SmartSky and Davinci Jets Announce Expanded Partnership

Connectivity provider SmartSky Networks announced Davinci Jets as its newest sales and installation partner. Davinci Jets, a North Carolina-based aircraft management and charter firm, was the very first aircraft management company to offer SmartSky to its customers. It has since opened a new division, Davinci Jets Services, which provides FAA Part 145 certified, full-service maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capabilities based at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Through the expanded partnership, Davinci is now both a customer and, through its MRO, an enabler for equipping more business aircraft with SmartSky’s unprecedented capabilities that allow the entire aircraft to stay connected nationwide.

Davinci Jets Services is authorized to perform work on a wide variety of airframes and engines including but not limited to many models of Gulfstream, Bombardier, Embraer, Textron, and Pilatus aircraft. Traditionally, it has provided high-quality preventative maintenance and scheduled inspections. Now the operation is adding aircraft modifications to its repertoire for owners/operators and external clientele. “Inflight connectivity is the most requested upgrade and now we can offer the most advanced system, SmartSky,” said Joe Chaundy, Director of Davinci Jets Services. “SmartSky’s greatly-enhanced performance features ensure each passenger can stay continuously connected on multiple devices simultaneously while using the same applications at the same high performance that they do on the ground. As an MRO, we want a fast and easy installation that minimizes downtime for the aircraft. SmartSky delivers the speed our customers need in both connectivity performance and installation.”

“We are proud to partner with Davinci in a bigger way. Because they are a leading provider of customized management, charter, and MRO services, they are committed to offering the best available solutions for their customers,” said Aria Bahawdory, director of MRO Account Management for SmartSky. “Customers have grown tired of slow inflight connectivity because most Wi-Fi-equipped business jets are using technology that is nearly twenty years old. In order to get better performance, we understand they are now being strongly encouraged by their provider to upgrade, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars, yet without the meaningful improvement you would expect from such an investment. SmartSky enables Davinci customers to get immediate access to the latest technology that will connect the cabin, cockpit, and operations, all in a single installation — and benefit from future SmartSky technology advancements delivered via software updates. The choice is really that simple.”

RTI Announces First Transport Services Segment with FACE 3.1 Conformance Certification and DO-178C DAL A Safety Evidence

Real-Time Innovations (RTI), the software framework company for autonomous systems, announced that RTI Connext TSS has achieved two industry firsts. It is the first Transport Services Segment (TSS) to receive conformance certification to the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) Technical Standard, Edition 3.1, and it is the first TSS available with RTCA DO-178C Design Assurance Level (DAL) A Safety certification evidence. Connext TSS uniquely delivers a standards-compliant software framework that accelerates the development of modular, open and safety-critical avionics systems.

RTI Connext TSS is the first software framework designed to meet the demanding requirements of data-centric, mission-critical and safety-critical systems. These systems require sharing data in real-time across multiple networks and multiple safety levels, as well as with other system components from different suppliers and operational entities. These critical systems have traditionally required custom, proprietary, single platform integration approaches that are not optimized for scalability, evolvability or ease of integration.

“The U.S. Army PEO Aviation congratulates RTI on their successful FACE Conformance Certification for FACE TSS,” said Mark Chess, CIO Office, U.S. Army PEO Aviation and elected chair of the FACE Consortium. “RTI’s commitment to the FACE Consortium and its expertise in a wide range of hardware and software platforms removes both program cost and risk for delivering best-in-class solutions for next-generation military platforms.”

Connext TSS 3.1 FACE conformance and DO-178C certification evidence were created on top of the DDC-I Deos safety RTOS executing on the North Atlantic Industries, Inc. (NAII) 68PPC2T2080 board. All parties have completed the development of DO-178C DAL A certification evidence for this solution stack. Together, this integrated FACE and DO-178C solution stack with DDC-I, NAII, and RTI provides an immediate commercial foundation for building next generation avionics systems, while reducing both program cost and risk.

“Connext TSS is a critical component of any next generation avionics system,” said Chip Downing, senior market director of Aerospace & Defense at RTI. “Connext TSS coupled with our diverse partner ecosystem accelerates integration while delivering proven real-time performance, scalability and robustness using data-centric, standards-based technologies. It is the obvious choice for platforms requiring both FACE conformance and RTCA DO-178C safety certification.”

