NBAA-BACE convention in Las Vegas, the two companies announced an integration of their two systems that will let business and private travelers plan their journeys down to the last detail while harnessing machine learning to ensure they go as smoothly as possible. FlightAware handles the flight part of the exercise with predictive technology that can time a flight duration down to a minute or less. It applies machine learning to a database of weather, flight track and diversions over the past 15 years to predict exactly what each planned flight profile will actually end up looking like. FlightBridge arranges ground transportation, hotels and the myriad other details involved in getting from A to B and back.

A Refreshed Learjet

Learjet, which arguably took business aviation mainstream, is getting a fresh addition to the lineup although it’s a reheat of an established design. The Learjet 75 Liberty was launched in July and Bombardier, which owns Learjet, has been showing off a mockup of the cabin, which, along with a new cockpit, brings the 1990s workhorse into the modern age. The cockpit features a Garmin G5000 suite with synthetic vision and the cabin includes a section with two forward-facing swiveling seats and a club seating section in the rear. There are modern creature comforts like collapsible tables, foot rests and support gear for modern electronics.

Better Synthetic Vision

Saab has launched a new 3-D synthetic vision database that is much more than color coded renderings with terrain warnings. The Saab system features half-meter resolution with three-meter accuracy, which means the picture on the screen looks remarkably like the view out the window. The database is derived from the world’s largest archive of satellite imagery and crunched through algorithms that give the authentic, seasonally correct picture of the world outside. The system includes new enhanced vision sensors that can penetrate water droplets and vapor to “see” up to two nautical miles ahead, and is part of a new suite of avionics offerings from the historic aviation company that now makes only military airframes.

DEF Education Offered

Avfuel has launched a free online training program for FBO personnel to learn how to handle diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). DEF is an additive used in diesel fuel to reduce exhaust emissions but if it gets into jet fuel it can react with other additives in the airplane fuel and clog fuel filters. That has led to engine shutdowns in planes fueled with contaminated JetA. “Our goal is to do whatever we can to help mitigate the risks involved with fueling mishaps, especially in light of the various issues the industry has seen in regard to DEF being mistaken for fuel system icing inhibitor,” said Randy Harrison, Avfuel’s quality assurance supervisor. “Providing a comprehensive resource to train all fuel handlers throughout our network—from our truck haulers to flight departments with their own fuel farms and, of course, FBOs—is a step in the right direction to help mitigate this threat to the industry.”

Veteran Flight Training Bill Revived

Wisconsin Democratic senator Tammy Baldwin has re-introduced a bill that would subsidize flight training for veterans in a bid to provide a new supply of airline pilots. The bill, co-sponsored by Republican John Hoewven of North Dakota, would target flight schools that have ab initio-to-airliner-right-seat programs and is designed to help fill the shortage facing airlines. “Veterans participating in the program will receive flight training necessary to become a commercial pilot and receive other certifications, including to work as a certified flight instructor,” Baldwin said in a news release.


Dale Klapmeier honored by COPA … Dassault Aviation’s Falcon 6X is on schedule for its maiden flight in 2021 … Garmin and uAvionix have resolved their patent infringement lawsuit … See for breaking news in general aviation.


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