Avionics Digital Edition

Pulse of the Industry

There have been industry changes occurring in recent months that are still developing as of press time.

I look at Avionics editorial notes as providing the pulse of the global avionics industry. There have been industry changes occurring in recent months that are still developing as of press time.

On Sept, 4, 2017, United Technologies announced its $23 billion acquisition of Rockwell Collins. More importantly, this acquisition is not official until regulators have reviewed and cleared it. Noteably, Rockwell Collins itself announced its acquisition of interior systems and seat manufacturer B/E Aerospace in late 2016, but the acquisition did not become official until April of this year.

If this acquisition is approved by regulators, it would create one of the largest and most impressive aerospace companies in the history of the industry. Not only would United Technologies own one of the world’s largest airplane engine manufacturing brands, it also would become the owner of Rockwell Collins, which in 2013 became a hardware and air-to-ground data-link-service provider with its acquisition of ARINC.

United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes, in a CNBC interview a day after the deal was announced, predicted demand for 30,000 new aircraft deliveries over the next 15 years. If approved, United Technologies will have among the industry’s biggest footprint of hardware, software and airframe technologies on those aircraft.

UTC’s acquisition of Rockwell Collins occurred slightly more than a month after Boeing said it would be launching a new business unit focusing on the development of avionics systems for commercial and military airframes. The Chicago-based OEM aims to add up to 480 new employees by 2019. The late July announcement followed another major one by Boeing in April — the official opening of its new Global Services business.

This issue of Avionics is packed with industry pulsing news as well, including answers to the top 20 questions we derived from an ADS-B webinar we hosted with the FAA. We also examined new approaches to avionics software development, enhanced vision and Russia’s investment in creating its own avionics manufacturing industry. If you’re looking for me I’ll be hosting Avionics for NextGen outside Washington D.C. or at NBAA asking Gulfstream if I could take a look inside the G500’s avionics bay. AVS