RTI remains committed to supporting the FACE ecosystem and leading avionics platforms, ensuring the continuation of additional certifications with FACE 3.1 conformant OSS suppliers, processors and/or board environments. RTI has been a member of the FACE Consortium since 2010, providing unwavering support in the Data Model, Transport Services Segment, and Outreach committees. For more information, visit:

ITA Airways First Full-Service Airline to Join Inmarsat and ESA’s Iris Program

The Italian flag carrier will be the first full service airline in Europe to join the ground-breaking program by Inmarsat and European Space Agency (ESA)

Digitally-connected flights to and from Italy will be available from this summer, as ITA Airways rolls out the European Space Agency (ESA) and Inmarsat’s ground-breaking Iris data link technology to the cockpits of its full aircraft fleet, contributing to airspace modernization in Europe.

ITA Airways will be the first full service carrier in Europe to join Iris. The program enables aircraft to fly more fuel-efficient routes by providing digital satellite communications to complement VHF data link, which is nearing a capacity crunch in congested airspace. Without fast and reliable data links between aircraft and the ground, air traffic managers cannot unlock the 8-10% reduction in CO2 emissions identified by EUROCONTROL from improved Air Traffic Management (ATM). Iris will allow ATM players to better anticipate and collaborate to maximize airspace use, reducing the impact of disruptions for passengers while reducing emissions.

The Italian national carrier will equip its full fleet of new Airbus A320neo and A330neo aircraft deliveries with Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S), the award-winning platform flying on more than 230 aircraft globally, which powers Iris. Its aircraft will also play a significant role in Iris demonstration flights, which will take place across European airspace supported by 14 Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) during 2023.

This news comes as five more airlines have now equipped aircraft with Inmarsat SB-S, after Airbus’ Light Cockpit Satcom (LCS) terminal became available to order in December 2022. Current SB-S users include Virgin Atlantic, Jet2, and Transavia Airlines, in addition to ITA Airways and easyJet.

Across the seven European airlines, 72 aircraft deliveries with Airbus LCS installed are anticipated during 2023-2024. Iris-capable Inmarsat terminals across many more of Europe’s commercial airlines will further support the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) masterplan.

“ITA Airways was born to guarantee Italy quality connectivity with a strong focus on the environmental impact through an important investment made in a homogeneous and technologically advanced fleet, which in 2026 will be made up of 80% of new generation aircrafts becoming the greenest fleet in Europe. We are proud to join the Iris programme, which is fully in line with our growth strategy as it reflects two of the core pillars of ITA Airways: sustainability and innovation,” said Alessio Leone, head of Camo operations, at ITA Airways. “ITA Airways is the first full service carrier in Europe with a new fleet fully equipped with this cutting-edge technology by Inmarsat Aviation, delivering operational and environmental benefits.”

Joel Klooster, Inmarsat Aviation’s senior vice president of aircraft operations and Safety, said “We are delighted to welcome ITA Airways as the second airline to join Iris, coming only months after easyJet was announced as the first airline. This shows the impressive momentum that continues to build around the program as it heads towards commercial service introduction in Europe this year, followed by a full global rollout. Iris will mark a transformational step-change in air traffic management, delivering operational and environment benefits for airlines and the aviation industry as a whole, while also enhancing the flight experience for passengers.”

Javier Benedicto, acting director of telecommunications and integrated applications at ESA, added: “We are proud to support the space-enabled digitalisation of Europe’s skies, which will help to make aviation greener. ESA developed the Iris system in partnership with Inmarsat and we welcome ITA Airways as the first full service carrier and the second airline to sign up to use it. Investing in space improves life on Earth.”

SITA’S Datalink Services Aim to Improve Airspace Efficiency in Serbia and Montenegro

Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services, SMATSA LLC, has selected SITA as its primary datalink service provider to comply with a key European Union (EU) mandate that will modernize its air traffic control communications. 

SITA is only one of two providers that can provide compliant datalink services in the EU. Uniquely, SITAcan also offer its services via the new pan-European network service (NewPENS), an upgraded telecommunications network used by many Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) today. SITA is the primary provider of datalink services to 24 EU Member States and a shared provider for a further EU country. 

Under the Single European Sky regulatory framework, ANSPs in the EU must deploy Controller–Pilot Datalink Communications (CPDLC) on a modern Aeronautical Telecommunication Network (ATN). SITA was an active participant in the strategic initiatives supporting this move to the CPDLC mandate in Europe. CPDLC is a more reliable digital-based form of communication to complement conventional voice communications. 

