2018: A Year of Major Movement in the Industry
United Technologies Corporation completing its acquisition of Rockwell Collins was a ﬁ tting way to end a year in which some of the industry’s biggest names were involved in acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures that will have a major impact on the aviation industry for the foreseeable future. In April, Elbit Systems completed its acquisition of Universal Avionics, which has already lead the companies to link Universal’s FMS and displays with Elbit’s wearable navigation technology. A month after that tie-up, Avionica and GE Aviation formed a joint venture focused on optimizing the way operators acquire and analyze aircraft data. Boeing has made a series of moves on its own: In July, signed a non-binding agreement with Embraer proposing a formal joint venture that, if approved, would see Boeing take control of 80% of Embraer’s commercial aircraft business. In August, the manufacturer launched Boeing AvionX to focus on developing new ﬂ ight controls and information systems. FLYHT Aerospace Solutions was next in the ﬂ urry of merger and acquisitions activity, receiving a $3.3 million payment from Panasonic Avionics in a deal to take on the loss-making assets of its Panasonic Weather Solutions business in October. Several weeks later, Latitude Technologies Corp. was acquired by ACR Electronics. Finally, in November, the year’s biggest acquisition was completed when UTC became the parent company of the newly christened Collins Aerospace. These changes will continue to ripple throughout the aviation industry in 2019. What type of new avionics technologies can Collins Aerospace create now that it can collaborate with UTC Aerospace Systems? How will Boeing AvionX disrupt the avionics supplier market for commercial aircraft? These are just some of the exciting topics we’ll be covering in the new year. In this issue of Avionics, we look at how Qantas is evolving its connected ﬂ ight deck operations, India’s expansion as a global aerospace engineering hub and the ongoing challenges of achieving type certiﬁ cation for new safety-critical products and technologies. Nick Zazulia also provides a status update on Satvoice, and Walter Shawlee is back with the second half of his article on the transient nature of digital design in aerospace. What would you like to see us cover more of in 2019? I look forward to hearing from more readers in the new year!