Jet Technology of the Future
In this digital era, everything is changing at an indescribably fast speed – smartphones, wireless transmissions, infinite pools of data. It vastly alters how we pay bills, or how we look up a piece of information – all instant and intuitive. Day after day, we don’t live the same way we used to, as it is gradually shaped by technological advances.
The business aviation industry is no exception to these exciting developments. In fact, the industry is being propelled forward more than ever. From the airframe, the cockpit, the engine to the cabin, the industry has been putting its utmost effort to make flying friendlier and more enjoyable for crews, passengers and other related personnel. To catch up with the latest trends and hopefully provide a glimpse into the future, here’s a round-up of some of the latest innovations featured on business jets.
DZYNE Technologies – the Ascent(TM) Blended Wing Body
In October 2018, Southern-Californian aircraft-design studio DZYNE Technologies revealed a unique blended-wing jet design at the Revolution.Aero conference in San Francisco.
Blended-wing-bodies (BWBs) allow the entire body of the aircraft to generate lift which helps reduce size and drag of the wings when compared to traditional tube-and-wing designs. The concept design promises a 30% reduction in fuel consumption and a significant reduction in noise levels over a traditional jet design — meaning less expensive, quieter and greener fares. The design also offers more space for passengers, due to a greater cabin width, as well as higher ceilings than a conventional business jet or narrow-body commercial aircraft. The aircraft concept promises the speed, range and airport access of a BizJet but with the floor-space of a Bizliner.
The business jet configuration (the Ascent) and the commercial aircraft configuration (the Ascent 1000) are still in the concept stage and DZYNE is seeking financing.
Dassault Aviation — FalconEye Combined Vision System
Developed by Elbit Systems, Dassault Aviation is the first civil aircraft manufacturer to combine synthetic, database-driven terrain mapping and actual thermal and low-light camera images, providing an unprecedented level of situational awareness to flight crews.
The FalconEye option has been available on the Falcon 8X since early 2017 and on the 2000LXS/S and the 900LX since October 2016. The system will also be available on the new Falcon 6X ultra-wide-body twinjet, which is due to enter service in 2022.
The Falcon 8X’s FalconEye option will later be further enhanced with the addition of a dual head up display configuration that will support an EFVS to land capability, allowing pilots to fly a full approach and land without using natural vision to see the runway. The full approval of this capability is anticipated in 2020.
Gulfstream — Symmetry Flight Deck
Designed by pilots for pilots, the Symmetry Flight DeckTM on the all-new Gulfstream G500 and G600 features a number of technological and safety advancements, many not yet seen in the business-aviation industry. Those include the first electronically linked active control sidesticks in civil aviation, the most extensive use of touchscreen technology in a flight deck, the next generation of Gulfstream’s Enhanced Flight Vision System and a robust and highly redundant data concentration network.
The Symmetry Flight Deck was purposefully designed to be smarter, reducing the crew’s workload and enhancing safety. With the active control sidesticks, pilots and co-pilots can feel each other’s inputs, which facilities better communication, a great safety differentiator. Ten touch-screen controllers complement the traditional phases of flight, creating an intuitive environment that helps pilots move quickly and efficiently through systems. These touchscreens also replace 70 percent of the buttons and switches on a typical aircraft.
Pratt & Whitney – PW800 Engine Innovation
Pratt & Whitney pioneered business aviation with the JT15D turbofan in 1971 and continues to be the leader by powering more than a third of the world’s business jets with more than 91million hours in service. The next generation PW800 is designed to minimize noise and deliver a fuel efficiency improvement of over 10% compared to similar engines. The PW814GA is in service on the Gulfstream G500, the PW815GA will enter into service on the Gulfstream G600 later this year, and the PW812 was launched last year as the engine powering the Dassault 6X.
Lufthansa Technik — Microbes in the Tank
Lufthansa Technik AG is developing modern measuring technology to inspect aircraft tanks reliably and detect critical infestations early on. The development was sparked by the discovery that the rate of biofilm formation in the aircraft fuel tanks had been steadily on the rise for several years. Biofilm is the result of secretions from microbes, which can multiply very quickly under unique circumstances.
The microorganisms find their way into aircraft tanks both through the air vents on the wings and via the clothes and respiration of mechanics during fuel tank cleaning. The condensation that forms in the tank provides an almost perfect biotope for microbes to grow and multiply rapidly. Increasing resistance to biocides and gradual changes in the microbe population suggest that traditional methods for identifying and eliminating microbes are no longer sufficient. This makes it all the more important to inspect the tanks regularly, using new measuring technology and reliable analytical methods, since this is the only way to prevent a critical infestation.
Satcom Direct — JetConneX
Staying connected is no longer strictly available on the ground. Satcom Direct is the largest distributor of Jet ConneX, delivering broadband options to customers in the air. Satcom Direct was the first in business aviation to provide Ka-band technology for business aviation. Building on this experience the company has developed guaranteed Service Level Agreement (SLA) options to support Jet ConneX customers. The SLAs include onsite support, proactive monitoring, outage notifications and guaranteed email and phone call response times.