SITA’s ATN, combined with its multi-frequency VHF Digital Link Mode 2 (VDLm2) solution, will enable SMATSA to deploy CPDLC for all routine air traffic control communications, such as clearances, in the upper airspace. The shift to more text-based messages will help the ANSP increase the efficiency, capacity, and performance of air traffic management as air traffic demand grows. 

The digital capability allows for messages to be sent concurrently, and a pre-defined message featurefor receiving/requesting clearances and reporting information. It will enable SMATSA’s air traffic controllers to handle multiple requests and reduce errors caused by misunderstandings between pilots and controllers with voice communications. With improved, increased, and near real-time communication, controllers will have more time to identify aircraft conflicts and offer more optimal routings for aircraft.

Avionica Inks Wireless QAR Agreement with Qatar Airways for G650ER Fleet

Avionica has finalized an agreement with Qatar Executive Airways to install their miniQAR-avCM seamless connected aircraft flight data solution in Qatar’s entire Gulfstream G650 aircraft fleet. Avionica says its miniQAR-avCM is the aviation industry’s “smallest and lightest wireless and most robust flight data solution and provides secure and reliable data transfer in seconds.”

As of today, Qatar’s fleet consists of 15 G650ER aircraft and the executive transport company says it is critical for Qatar to have access to flight data within minutes of landing. This solution will enable Qatar to have full operational control over its data distribution and analytics to ensure the best possible outcomes, according to Avionica.

Avionica’s modular flight data management (FDM) products include certified flight data recorder options and custom installations to fit the operators’ needs.

“Avionica is excited about the installation on the G650ER fleet with Qatar. For thirty years, we have been listening to our customers and we understand Qatar’s requirements for quick access to data and standardization of their fleet under one platform. Our miniQAR-avCM seamless connected aircraft flight data solution packs a punch when it comes to lightweight, reliable, and secure immediate data transfer,” said Claudia Espinosa, vice president of commercial.

The installations of the miniQAR-avCM are targeted to begin in Q4 of 2022. After these installations are executed, Qatar will look to possible expansion on additional fleet types

Raytheon Technologies Demonstrated FlexLink Adaptive Connectivity Solution in Support of U.S. Army’s Project Convergence

Raytheon Technologies Demonstrated FlexLink Adaptive Connectivity Solution in Support of U.S. Army’s Project Convergence

Raytheon Technologies successfully demonstrated solutions needed to connect defense networks and simplify U.S. Army command and control systems during a recent Army Project Convergence exercise.

Key among those technologies was FlexLink, an open-system radio technology developed by the company’s Collins Aerospace business that’s designed to connect multiple air and ground platforms.

During the exercise, FlexLink was installed on U.S. Army UH-60M helicopters and was able to establish a joint command and control network at distances exceeding 200 nautical miles. The demonstration was key to validating the Army’s Project Convergence concept, which is the service’s contribution to the Defense Department’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control initiative.

The FlexLink solution is the first open systems radio prototype to be integrated onto U.S. Army platforms. The demonstration bridged four joint service and coalition networks, all operating at different security levels using a multi-level security cross domain solution to allow for integrated, connected communication across the battlespace.

“We demonstrated that our ready-now open systems radio can be integrated with existing platforms,” said Philip Jasper, president of mission systems for Collins Aerospace. “Providing resilient communications across networks is key for reducing decision-making time and supporting effective operations in any highly contested environment.”

FlexLink Adaptive Connectivity Solution for communication, navigation and surveillance delivers network connectivity and assured positioning, navigation and timing to connect the battlespace. The system is able to operate across a variety of U.S. Department of Defense communication networks, from advanced tactical datalinks to legacy narrowband line-of-sight, both wideband and narrowband SATCOM, high-frequency, commercial mesh networking waveforms, as well as emerging directional line-of-sight resilient capabilities. FlexLink was designed using modular, open systems architecture to allow capabilities to be added or updated quickly and cost effectively.

Three Raytheon Technologies businesses – Collins Aerospace, Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Raytheon Missiles & Defense – were selected to participate in the Project Convergence 22 Technology Gateway at Yuma Proving Ground. The businesses demonstrated a variety of capabilities including intelligent gateway technologies, zero-trust cybersecurity solutions and an upgraded Multi-Functional Lightweight Command Launch Unit.

