Astronautics won a contract to supply its NEXIS Flight-Intelligence System—includig two certified multifunction displays and two multipurpose server systems—for each aircraft in the award-winning airline’s fleet of Airbus passenger jet aircraft. The NEXIS Flight-Intelligence System will display electronic charts and maps, enhancing pilot situational awareness, and host a full digital library supporting Virgin America’s paperless operation.
The NEXIS server capability provides the ability to update all this data wirelessly through the aircraft’s onboard communication systems. The server will also enable pilots to obtain and display real-time weather data in-flight. The weather data will include Nexrad weather radar information, which provides a complete picture of the current weather across the United States. The NEXIS system will provide real-time flight data recording and monitoring for improved maintenance and more efficient flight operations.
Further, the NEXIS system has the capability to display Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) traffic. ADS-B “In” provides both air traffic control and in flight aircraft improved situational awareness of other traffic and is a key part of the NextGen architecture. ADS-B also allows for improved aircraft routing efficiencies. These capabilities increase airspace capacity, save fuel, and reduce delays.
“Astronautics is excited to provide our NEXIS system to Virgin America, an airline built on innovation. Astronautics shares that drive for innovation, having been at the forefront of ADS-B and flight information technology for over a decade,” explains Astronautics President Chad Cundiff. “Adding this equipment is the most cost effective way to add a wide range of certified capability, including paperless operation, data management, and enhanced situational awareness. NEXIS has a significant amount of expansion capability that can be tailored providing Virgin America a platform for growth.”
“Virgin America was one of the first airlines in the world to adopt Electronic Flight Bags and we are proud to take the next leap forward with the introduction of the NEXIS Flight-Intelligence System across our fleet. This sophisticated technology will improve efficiency now and into the future,” says Virgin America Chief Operating Officer Steve Forte.
The first Virgin America aircraft installation occurred in late August 2014 with fleetwide installation expected by March 2016.
Astronautics Corporation of America, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is involved in the design, development, and manufacture of avionics equipment and systems for the commercial and military aerospace industry. Key product areas include electronic primary flight displays, engine displays, mission computers, electronic flight bags and certified servers for airborne applications. Services include system integration and custom software for critical applications.