Despite good news out of Farnborough, avionics suppliers still expect slow recovery

By Joseph Normandin

Posted by John McHale

I spent the past week all over the west coast visiting supporters of our avionics shows -- Avionics USA and Avionics Europe -- in California. Everyone was aware about the good news coming from the Farnborough International Airshow last week regarding commercial aircraft sales, but they are remaining cautious about any potential market recovery.

I spent the past week all over the west coast visiting supporters of our avionics shows -- Avionics USA and Avionics Europe -- in California. Everyone was aware about the good news coming from the Farnborough International Airshow this month regarding commercial aircraft sales , but they are remaining cautious about any potential market recovery.

At Farnborough the major airplane manufacturers announced airplane orders in the hundreds, signaling an upswing in the market, however it will be a while till this good news trickles down to the avionics level.

The commercial aviation market ramped down awfully fast, but it will not ramp up as quickly, cautioned Ben Daniel, business manager for avionics at GE Intelligent Platforms in Goleta, Calif. It will be a slow recovery but people will still be buying airplanes and designing avionics systems , he added.

Air Electro president Steve Strull in Chatsworth, Calif., told me he is excited about the airplane orders and that his aviation connector business has been steady, weathering the economic times well -- as Air Electro's connectors were designed into the aircraft manufacturing systems as well the finished aircraft systems.

Retrofits for aircraft are also a growth market, Strull added.

Designers of military avionics systems, say it's a matter of waiting and seeing where the Obama administration is going to spend dollars and if they are going to spend dollars. "We're seeing lots of activity in terms of proposals, but no one is sure how much Obama is going to cut out of the defense budget to pay for his social programs," said Doug Patterson, vice president of sales and marketing at Aitech Chatsworth, Calif.

When the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter and the F-22 Raptor cancellations were announced many in the defense industry thought funding would go toward upgrading older aircraft platforms, but Patterson said that such retrofits may also be curtailed as well depending on what the Obama administration will do.

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The Mil & Aero Bloggers

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

Ernesto Burden is the publisher of PennWell’s Aerospace & Defense Media Group, including Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence and Avionics Europe.  He’s a father of four, a runner, and an avid digital media enthusiast with a deep background in the intersection of media publishing, digital technology, and social media. He can be reached at ernestob@pennwell.com and on Twitter @aero_ernesto.

Courtney E. Howard, as executive editor, enjoys writing about all things electronics and avionics in PennWell’s burgeoning Aerospace and Defense Group, which encompasses Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence, the Avionics Europe conference, and much more. She’s also a self-proclaimed social-media maven, mil-aero nerd, and avid avionics geek. Connect with Courtney at Courtney@Pennwell.com, @coho on Twitter, and on LinkedIn.

Mil & Aero Magazine

March 2014
Volume 25, Issue 3
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