What EWIS Is and Why It Matters For Wiring Aircraft

What EWIS Is and Why It Matters For Wiring Aircraft

If you play any part in the wiring of aircraft — whether as a manufacturer, installer or technician — then the acronym EWIS matters to you. The reason: EWIS stands for ‘Electrical Wiring InterConnect System’ or ‘Electrical Wiring InterConnection System.’ In either usage, EWIS represents a unified approach to aircraft wiring design and layout that encompasses all wires and wired devices that are installed in aircraft for transmitting electrical energy.

EWIS embraces “the wiring throughout the aircraft and its interaction with other systems,” observed Christopher Wollbrink. He is an engineer at Lectromec, which specializes in aircraft wiring system testing, assessment and certification. Its ISO 17025:2017 accredited lab is capable of doing most of the EWIS testing needed to verify component airworthiness, perform system-level tests, and determine long-term component reliability of aircraft wiring systems.



The impetus for developing EWIS as an overarching, unified approach to aircraft wiring and certification came from the 1976 TWA flight explosion of a Boeing 747 and the 1998 fire aboard Swissair flight 111 on a McDonnell Douglas MD-11, both of which resulted in the losses of the aircraft, passengers and crew. The rules governing EWIS are codified in the FAA’s Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 25, Subpart H — “Certification of Electrical Wiring Interconnection Systems on Transport Category Airplanes” — which were issued on December 4, 2007.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board’s official investigation report, “the probable cause of the TWA flight 800 accident was an explosion of the center wing fuel tank (CWT), resulting from ignition of the flammable fuel/air mixture in the tank. The source of ignition energy for the explosion could not be determined with certainty, but, of the sources evaluated by the investigation, the most likely was a short circuit outside of the CWT that allowed excessive voltage to enter it through electrical wiring associated with the fuel quantity indication system.”

Meanwhile, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada determined that the Swissair flight 111 fire “most likely started from a wire arcing event … A segment of in-flight entertainment network (IFEN) power supply unit cable exhibited a region of resolidified copper on one wire that was caused by an arcing event. This resolidified copper was determined to be located near manufacturing station 383, in the area where the fire most likely originated.”

Prior to these tragedies, aircraft wiring wasn’t seen as a potential source of serious in-flight incidents, which led to it being under-prioritized in comparison to avionics and other complex aircraft components and systems. Today, the EWIS approach ensures that wiring gets its due.

The Importance of EWIS

In a physical sense, EWIS is the central nervous system of an aircraft. It conveys information about
altitude, attitude, flight speed, and many other data points from sensor equipment to pilots. EWIS also allows them to fly the aircraft by conveying their commands to engines, rudders, ailerons and elevators.

An EWIS whose wires have degraded over time may not be able to function safely. This is why Lectromec performs degradation analysis testing on aircraft EWIS components and systems to identify current EWIS conditions and predict their remaining reliable service lives for up to 20 years.

“Wire failure effects are examined analytically, through simulation and, when necessary, through testing,” said Wollbrink. “This is done to generate data that EWIS engineers need for physical separation and verification of EWIS to aircraft component separation. We have an on-staff FAA DER (Designated Engineering Representative) and have worked on several aircraft certifications and STC projects performing wiring system testing and analysis.”

“The advent of EWIS as a maintenance approach has really highlighted wire material failures more accurately,” said J. Grant Lawton, an application engineer at W.L. Gore & Associates (Gore). It is a material science company specializing mostly in fluoropolymer and polytetrafluoroethylene products used in EWIS assemblies, cables and wires. “Before the EWIS approach came along, there was not a maintenance code for what actually happened to wires,” he said. “The codes typically used were related to connectors, contacts or other hardware and not the wire or cable when it was actually the problem.”

A case in point: in the pre-EWIS days, polyimide-insulated wire was widely used in aircraft. Unfortunately, polyimide wires tend to degrade in humid environments, to the extent that “the failure was so vast and widespread it could not be missed,” Lawton said.

According to a Lectromec white paper entitled, “Should Polyimide Insulated Wire be Trusted”, “In the early ‘90s, the threat posed by polyimide was well-established and began to become a feared wire for use on aircraft. This is reflected in the ban the Navy placed on installing polyimide wire for new aircraft applications in 1992.”

“With these defective materials identified, the entire industry worked over years to remove and replace all the polyimide insulated wire and cable,” said Lawton. “Had EWIS been in place, the problem would have been identified far sooner.”

W.L. Gore specializes in fluoropolymer and polytetrafluoroethylene products used in EWIS assemblies, cables and wires. W.L. Gore image.
W.L. Gore specializes in fluoropolymer and polytetrafluoroethylene products used in EWIS assemblies, cables and wires. W.L. Gore image.

Trends in EWIS Design

Aviation technology is undergoing major changes due to technological progress in materials and aircraft design, the ongoing miniaturization of electronics, and the increased collection of sensor data for preventative maintenance and more autonomous flight operations, among others.

(Right)J. Grant Lawson
W.L. Gore
J. Grant Lawson
W.L. Gore

EWIS design is part of this change process, as manufacturers tailor these systems to meet the trends shaping aviation in general. TE Connectivity manufactures advanced wire and connectors for aircraft EWIS, as well as the tubing and sleeving that connects them.

(Left)Matthew McAlonis
TE Connectivity
Matthew McAlonis
TE Connectivity

According to Matthew McAlonis, engineering fellow, aerospace at TE Connectivity (TE), there are two main trends that are driving the development of EWIS.

The first of this is the passenger experience. “Today, passengers expect comfort and uninterrupted and seamless connectivity to internet, social media and in-flight entertainment,” said McAlonis. “For example, connecting passengers requires building aircraft with ‘back-end’ systems that support wired and wireless interfaces so passengers can use their own devices, regardless of operating system. They also must support higher bandwidth, requiring use of high-speed cables and wiring, including fiber optic cables that enable long-distance gigahertz speeds to enable content such as streaming video.”

The second trend affecting EWIS design is the development of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, many of which are being developed for ‘air taxi’ applications. “Designing practical urban-air/advanced-air mobility (UAM/AAM) air taxis or electric-powered vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) vehicles poses a new and complex set of challenges,” McAlonis continued. “Wire and cabling for these vehicles will require additional testing for mass proliferation. At TE, we are innovating on existing technologies through shape and weight optimization of components and cable assemblies.”

“There is a trend for ‘More Electric Aircraft’ which generally seeks to shift power, control and sensor systems to electrical power, and signal means in place of hydraulic, pneumatic or mechanical power transmission is expanding the use of wire and cable on aircraft,” Lawton agreed. But this is just one aspect of the electrical revolution that is driving EWIS design. For instance, “new technologies in controls, navigation, communications, entertainment and cockpit displays come with the need for high-speed data interconnects,” he said. “Vision systems, situational awareness, glass cockpits and better radars all bring new challenges needing better data cables — and since there are many more cables there is sensitivity to size and weight.”

Wiring manufacturers like TE Connectivity say their products can help provide passengers with uninterrupted, seamless connectivity to internet, social media and in-flight entertainment. TE Connectivity images.
Wiring manufacturers like TE Connectivity say their products can help provide passengers with uninterrupted, seamless connectivity to internet, social media and in-flight entertainment. TE Connectivity images.

Lectromec’s Wollbrink also sees the demand for high-speed data as influencing EWIS design. The challenge: “The need for higher speed data transfers requires tighter controls on product, fabrication and installation,” he said. “Cables need to be lightweight and robust to handle the stresses of being on an aircraft. Cables will also need to shield from unwanted signals from other devices to maintain signal integrity.”

The fact that eVTOLs will need high voltage (HV) systems to transfer power from their batteries to their electric motors is also affecting EWIS design. “With all-electric aircraft (AEA), the propulsion systems are running on voltages two-three times what we have historically seen on aircraft,” said Wollbrink. “It does not sound like much, but the industry wants the same package, weight, and longevity of these HV components as existing lower voltage systems. This has created a need for new designs, new materials and new ways to test and verify components.”

Challenges for EWIS Manufacturers

Collectively, the trends outlined above pose many challenges to EWIS manufacturers, as do customer requests in other areas. Here’s what they’re up against.

For TE Connectivity, many of their EWIS challenges are nothing new. For example, “customers are always looking for lightweight, toughened wire and cable constructions that offer improved resistance to chaffing and other forms of insulation damage, yet still meet the mechanical and electrical performance of wire and cable constructions that have been used by industry over many decades,” said Robert Moore, senior principal engineer at TE Connectivity.

As well, new EWIS products and materials always require certification in design, manufacturing, testing and application/use. “While industry demands have created an appetite for innovation, due diligence with the proper evaluation, testing and approvals cannot be ignored,” Moore continued.

Lectromec 1: Lectromec says finding new ways of testing and verifying their products is crucial. Shown here is a lab ASM D2671 flame test of heat shrink tubing. Lectromec image.
Lectromec 1: Lectromec says finding new ways of testing and verifying their products is crucial. Shown here is a lab ASM D2671 flame test of heat shrink tubing. Lectromec image.

To move things along, TE engineers participate on standards committees supporting the aerospace industry, to get EWIS products with improved properties included in these specifications and approved for future platforms. “One example is the abrasion resistant XL-EFTE jacket used on our 55OTE family of cables that is now included in NEMA WC27500 as a jacket option,” said Moore.

Lectromec 2: This image is from an analysis of voltage transients for a high voltage system and the performance level of the EWIS components. Lectromec image.
Lectromec 2: This image is from an analysis of voltage transients for a high voltage system and the performance level of the EWIS components. Lectromec image.

Gore’s solution to ever-evolving EWIS market demands is to produce wire and cables that offer multiple attributes, so there is less need for a ‘special’ high performance version, a ‘special’ small size version, and yet another ‘special’ lightweight version. “Gore has also used EWIS information from a specific platform to design a high abrasion-resistant wire product to help improve aircraft availability and reduce maintenance costs,” Lawton said. “That effort is improving wire and cable for the entire industry.”

Over at Lectromec, the development of eVTOL systems is motivating the company to put “extra effort into our lab development for HV systems,” said Wollbrink. To meet this demand, Lectromec’s lab has been upgraded using new technologies and assessment capabilities.

At the same time, Lectromec’s team has been performing research to expand their knowledge base. “With the push for aircraft electronics and HV systems, we have had to increase our power capacity, increase our capabilities around partial discharge assessment, and have a fuller understanding of the new power systems that impact the EWIS, and failure modes like electrical arcing faults,” Wollbrink said.

The Struggle to Get New Products to Market

Developing, certifying and getting new EWIS products is particularly challenging in the current high-pressure market environment. “New materials need to be tested and qualified,” Moore said. “Acceptance by an OEM then leads to that OEM sponsoring slash sheets into existing specifications referenced/used by the aerospace industry and qualification by TE to those documents.”

Robert Moore, TE Connectivity
Robert Moore, TE Connectivity

“On the connector side, it is developing backshell accessories that make shield terminations during harnessing simpler and provide methodologies for improving EMI performance,” TE’s McAlonis said. All this has to be achieved while qualified personnel are in short supply: “In terms of talent, the industry needs more material science engineers that can evaluate and recommend new materials, and create proprietary formulations that can be evaluated by development engineering on products, such as wire and cable, heat shrinkable tubing, and P-clamp bushings, which are used in the aerospace market,” he continued. “Lastly, while the supply chain picture is improving, the lingering effects of shortages in commodity metals and resin materials has had an impact on manufacturing and time to market.”

Gore is facing challenges within the wiring ecosystem in creating new categories of industry specifications for next generation high performance cable. “Navigating standards for wire and cable products requires attention to detail and collaboration with customers and competitors to agree on effective and fair requirements,” said Lawton. “With that said, standards organizations such as SAE, EIA, ARINC and governmental agencies like NavAir, AFRL and FAA have a highly cooperative spirit that depends on voluntary participation.”

In contrast to the statements above, Lectromec does not have “any specific challenges with getting our products to market,” Wollbrink said. “We have been fortunate to be a voice of wiring system technologies for the last 40 years and as such, we are finding that a lot of the market is coming to us seeking our test capabilities and our experience for their platforms.”

Looking Ahead

To wrap up this look at EWIS trends and challenges, ATR magazine asked our experts what new products their companies are bringing to market now, and what they have planned for the future.

When it comes to new EWIS products, “one of TE’s most recent advancements is our lighter-weight, faster-to-install composite P-Clamps that mechanically bracket together wires, cables, or hoses and then fastens them securely to an anchor point — such as a screw or a bolt,” said McAlonis. According to him, the TE P-Clamp lock and mounting features give engineers more flexibility in configuring electrical and fluid systems. “The new design can significantly reduce installation time, up to 80% per clamp depending on the size, and potentially save hundreds of hours per aircraft build,” he stated. “Plus, the new P-Clamp reduces injury from repetitive motion, which can alleviate the physical difficulties of installing legacy-style metal P-Clamps.”

In fact, no tools are required for TE’s new P-Clamps, which are made of lightweight, aerospace-grade polyetheretherketone (PEEK) polymer. TE P-Clamps are available in 10 sizes, covering the same application range as standard AS21919 P-Clamps.

At W.L. Gore & Associates, their eyes are firmly on the future of EWIS. In this data-driven age, “system health monitoring will allow the aircraft to diagnose physical and electrical health in real time,” said Lawton. “From a wire and cable perspective, better quality materials and quality manufacturing will improve reliability on the front end.” As well, the adoption of data-based systems needing more and more bandwidth “are leading to different failure modes that we would call ‘Electro-Dynamic’,” he said, “meaning signal failure can happen at higher frequencies that would not be seen at low frequency or DC conditions. These are trickier to diagnose and require the EWIS to be evaluated in the frequency domain to ensure the cable connector and components are all working in ‘spec’.”

As for Lectromec? Looking forward, Wollbrink predicts that the major advances in EWIS technology will be in HV components and protection. “The wire and cable technologies of yesteryear are insufficient for high-voltage systems,” he said.

The technologies and lessons learned from other industries with high-voltage systems have played a role in the development of new wiring system technologies for aircraft, noted Wollbrink. Much of the knowledge in this area has been developed by the electric car sector. “Unfortunately, this also means that many of the technologies being implemented in aircraft are automotive-grade components,” he said. “This level of component reliability is insufficient for the requirements of the aerospace sector.” As a result, this sector will have to build on that work to develop EWIS and electrical power sources optimized for aviation.

This all being said, the future looks bright for EWIS development and improvements.

TE Connectivity offers a family ofP-clamps that are lightweight and
durable. TE Connectivity image.
TE Connectivity offers a family of
P-clamps that are lightweight and
durable. TE Connectivity image.

“We are at the beginning of an exciting recovery in commercial air, where we see tremendous opportunities to further innovate with customers in in-flight entertainment, power and propulsion, and flight control in avionics,” offered McAlonis. “We are also on the cusp of fundamental change in air travel over the coming decade. With an increasing focus on sustainability, the aviation innovators of today are responding with design engineering advances that aim for zero carbon goals. We look forward to collaborating with pioneers and established players in the industry and aligning product roadmaps for high voltage, high speed, thermal management, and rugged fiber optics.”

Aireon to Provide ADS-B Data to Support Boeing’s Next-Generation Global Flight Tracking Solution

Aireon announced an agreement with Boeing to provide space-based data to support Boeing’s flight tracking solution, Fleet Insight.

Under this agreement, Aireon will provide real-time, streaming space-based ADS-B data through its AireonSTREAM product. AireonSTREAM provides access to the only high-fidelity, low-latency, air traffic surveillance-quality aircraft position data used by air navigation service providers around the world. The integration of AireonSTREAM into Boeing’s Fleet Insight will provide customers with the ability to track their aircraft wherever they operate in the world, eliminating coverage gaps.

“Bringing together two market-leading solutions with Aireon ADS-B data and Boeing’s Fleet Insight enables new levels of flight tracking visibility for operators,” said Don Thoma, Aireon CEO. “This collaboration highlights the power of the AireonSTREAM product to propel innovation in the aviation industry and beyond.”

“Aireon brings the capabilities and expertise needed to help power our new flight tracking solution for airlines,” said Brad Surak, vice president, Digital Aviation Solutions, Boeing Global Services. “This partnership strengthens our ability to deliver quality digital products as we continue to improve operational awareness across our Boeing Integrated Operations Center suite of solutions, enabling continued safe and efficient operations for our customers around the world.”

Boeing’s Fleet Insight is a cloud-hosted one-stop-shop that integrates flight operation data to provide airlines with an intuitive situation display of their entire fleet. Fleet Insight’s advanced analytics provides users with detailed insights into current status and performance. The solution also supports airline Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADDS) compliance, a global flight tracking mandate. Learn more about Fleet Insight here.

This new collaboration broadens the relationship between Boeing and Aireon. Since 2022, Boeing has integrated Aireon ADS-B data into its Safety Management System analytics tools.

Satcom Direct Confirms Commercial Launch of the SD Plane Simple Antenna Series 

Satcom Direct’s Plane Simple antenna series has officially entered commercial service. Following what the company says was two years of development, rigorous testing and a thorough customer in-service evaluation, the first antenna in the series is now commercially available for aircraft owners and operators seeking reliable, global, customized connectivity solutions that are future-proofed for evolving connectivity needs.

The SD Plane Simple Ku-band tail-mount terminal is already revolutionizing business aviation connectivity with its purpose-built design developed to meet the sector’s specific needs. The terminal is powered by the multi-layered, high-throughput Intelsat FlexExec network, the first airtime service dedicated to business aviation. Customers are benefiting from greater flexibility, connectivity options that align with anticipated operational costs, and a compact terminal system that supports simplified dynamic upgrade paths. 

“We had an idea that we believed would change how aircraft owners and operators think about connectivity. Together with our partners, we are developing, building, testing, and proving the Plane Simple technology, a product line that helps our customers be prepared for now and the future,” said Jim Jensen, CEO and founder of Satcom Direct. “Prior to the Plane Simple offering, high-speed connectivity options were limited by capacity, restrictive pricing plans, invasive installation, and were incompatible with changing satellite markets. The Plane Simple antenna series resolves these needs, and we’re proud to make this advanced, innovative antenna technology available to new and existing customers.” 

The Satcom Direct flight department has test flown the Plane Simple Ku-band technology using its Gulfstream G550 to ensure the system exceeds customer expectations. More than 560 total hours of flight time have been logged to confirm the global commercial readiness of the system. “We are passionate about raising industry standards, and the Plane Simple Ku-band terminal, when married with SD’s FlightDeck Freedom, allows for real-time network monitoring to assure crew and passengers are supported by our world-leading customer service team. The mantra in our NOC is we ‘know before you know’, indicating that we are always one step ahead of the aircraft connectivity to ensure unbroken coverage globally.”

Confirming the success of the terminal’s flight trials, all those participating in the in-service evaluation have transitioned to customer status. David Utley of Executive Jet Management, which evaluated the system on its Bombardier Global 5000, added, “The tools and service provided by SD are impressive. We particularly welcome the opportunity to integrate third-party tools as it helps us operate more efficiently. These capabilities, combined with SD’s advice and recommendations on which tools to use and how to optimize them and troubleshoot in flight, empower me to maximize our connectivity. This consultative approach means I always know what is going on. That is important for a busy aircraft frequently flying around the globe.” 

Satcom Direct Avionics, the SD manufacturing division, has developed the state-of-the-art hardware in partnership with QEST, a worldwide provider of innovative aeronautical antennas. The singular design of the first antenna consists of just two line replaceable units, the SD modem unit and tail-mount antenna. This minimizes installation times, reduces maintenance fees, and, located in the unpressurized part of the fuselage, frees up valuable cabin space.  

With the Plane Simple commercial service introduction on the Intelsat FlexExec network, operators only need to make one call to SD to source end-to-end connectivity acquisition and management. Supported by 24/7/365 customer service, the technology delivers inflight productivity, enhances leisure time, and improves operational management for more aircraft types than ever. Developed on an open-architecture platform, the system supports the integration of third-party suppliers to add further operational value. 

The system has already received Federal Aviation Administration STCs for Bombardier Global 5000, 6000, Express, Express XRS, Dassault F2000LX/LXS, Gulfstream GIV, GIV-X, G450, GV, GV-SP, G550 types with the European Aviation Safety Agency also confirming STCs for Bombardier Global 5000, 6000, Express, Express XRS and Dassault F2000LX/LXS models.

New Line of Antennas Covers a Broad Range of Frequencies

Fairview Microwave, an Infinite Electronics brand and a leading provider of RF, microwave and millimeter-wave products, has just released a new series of in-stock waveguide horn antennas for addressing a wide range of wireless applications. 

The new line of waveguide horn antennas features high gain from 10 to 20 dBi for transmitting greater power to receivers, as well as beam-width options from 11 to 55.2. 

Engineered with a low VSWR of less than 1.3 and wide frequency coverage from 1.7 GHz to 40 GHz, these waveguide horn antennas demonstrate highly efficient RF power transmission. Additional features and options include a variety of flange designations along with rugged designs constructed from high-grade aluminum with corrosion-resistant power coating. 

“Fairview’s new offering of waveguide horn antennas ensures precise directivity and high gain and covers a wide range of frequencies. They are perfectly suited for a variety of applications involving microwave links and communications, and as reference antennas,” said Kevin Hietpas, Antenna Product Manager.

Fairview Microwave’s new waveguide horn antennas are in-stock and available for same-day shipping.


Enter you REGISTERED email

Aerospace Tech Review Magazine - Subscription Popup

Already a subscriber? Log in